- Spider-Man Villains
- Kraven the Hunter
|.Kraven was created
by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, he first appeared in The
Amazing Spider-Man #15
Kraven is the half brother of the
Sergei Kravinoff was born in Stalingrad. As Kraven, he was a
maniacal big game hunter who sought to defeat Spider-Man to prove
that he was the greatest hunter in the world. Unlike other hunters,
he typically disdained the use of guns or bow and arrows preferring
to take down large dangerous animals with his bare hands even though
he often made elaborate preparations to weaken a quarry before hand.
He also used a mystical serum to give him similar strength to
Spider-Man, but even without the serum he was a threat to the
wall-crawler. Spider-Man proved a frustrating quarry because Kraven
continually underestimated the superhero's resourcefulness.
In the story "Kraven's Last Hunt", by
J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck, Kraven's anger toward his
inability to defeat the superhero destroyed his sanity. With that,
he hatched a scheme that actually defeated Spider-Man, and seemingly
and uncharacteristically shot him dead. Considering his enemy
effectively dead, Kraven buried him. After this, Kraven donned a
copy of Spider-Man's costume and sought to prove that he was
superior at his enemy's activities. This culminated with his
successful singlehanded capture of a minor super villain, Vermin,
whom Spider-Man needed the help of
Captain America to
defeat. After that triumph, Spider-Man revived from the tranquilizer
dart he was actually shot with and dug his way out of the grave.
Kraven greeted him and explained that he had made his point about
defeating his enemy. Then he released Vermin and told Spider-Man to
pursue him. At this point, having no further purpose, Kraven
committed suicide while Spider-Man captured the villain on his own.
Kraven's allegiances and relatives in life were, for the most part,
revealed only after his death. The Chameleon was the person who
initially gave Kraven the idea of hunting Spider-Man in Amazing
Spider-Man #15. After Kraven died, the Chameleon was revealed to be
Dmitri Smerdyakov, Kraven's half-brother, personal servant, and the
victim of Kraven's abuse, and yet, according to Smerdyakov, the two
were best friends nonetheless. Kraven's lover, the voodoo priestess
Calypso, manipulated the Lizard against the wall-crawler in the
first issues of Todd McFarlane's best-selling Spider-Man series. It
was later revealed in a story arc concerning Ka-Zar that Kraven was
trained as a hunter largely by a mysterious man named Gregor, a
mercenary who battled the Jungle Man.
Kraven has two sons take up his role. There was a third son as well,
Ned Tannengarden, who tried to kill Alyosha, but was murdered by the
Chameleon (who believed himself to be the original Kraven at that
Vladimir Kravinoff, mutant, took up the name "The Grim Hunter" and
decided to hunt down Spider-Man and several of his foes. He only had
one battle with Spider-Man, and his methods were nearly the same as
his father's. He was briefly involved with the Hobgoblin, even
giving that incarnation (Jason Macendale) his father's super
strength formula. When he got out of jail, he decided to track
Spider-Man down again, only to fight the Scarlet Spider instead.
Kaine, a clone of Spider-Man arrived, and after a confrontation,
Vladimir was killed by the insane duplicate.
Main article: Alyosha Kravinoff
Some time after the death of Vladimir, his half brother, Alyosha
Kravinoff (or "Al Kraven"), became the newest Kraven. During his
tenure as the Hunter, he was manipulated by Calypso and killed her
before joining The
reformed Sinister Six. After the team dissolved following the
Sandman's betrayal of Venom, the symbiote began hunting down his
former team mates, wounding both Sandman and Electro. He was
surprised that Kraven was able to hold out the longest against him,
but ultimately defeated and almost disemboweled the hunter, who was
saved by Spider-Man at the cost of Venom's escape. Shortly after, he
retired from the supervillain scene, and decided to become a
Hollywood star and semi-superhero. Alyosha is a mutant and retained
his superhuman powers after the M-Day. He was prominently featured
in the Beyond! miniseries.
Al Kraven (Alyosha Kravinoff), Kraven II has the same abilities and
skills of his father, with the addition of an ability to control
animals which has never been fully explained (possibly a mutation).
He has a greater education than his father or brother, and is
relatively sane compared to the rest of his family, though still
prone to personality lapses where he may turn from a cool and calm
gentleman to a raging animal in seconds. He has also revealed to
Spider-Man during in a conversation in a bar that his mother was a
mutant like him.
There is reason to believe that this character is named for one of
Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov: Kraven's ally the
Chameleon was born Dmitri Smerdyakov. Dmitri and Smerdyakov are two
of the Karamazov brothers, and it is unlikely that the occurrence of
all three names in the mythos surrounding Kraven is simply
Kraven in other media
Kraven's first on-screen appearance actually pre-dates Spider-Man's
own show (on which he never appeared), appearing in 1966 on one of
the Iron Man episodes of The Marvel Superheroes Show, entitled
"Cliffs of Doom".
