Ned Leeds died not too long before this story, and Peter and MJ married right before it. Two major milestones in Peter Parker's life. This story depicts the third. Way back, since Amazing Spider-Man #15 (vol.1), Kraven the Hunter entered the list of Spider-Man's enemies. Since then, he suffered numerous defeats, and after each one he became more obssessed in catching his ultimate prey. Spidey never considered him much of a danger, cause he was always defeated mostly without any effort.
In this story, however, Kraven succeds in killing Spider-Man, buries him and takes his place, beating a foe Spidey could barely beat with Captain America's help.
By the way, this is a story where Pete still uses the black costume.
|Cover Art:||Mike Zeck|
|Reprinted In:||Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt (TPB)|
Kraven visits Spider-Man's grave, dressed as his nemesis. He pulls the mask off and laughs.
Meanwhile, a woman who's running from the rain is pulled into the sewers by Vermin, who was looking for food. Seems like he found it.
MJ's at home waiting for Peter, who's hours late. She freaks out because the thought that he may be dead crosses her mind and she can't shake it away. Kraven is patrolling the rooftops dressed as Spider-Man, decided to become Spider-Man and prove himself superior to the original. He returns to the Mansion, having second thoughts, but his subconscious loses the fight and he drinks a potion, diving into an allucination, where he tries to fight a lots of spiders, who join to form a huge spider, and he succumbs to fear.
In the sewers, Vermin has finished his dinner and finds a newspaper. He sees a photo of Spider-Man and crawls back in fear, remembering when he and Captain America hurt him. He remembers he's hiding because of them. He decides to go to the surface, to show them he's not afraid, but as he peeks outside, he sees a spider and panics. Cowering in a corner, he hears footsteps above. The footsteps are MJ's, who's out looking for Spider-Man. A couple of guys try to hit on her, but she tells them to "get stuffed", and they don't seem very happy with it.
At the Mansion, Kraven faces his fears, and attacks the giant spider, only to be submerged by spiders. Realizing that to become Spider-Man, he must absorb its essence, he surrends to it. In the sewers, Vermin hears a calling, and understands it's time for revenge. He's out for Spider-Man.
On the street, MJ is being chased by those guys, when Spider-Kraven drops in. He beats the assailants until Mary Jane tells him to stop. Then he leaves, while MJ realizes that he wasn't Peter. Vermin exits the sewers nearby and goes looking for food.
Well, you shouldn't really be reading this to decide whether you should buy this one or not. If you're a Spidey fan, that decision is already taken. This is an epic. No webs rating, may it be a 5, a 6 or a 20 can translate how great this story really is. It's wonderfully written, wondefully drawn, wonderfully penciled, and the result is sublime. Each time I read it, I find some new delightful detail I never noticed. By all means, READ IT. These are the stories that make being a reader worth it. Kraven's Last Hunt is indispensable for any comics fan. True masterpiece.
If you already own it, then why the heck are you reading this? Me, boring! Last Hunt, great! Go and read it.
I couldn't end this without mentioning that this story was brought to us by J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod. Each of them deserves as much praise as possible.
Just for the record, 5 webs. Spidey doesn't get any better than this.