Spider-Man is one of the most popular super heroes in the world. Everyone knows his origin, his villains, and his powers. Peter Parker has been fighting crime for decades. He was one of the first super heroes to have real world problems that he had to balance with his super hero responsibilities. That innovation in super hero comics changed how future comic books were written and made Spider-Man comics some of the best and most interesting of their time. That legacy of great books is continuing after all that time with the ongoing series Amazing Spider-Man.
A few months ago a highly controversial story arc took Peter’s life apart. He never married Mary Jane, Harry Osborn never died, he was even poorer than usual and many other things changed in his life. While many people (me included) did not like this huge change to Spider-Man’s continuity there is no arguing that Amazing Spider-Man has been fantastic.
My favorite story arc of Amazing Spider-Man in this new continuity has been Grim Hunt. It was written by Joe Kelly, penciled and inked by Stefano Gaudiano and Michael Lark and colored by Matt Hollingsworth. Kraven the Hunter was one of Spider-Man’s most vicious enemies until he took his own life in shame after not being able to kill Spidey. Kraven’s family, the Kravinoffs, decided that Kraven deserved better and wanted to restore the honor to their name. For months they attacked Spider-Man from the shadows. They used Spider-Man’s other enemies to weaken him. This story arc was called the gauntlet and it saw Spider-Man go up against Juggernaut, Electro, Vulture, Doctor Octopus, Sandman and more. At the end of this gauntlet of enemies the Kravinoffs finally showed themselves. They were not content with just killing Spider-Man though.
Every Spider related hero in the Marvel Universe was on the Kravinoff’s hit list. Spider-Woman, Spider-girl, Madame Web and others were dragged into the war between the Spiders and the Hunters. The story is great, with big cliff hangers and even bigger payoffs. Readers get to see Peter pushed to the edge and nearly cross a line that he swore he never would. It is also cool to see all the Spider heroes interacting because they are usually very insulated from one another. The Kravinoff’s make great enemies and the final showdown is fantastic.
The art is beautiful throughout the story as well. The action scenes are great. You can practically see Spider-Man moving on the page. Each issue also has two back up stories which makes every issue more than worth your money. One problem with it is it deals a lot with Spider-Man’s history, specifically the more spiritual side of his powers. I don’t know much about that side of his powers and had to Wikipedia some of the characters while reading but the story and art make it worth the research.
Amazing Spider-Man’s next arc isn’t going to give Peter Parker a break either. Lily Hollister, AKA Menace, is going to seek out Peter’s help. She isn’t some damsel in distress though. She is carrying Norman Osborn’s baby and every Spidey villain in New York wants to get their hand on that pure goblin blood.
Amazing Spider-Man is one of the premier comic books on shelves today. Don’t let the issue number (in the 600’s) scare you away from jumping into Amazing Spider-Man. The series has been delivering great stories about your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and it looks like that will continue in the future.
Pictures from Marvel