Monday, April 9, 2012

Spider-Man: The Grim Hunt

When you’re going to undo a classic story, it helps to try and make the next chapter feel important. I can certainly understand the desire to get the original Kraven the Hunter back on the scene in the Spider-books, but dangit, JM DeMatteis’ swan song for the character was perfect. Kraven’s Last Hunt holds up as one of the strongest Spidey stories ever, and it isn’t worth undoing it just to get the character back.

It seems the Kraven family (with a lot more people in it than I ever remembered) have been working hard to resurrect their papa, and it pays off with the blood of some spiders during this story. Kraven returns, but he’s mad about it, and for some reason he seems to think he’s immortal.

My problem with Joe Kelly’s dark storyline is that I never bought in to the whole Spider vs. the Hunter angle. The mystical balance just doesn’t make sense. No one is going to miss the Mattie Franklin Spider-Girl, but really, her death in this story is really pointless. This story feels like one of those where I’m OK with the resolution (Kraven’s back and his family is off the stage), but I’m not that interested in the journey.

I’m not a fan of making Julia Carpenter the new Madame Webb, either. That makes absolutely no sense. I wonder how long that will last? It’s odd, I love Kelly’s details like the resurrected Ezekiel and the use of the Chameleon, but the plot doesn’t do it for me at all.

Michael Lark’s art is sufficiently moody for the dark storyline. I love his take on Julia Carpenter. I also like the differences in how he draws Kaine and Spidey. But really, he’s not the best fit for Spider-Man, I’d much rather see him doing a more street-level story.


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