Kraven The Hunter

 In: Characters
 Posted: 2001
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)
File Photo



Goatee beard




235 lbs.


6' 0"


Strength and speed of a savage beast.


Typically wears animal skins when active.


Kraven's pride and arrogance has often caused his downfall.


Heightened senses

Strength Level:

Enhanced Human.


Hunting knives, spears, and other primitive weapons.


Formerly Russia, UK, USA, Ethiopia

Created By:

Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Current Occupation:


Dual Identity:

"The World's Greatest Hunter"


College educated

Former Bases:

Africa, Russia, the Savage Land, USA

Former Groups:

Original Sinister Six (See Amazing Annual #1)

Former Occupation:

Big game hunter

Known Allies:

The Chameleon, Calypso

Known Confidants:

The Chameleon

Known Relatives:

Sasha Kravinoff (wife), Ana Kravinoff (daughter), Vladimir Kravinoff (son, deceased), Alyosha Kravinoff (son), Chameleon (half-brother)

Legal Status:


Major Enemies:

Spider-Man, Iron Man

Marital Status:


Place of Birth:


Real Name:

Sergei Kravinoff



Kraven arrived in New York after being told by Smerdyakov about how dangerous Spider-Man was. Seeking a new challenge, Sergei relished the challenge to hunt new prey. After his ship docked, several of the animals escaped and before Spidey could round them up, Kraven had captured the cobras and gorillas. He then announced that man was the most dangerous animal of all and Spider-Man was the most dangerous man. At Chameleon’s lair, Smerdyakov gave Kraven a file of everything known about Spider-Man but warned him that he wasn't hunting an animal anymore. Kraven reminded him that he had the strength to stop a charging bull elephant with one punch, thanks to a potion stolen from a witch doctor of an African tribe.

That night, Spider-Man heard a gunshot, went to investigate and found a bank robbery in progress. Kraven watched from the shadows, observing his prey in action. Spidey swung away after the crooks were captured but was stopped by Kraven. Spidey asked why he wanted to fight, and was told that there were no more challenges and Spider-Man would be Kraven's greatest trophy. Kravinoff tried to stop Spidey with a nerve punch, but the web head dodged and the punch merely made his arm go limp. Even with one arm, Spidey was beating the hunter, who cut him with a horn filled with a poison. The hunter fled, saying the poison would weaken the hero and he would be back later to finish him off.

The next morning, Peter was feeling better but still had shaking hands. He went to the Bugle to see JJJ, and was surprised to see him in a meeting with Kravinoff. Kraven promised that Spidey's days were numbered and Jonah demanded that it all be done legally. Spider-Man went looking for Kraven and followed his spider sense to Central Park. He followed a seemingly oblivious Kraven through the park but was soon captured in a metal net by the real Kraven. Spidey broke out of the net but was distracted by jungle drums and Kraven clamped metal shackles to him. The shackles were magnetized and they were constantly pulling Spidey's arm and leg together. Spidey ran and Kraven followed, until Spidey webbed the shackles and managed to shut them off. Turning back to fight, Spider-Man found the decoy hunter, the Chameleon in disguise. He tossed Chameleon's mask to Sergei, who ran into the woods to form a new plan. He again tried the net, but Spider-Man's speed again saved him. Kraven tried to run but was soon caught in webbing woven between two trees. Soon, Chameleon and the hunter were on a ship and being deported. Kraven promised "I'll get back in shape hunting in the jungles of the Congo--and then, when I'm more powerful than ever--we shall return, and continue our hunt for Spider-Man! A hunt which will never end until he is destroyed!" (Amazing Spider-Man #15)

"The Sinister Six"

Kraven accepted the offer made by Doctor Octopus to join the Sinister Six with Mysterio, Vulture, Electro and Sandman. Each villain was given a battleground that worked to their advantage over Spider- Man, and Kraven fought the web slinger at a zoo. Even with the aid of a pair of cheetahs, the Hunter was captured by Spider-Man. (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1)

"The Thrill of the Hunt!"

In Africa, Kraven was eager to return to America to once again face Spider-Man. As he toured his trophy room, he makes a prophetic statement. "The mask of Spider-Man must one day cover that plaster head...even if I pay for the victory with my very life!" Needing to feel the excitement of a hunt, he left his camp and found a rogue lion. He tackled the animal and beat it into submission, allowing it to run for its life. He was soon at the port of Nairobi, Kenya, preparing captured animals to be taken to a zoo in America. This was also his ticket back to New York. Once there, he returned to the Chameleon's hideout. His disdain for Smerdyakov was on display as he thought, "I don't care what happened to him, so long as he stays away until my mission is over!" Eventually he came up with a plan to draw out Spider-Man.

