Rave : 2017 : Where in the World is Kraven the Hunter?

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Date: Mar 17, 2017
Next: Bad Characters, or Bad Writing?
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Kraven the Hunter is alive.

"Well, yeah," you might say. "He was resurrected six years ago." That's right, and what has he done since then? If you solely follow Spidey comics, then the answer is "Not a darn thing." Kraven was obsessed with Spider-Man since the moment he learned of the webhead's existence, an obsession that eventually led to Kravinoff's suicide. After the Hunter was returned to life by a black magic ritual, he learned that the magic had been tainted and he had been cursed with eternal life. Kraven desired death more than anything else, so his reanimation was a source of agony for him. The only way he could possibly get what he wanted was to be murdered by Spider-Man. Peter was more than happy to give him what he wanted, after the psychological torture Kraven inflicted on him years ago, as well as to avenge the friends sacrificed to bring back Kraven and his son, Vladimir. This was impossible, however, as Spider-Man taking the Hunter's life would start a mystical chain reaction that would cause the nature of reality to become corrupted. After Spider-Man grudgingly walked away from killing his enemy, Kraven and his demented family traveled to the Savage Land. Kravinoff murdered them, except for his daughter, Ana, and promised to start a new family.

The last time Sergei Kravinoff was seen or even mentioned in a Spidey comic was the last issue of "Grim Hunt," Amazing Spider-Man #637. It has been over one hundred issues since Kraven's resurrection. However, Kraven and Ana have made appearances in several other Marvel comics, including Spider-Girl, Venom, Scarlet Spider, Black Panther, The Incredible Hulk, and Rocket Raccoon. Yes, Kraven appeared in Rocket Raccoon before he has returned to a Spider-Man title. It's not like Marvel has forgotten or ignored the character, as he has shown up in one title or another approximately once per year. Marvel is totally capable of "ignoring" characters for decades at a time (Stunner, Kaine, Scream, Shriek, Hybrid, etc) yet Kraven hasn't been ignored. He has just faced off against everyone except his arch enemy, an enemy that he has more reason to attack than anyone else in the Marvel universe.

Retconning a death is always controversial and Marvel certainly knows this. I get the feeling that "Grim Hunt" and Kraven's resurrection may not have been well received, hence the reluctance to feature him in a Spider-Man book again. Still, I kind of prefer that Kraven not be used at all than to have him appear in stories that contradict the plot threads left by his return to life. When Kraven the Hunter does eventually face Spider-Man again, I'd like his absence to be explained by him planning something big. Instead, he seems to be picking fights with entirely random characters. Well, if this is what the writers are going to do with him, I would like to see him fight Wolverine. Two nearly unkillable, deceptively old men with enhanced senses going head to head. I'd think Kraven would enjoy hunting a killer. It would at least be entertaining for the readers.