Who Is Kraven The Hunter, Villain Who Aims Hunting Spider-Man
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Who Is Kraven The Hunter, The Supervillain Whose Purpose Is To Hunt Spider-Man

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BY May 14, 2023

Kraven the Hunter is one of Spider-Man’s most formidable enemies. He is a Russian supervillain named Sergei Kravinov, who is present in the comics published by Marvel Comics.

He debuted in 196 in number 15 of The Amazing Spider-Man. While it is true that he is a supervillain, he is also an anti-hero at other times. Spider-Man is not the only one who has conflicted with Kraven. Tigra and Black Panther also count.

Kraven The Hunter Publication History

Kraven the Hunter: The origin, the powers, and the promise of this classic Spider-Man villain ahead of his movie debut | Popverse Image: Marvel Comics

The character’s first appearance was in 1964 in issue 15 of The Amazing Spider-Man. His creation came from the hand of writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko. Kraven the Hunter appeared in the title with other characters but was most often Spider-Man’s enemy.

In the 1987 story Kraven’s Last Hunt, the character died. JM DeMatteis, Bob McLenod and Mike Zeck wrote this story. Despite being Spider-Man’s most potent enemy, DeMatteis claimed that no Marvel editorial staff objected to killing him in the story.

Later, Kraven returned, but this time as a ghost. The character appears in the graphic novel The Amazing Spider-Man: Soul of the Hunter. The authors are the same as in The Last Hunt for Kraven.

Kraven The Hunter’s Biography

Sergei Kravinov is a Russian immigrant whose father was an aristocrat who fled to the United States in 1917. He is the half-brother and enemy of the Chameleon. In fact, he is one of the founding members of The Sinister Six. In the comics, Kraven is a stealthy hunter whose main goal in life is to outmaneuver Spider-Man.

The latter denotes the character as an obsessive – maniac whose only desire is to defeat the superhero. Kraven is different from other hunters; he does not like using firearms, bows and arrows. He prefers to use, first and foremost, his own hands to hunt.

Kraven has his own code of honor; he hunts, trying to do it reasonably. His gifts come from a potion or mystical serum that gives him, among other things, superhuman strength and incredibly slows down his aging.

A mysterious man named Gregor trains Kraven. Gregor is a mercenary who fought against Ka-Czar. At one point, Kraven was the lover of the voodoo priestess Calypso.

Kraven’s Last Hunt

This stage was crucial for Kraven. He was utterly frustrated by his continued failure to defeat Spider-Man. In addition, he was sick, so he decided to end his life.

Before that, he searched for Spider-Man one last time. He captured and shot him with a drug that induced a coma to bury him alive on his property. His desire to triumph led him to try to become someone superior to Spider-Man.

The mission he set out on was to go after the only enemy the superhero had not defeated, Vermin. Promoting a brutal campaign, Kraven captured Vermin. After two weeks, Spider-Man managed to emerge from his tomb.

Kraven told him what had happened and freed Vermin. He intended to make it clear to the superhero that he was honorable. When Spider-man came out after Vermin, Kraven decided to commit suicide. This action led to his soul not being at peace. So, Kraven resurrected and confronted Spider-Man.

The Gauntlet and Grim Hunt – Kraven’s Resurrection

David vs. David: 'Amazing Spider-Man: Grim Hunt' Image: Marvel ComicsKraven relives in The Gauntlet and Grim Hunt. To do so, the Kravinoff family and Sasha Kravinoff performed a ritual using Spider-Man’s blood. This evolution of the character is much more explosive, cold and psychopathic with his family.

He mistreated his entire family to such an extent that his daughter Ana stabbed him. Sergei managed to recover and claimed that Sasha restored him with blood that he considered corrupt. There appeared in the scene Spider-Man to fight Kraven and his entire family.

The superhero had every intention in the fight to murder Kraven. But he remembered that killing is not in his moral code. So, he just defeated both his enemy and his family.

