Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt

Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt

By J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck & Bob McLeod (Marvel)
ISBN: 0-7851-2330-X

One of the most memorable Spider-Man epics of the last forty-odd years has finally been repackaged and is available again. No cheap paperback edition yet (that I know of) but Kraven’s Last Hunt (originally collected as Spiderman: Fearful Symmetry) is probably worth the extra cost and a more sturdy format.

The eerie psycho-drama that originally ran in 1987 through Amazing, Spectacular, and Web of Spider-Man saw a dark and obsessed Kraven the Hunter finally defeat his arch-nemesis and Oedipally replace him, before inevitably succumbing to his tragic just desserts.

After years of battle, Kraven here is back-written into an intrinsically noble but twisted relic of a bygone era, whose compulsion to defeat Spider-Man spirals into a demented desire to consume and then become him. Kraven’s initial success only serves to highlight the fundamental differences between them, such as how each deals with the savage and cannibalistic rat/man hybrid Vermin who brutally rampages through the rain-soaked and terrified city in a compelling and efficient sub-plot, or with those ordinary people that impinge upon the lives of protagonist and antagonist equally.

Despite the heavy psychological underpinnings, Fearful Symmetry is a gripping thrill-ride adventure, simultaneously moody and fast-paced. Writer DeMatteis curtails his wearisome tendency to overwrite, stifles his leanings toward flowery sentimentality and the maudlin, and lets the art team of Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod have plenty of opportunities to impress with traditional comic art set-pieces.

This series electrified Spider-Man fans when it first appeared and it has lost none of its power today. This is a must-have item for any fan of the medium.

© 1989 Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

7 thoughts on “Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt

  1. Indeed.
    Kraven becomes what he thinks Spiderman is,but he is totally wrong again.
    Nice tale, maybe a bit too much thought-repetitive.(perhaps on an exaggerated Miller’s fashion?)
    It only lacks a bit of sense of humour to be a definitive Spider story, but in the beginning it was meant to be a Batman tale.

    Bruce

  2. You could be right.

    These days it’s getting harder to see any story or plot as being exclusively of one particular hero. Whatever the Company the protagonist/antagonist seem inter-changable.

    Well maybe not Batman vs Galactus.

    But then again…

    Win

  3. ;-)

    Yep,in my spanish edition there’s an introduction by J.M. DeMatteis, it says that first, he thought of Wonder woman but it was rejected by deFalco, later he thought of Batman and Mark Badger made a little painting with the bat coming out of the grave..and in the end Jim Owsley liked it for Spidey.

    Bruce

  4. Yeah but they never stay dead if you do.

    Maybe writers should kill a few publishers or stockholders…

    This is a comedic, not a real suggestion. No matter how tempting or justifiable killing people is wrong.

    Still…

    Win

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