Writer: Nick Spencer / Artist: Humberto Ramos / Marvel Comics

As respected comic book consumers we’ve seen our fair share of ass whoopings. Some classics that come to mind are when Mark gets pummeled by his father in “Invincible” and pretty much every three Daredevil comics. One character who I’ll never get used to seeing knocked around is Spider-Man. I know he’s been like 30 something for years but my momma bear brain kicks in and shouts, “My baby, no!!”

I think you know where this is going. Life is hard for Spidey in The Amazing Spider-Man 17. Spencer and Ramos officially begin the anticipated Hunted story. Kraven begins to unveil his plan for either death or glory bringing together the cogs in his elaborate, unclear but without a doubt hunting-related plan. Major players include Spider-Man, Blackcat, and every B-list animal related villain you can think of. Some characters will be familiar to everyone (Hi, Scorpion). Others, you’ll pat yourself (and probably thank Brian Michael Bendis) for knowing them (Armadillo? I thought he turned a new leaf. Spider-man, weakened by sickness and driven by sheer responsibility, is ambushed by Kraven’s clone-son. The wall crawler awakens to find himself exactly where Kraven wants.

I’ll admit (I have to since my last review is on the internet forever) that I was not looking forward to this book. It took page 5 to realize that something special was going on. Humberto Ramos scatters differently styled panels among shots of Spider-Man swinging and inner monologuing. His reminisces have this beautiful pencil portrait feel to them. If these panels brought me beautiful awe, the Spider- Man anguish brought me beautiful anguish. The green gas, blood and dynamic backgrounds were

brilliantly colored and created a painfully intense fight scene. I wasn’t, and I’m still not blown away by the Hunted plot but in this issue, I was blown away by the structure of the opening three scenes. It began with Kraven, then Spider-Man, and finally Blackcat. They all had their respective introspections tied into the situation at hand. That artistic choice really impressed me and alongside Ramos’ art made this a comic to remember.

8.75 “Unexpected Costume Changes” out of 10

Reading Amazing Spider-Man? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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