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Amazing Spider-Man is extra-sized this week thanks to Kraven the Hunter taking up a big chunk of the story. In this issue, we learn what Kraven’s latest plan is (it involves hunting, duh), get a bead on the Lizard and his family, and get a new hint at what Arcade is up to.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
This is a very important issue to the upcoming attack on New York, serving as a prelude and setup for big things to come. Spider-Man is also horribly sick in this issue (he does appear later on!) so you know we’ll get that primo “weakened Spidey fighting through everything to prevail” story.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
As you might have already guessed from the preview, we get a full recap of what Kraven has been up to since his death. This issue does a great job establishing his new outlook on life, but also how he’s thought bigger. Gone is the desire to hunt a single hero and in its place a sense of changing things on a grander scale. You see this in how he acts with a poacher early on and then later when we learn about his bigger plan involving Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. As the story unfolds, writer Nick Spencer does a great job revealing the journey Kraven has been on. It’s a story within a story but done very well keeping up your interest.
It’s not all devoted to Kraven however, as we get key scenes with Lizard and his son (who is going to be a major factor in the story going forward) as well as the place Spider-Man is in. In many ways, this issue feels like it has been a long time coming, including Taskmaster and Black Ant as well as Arcade. If Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley’s run on this series had a season finale, we’d be building towards that here.
The art by Ottley is excellent with help from Alberto Alburquerque and colors by Laura Martin, Brian Reber, and Carlos Lopez. The issue is positively littered with captions and dialogue but mixes up the close-ups and angles to keep the mood and atmosphere clear. The second half of the book is by Alburquerque and his detailed style works well with the city scenes. The scenes with Peter and MJ are well done too and it should be noted that seeing Peter puke is a rarity.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I’m a bit confused with the cliffhanger of the last issue and this issue. The main Kraven story seems to lead us down a logical path where New York will be a hunting ground, yet this issue ends with an entirely different threat. I can’t tell if Kraven’s plan links into last issue’s cliffhanger, or if he’s laying the groundwork for future stories. This confusion will iron itself out I’m sure, but it left me less excited for what is to come. Give me clarity!
Is it good?
This is a great setup issue preparing readers for a major move by Kraven and Arcade. What this story means for Spider-Man’s rogues gallery is huge and should not be missed by any Spider-Man fan.
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