Comics : What If... Grim Hunt

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This review was first published on: Jan 2011.

Background...

The original "Grim Hunt" storyline ran through Amazing Spider-Man #634 through issue #637. In this arc Spider-Man faced a resurrected Kraven the Hunter. Kraven's family was responsible for his resurrection as well as the death of a few supporting characters.

The stress reached a boiling point, prompting Peter to consider killing Kraven in retaliation. Calmer heads prevailed. In this story, however, Peter gives into his bloodlust.

In Detail...

"What If... Spider-Man Killed Kraven During the Grim Nunt?"
What If... Grim Hunt (Story 1)
Feb 2011 : SM Guest
Summary: Alt Spider-Man appears
Editor:  Tom Brennan
Writer:  Mark Sable
Artist:  Matt Southworth, Paul Azaceta
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Following the death of Kraven, the remaining family members attack Spider-Man en masse while the other villains quickly depart. They are no match for an out of control Spider-Man. Arachne grabs Arana and teleport away from the chaos.

When Spider-Man has finished dealing with the Kravinoffs, he makes his way toward Mary Jane's apartment. After vomiting and washing the blood off his costume, he tells MJ that he can no longer be Spider-Man and begs her to take him back. She accepts and they rekindle their romance.

The next morning, MJ learns of Peter's activities from the previous night. She is horrified at what he has become. He tries to justify his actions but soon realizes that he has crossed a line and can never go back. He leaves MJ, swearing off his Peter Parker identity.

Later Julia Carpenter - the new Madame Web - begins her search for Peter Parker. Having inherited the psychic powers of her predecessor, she now knows that life has become unbalanced since Peter committed murder. She tries to convince Anya to accompany her to restore the balance, but she refuses to participate in this any longer. With that "Madame Web" departs.

MJ, Aunt May, and Harry Osborn meet at Peter's apartment hoping to hold an intervention to help Peter regain his sanity. While they wait, they see a news report stating that Norman Osborn was found dead in his cell on The Raft. A significant amount of webbing was found as well. When Peter shows up, they are all surprised at Spider-Man's actions, but only MJ knows the full truth. She takes him outside to confront him, but he leaves claiming the world needs a hunter.

Months pass and it is revealed that Peter has taken up the role of Kraven the Hunter, dressing in his clothes. He keeps the remaining Kravinoffs chained near his throne.

He receives visitors in the form of Venom (Gargan), Anti-Venom (Brock), Spider-Woman (Drew), and Madame Web (Carpenter). They quickly begin their attack and causalities mount. Madame Web is mortally wounded, but manages to teleport Arana to the battle. As Madame Web passes away, Arana takes up the mantle of the spider and attacks the hunter.

The fight goes to Peter who holds Arana at gunpoint. As he pulls the trigger, the gun misfires (thanks to some webbing) and blinds Peter. With the fight lost, he begs Aranya to kill him and end his misery. She does not.

Time passes and Peter has become the next Madame Web. His relationship with MJ has deteriorated due to his actions; he must go forward alone. Aranya has taken his place as Spider-Woman.

In General...

I have a limited idea of what actually happened in the original "Grim Hunt" arc as I have not read it. Suffice to say I was quite confused by many of the unknown Kravinoffs in this issue. There was a humanoid lion that was never introduced but was clearly part of the story.

The lessons learned are lost among incongruous events and references to the "web of life". While we can guess the meaning based on context, it is such an important part of the story one would think that it would be explained in greater detail.

Overall Rating...

2 webs. This provided only the most basic explanation of the original story and even less information to fully appreciate the new direction. Many sequences were thrown in as references to the original but came across as little more than filler.

The art was mediocre and in some cases made the story even less interesting.