Kraven, wearing a Spider-Man costume, harassed Jonah Jameson, causing the irate publisher to hammer at the webhead in the Daily Bugle. Peter refused to stand by as his reputation was shredded and so he went after the imposter. His search was short, as the fake shined a spider signal at him and led him toward a condemned area. When Spider-Man arrived, he found Kraven the Hunter waiting. The hunter had booby trapped the area, and unknown to both of them, a gang of crooks had spotted Spider-Man and were planning to attack him. The gang stumbled upon both costumed combatants and were easily swatted aside. The two were separated by the gang, and Kraven later pounced on Spidey from an open window. They grappled in mid air and Kraven managed to throw him through another window. Spidey caught a second wind and beat Kraven mercilessly until he was beaten. Soon, Kraven and the Hogan gang were webbed up and waiting for the police. Kravinoff had promised to confess to impersonating Spider-Man and he kept his word, calling himself a man of honor. (Amazing Spider-Man #34)

"In the Hands of the Hunter"

Sergei often worked in cooperation with other criminals in order to bring down his hated prey. He took on a job offered by the Green Goblin to rid New York of Spider-Man. After serving time for the aborted hit on Spider-Man, Kraven returned for partial payment on the job. Norman Osborn had acted as the Goblin's middle man, but Norman had lost his memory of being the Goblin in the time Sergei had been in jail. To force him to comply, Kraven kidnapped Harry, who was rescued by Spider-Man. Kraven also took a job from Mister Sinister to collect DNA samples from the original five X-Men. He achieved his goal and even gave some of his own DNA for experimentation, (this resulted in the clone known as Xraven).

Sergei's pride was wounded when the second Vulture (Blackie Drago) was considered the most dangerous man in New York in the media. Kraven took him on and both of them were beaten by Spider-Man. He also sold a street drug called ZMB to the Maggia and was captured by the Human Torch and Captain Stacy.He first met Ka-Zar in the Savage Land after capturing Zabu, the saber toothed tiger. Kraven took Zabu to New York, where he was beaten by Ka-Zar. His next beating came from the Beast. He lured Beast into being hunted by poisoning his friend and with holding the antidote. This didnt sit well with Beast.

”Walk the Savage Land”

After this loss, Kraven returned to the Savage Land and used the creature known as Gog to face Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy. (Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #103)

In revenge for his pet's death, Kraven preyed on the vulnerable Martin Blank's (aka the Gibbon) sense of isolation to fight Spider-Man.

”Kraven is the Hunter”

He was hired, along with Tarantula (Rodriguez), to capture Empire State University chancellor Richard Gorman. Kraven and Tarantula stopped bickering long enough to capture the massively overweight Gorman, who Kraven called a “fat pig.” Spider-Man came to investigate the kidnapping and was attacked by Kraven and his tigers. Spidey beat him after dodging one of Kraven’s stabs with a knife, which hit an electrical socket. (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 1) #2)

Needless to say, all of these attempts on Spider-Man's life were to no avail.

Again, Kraven tried to take on another vigilante under challenge from Kerwin Broderick. Daredevil was the target, and he was nearly killed by Sergei after being thrown off a cliff. The hero was saved at the last minute by Moondragon, who teleported him to safety. He also took on the Man-Wolf for extradimensional dictator, Lunatik. Sergei pitted the Man-Wolf against J. Jonah Jameson but the police captured Kraven before he could force John to harm his father. In Chicago, Kraven tried to gain more power by kidnapping Dr Herbert Malraux and was beaten by Tigra.

”Tigra Tigra Burning Bright!”

Kraven ambushed Spidey one night and drugged him with hallucinogenic darts. Spidey woke up in a room chained to the floor with Kraven sitting comfortably nearby. Spider-Man was surprised to see Tigra (Greer Nelson) at his side, he believed her to have been one of the good guys. Kraven explained that if Tigra killed Spider-Man , then his vengeance was complete. If Spider-Man killed her, he’d have earned the right to live.

Spidey broke one of the chains he was shackled to and used it to whip at Tigra, which failed. She attacked him relentlessly as Kraven taunted that the only way to save himself was to kill her. She knocked him into a fire pit briefly before he noticed a collar around her neck with exposed circuitry from when he hit her with the chain. He ripped the collar from her and she turned her anger onto the Hunter.

