Comics : Superior Spider-Man #33
This review was first published on: Oct 2014.
Karn is hunting Spiders. Morlun was hunting animal totems before that. Why?
Here's their backstory.
Superior Spider-Man #33 (Story 2)
Summary: Alternate Ai Apaec Appears
Earth-1771 and Karn is fighting a version of the spider god that is Ai Apaec. The god thinks the hunter has no chance but Karn, and his family, have a proven track record against gods...
Centuries ago in Universe-000 and the Hunter family (including Karn, Brix, Bora and Morlun) are taking on the Master Weaver. Their mother believes that the Master Weaver is focused on the web of life and destiny, so they have the element of surprise. She also believes that only Karn will be successful. His siblings disagree and rush attack the weaver. However, the weaver's control on reality is too great, removing weapons and sure footing at the snap of his web's threads. Karn moves forward to strike but hesitates for a second. The Master Weaver senses Karn would sooner build then destroy - a truth Karn knows only too well. His mother, disappointed, decides to strike in his place but the weaver snaps her thread, removing her from existence.
Later, Karn's father turns up and the family manage to subdue the Master Weaver and harness his power to allow the hunters to traverse the multiverse to seek the animal totems they need to survive. Unable to look upon their brother, his siblings weld the diving helmet upon him and banish him to travel the endless dimensions, forever hunting in an attempt to proof himself worthy of his family.
Back at his fight with Ai Apaec and Karn wins. The spider god cannot believe it. Karn empathises, saying how he understands the pain that is having everything you ever believed in taken from you. Karn believes Ai Apaec is fortunate though as his pain is over, whilst he must continue his as he hunts across the multiverse hoping he will finally get home.
An interesting enough backstory: Karn is a group of beings that need to eat animal totems in order to survive (as we knew from our previous encounters from Morlun). However, whilst his family enjoy the hunt, he does not. He does it only to survive and nothing more. This difference in perspective is ultimately what led to his mother's death and his banishment from his clan, answering the questions from Superior Spider-Man #33 story 1.
However, I struggle to comprehend how the hunters managed to subdue something as seemingly powerful as the Master Weaver. All this being needed to do was to figuratively click his fingers to change reality, as shown when the hunters initially attacked. It's a classic comic book problem for hyper-powered characters and is a similar vain to asking how anyone can stop Captain Universe or a Thunder god? I suppose Karn's father must be pretty strong! Furthermore, it does make me wonder as to what Karn's mother knew (or thought) about her son that made her believe he stood a chance against the weaver.
I did like the concept of the Master Weaver and the whole web of life that Julia Carpenter kept referring to in her role as Madame Web, especially during The Grim Hunt. It also explained how the hunters can cross the multiverse and may even tie into current Avengers and New Avengers storylines. Nice bit of continuity, of which I'm always a fan.
Whilst the story itself answered some questions and was interesting enough, it's nothing too original. Child expected to follow in family's footstep, but has a different outlook on life and so is shunned. It has been done before but it works here so fair enough. It's just not going to score much above average. The nods to continuity and some nice art push it above the middle mark of 2.5.
I hope the reason that the hunters are currently focusing purely on Spiders and not animal totems in general is cleared up in Spider-Verse.