The final part of the Gauntlet backup stories - Kraven
Kraven is busy regaling a roomful of dignitaries with tales of his hunting before a glass of water is thrown in his face by Aleksandra Nikolaevna. She objects to Kraven’s killing. He goes to speak to her separately, though, explaining how he feels at one when he is hunting. It is the mask the pain felt from his mother’s illness.
He has to go attend to his mother, who is seemingly insane and causing a scene. Kraven goes to take her home – but leave Aleksandra with his hotel room key.
The next morning, after spending the night with Kraven, Aleksandra goes to see her father, who has orchestrated the whole thing in order for Aleksandra to ‘bag’ a Kravinoff. They are one of the few families left with wealth. But Aleksandra turns on her father, tipping him from his wheelchair down an elevator shaft. She doesn’t want to share her prize – her eventual marriage to Kraven himself.
This issue does what it seems to me the title was set up to do – compliment the main Amazing book. So in ASM, we have Kraven’s wife’s hunt of Spider-Man coming towards an end. Here, we get the backstory how and why did they meet. We see that Kraven was misled the whole time by Aleksandra, who is the character pulling the strings of both her own father and Kraven himself.
And that works! That adds depth to the main book, while creating enough of a story here to make a purchase worthwhile.
This is the last Gauntlet add-on – but it seems to have taken those six stories to get to a point here where the backup is doing its job.
Phillipe Briones’ art works nicely – certainly better than the Lizard story last time around and, for once, we have a background story that, well, adds background.