Kraven fled after exposing them to poison gas and Spidey pulled Tigra away from it. She told him that she’d been tracking Kraven after he’d escaped from prison and followed him to the New Jersey waterfront. There she fell for his trap and was put under his control. They went after him and they were caught by a stampede of animals, which Kraven had set loose. He used an ultrasonic blaster on Tigra, but was stunned after being hit in the head with a web ball. He came around shortly and attacked again but was laid out with one punch. (Marvel Team Up #67)

”The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”

Kraven retreated to the Caribbean to rethink his life and met Calypso Ezili, a voodoo priestess. The two fell in love. However, Calypso had an agenda and forced Kraven to return to New York. She forced Kraven to fight Spider-Man, but he gave up the hunt after learning that she had drugged his foe. Not wanting to win in an unfair fight, Kraven and Calypso were captured by the police. (Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 1) #65)

After being liberated from jail by AIM, Kraven was sent to kidnap Ka-Zar. He nearly killed his foe, until Ka-Zar saved him from falling to his death. Respecting his enemy's honor and realizing that Ka-Zar had been shot, Kraven gave him a healing jungle concoction before leaving. Kraven and Tigra fought for a third time in Los Angeles after an art museum robbery. Wanting a rematch, Tigra challenged Kraven to a fight to the death and was nearly killed, until reinforcements in the form of the West Coast Avengers arrived. Kraven and the Legion Accursed were sent to kill the Beyonder, but were stopped by The Thing and sent to jail.

All of these repeated failures took a deep toll on Kraven's psyche. More than any other Spider-foe, perhaps with the exception of the Green Goblin, the defeat of Spider-Man was Kraven the Hunter's obsession. Sergei was becoming an old man, despite his youthful appearance. The Hunter could not rest until he defeated his enemy. He simply could not rest.

In his madness, Kraven believed that Spider-Man was possessed by "the Spider," the supernatural entity responsible for all of mankind's suffering. "It was in the jungles that I first began to understand the ways of the spirits and demons...of the ravenous Spider. And tonight I finally see that even the man inhabited by the Spider--is ignorant--of its devious ways!"

Kraven finally defeated Spider-man and buried him alive. He then took Spider- Man's black costume and started to live the life of the wall crawler. This was to prove that he was a better Spider-Man than the original. His crime fighting was considerably more deadly than the real Spider-Man's methods. A group of drug dealers that he came across ended up dead or badly beaten. He hunted and defeated the creature called Vermin, something Spider-Man was not able to do without the aid of Captain America.

Spider-Man eventually clawed out from his grave and attacked Kraven. But Kraven did not retaliate because he had already won. "Hit me again if you like, Spider-Man. Hit me a hundred times. I wont resist. I wont fight. There's no reason to fight. Don't you see? I've finally WON!" To further drive home the point that Kraven was superior to Spider-Man, Sergei forced the hero to battle Vermin. Spidey was quickly overpowered, and Vermin was about to kill him when Kraven stopped the creature. Kraven released Vermin onto the streets in order to distract Spider-Man while the deranged Hunter took his own life.

Spider-Man is not free of Kraven the Hunter's legacy, however. He has faced Kraven's son's Vladimir Kravinoff and Alyosha Kravinoff. Calypso and the Chameleon have also returned against impossible odds to torment the wall crawler for the death of their loved one.

The Kravens recently gained their greatest victory in resurrecting Kraven the Hunter. Sergei's wife, Sasha Kravinoff and daughter, Ana Kravinoff, captured the Spider-Clone named Kaine and sacrificed him, not knowing he was a clone and not the real Spider-Man. Sergei was not happy to be reborn, blaming his wife for cursing him with "the unlife." Spider-Man was even less happy. Mattie Franklin was dead because of the Kravinoffs, as was Kaine (whom had met Sergei years prior as a hit man) and Madame Webb had been tortured. When Peter went after Kraven it was with a vengeance. (Amazing Spider-Man #636)

The enraged Spider-Man made quick work of Kraven. Spider-Man wanted to kill him, as Sergei had hoped. Only Spider-Man could kill him, as they shared a spiritual bond. However, the totem magic that gave Peter his power would be corrupted if he became a murderer, a risk he couldn't take. Sergei and the family escaped to the Savage Land, where he killed Sasha and Vladimir. Alyosha wanted nothing more to do with his insane family and the sadistic Ana went to "talk" with her brother. As they left, Kraven contemplated the new family he would start in the Savage Land. (Amazing Spider-Man #637)

