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Writer: Nick Spencer / Artist: Gerardo Sandoval / Marvel Comics

We’re finally moving in the Hunted storyline! The fifth installment of Nick Spencer’s newest take on Marvel’s most popular character begins with Spidey in bad shape. He’s facing an army of Vermin, and it is not going well. In Central Park, the tables have turned on the affluent hunters. The villains, led by Vulture, are taking out the weakened robots and killing the controllers as a result. This first act is performed as the back drop of an inner monologue by Kraven. Brought to tears by his own mad passion, Kraven has decided to push Spider-Man to a breaking point to make him (in his mind) stronger. After bringing Spider-Man to the brink of death, Kraven enacts the second part of his grand plan.

The hero wakes up to the presence of a human Doctor Connors, a.k.a The Lizard. While Spider-Man is trapped by a literal collar rigged with explosives, Connors is trapped by his inability to ‘Hulk Lizard-out’. This is due to his self-implanted inhibitory chip, preventing him from performing any acts of violence. On a deliberately placed screen, they see Black Cat and Connors’ son under attack by Kraven. The only way to save them is to remove the Lizard’s chip. The procedure will almost certainly kill him. On the off chance he’s able to heal, this may be the only way to save Cat and the young lizard.

I won’t lie, I’m getting into the game Kraven’s trying to play. If he wants to push Spidey to violence, it makes sense that he keeps putting him in the black suit. Another thing that really carries this issue is the melancholy of Dr. Curt Connors and his son. It really shines as some of the most compelling work in this series. The incredible interaction between Curt Connors and Peter Parker cuts deep when the Lizards pulls out a “tell me about responsibility when you have a kid”. We’ll see what a berserker Lizard with a history of filicide does to this story.

8.5 “Improvised Spinal Surgeries” out of 10

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

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