Tag Archives: Kraven the Hunter

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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Tales of Suspense #58, Oct. 1964

Tales of Suspense #58, Oct. 1964

Every word you are about to read was written by ol’ faithful Stan Lee, one of the world’s most prolific script writers!Every drawing you are about to marvel at, was created by Don Heck, one of America’s most promising illustrators!
Every bit of inking you are about to savor was done by Dick Ayers, one of the industry’s most painstaking artists!
Every sentence you are about to scan was hand-printed by Sam Rosen, one of Marvel’s most perspicuous letterers!

Jesus, what an unnecessarily long block of credits. This is an exciting issue, because it has Iron Man fighting Captain America, and you know what that means! Just like when Giant Man fought the Hulk, it means Cap is going to be the new backup feature in Tales to Suspense! Hooray for more Captain America! Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen that new movie that just came out yet, you need to get your butt into an overpriced theater, it’s worth it for once!

Our story starts as Kraven the Hunter and the Chameleon return to America, having evaded their exile at the hands of Spider-Man. They just happen to land right next to one of Stark Industries’ factories, and who else is there waiting for them than Iron Man. He knocks Kraven out without even a struggle (which I strongly disagree with, but he’s not the bad guy in this issue), but the Chameleon gets away and comes up with a plan to take out the jerk who nabbed his buddy. Soon, a battered Captain America makes his way into Tony Stark’s office and tell the Golden Avenger that the Chameleon kidnapped him, disguised himself as him, and stole all his memories using some sort of machine. Of course, Iron Man goes out to defeat the imposter.

Also of course, the real Chameleon was the one who went to Stark’s office, not the one that Iron Man finds at Avengers headquarters. They fight for a bit, and even though Cap’s perplexed at what’s going on, he’s not about to not protect himself if that’s what Iron Man really wants. As the fight rages, Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts accidentally stumble into the war zone, and Cap saves Happy from falling down a pit. Why would the Chameleon save anybody, Iron Man wonders. Hm… Suddenly, a huge machine bears down on both of the heroes, and it’s stopped just in time by… Giant Man?! Aww, dammit. He happened to be in the neighborhood with the Wasp, and they saw the Chameleon dressed as Cap. Man, the last thing I’d want is to have to thank¬†Giant Man.

Seriously, Kraven the Hunter gets his ass kicked by Iron Man in a single panel, with only one punch? I call bullshit for the sake of moving the story along! I’m sure Iron Man could take Kraven, and yeah, it probably wouldn’t be TOO hard, but I just can’t stand by and accept that it was that easy. Kraven’s a fucking badass, he deserves better than to be tossed around like some sort of Daredevil villain!


Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, 1964

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, 1964

Written by: Stan Lee
Drawn by: Steve Ditko
Lettered by: S. Rosen

Man, if this was 1964 and there was anybody who didn’t pick up a copy of this annual, they were missing out in a big way. Not only does it have Spidey fighting the Sinister Six, featuring his six best villains to date, each with their own full-page action shot, it also features cameos from just about every other Marvel superhero (not counting the Hulk or Daredevil) and a short featurette in the end with a fictionalized account of how Stan Lee and Steve Ditko come up with their ideas for the comics. It’s a damn entertaining read.

Spider-Man recalls the time his beloved Uncle Ben dies and how he still feels guilty for his death. Suddenly, his powers seem to go out! Oh shit! This is doubly problematic, as Dr. Octopus has just gathered together a legion of other supervillains, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, the Vulture, Mysterio and Sandman to form what he calls the Sinister Six. Their plan: Kidnap Betty Brant (whom Spider-Man fought Doc Ock to save a couple times) and make him go through them, one by one, weakening him until he’s eventually defeated.

When Electro and the Sandman go to kidnap Betty Brant, it just so happens that Peter Parker’s Aunt May is there as well, making a social call to the girl she thinks has been upsetting Pete. The villains nab them both and stick them in a castle with Dr. Octopus. Even though he has no powers, Spider-Man has to try and save his girlfriend and aunt, so he goes after Electro. During the fight, he realizes that he actually has his powers after all, it was just a psychosomatic effect from all the guilt, and happily cleans up the entire squad of baddies. He finally rescues the girls, only to find that Aunt May has taken a serious shock… she missed the Beverly Hillbillies! But wasn’t that Dr. Octopus such a nice and gracious host?

Just like Spider-Man mentions in the final battle of this issue, the major flaw of the Sinister Six is that they all split up and tried to take him one-on-one, which basically completely defeats the point of teaming up in the first place. Apart from that, this is an excellent issue that’s full of great action, excellent comedy (we spend so much time with J. Jonah Jameson, you know it’s gotta be funny), and just an all-around solid story. Hollywood, if you ever wanted to adapt an old Spider-Man comic into a movie, you could do way worse than just reading this annual.


Amazing Spider-Man #15, Aug. 1964

Amazing Spider-Man #15, Aug. 1964

Written by: Stan Lee (because we couldn’t afford Mickey Spillane)
Illustrated by: Steve Ditko (because Picasso was out of town)
Lettered by: Art Simek (because his name fits the space)

Though Kraven the Hunter may not have the most impressive set of super powers, he’s definitely one of the more interesting Spider-Man villains just due to his attitude. He’s exactly that guy from The Most Dangerous Game, except he wears a crazy lion head vest and he drank a magic potion to make him strong and fast. Good shit.

Spider-Man’s doing his normal stuff of busting up gangs of bank robbers when he inadvertently stops the scheme of one of his first villains, the Chameleon. Now, the Chameleon isn’t a dumb guy, he knows that Spidey beat him the first time and that if he wants to get rid of the wall-crawler, he’s going to need some help. He sends out a wire to his old buddy Kraven the Hunter, the world’s greatest hunter (yes, better than Ted Nugent, even). Kraven saunters into town and the two of them stage another robbery for Spider-Man to foil so Kraven can study his prey.

In their first fight, Kraven’s surprised as Spidey’s strength and agility, so he poisons him with some sort of potion that gives him the shakes for the next couple days. Knowing that Spider-Man will have to find Kraven first if he wants to stay safe, the Chameleon dresses up as the hunter to lure Spider-Man out into the open while Kraven gets up from behind him and throws a net over him. He then puts on some magnetic handcuff things that attract his arm to his leg, but in the end Pete uses his powerful high school science student brain to short circuit it and catch the baddies.

I think my favorite thing about this issue is the relationship between the Chameleon and Kraven the Hunter. Like they’re just old buds who hang out in the Chameleon’s house, him in his smoking jacket and Kraven drinking some magic potion or other, idly talking about how they’ll catch Spider-Man. It’s very Imperialistic, almost to Commander McBragg levels. Plus, I think they’re the first bad guy team up I’ve seen where they don’t end up bickering and losing everything that way. They’re old friends! And friendship is awesome.