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Greg Bishansky writes...

"Destructive Testing"

First off, let me get this out of the way. I always thought that Kraven the Hunter was the lamest of the classic Spider-Man rogues. He just always seemed out of place to me. An attempt to do a comic book version of Richard Connel's "The Most Dangerous Game." I just never bought him as all that imposing a supervillain in the Spidey corner. Not when he had guys like the Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Electro, Mysterio, and so many others. Okay, Kraven was better than the Living Brain, but that's not saying much.

Then, J.M. DeMatteis wrote a classic story in the late 80s where Kraven shoved a shotgun into his own mouth and pulled the trigger. He's been dead ever since and replaced by three cheesy knock-offs. The Grim Hunter; Al Kraven; and I hear there's a new, female Kraven now. But, really, I don't think Kraven would be remembered nearly as well if he didn't commit suicide the way he did. In fact, I've been looking for an excuse to post this...


I didn't much care for Kraven in the 90s series either. And the Steve Irwin take on Kraven in Ultimate was okay... and then they kept bringing him back. So, needless to say, I was skeptical. Greg Weisman, Vic Cook and their team have done a phenomenal job on the series so far, even with Venom, a character whom I hated. So, would lightning strike twice? Could they make Kraven work? Let's find out.

Kraven's voice actor, Eric Vesbit, whom my close friend, production assistant, Jennifer L. Anderson has been raving about really sold Kraven with his performance. The guy was tough, the guy was imposing. The guy was primal. I enjoyed him. The opening scene in Africa was a great introduction to him.

I thought the battles between him and Spidey were very done. I especially liked how the first one ended, which summed up why Kraven needed an upgrade to really take Spider-Man on.

Miles Warren, boy is he a piece of work. He's an opportunist of the highest order. He carries a gun on school property. He lies with the best of them. He seemed pretty normal last week, but now we're getting to see him at work, and well. His brother Aaron seems like a nice, warm and friendly guy. But Miles, take all of the above, and throw in that he's going behind Connors' back conducting experiments on mutation and Miles is just a jackal.

Oh, cool. Debra Whitman. Is she Miles' assistant? I was expecting Anthony Serba. But hey, cool.

As with last week, Liz is all over Peter. I don't think she's using him either, I think she genuinely likes him. But, Pete really should talk to Gwen. We'll see where this goes.

"Come on, Flash! You can do it!!! Can't believe I just said that." - Peter. Loved that line.

I also loved the return of the Itsy Bitsy Spider ringtone.

And the Master Planner plot line continues. And we get a new Sinister Six next week. I still say the Master Planner is either the Chameleon or Dr. Octopus.

Now, the one con. I think Kraven's decision to mutate himself seemed very sudden. As if we were missing a step in between. This is not like buying a new car. While I do think mutating himself is completely in character, I just think the set up should have been done a little better. The Pack didn't get an upgrade in their first appearance in "Gargoyles." It was after two or three humiliating defeats that they chose to alter themselves like that. Aw well.

Great episode. I liked last week's better, but this was still good.

Greg responds...


"I thought the battles between him and Spidey were very done. "

That they were. No way we'd leave 'em undone!

Response recorded on March 27, 2009