X-Men & Spider-Man #2

Background

Years ago when they were all teenagers, Spider-Man and the original X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, and Iceman) teamed up to stop Kraven and the Blob. Little did they realize that Kraven was in the employ of Mr. Sinister, a soon-to-be prominent supervillain of the X-Men that specializes in cutting-edge genetics research. Sinister wanted blood samples of the X-Men for an unspecified project.

The next chapter in this story occurs some time later. Since we can't use numbers to indicate the passage of time in comics, we will refer to the milestone events. For spider-continuity, this take place after the "Kraven's Last Hunt" arc, specifically Spectacular Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #132. From the X-continuity standpoint, this occurs after the "Mutant Massacre" crossover. This would be around Uncanny X-Men #213.

Story 'Last Hunts'

  X-Men & Spider-Man #2
Summary: Spider-Man, X-Men team up
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Mario Alberti

Spider-Man searches Kraven's mansion to determine if he has any evidence of his secret identity. He feels uneasy doing this, but doesn't want to risk his identity being public knowledge. He finds nothing about himself, but he does find some information Kraven had about the original X-Men.

He makes his way to Westchester and pays a visit to the X-mansion to inform them of his findings. Kraven was hired to acquire blood samples from the original team. The current team (Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, and Dazzler) are not interested in the contents of the dossier until Spider-Man blurts out a name he found in the file: Sinister. Wolverine explains that Sinister is the leader of the Marauders, who recently decimated the Morlock population and injured many members of their team. They have been trying to find him for some time now. After a quick read through the file they all agree to check out a location mentioned in the file.

While searching Sinister's abandoned lab, Wolverine's senses pick up Sabretooth's scent directly below them. They find an access hatch that leads directly to the Morlock tunnels. After a brief walk through the tunnels, they come face to face with Sabretooth and the Marauders (Vertigo, Arclight, Harpoon, Scrambler, and Scalphunter); a large brawl ensues with Wolverine and Sabretooth fighting each other exclusively.

When it becomes clear that they are going to lose, Arclight uses her mutant powers to reveal Sinister's hidden lab, which they knew was their objective. Looking around the lab, the heroes are horrified to see disfigured, decaying clones of the original X-Men. They reason that this was the purpose behind Kraven stealing their DNA samples. Harpoon unleashes one of his energy bolts that destroys the lab, forcing the heroes to leave.

Later on Sinister visits Kraven's grave. He is confused why he would have taken his own life, but theorizes that Kraven died knowing that part of him would live on through his experiments.

General Comments

Not being 100% up on the X-Men history, I am not sure of the timing of the Mutant Massacre and Kraven's Last Hunt stories. I know that they are close, but perhaps not an exact overlap. Once again, strict adherence to continuity is not required for this story. It's close enough for my tastes.

Overall Rating

4 webs. Still having a great time reading this. Gage and Alberti continue to impress me with their work. I would have never thought to use Sinister as a link between the X-Men and Spider-Man but I find that it makes sense. I'm now looking forward to whatever plans Mr. Sinister has in store.