They fled to the Savage Land, where Kraven brutally murdered Sasha and sacrificed Vladimir. Alyosha managed to escape in disgust at all that had happened. Ana and Kraven began laying the groundwork for what their family would be like. Ana decided to go out and hunt Alyosha to earn her place as a family member.

The Hunter Batlles Squirrel Girl

Kraven, at this stage, insists on his curse. Subsequently, he fights Squirrel Girl at Empire State University. The fight caused the local squirrels to launch their fury against Kraven.

Squirrel Girl informed Kraven that sea monsters exist, daring him to hunt them down. She then regrets to kidnap Howard the Duck. But he, Howard and Squirrel Girl were caught in a chase. Kraven managed to survive and vowed to hunt only hunters.

In the plot developed in Avengers: Standoff!, Kraven is an inmate of Pleasant Hill, a gated community established by SHIELD. This organization used Kobik’s abilities to turn Kraven into a zookeeper.

In the “Secret Empire” storyline, Baron Helmut Zemo recruits Kraven. This time, the purpose was for him to join the Army of Evil. In a battle between villains and superheroes, Spider-Woman defeated Kraven. In the same plot, the Rampart organization hired Kraven to lure Captain America to them. After the two fought, they managed to freeze Captain America.

Squirrel Girl has played an essential role in Kraven’s life. She has sought to get him to reform, joining him to fight other villains. Squirrel Girl’s character helps Kraven realize that Spider-Man is nowhere near the most dangerous prey in the Marvel Universe.

Hunted

After his family dies for failing to live up to their legacy, Kraven makes a pact with the High Evolutionary, obtains 87 clones he adopts, and trains as sons. But, he sets them to chase each other. Faced with this situation, Ana decides to leave him.

Kraven starts a hunt against characters with animal themes, such as Kangaroo, the Puma, the Owl, the Squid, and others. In his madness to defeat Spider-Man, he sends his Last Son for the Great Hunt.

Sometime later, Kraven was dragged back in time before his death by Galactus. He sought to help his old friend Squirrel Girl to defeat Melissa Morbeck and all her cliques.

Kraven the Hunter’s Powers and Abilities

Marvel Crowns a New Kraven the Hunter Image: Marvel Comics

Kraven the Hunter’s powers and abilities come from a potion of various jungle herbs. With it, he acquires multiple skills such as:

  • Superhuman strength
  • Resistance
  • Speed
  • Reflexes and
  • Agility

All of those skills work to confront his greatest enemy, Spider-Man. Of course, these powers are less developed than those the superhero possesses. Therefore, the fight is almost between equals.

One of the most remarkable things about Kraven is that he is more durable and resistant to some injuries than the average human body. He can withstand great impact forces, such as blows or falls from great heights.

A part of the effects of the magic potion is the alteration of Kraven’s aging process. That makes him look very young, despite being almost 70 years old. The same brew has enhanced his eyesight and sense of smell, giving him a superhuman level.

With or without powers, Kraven stands out for being an Olympic athlete. He has an innate tactical talent for hunting and hand-to-hand combat. He also possesses extensive knowledge of specific pressure points, leaving any opponent or animal immobilized.

Other Versions of Kraven the Hunter

Kraven The Hunter Has Cast an Iconic Marvel Villain Image: Marvel Comics

Kraven the Hunter appears in different versions, such as:

Marvel 1602

In Marvel 1602, Kraven’s name is Karnov. He is part of the Sinister Sextet, that dimension’s Sinister Six. He is also a hunter and butcher. With the Warrior Network, they visited the 1602 Universe.

Marvel Noir

In Spider-Man Noir, Kraven is a former animal trainer. He works in a circus taken over by Norman Osborn, a mob boss better known as “The Goblin”.

In this version, a mass of man-eating spiders kills Kraven. This character’s final act was to kill Osborn. As the spiders tore apart his corpse, he fell on top of Osborn, killing him.

