Amazing Spider-Man #34, Mar. 1966

asm034Amazing Spider-Man #34, Mar. 1966

Scripted and edited by: Stan Lee
Plotted and illustrated by: Steve Ditko
Lettered and relished by: Sam Rosen

three-stars

Hooray, it’s Kraven the Hunter, back again from his exile in Europe! Actually, he already came back and fought Iron Man, briefly. To be honest, it was more of Iron Man punching Kraven once, defeating him for good. It was pretty embarrassing, and I’m sure a guy with such a touchy attitude as Kraven is going to spend the rest of his life hunting down the Avenger!

Kraven returns to wreak vengeance on his arch-foe: Spider-Man! He… forgot about Iron Man, I guess. Must’ve been a pretty solid hit. Anyway, Kraven comes up with a brilliant plan: He dresses up like Spidey and starts pestering J. Jonah Jameson, not necessarily threatening him, just bugging him in public enough where it gives JJ enough ammo to turn him into a public menace in the pages of the Daily Bugle. It’s honestly a pretty good plan.

The real Spider-Man finally decides to do something about it and follows Kraven to an abandoned building, where he’s set up traps to defeat his foe. He also has some sort of jungle gas that nullifies Pete’s spider-sense! Unfortunately, Kraven just isn’t up to the physical test of fighting Spider-Man, and ends up getting his shit kicked. Once captured, he fesses up to the Spidey imitation, because he promised Spider-Man that he would if he was beaten. Now there’s a classy villain.

There’s relatively little Peter Parker drama in this issue, except that he FINALLY realizes that everyone in his college class hates him because he’s been distant recently while worrying about his aunt’s health. It’s nice to have a straightforward super-fight issue after the last couple super dramatic ones, the only thing I regret is that Kraven gets so easily beaten after his clearly well-thought-out plan. I just feel bad for the guy. Oh, and also we learn the reason Spider-Man ended up doing all those cameos on the Electric Company in the 70’s:

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