Sergei soon tangled with Flash Thompson, who was in the Savage Land as Agent Venom. A terrorist organization had been using Antarctic vibranium to build weapons of mass destruction and Venom was sent to destroy the mines. Little did he know that Kraven had made the area into his base of operations. Kraven saw the black suited figure with the white spider, assumed it was Spider-Man and immediately tried to force Flash into killing him. Kraven eventually overpowered Flash in a mine tunnel, and realized he wasnt Spider-Man. Flash escaped with the aid of giant bats in the tunnel. (Venom, vol. 3, #2)

Kraven was called from the Savage Land by Dr Sheri Holman, who had saved Sergei's life in Africa years beforehand. His sense of honor demanded that he owed her a favor, which she took advantage of by asking him to hunt down a teenage boy named Brian. (Kraven was also enticed to kill the Black Panther by Dr Holman, who claimed that science and magic were not so different and that she could find a way to return him to death.) Brian was a metahuman who had been lobotomized and was wandering the streets of New York and Dr Holman needed him for her illegal experiments. Meanwhile, T'Challa was the employer of Brian and was also looking for him. (The Panther was in Hells Kitchen at the request of Daredevil who had left New York.) Kraven managed to poison T'Challa with a dart and chased him across Queens. (Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #519)

Kraven caught up to T'Challa at a bridge and pushed him off it, only for the Panther to be caught by his wife, Storm. They eventually found Kraven, who had found Brian and was forcing him to use his powers against them. As long as Brian could touch the ground, he could manipulate the earth under a person. He was forced to smother Storm, using her claustrophobia against her. A battle of cat and mouse was played between Kraven and Panther to control Brian, eventually leading to Storm's release. Kraven was chased back to the hospital where Dr Holman was experimenting on her human/animal hybrids. Panther quickly explained that he knew that Holman was a compulsive liar and likely had no way of killing Kraven. He was willing to bet his life on it. Kraven concluded that Panther was a man of honor and that his debt to Holman was canceled due to her lies. He later was seen in the Savage Land, releasing the hybrid creatures into the wild. The Panther was right: Kraven did revere animals more than people. (Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #520)

Kraven next appeared in the Pacific northwest of the United States, tracking the Hulk. He actually managed to subdue the behemoth long enough to explain his reason for attacking him. Sergei wanted to die and he wanted the Hulk to bring him Spider-Man to do the killing. In return, he would help Hulk find the hidden City of Sasquatches, thinking that Hulk knew what it was that Banner was looking for. Hulk didn't care about the city but did hate that Kraven slowly murdered a Bigfoot, making it's nearby kin respond to its screams of pain. The enraged Sasquatches took Hulk captive and Kraven rescued his "partner" from their city by threatening to kill one of the few remaining Bigfoot cubs. Hulk responded by punching him far out of the city. (The Incredible Hulk #11)

Sergei and Ana next showed up in Houston, Texas, observing Kaine Parker. Ana was ready to begin the hunt, but her father made her wait. (Scarlet Spider #16) They finally made their move on Kaine, drugging him with a compound that made him think that his degeneration disease had returned. Disguised as the original Scarlet Spider, Sergei hunted Kaine across the city as the drug made the clone hallucinate that the Jackal and Superior Spider-Man told him to kill Ben. Kraven eventually grew tired of toying with Kaine, telling him that they had unfinished business. (Scarlet Spider #21)

He blamed Kaine for his un-dead status, saying that the Scarlet Spider's imperfections had tainted the resurrection ceremony. When Kaine arrived after defeating Ana, Sergei threatened to kill the Scarlet Spider's kidnapped friends: Dr. Leland, officer Layton, Annabelle and Aracely. The only way for him to save his friends was to kill Kraven. (Scarlet Spider #22) Kraven demanded that Kaine act like the monster that he knew he was and kill him but Scarlet Spider held back, despite the beating he was taking. When Kaine still refused to take Sergei's life, he ordered Ana to kill one of the hostages. Anna stabbed Dr. Leland and her father demanded that she kill the rest of Kaine's friends. Sergei was then killed by the Scarlet Spider with a hit to the chest, stopping his heart. After Kaine bound Leland's injuries, he saved Kraven with CPR. He and Ana escaped. (Scarlet Spider #23)

"Lethal Protector"

While barely paying attention to his employee telling him about legal trouble concerning his hunting in the Savage Land without a permit, Kraven read a newspaper. One of the stories intrigued him, as it described a race of human/dinosaur hybrids living in the sewers under New York. He had his underling ignore the permit trouble and organize a flight for New York. (Venom #155)