Marvel Zombies

In Marvel Zombies, Kraven attacks the Marvel Apes alongside other zombies. They were often hungry for human flesh. He also appears in Marvel Zombies: Dead Days, where Sinister Six zombies attack Magneto and Wolverine. Later, it is revealed that the zombie Zentry from Earth-Z had infected him. That caused him to spread his infection throughout the dimension.

Marvel Zombies Return

The character’s appearance in Marvel Zombies Return is terrifying at Empire State University alongside his fellow Sinister Six in the first issue.

In this version, Spider-Man is zombified and shows great effort not to consume human flesh. But, his actions are overwhelmed with the scent of Kraven’s potion. There, Peter Parker’s friends die.

Old Man Logan

Wolverine vs Kraven Will Finally Crown Marvel's Greatest Hunter Image: Marvel Comics

In these pages, Kraven the Hunter is among the villains involved in eliminating superheroes, which the fight in Manhattan shows. Kraven enters an alley and stabs Punisher, who previously killed Electro.

Kraven the Hunter & Spider-Gwen

This villain is recognized in the Spider-Gwen universe. His mission is clear, to catch Spider-Woman. To do this, the police captain, Frank Castle, hires him.

Ultimate Marvel

In Ultimate Marvel, Kraven is a TV star. He participates in a reality show to hunt dangerous animals that are on drugs. Wanting to increase his popularity, he heads to New York and challenges Spider-Man.

So, he decides to track him down and arrives at Hammer Industries. Instead of helping the wounded left from the superhero’s fight against Dr Octopus, Kraven decides to ram him. As a result, he loses his money, his reputation, and his girlfriend.

Kraven the Hunter in Other Media

spider man the animated series kraven the hunter by stalnososkoviy on DeviantArt Image: Marvel Comics

Among Kraven’s appearances in other media are:

Cinema (live-action and animation)

In the cinema, Kraven the Hunter was to appear in live-action and animated films. There have been several projects where Sony had foreseen the character. However, in some of them, he did not appear, and Sony has not finished the last movie yet:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (scheduled but did not appear)
  • Black Panther (planned but did not appear)
  • Kraven the Hunter (Sony’s Marvel Universe film to be released)

Television

On television, the character makes a presence in shows such as:

  • Iron Man, a portion of Marvel superheroes, by Chris Wiggins.
  • Spider-Man, appears in the episode “The Hunter Hunted”.
  • Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, in the episode “The Crime of all Centuries”, voiced by Robert Ridgely.
  • Spider-Man, from 1994, voiced by Gregg Berger.
  • Spider – Man Unlimited, in the episode “Enter the Hunter!”, voiced by Paul Dobson.

Video Games

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Walkthrough - Part 6 - Kraven The Hunter! - YouTube Image: Marvel Comics

In video games, this supervillain and anti-hero is a playable character in:

Spider-Man from 2000.

Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six.

Ultimate Spider-Man.

Spider-Man 3.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows.

The Supervillain Whose Purpose Is To Hunt Spider-Man

J.C. Chandor in talks to direct Sony's Kraven the Hunter Marvel movie | EW.com Image: Marvel Comics

Sergei Kravinov, Kraven the Hunter, is a supervillain who has given more than one superhero a headache. He is distinguished by his great sense of honor, treating his adversaries as equals until proven otherwise.

It is not surprising that in the world of comics this character is presented as an anti-hero. Hence his numerous appearances in different media and the strange attraction felt by some fans.

Soon, Marvel and Sony Pictures will release the film Kraven the Hunter. According to the official bio, “it is intended to be the fourth film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe directed by J. C. Chandor from a screenplay by Art Marcum & Matt Holloway and Richard Wenk”. Aaron Taylor-Johnson will play Kraven alongside Russell Crowe, Ariana DeBose, Fred Hechinger, and Alessandro Nivola.

Image: John Bauld

Marvel

I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.

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