Web of Spider-Man #7 (2010)

Grrrr! I hunt stuff


Hola, Arachno-philes! No new AMAZING once again, but there’s a new WEB OF out there, so let’s examine that then, shall we?

If you’ve been reading the revamped WEB, you know the format.  If not, it breaks down like this: each issue has 3 stories.  The first has been focusing on a different villain each month (All GAUNTLET related, except for issue #1), the second is a SPIDER-GIRL adventure, and the final story is often humorous, with a spotlight on other supporting characters in the Spidey-verse.

This is likely the last of the GAUNTLET related WEBs, as now all of the GAUNTLET villains have been profiled.  Well, all except for SANDMAN and CHAMELEON, but their GAUNTLET appearances have come and gone, so it wouldn’t make much sense to go backwards to them.  It’s not even clear how or even IF Sandman fits into the Gauntlet.  He has not been approached by the Kravens.  Chameleon was the first to join them, actually, but that happened before the Gauntlet even got started. And we’re still waiting for THE LIZARD to get into the Gauntlet, but his WEB appearance came last month.

So, we’ve had ELECTRO, MYSTERIO, RHINO, VULTURE, LIZARD, and now KRAVEN.  Well, Kraven’s on the cover, but he’s still dead, so the story is actually about his wife. BRIDE OF THE HUNTER, by Fred van Lente,  chronicles the very first meeting of Aleksandra and Sergei Kravinoff (That’s KRAVEN, btw).  And an interesting tale it is!

Kraven’s at a swanky soiree, regaling high society types with his most recent exploits.  I love this whole scene.  It’s reminiscent of a classic adventure story, like THE LOST WORLD (The Arthur Conan Doyle tale, NOT the JP sequel), or KING KONG, or MOTHRA. It’s here that we see a glint of Prof. Challenger and Carl Denham in Kraven, and that makes him relatable (To me, anyway), and awesome.  Here’s a guy who lives for ADVENTURE, and who admires the fantastical beasts that he pursues.  All my life, I’ve dreamed of a life of adventure, and I just love any story that begins with someone walking into a room full of well-dressed gentlemen and ladies, and tells them of his harrowing tales of dinosaur attacks and encounters with native savages.

Aleksandra differs from me in this way, it seems, as she has her fill of Kraven’s boasting, and throws her drink in his face.  “Time for a new hunt, my friends”, he announces, as he takes off after her.  Once cornered, she further registers her disgust with him.  Not wanting to be written off as a mere savage, Kraven explains himself, and his life’s philosophy. Turns out he’s got some Tyler Durden in him as well. Hunting, how he hunts, is like his own personal Fight Club.

He tells her of his last trip to the Savage Land.  “In the wild, I have found a purer existence than Moscow or Petersburg could offer”, he says.  “In the midst of pursuit, or a kill, I do not exist.  All the petty pain of living falls away.  All unrealized desires… until only the hunt is left.”

Suddenly, Aleksandra finds herself intrigued by him.  Maybe even falling for him.  No, wait.  She IS an evil bitch, after all.  Turns out her daddy planted her there, in an effort to get her married into the Kravinoff family, so they can get their hands on the Kravinoff fortune.  Daddy was training her to be a golddigger.  So… so maybe she isn’t evil, after all.  Maybe it was just the influence of her father.  Her father, the frail, wheelchair-bound man who she sends plummeting down an elevator shaft at the end of the story!!!!!!  “I do not like sharing my kill” she says, gazing upon the lifeless form of her father, in reference to bagging Kraven as a hubby.  Yeah.  She’s evil.  And she raised their daughter to be a skilled hunter, like Kraven.  And she’s the mastermind of the Gauntlet.  Evil, indeed.  VERY excited to see how all of this wraps up!!!!

As for the second story in the book, the Spider-Girl story, I’m not gonna lie to you.  I can’t really get interested in Spider-Girl.  It’s set in an alternate reality, and I don’t know.  I just can’t get into it.

The third story, FASHION SPREAD, ties directly into ASM continuity, though it’s set a few months ago.  Peter Parker, still working for Front Line (Before being publicly humiliated by JJJ), is sent to cover a fashion show hosted by MJ.  He’s hoping he won’t have to actually interact with her because, you know, the awkwardness, but she’s attacked by super-villain Paper Doll, and naturally, Spidey has to swing to her rescue.

Paper Doll is one of the more interesting villains introduced during BRAND NEW DAY last year, and I’m happy to see that she wasn’t just a one-story curiosity. A crazy goth chick who tangles with Spider-Man?  Fuckin’ A!  If you know me, you know I loves the goth girls, so I’m all about Paper Doll.  Her powers are pretty unique, too.

So, Paper Doll has a grudge against MJ, because Doll has an unhealthy fixation on an actor by the name of Bobby Carr, who briefly dated MJ when she was living on the west coast.  Doll blames MJ for Carr’s career going down the shitter, and this is the second time she’s attacked her.  It’s a fairly straightforward story, with a quick setup, a clash with the villain, and a humorous ending.

Joe Casey gets points for bringing back Paper Doll, but the trophy for this story goes to Jim Mahfood for the art, and Justin Stewart for the colors.  Mahfood’s style goes great with Paper Doll, and all her wild stretching and her angular face.  And, being set at a fashion show, there’s all kinds of vibrant colors, and it all comes together quite nicely.  I love a nice, simple story every now and then, with a good hero vs. villain battle, and this one was immensely satisfying.  Kudos to all involved!

That’s it for this Web-Up!  Tomorrow, a new ASM finally hits the shelves, as well as SIEGE: SPIDER-MAN, which has Spidey facing off against VENOM.  Niiiiice!  I’ll have more reviews by the end of the week!  Till then, keep on wall-crawling!!!!!!!!!!!!


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