Although never identified as Kraven, a character with remarkable
similarities to him appeared on an episode of the live-action
Incredible Hulk series, entitled "The Snare". The story was
similarly based on The Most Dangerous Game as Kraven himself was in
Amazing Spider-Man 15 Cover
Amazing Spider-Man 34 Cover
Amazing Spider-Man #47 Cover
Kazar vs Kraven the Hunter comic cover
Amazing Spider-Man 294 Cover
Kraven's next official appearance was
on the 1981 Spider-Man series, in an episode called "The Hunter and the
Hunted", which also featured Ka-Zar.
Also in 1981, Kraven appeared on a first season episode of
Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends entitled, "Crime Of All Centuries"
where he was voiced by Robert Ridgely.
Kraven also appeared in
Spider-Man: The Animated Series played by Gregg Berger. In this
series, Kraven has a more heroic personality than he did in the comics.
He had a fiancee named Dr. Mariah Crawford. Seigei Kravinoff became
Kraven the Hunter when Crawford uses a serum on him to save his life
after an animal attack, which causes him to become insane. In the end of
his debut episode, Kravinoff was cured by Spider-Man to prevent him from
attacking innocent people. In Morbius, he makes a cameo when Dr.
Crawford calls him from New York to Africa about Spider-Man having his
disease mutated. In Duel of the Hunters, a mutative disease turned
Spider-Man into a spider-like monster which went on a Hulk-like rampage,
and Kraven was sent to track him down. His hunt was initially
interrupted by Punisher, who wanted to kill Spider-Man, but they
eventually work together to track down Spider-Man and restore his human
form. In The Return of Kraven, he came back to New York to cure Dr.
Crawford when she took the serum that made Kravinoff became Kraven,
turning her into Calypso. In the end, Kraven cured Crawford to prevent
her from attacking innocent people under the influence of the serum.
Spider-Man Unlimited animated series, a similar character named The
Hunter, who hunts humans appeared. The Hunter was hired by Sir Ram to
hunt down Spider-Man. In doing so he kidnapped Karen O'Malley as bait
for capturing Spider-Man.
In the MTV Spider-Man animated series, Kraven was voiced by Michael
Dorn. His role in the series was he killed the Gaines wife and husband
by poisoning them with a serum. However, the couple spawned two
fraternal children, Roxanne and Roland, who got hypnotizing powers from
the affects of the serum. The Gaines Twins could not use their powers on
Kraven (as his senses were too keen for their abilities). In Mind Games:
Part One, the Twins hypnotized Spider-Man into thinking Kraven killed
Mary Jane Watson and the Twins used this moment to have Spider-Man kill
Kraven. In Mind Games: Part Two, Spider-Man and Kraven fought inside a
warehouse in which Spider-Man almost kills Kraven by hanging him.
Luckily, Spider-Man snaps out of the hypnosis and spares Kraven's life
in time, learning Kraven didn't kill Mary Jane and the criminal was sent
back to jail.
In the Ultimate Spider-Man computer game, an ad for Kraven's TV show can
be seen on billboards and the sides of bus-stops.
Kraven appeared in the Xbox version of Spider-Man: The Movie as a boss
villain. He poisons Spider-Man and puts him in a maze. After the maze
level Spider-Man fights Kraven for the cure (and eventually, Spidey
wins, putting Kraven in jail for his crimes).
In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Sergei Kravinoff is the host of his own
reality show in which he hunts down dangerous animals, obviously
paralleling The Crocodile Hunter. He intended to hunt and kill
Spider-Man on live TV in order to boost his ratings. But when he finally
confronted Spider-Man, he was knocked out with a single punch (revealing
that he is actually a fraud), only to be arrested by the police moments
later. His defeat was captured on live television and after this public
humiliation his show was cancelled.
In the Ultimate Six story arc, Kraven genetically tampered with his DNA,
allowing him to become a gruesome werewolf-like monster. He did this to
be able to get revenge on Spider-Man and to try to get his show
uncanceled. Unfortunately he was arrested by the Ultimates for illegal
genetic tampering before he could face Spider-Man. They imprison him
with Spider-Man's other genetically altered enemies Electro, Sandman,
Doctor Octopus, and the Green Goblin. After their escape he joins them
in a plot to regain their permanent freedom. Unfortunately their plan
fails and it ends with a big showdown between the Six and the Ultimates.
Kraven, on the cusp of attacking Spider-Man, gets hit by one of Thor's
thunderbolts in a moment of dramatic irony and is recaptured by
S.H.I.E.L.D. He mentions that his battle with Peter Parker lost him his
wife and Job.