Road to Hunted
Full disclosure, I just finished #21 as I write this. I wanted to start reviewing somewhere and it didn’t seem right to review in the last couple of issues of a story arc. I believe the Hunted story line ends in issue #22. So anyway, I’m starting with #16. One note before I get into the issue itself, these big events like this kind of annoy me. I mean, sure, you get a bunch of Spider-Man stories on a week/bi-weekly basis but I read a bunch of books so it really messes up my pull list budget. It’s not a huge deal, it just means I’m not eating out for lunch as much that week. So maybe it is a good thing.
Kraven’s Back Story
So getting into the story, there are going to be spoilers but if you’re up to date on Amazing Spider-Man that shouldn’t be an issue. But if you aren’t and you were planning on catching up this is your warning. This book starts off with some backstory and Kraven the Hunter. It starts with Kraven catching a poacher in his territory. Kraven has killed the poachers guide, but instead of killing the poacher as well, he offers to make him into a hunter.
Then we get into a little of Kraven’s origin. He was a great hunter who, after his death, was resurrected by his wife and children with the help of some dark magic. He did not want this and in turn, took his family to the Savage Land and killed them all, except for his daughter Ana. I’m sure there is a lot of other backstory with the long history of Spider-Man books but that’s what we get from here. One thing you will get to know is I am just recently getting back into comics so I have missed a lot since the 90’s.
So, now we get a look at what Kraven is planning. He finds the High Evolutionary and proceeds to kill his human/animal hybrids until the High Evolutionary gives him what he wants. Kraven gets him to create 87 genetically modified sons. The modification makes them age into adulthood at an accelerated rate. Yes, that was eighty-seven. His daughter Ana is disgusted by this and renounces his name. He teaches the boys to hunt like him and they eventually go out into the world to prove themselves. Only one returns to Kraven, but only after he has hunted and killed all the other sons. Kraven of course is furious…wait nope he’s actually proud of his last remaining son, Pasha. Pasha then explains, he has come to help his father kill Spider-Man.
Then we go to see Kraven and Pasha in suits meeting a bunch of what appears to be rich people at some sort of presentation. We see Arcade addressing the crowd and eventually introducing Kraven. Pasha is as confused as you could expect as the poacher from the beginning of the story stops Kraven to thank him for what he’s done and get a picture with him. Kraven and Arcade then go on to present to the crowd, The Savage Six! Kraven has captured the villains know as Vulture, Scorpion, Tarantula, Stegroni, King Cobra, and Rhino.
Pasha becomes upset since the crowd of people are the same kind of people who poach on their land and do not honor the animals they kill. Kraven then reveals why he has captured these villains, they wear the costumes of the animals they represent without knowing what it’s like to be hunted and survive. He also reveals they he has a lot more than just the six. I mean a looooooott more.
Next, we switch gears and see Doctor Conners, aka The Lizard, as his wife exclaims their son Billy is missing. Dr. Connors tells his wife he has someone he can call….it’s Spider-Man if you didn’t know. Unfortunately, Spider-Man appears to have some sort of flu and MJ is trying to nurse him back to health. We also see that Billy is trying to meet up with an old friend a some sort of club. The problem is, Billy, like his father, is a lizard/human. (There’s a whole backstory on this we will probably get into some other time). Of course when his friend Becca sees him, she calls Billy a “mutie freak” and runs away screaming.
Back in Peter Parker’s apartment, MJ is getting him some good ole soup when he notices Doc Connors has called him six times. Peter knows he has to go find Billy, despite his illness, so he sets off as Spider-Man. We then see that Task Master and Black Ant have stumbled upon the fleeing Billy who is being chased out of the club. These two are the ones working for Kraven, gathering up the costumes animal villains. Spider-Man sees on the news that Task Master and Black Ant have captured Billy. He knows that he could have stopped them both but he chose to help his Aunt May in a previous issue. To top it off, Spidey gets a message from Black Cat that she has been trapped. And the book ends with Arcade checking into a hotel with some creepy looking robot things. Should be interesting finding out what those are all about.
This was a big one. If I can put my feelings aside of getting dragged into all these extra Spider-Man books, it was really enjoyable. It does a good job of explaining the backstory of Kraven for what’s coming next without drawing it out too long. It also leaves you on the hook thinking what in the world is Kraven up to. Hopefully I can get a little more concise with my reviews but there was just so much packed into this one and it’s my first one so give me a break.
If you would like to get this book or start back at at issue #1 of this volume of ASM, check out mycomicshop.com and see what they have in stock. Or, if having a physical copy isn’t your thing but you still want to get caught up on ASM comics, try comiXology. They have an unlimited service that can help you get caught up quickly. And don’t for get to support your local comic shops when you can. Thanks for reading.