Writer: Nick Spencer / Artist: Ryan Ottley / Marvel Comics
Ok, NOW the Hunted story is over. We thought it was the last issue, but this week’s issue #23 is the epilogue of the arc. By pretending to be Spider-Man, Kraven got his death wish — unexpectedly — at the hands of his clone-son. Now he is laid to rest after accepting that rather than weakness, Spider-Man’s compassion is his strength. Fortunately, his son is ready to take up the moniker, promising future (hopefully far, far into the future) conflicts with the Spider.
As you’d expect from an impenetrable dome in the middle of Manhattan, when it goes down half the Marvel Universe is there to clean up the leftovers of Kraven’s game. Spider-Man swings away home, but he’s unable to shake the feeling that his poison-induced vision from Kraven about Mary Jane’s death was prophetic.
During the return trip, he mentally reflects on the bittersweetness at what prevailing over adversity has cost. Flashes to the various players throughout the adventure serve as backdrops to this inner monologue. A plus side to the insane scope of such a relatively simple premise is that Spencer has a lot of threads to work with in the future, including the Lizard family and the mercenary bromance between Black Ant and Taskmaster.
Spider-Man arrives at a broken window and an injured Mary Jane. There is no immediate danger but an ominous presence is plotting against Spider-Man, watching his life. They are embodied as a golden centipede and have all the makings of a new major rival.
Ottley definitely has a particular style. In his linework, Mary Jane with her red hair looks a lot like Eve from Invincible — while Kraven and his manly facial hair resembles Mark’s dad from the same book. If nothing else, it made me nostalgic for the amazing book that has since ended. In terms of Spencer, he’s left a lot of possible ways forward. We’ll see what he has in store.
Reading Amazing Spider-Man? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.