STORY: Joe Kelly

ART: Michael Lark & Stefano Gaudiano

REVIEW: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Hola, Arachno-philes! Tis I, your favorite Amazing Spider-Fan and Philly indie horror icon Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner with another edition of THE WEEKLY WEB-UP. I’ll preface this one by saying that there will be SPOILERS pertaining to GRIM HUNT Part 1, but I’ll refrain from blowing anything major in Part 2. Sound fair? Sure it does. You’ve been warned. On with the review!!!!!

GRIM HUNT PART 1 SPOILER ALERT!!!!! And so it was, Spider-Fans, that while we were still reeling from the horrific demise of BILLY CONNORS in SHED, we were slammed with the nightmarish, ritualistic murder of MATTIE FRANKLIN (aka SPIDER-WOMAN) in ASM #634. SASHA KRAVINOFF, with some assistance from ELECTRO and DIABLO, tied Franklin to an altar and stabbed her with a dagger, killing her instantly. This was an experiment, you see, to determine if just ANY spider-blood could be used in their resurrection ritual. The ultimate goal is to resurrect KRAVEN, the patriarch of the homicidal KRAVINOFF clan. The villains used Franklin’s blood in an attempt to bring back VLADIMIR (Sasha & Kraven’s son), and were successful… sort of. Vladimir did indeed rise from the grave, but not as a human. Now, he’s a giant, ferocious lion-like beast. From this, the villains learn that only the blood of Spider-Man can be used to bring their beloved Kraven back to them.

Last we saw Spidey, he and ARACHNE had holed up in Franklin’s apartment in an effort to escape the assault of ANA and ALYOSHA Kravinoff. It was there that Spidey was approached by another man seemingly resurrected, EZEKIEL. Ezekiel helpfully informed Spidey and Arachne about the Gauntlet, and why the Kravens are after Spidey’s blood. Normally, I don’t think magic fits into Spidey’s world, as his has always been a world of SCIENCE. But here, as in KRAVEN’S LAST HUNT, it works, because it makes it kind of like a horror story, and these are indeed scary characters that our hero must contend with.

THE OTHER and ONE MORE DAY sucked because they rewrote Spider-Man canon with the lame excuse of “magic” instead of clever writing. But here, magic is used as an effective tool to create fear, dread, and menace. As Ezekiel reminds us, Kraven “was connected to the spirit world in a profound way, through dark magic. That connection drove him to madness…” OK, so that neatly summarizes LAST HUNT, and also offers a little insight as to what may be going on in GRIM HUNT. Mattie Franklin was sacrificed to some dark force, which resurrected Vladimir Kravinoff as a monster. Not to mention the sudden, unexplained return of Ezekiel. Lotta strange magic going on here.

The Kravens’ next target is ARANA (Anya Corazon). Now, I’m only slightly familiar with this character. I know she had a mini-series ARANA, THE HEART OF THE SPIDER (Pretty sure that was the name), and also had a story in the short-lived AMAZING FANTASY re-launch a couple of years back. But, as MADAME WEB tells us, she was “chosen for a destiny I cannot foresee”. In other words, this is my first real exposure to the character. My first impression is definitely positive; imagine if Spider-Man were rewritten as a Joss Whedon heroine, and you’ve got the idea. She’s a spunky, rebellious, independent young woman with the spider power and agility. Her costume is pretty cool, too. It’s another makeshift affair, like BEN REILLY’s Scarlet Spider costume, but she’s a girl, so she makes it work. I’d like to see her face off against SCREWBALL sometime.

Anyway, she’s attacked by Ana, Alyosha, and Vladimir in Central Park. She’s cornered by a knife-wielding Ana (Who now speaks almost entirely in rhyme! And I like it!) when Spidey heroically leaps in to the rescue. Then KAINE, the evil clone of Peter Parker, enters the fray. He’s shaved his whiskers and got a hair cut, so he actually does resemble Peter this time around. Arachne joins in, and it’s all-out war! Soon, Arachne and Arana are subdued and abducted, leaving just Spider-Man and Kaine.

Spidey attempts to take off after them when he’s stopped by Kaine, who basically says, “So what, they’re not your real family. Run. Run and screw the rest.” Spidey flips out on him, and makes a good point, “How can you share my DNA and be so damn selfish?” And, just like Spider-Man, just like a real hero, Spidey walks away from him, proclaiming that, “By God, even if it means walking into the lion’s den and not coming out, I’m not going to stand by and let people die to save myself”. Go’ head, Spider-Man! You tell him!

Here, Ezekiel pops up again, and informs Spidey that they “need more spiders” to win this fight. His suggestion? “Two of the strongest, the Twin Monsters VENOM and ANTI-VENOM”. And with that, Spidey and Ezekiel set off to find the symbiote-bonded super-psychos. And after that, well… it’d be REALLY hard to say much else without blowing a REALLY AWESOME twist. Can I say that MYSTERIO is involved? You knew he was in league with the Kravens, so that’s not saying too much, is it?

Sooooo… skipping ahead a couple of pages… Spidey finds himself hearing those DOOM DOOM drums in his head again, and being stalked by Kraven’s family in a fog-covered cemetery, with Sasha brandishing the rifle that Kraven killed himself with. Again, saying ANYTHING else would spoil a REALLY shocking cliffhanger!!!!! Two MAJOR things take place at the end of this issue, so you really need to pick it up if you haven’t already done so. Remember, characters are now being killed off left and right in ASM, so almost anyone’s fair game right now.

OK, I won’t even hint at anything else! This story fucking ROCKS, that’s all you gotta know!


ART: A++ (The art in this arc is truly stellar. It compliments the story perfectly.)

And THAT is the WORD, so SAYETH the MASTER!!!!!!

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2 Comments to “WEEKLY WEB UP! MARK reviews GRIM HUNT PART 2!!!!!”

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  1. JD (Host) says:

    Nice review! I just finished reading this issue, and I gotta say I had the same thought about the magic in Spidey’s world. I don’t know WHY it feels strange having magic in Spidey titles, considering in New Avengers and throughout TONS of other stories in other titles, Spidey deals with a lot of magic on an almost daily basis..but it felt weird when they resurrected Ezekial as a zombie. And the giant lion-creature, Vladimir…really? Just seems so out of place in the Spider-verse. The twist with that was pretty cool though.

    A quick point: Kaine is always portrayed as HUGE. Much bigger build then Peter and wielding giant muscles. Yet when he shaves off his beard and cuts his hair, he looks exactly like Pete with some facial scars? I guess most of his mass was hair, like a cat! When they first showed him in Pete’s clothes, I was fairly certain it was gonna be Ben Reilly and I got excited! But no…just Kaine. Looks like we won’t be dealing with him for much longer though…

  2. Mark Mackner says:

    Ha! Excellent point about the shrinkening of Kaine. You’re absolutely right. Even if he shaved and groomed himself, he should still be huge. That’s funny. And you know now what the Ezekiel zombie was all about. REALLY dug that twist. I’d be fucking SHOCKED if Ben Reilly didn’t show up before this thing was over. Patience, my friend.

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