Kraven The Hunter comes to New York seeking to hunt Spider-Man in the latest issue of Marvel Action: Spider-Man, bringing one of Spider-Man‘s greatest foes face to face with two members of the spider team.
Having been brought to New York by J Jonah Jameson, Kraven and his kids have been tracking Spider-Man, figuring out his routines and mapping sightings in order to figure out where they are most likely to come across him. It’s nice that Erik Burnham has taken the time to show that Kraven is doing his research like this, that he’s utilising both his talents as a tracker and technology, rather than just suddenly turning up to challenge the hero like so many comic villains do.
One of the biggest surprises in this issue, however, is the inclusion of LMDs – Life Model Decoys. This not only adds more to the world building of the Marvel Action universe, but gives our spider-themed heroes an opportunity to fight three members of the Avengers. Not only is it great to see our heroes get to test out their new webshooter tech, courtesy of Peter, but it makes for some fun action as the three of them begin to form a more cohesive team. They may not be perfectly trained, and they still have a long way to go, but they’ve clearly progressed over the few issues that they’ve been together.
READ MORE: Marvel Action: Avengers #5 – Review
When Kraven finally feels like he’s gathered enough intel he decides to take on both Miles and Gwen individually first, removing them from action before he challenges Peter in single combat. It’s a smart move from his point of view, as it means he only has to have three one on one fights rather than taking on a whole team, but it helps to establish how much of a threat he is. Kraven gets to fight the two heroes and dispatches them both fairly easily, thanks to both his physical prowess and some smart technology. By the end of the issue Kraven has managed to beat two of the three heroes and captured them with little effort, leaving just Peter to stand alone against the new villain.
Marvel Action: Spider-Man issue five is a brilliant middle issue, one that showcases the threat that the villain poses, his strength and intelligence. It ups the stakes by placing two of the heroes in captivity, whilst separating the other, forcing them to face this new threat alone.
Erik Burnham and Christopher Jones continue to produce brilliant work on what is to date my favourite of the Marvel Action line. The writing is spot on, the characters are interesting and fresh, even if they are ones that we’re familiar with, and the art is beautiful. I can’t wait until issue six.