Kraven The Hunter: 10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About The Spider-Man Villain
Kraven The Hunter is coming to the big screen in a new movie starring former Quicksilver actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The big game hunter is likely unknown to the general masses, but longtime comic book readers know Kraven as one of the biggest and most dangerous villains of Spider-Man.
Kraven The Hunter has been a thorn in the Wall-Crawler’s side from virtually the very beginning, and his solo movie is an indication of not just his importance, but future value to the franchise. Kraven has been a big part of Spider-Man’s past in the comic books and looks to be a big part of his future in the movies.
Comic book fans know that Kraven The Hunter is one of Spider-Man’s earliest foes. Created by comic legends Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Kraven first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 in August 1964, just one issue after the debut of the Green Goblin.
Kraven is Sergei Kravinoff, a Russian big game hunter who sets his sights on Spider-Man after accomplishing what he considered to be the greatest successes in his sport. Kraven would become very frustrated in trying to capture and kill Spider-Man over the next few decades.
Powers & Abilities
Kraven was born a regular human, but he has made himself into a superhuman through the ingestion of rare tropical poisons and toxins. As he builds an immunity to these, he develops superhuman strength, stamina, and agility. This puts him on a somewhat equal footing with Spider-Man in a physical sense.
Kraven is also an expert marksman and hand-to-hand fighter, with a true hunter mentality that makes him extremely capable in any battle. He is one of Spider-Man’s coolest villains, but also one of his most dangerous.
Founding Member Of The Sinister Six
Kraven The Hunter is dangerous enough on his own, but with the Sinister Six, he’s even more so. Kraven is a founding member of the original Sinister Six supervillain team. They first appear in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, as part of a plot on the part of Doctor Octopus to get revenge on Spider-Man.
Kraven unleashes a set of three tigers against Spider-Man as the rest of the team captures Aunt May and Betty Brandt. With Kraven and other members now reaching the big screen, a live-action Sinister Six seems likely.
Other Versions Of Kraven
Kraven The Hunter is one of the most powerful members of the Sinister Six, but he’s not necessarily the most powerful version of himself. The multiverse seems like it’s about to become a major aspect of the Spider-Man movies, and it has been in the comics for a long time. There are many other versions of Kraven from various alternate realities.
Some of them hail from the Spider-Verse corner of the comics that spawned Spider-Gwen, such as a steampunk version of Kraven from Earth-803. There is an Ultimate Comics version from the early 2000s, as well as a Victorian-style Kraven from the Marvel Noir universe.
Half-Brother Of The Chameleon
Kraven The Hunter has strong ties to virtually every major member of Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery. His strongest ties are to The Chameleon. Kraven is the half-brother of Dmitri Smerdyakov, a master of disguise. The Chameleon first appeared in the very first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1963, as the primary villain of the book.
The Chameleon would go on to become a major and consistent threat as his half-brother, and it was actually The Chameleon’s early efforts that motivated Kraven to go after Spider-Man in the first place.
The Savage Land
Given Kraven The Hunter’s fixation on big game hunting, it’s no surprise that he eventually found himself in the Savage Land. The Savage Land functions much the same way as Skull Island does in the King Kong movies, as a lost world where dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures still exist in the modern world.
In The Amazing Spider-Man #103 from 1971, Kraven would attempt to conqueror the Savage Land and in the process kidnapped Gwen Stacy. He was defeated by Spider-Man and Ka-Zar.
Kraven’s Last Stand
Kraven The Hunter’s comic book tale seemingly came to an end in one of the most shocking Spider-Man stories ever. Kraven’s Last Hunt finally sees the hunter get the drop on Spider-Man. This 1987 comic book storyline by writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Mike Zeck saw Kraven capture Spider-Man and bury him alive.
Thinking Peter Parker is dead, he puts on a facsimile of the black Spider-Man costume and hunts down criminals. It ends in tragedy for Kraven. After Spider-Man digs himself out of his grave and renders Kraven’s victory moot, Kraven chooses to take his own life in one of Spider-Man’s most heartbreaking deaths.
Comics being comics, Kraven The Hunter would not be dead for long. Other versions took his place in his absence, but in the 2009 storyline The Gauntlet and Grim Hunt, the original Kraven is resurrected. His family brings him back through an arcane ritual using the blood of Spider-Man.
The story sees Kraven launching a brutal campaign against the wall-crawler alongside many of Spider-Man’s most powerful villains. Though he didn’t get his revenge against Spider-Man, Kraven remains a threat.
Sons Of Kraven
During Kraven The Hunter’s two-decade-long absence from the comic books, other characters took his place. Many of them were members of his family, including his sons. These include Vladimir Kravinoff, who would become the Grim Hunter, and Nedrocci Tannengarden. His daughter Ana also briefly become Kraven The Hunter.
The most unique of these ‘sons’ were the Sons Of Kraven, clones of the original by the High Evolutionary. The High Evolutionary has also been revealed to be the architect behind the genetic manipulation of the Scarlet Witch in the comics.
Friendship With Squirrel Girl
Kraven’s modern adventures haven’t all been doom and gloom. One of his most colorful and offbeat storylines in recent years involves Doreen Allene Green, better known as Squirrel Girl. They two square off when Kraven sets his sights on some of her favorite squirrels, including Tippy-Toe.
The two become unlikely friends after his encounters with her leads him to see that the animals he often hunts aren’t necessarily the challenge he thinks they are. With her help, he turns his attention to other supervillains and Kraven becomes something of an anti-hero.