He was soon in the sewers, observing the dino-people. He hunted one and it escaped, but he did manage to learn more about the creatures. He considered them to be sluggish in the hot sewers and under nourished, but was impressed by their strength and tough hides. He was soon back in the sewer, and had successfully killed one of them when he was attacked by their protector, Venom. The infuriated symbiote demanded to know why he did that and he replied by stabbing him in the back with a knife. He sliced Venom a few more times before he retreated, leading him into a bear trap. Kraven was thrilled to be hunting an alpha predator and planned to soon have his head on a wall. When Venom hit him with a webline and yanked him towards him, Kraven managed to cut the web and escape. Venom freed himself from the trap and pursued the Hunter, but was shot by a rifle and fled. Kraven promised that next time he would be ready. (Venom #156)

When Brock next saw Kraven, the Hunter was on TV. He was being introduced by the new mayor of New York, Wilson Fisk, and showing himself as a champion of nature. It was for this reason that he was "concerned" about the monstrous menace of dino-creatures under the city. He also explained that Venom was working with the creatures and called him a cannibal. Soon, Kraven was joined by two dozen heavily armed NYPD officers looking for the dino village. Venom managed to disguise himself as one of the officers and found Kraven alone. Kravinoff did have a surprise for him, in a woman named Shriek. She immediately hit Venom with a sonic blast, knocking him into a wall. An amused Kraven told her to hit him again. Her next blast caused a cave in, burying Venom. They ran from the collapse and he scolded her for denying him Venom's head as a trophy. He decided to enslave some of the dino-men and force them to dig the body out. Later, he was watching the dino-people's village and ordering the police to fall back and not interfere. He wanted them to himself, and the rats he set loose into the village would lead the hungry creatures right into his trap. (Venom #157)

Kraven was thoroughly enjoying his hunt, slaughtering the dinosaurs with a smile. When the SWAT officers told him he was there to capture the creatures and not murder them, he told them to leave the hunting to him. They needed to establish a perimeter and shoot anything that tried to escape. His hunt was cut short by Venom and he was beaten when Brock threw Shriek into him. They were then taken away by SWAT. (Venom #158)


Image Gallery


Cover Date Appearance Information
Aug 1964 1st: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #15
Year 1996 App: Sensational Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual 1996 (Story 1)
Date TBD App: Tales Of Suspense #58
Year 1964 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #1 (Story 1)
Nov 1964 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #18
Mar 1966 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #34
Apr 1967 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #47
Jun 1967 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #49
Mar 2001 App: X-Men: The Hidden Years #16
Apr 2001 App: X-Men: The Hidden Years #17
Aug 1970 App: Astonishing Tales #1 (Story 1)
Oct 1970 App: Astonishing Tales #2 (Story 1)
Dec 1971 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #103
Jan 1972 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #104
Jul 1972 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #110
Aug 1972 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #111
Oct 1973 App: Daredevil (Vol.1) #104
Nov 1973 App: Daredevil (Vol.1) #105
Oct 1974 App: Creatures On The Loose #32
Nov 1974 App: Creatures On The Loose #33
Date TBD App: Marvel Chillers #4
Jan 1977 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #2
Mar 1978 App: Marvel Team-Up #67
Oct 1980 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #209
Apr 1982 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #65
Oct 1982 App: Kazar (Vol. 3): The Savage #19
Nov 1982 App: Kazar (Vol. 3): The Savage #20
Dec 1982 App: Kazar (Vol. 3): The Savage #21
Dec 1985 App: West Coast Avengers #3
Jan 1986 App: Secret Wars II #7
Oct 1987 App: Web of Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #31
  Origin finally told.
Oct 1987 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #293
Oct 1987 App: Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #131
Nov 1987 App: Web of Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #32
Nov 1987 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #294
Jun 2010 FB: Web of Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #7 (Story 1)
Aug 2010 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #635 (Story 1)
  Resurrected through the death of Kaine
Aug 2010 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #636 (Story 1)
Sep 2010 App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #637 (Story 1)
Apr 2011 App: Spider-Girl (Vol. 2) #4
May 2011 App: Spider-Girl (Vol. 2) #5
Jun 2011 App: Venom (Vol. 2) #2
Aug 2012 App: Scarlet Spider (Vol. 2) #6
Jun 2013 App: Scarlet Spider (Vol. 2) #16

Thanks To

 The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.

 Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.

 In: Characters
 Posted: 2001
 Staff: Dave Sippel (E-Mail)