This mini is J.M. DeMatteis writing a sequel to his classic Kraven's Last Hunt story
- Spoiler: show
- Gregor challenges his leopard Mishkin to try to kill him. He subdues the beast with his bare hands and then releases it so he can go prepare to continue his plot to torment Peter Parker. Speaking of whom, Parker is being comforted by Mary Jane after smashing the house up over hallucinations. He tells her he feels he is going through withdrawal: the loss of his powers has allowed all the terror he experienced as a superhero to catch up to him. MJ tells him to call Dr Kafka. He seems receptive but then Gregor provokes fear and Parker switches to refusing; Gregor then provokes rage and Parker screams at his wife. Gregor has prepared for years for this, ingesting dangerous herbs and potions that have allowed him to expand his consciousness and mentally influence others. He can sense there is a mental presence intruding on himself too but he ignores it for now so as not to tip off that he knows about it. He will set a trap later. Meanwhile Parker and MJ have gone to dinner at the home of Tracy Makeba, a professor who works with Peter. Gregor now provokes demons and Peter sees the forms of his past foes all around the table. The visions mock him as now being weak and stripped of his dignity; they suggest they will devour MJ and Tracy. Peter screams at them to stop and the visions disappear after Tracy takes his hand. MJ internally questions why he responds to Tracy and not herself. MJ apologizes as they depart and Tracy says everything is going to be ok. Mary Jane later goes to her job teaching theater at the high school but finds herself emotionally breaking down. Parker meanwhile has skipped all of his afternoon classes while trying to deal with his declining mental state. He knows he should call Dr. Kafka but before he gets a chance he is kidnapped. He wakes up in an old warehouse with Gregor. The villain explains his revenge plot for the deaths of Sergei and Vladimir. Parker fights him while also trying to talk some sense into the madman. Gregor is too strong and Parker ends up beaten and exhausted. Gregor pledges to kill Parker and then his wife and child too. He reveals that he has the very gun that Kraven used to kill himself and now he will use it to kill Peter. Parker keeps trying to get up and Gregor is impressed but resolves to kill Peter anyway. He fires the gun...but we see that it was pushed away at the last second by Gregor's mother!
If you are a fan of Kraven's Last Hunt (and you should be because it is amazing) then you should definitely read this. DeMatteis brings the same dark thriller energy of anxiety and paranoia that he did in that series as it really seems like Parker is being broken down at last by one of his enemies, though we know he must somehow survive in the end. (But it actually is pretty depressing seeing Peter with his pregnant wife considering how that all turns out).
And this is the rare example of a past tale that actually fills a plot hole rather than just being for novelty. For those who may not know (though if you get this book this is all explained in the back of issue 1), after the death of Kraven the Hunter and then later his son Grim Hunter in Spider-Man #55 Gregor swore revenge. Then apparently did nothing about it, later showing up in Ka-Zar instead (and looking quite different). What the heck happened in between? We had to wait over 15 years but now this story is finally telling us.
Spoilers for the end of this issue but I wanted to ask anyone who read it:
- Spoiler: show
- Is the woman on the last page Calypso? It looks like her but I didn't want to say definitively.
If so then that is also an interesting new wrinkle to Gregor's history.
The art by Eder Messias is excellent in this but for some reason he only does half the issue (he did the full first issue). I am not sure what happened but I hope he can continue with the next issue. No offense to Peeples but I found Messias to be superior here.
As a total aside, while searching for if there was a public reason Messias did not finish the issue I came across this CBR article
. It posits that this series is non-canon because it shows Peter Parker married in the past despite One More Day erasing his marriage, one of the dumbest takes I've ever seen on a comic book website.