Spider-Man vs. Kraven


See my review of Spider-Man vs. The Vulture for a background on HarperCollins and their learn-to-read Level 2 line of books. Suffice to say here that these Level 2 books are 6" x 9", 32 full-color pages on quality print stock. Glossy card covers, also available in a robust hardback "Library Binding".

Story Details

  Spider-Man vs. Kraven
Summary: I Can Read! (Level 2)

After the disappointment of Spider-Man vs. The Vulture, I'm not expecting much with this "vs. Kraven". We start off with the same formula, a two-page summary of characters. Peter is a clever student, who is also Spidey. Jonah is Peter's boss at the Daily Bugle. Kraven is an evil guy who collects endangered animals.

Peter is at the Bugle, when Jonah tells him to get to the zoo where another exotic animal has been stolen. Peter arrives at the zoo to see Kraven sneaking around. No explanation of how Peter ditched JJJ, or where the police have gone, or why if Kraven was so bothered to secretly steal animals before, he hung around at the zoo after the alert was sounded in order to be caught.

Peter becomes Spidey, and fights with Kraven. Kraven says that he had no animals left to capture until he met Spider-Man. Really? Then why was he still stealing animals from zoos? Was this a trap? Did Kraven know that stealing from zoos was the best way to meet Spider-Man? But if it was a trap, then how did he know he wanted to defeat Spider-Man, since he only knew that when they met... and there was no indication that they had met before?

Kraven jabs Spidey with a poison, then runs away. Spidey is sick, but tracks Kraven to his secret base, presumably by Spider-Sense, though there's no mention of him having placed a tracer on the Hunter. Spidey webs up Kraven, even though he is sick, and Kraven proved himself superior to Spider-Man at the zoo even when the web-head wasn't sick.

General Comments

What to say? Kraven the Hunter, who doesn't actually hunt anything? He just steals animals from zoos? Then when fighting Spider-Man, he poisons him and runs away back home - again, totally failing to perform any act that might be graced by the verb "to hunt".

Overall Rating

This must be surely the worst ever portrayal of "Kraven the Not-Really-A-Hunter". One web.