Friday, April 29, 2011
Spider-man has been put through a Gauntlet of his most dangerous foes, all for one purpose – so that he would be a beaten man when the Kravenoff family finally comes hunting for him. Kraven the Hunter was driven mad by his inability to beat Spider-man, and in one of the greatest Spider-man stories ever told, Kraven’s Last Hunt – Kraven took the place of Spider-man, beating a foe Spidey had never been able to defeat, and then took his own life. But Kraven’s family have never forgiven Spider-man for his role in his death, and they’re looking for revenge. And what could be a better form of revenge than using their family’s old enemy’s blood to resurrect their dearly departed patriarch. But first, they’ll use other members of the “Spider-family” to draw him out of hiding, because Spidey is on to their games and wouldn’t be willing to play, except now there’s other innocent lives in jeopardy because of him. It’s funny that I should read this after having just finished The Real Clone Saga, as another clone of Spider-man named Kaine has a very important role in the Grim Hunt. Throughout the course of the main story, we’re shown flashbacks to Kaine’s prior interactions with Kraven the Hunter – giving a deeper insight into both characters and a nice counter-point to where they both wind up (as well as a deeper meaning behind both their fates). I’ve read a lot of reviews that have a problem with the fact that this story essentially undoes one of the best Spider-man stories, Kraven’s Last Hunt. I’m a person who loves that original, but I’ve got to say – I really got a kick out of this story as well. One of the things about Kraven’s Last Hunt is that it proved that even a lame villain (which is what Kraven had been up to that point, a one-note joke) could be made into a great villain in the right hands. Unfortunately, the right hands also killed him, making it impossible for anyone else to use him after creating such a prefect foil for Spider-man. This story brings him back in a perfectly plausible (for a comic book) way, and adds in some new elements linking Spider-man and Kraven together which should lead to some interesting conflict in the future. The artwork has a very grim and gritty feel, perfect for this particular story, and though it was a little painfully obvious that Spider-woman was missing when every other person with a “Spider” in their name, or who ever used the name was present – it still worked really well as a gathering of these two families. I think it also helped (at least for me) that this story avoiding talking about Peter’s personal life and all the changes that have come about from the editorial decision to erase his marriage to MJ – this story is just interested in telling this tale of the Spider-family vs the Kravenoff family, and it’s one that I enjoyed reading very much.
Posted by Jim Haley at 4/29/2011