23 December 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Kraven the Hunter

Spidey's foe with a sense of style Kraven the Hunter

Kraven was a maniacal big game hunter who sought to defeat Spider-Man to prove that he was the greatest hunter in the world. Unlike other hunters, he typically disdained the use of guns or bow and arrows preferring to take down large dangerous animals with his bare hands even though he often made elaborate preparations to weaken a quarry before hand. He also used a mystical serum to give him similar strength to Spider-Man, but even without the serum he was a threat to the wall-crawler. However, Kraven's continual underestimation of the superhero's resourcefulness made him a frustrating quarry.

In "Kraven's Last Hunt," his aggravation with his inability to run the superhero down further destroyed his sanity. With that, he hatched a scheme that actually defeated Spider-Man, and seemingly and uncharacteristically shot him dead. Considering his enemy effectively dead, Kraven buried him. After this, Kraven donned a copy of Spider-Man's costume and sought to prove that he was superior at his enemy's activities. This culminated with his successful singlehanded capture of a minor supervillain, Vermin, whom Spider-Man needed the help of Captain America to defeat. After that triumph, Spider-Man revived from the tranquilizer dart he was actually shot with and dug his way out of the grave. Kraven greeted him and explained that he had made his point about defeating his enemy. Then he released Vermin and told Spider-Man to pursue him. At this point, having no further purpose, Kraven committed suicide while Spider-Man captured the villain on his own.

Kraven's allegiances and relatives in life were, for the most part, revealed only after his death. The Chameleon was the person who initially gave Kraven the idea of hunting Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #15. After Kraven died, the Chameleon was revealed to be Dmitri Smerdyakov, Kraven's half-brother, personal servant, and the victim of Kraven's abuse, and yet, according to Smerdyakov, the two were best friends nonetheless. Kraven's lover, the voodoo priestess Calypso, manipulated the Lizard against the wall-crawler in the first issues of Todd McFarlane's best-selling Spider-Man series. It was later revealed in a story arc concerning Ka-Zar that Kraven was trained as a hunter largely by a mysterious man named Gregor, a mercenary who battled the Lord of the Jungle.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus
the Green Goblin
J. Jonah Jameson
Jack O' Lantern
the Kingpin
Kraven the Hunter

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 132 days!

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