Marvel Crowns a New Kraven the Hunter

Marvel Comics has passed the mantle of Kraven the Hunter to Sergei Kravinoff’s heir — his last surviving clone-slash-son — after the cloned Kraven unknowingly killed his father in combat.

The Amazing Spider-Man #23 picks up with the funeral of Kraven, who was cursed only to die at the hands of “The Spider.” The hunter is buried in a copy of the black-and-white suit once worn by his arch foe Spider-Man. The Last Son of Kraven, his father’s clone and the true heir to the legacy of Kraven the Hunter, is filled with rage over being manipulated into beating his father to death.

Before his death, Kraven turned Central Park into a hunting grounds where Spider-Man’s animal-themed foes became prey to killer hunter robots powered by Arcade. The arrival of New York’s many heroes — the Avengers and the Fantastic Four among them — allows Spider-Man to race for Mary Jane after intrusive visions of her death plagued him during what would prove to be his final encounter with his longtime enemy.

Kraven funeral
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

As Vulture quietly assembles a new Savage Six — comprised of Scorpion, Rhino, Stegron, King Cobra and Tarantula — Spider-Man worries over the drug-induced hallucination that felt hauntingly real. Reaching MJ’s apartment, Spider-Man finds a shattered window and a bloody floor — evidence his vision of an attack on MJ by an unknown assailant was real.

Inside, Spider-Man is distressed to lose another love. He’s quickly relieved to be surprised by a very much alive MJ, who suffered an arm wound after tripping on Spider-Man paraphernalia left behind by a messy Peter Parker.

As Peter and MJ embrace, they’re unaware of a centipede-like creature watching from the window. The creature says offing MJ like “some bad cliche villain” goes against what it wants, protecting MJ from the greatest threat she faces: Peter Parker.

“When she dies, it will be because of you. Just like all the others. And then we’ll finally be alone together.”

At Kravinoff’s mansion, the Last Son of Kraven discovers a note left behind by his father. It tells him to claim what is rightfully his, his birthright, laid out within a coffin. The clone-slash-son tearfully accepts the familiar lion vest sported by his father. He removes his war paint, cuts his hair, and he dresses.

Amazing Spider-Man New Kraven the Hunter
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

“You were forged in fire, born in blood. My spirit made flesh. More than my child — you are me, and I am you. One and the same now,” the letter reads. “It is time for you to claim it. Time for you to take the name. You are Sergei. The Beast. You are Kravinoff. The Superior. From this moment on — you are Kraven the Hunter. The hunt begins.”

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With that, Kraven the Hunter is born again. At the rain-soaked grave of the freshly laid to rest Kraven stands half-brother Dmitri Smerdyakov — the Chameleon — who ominously promises there will soon be little left of the world.

The Amazing Spider-Man #24, out June 26, will continue to unravel the mystery behind the unidentified figure stalking the unsuspecting Peter Parker.

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