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Amazing Spider-Man: The Gauntlet

Amazing Spider-Man: The Hunt Begins

Spider-Man's the prey when top creators organize a "Grim Hunt" for the web-slinger starting this June

By Jim Beard

After the Gauntlet's thrown down the "Grim Hunt" begins-and this June, it's Spider Season.

A trio of amazing Spider-Man creators led by writer Joe Kelly heat up the start to summer with "Grim Hunt," a new storyline running through AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #634-636. The Kraven family's on the prowl for anyone bearing the name or symbol of the Spider, and their ultimate catch might just be your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man himself!

"Kraven's family has been after Spidey since his daughter Ana first made her move way back in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #565," says Spider-Man editor Steve Wacker. "You'll find out more about their motivations as the story goes on, but suffice it to say, the Kraven family is a deep well of honor, entitlement and resentment. They don't believe Sergei's death was honorable in the least and that has driven them to a horrific decision."

Beyond the scintillating story, Wacker's thrilled by the inclusion of artist Michael Lark in this saga.

"Michael-along with Stefano Gaudiano and Matt Hollingsworth-are bringing a very cinematic and dirty-in the best sense of the word-visual sense to the story," he touts. "I knew that in this story we were playing some pretty sacred waters as that original J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck story "Kraven's Last Hunt," is one of my favorites, so we needed artists who could really honor the visual tradition of that story while bringing something new also."

To further reinforce that sense of legacy, Wacker's bringing in two classic creators to provide exclusive features to the three-issue arc: the aforementioned DeMatteis and none other than Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee. Lee re-teams with artist Marcos Martin for a "Spidey Sunday Feature" and DeMatteis pairs up with Max Fiumara for another look at Peter Parker's clone, the feisty and furious Kaine.

Despite this star-studded line-up of talent behind him, Spidey's coming through The Gauntlet a bit worse for wear; "Grim Hunt" may prove more than he's prepared to endure.

"Spidey has been laid low by his returning rogues gallery throughout The Gauntlet," Wacker says. "Not because of Kraven's [widow's] direct involvement, [because] she didn't actually hire villains to attack Spidey or anything like that, but she did position herself to take advantage of what she knew was coming. She has been biding her time for years with a hate

Art by Joe Quinones
that is long-stirring.

"In the meantime, Pete is a guy who has lost his job and is hurting as much as he ever has after facing off against the Lizard. This is not a good time to be Peter Parker."

Wacker also points out that "Grim Hunt" promises a bevy of guest-stars, including friends and namesakes of Spidey's and, of course, the sinister Kraven family in the feral flesh.

"Phil Jimenez did a lot of the early legwork on the [Kravens], laying out the history of the family and tucking in some continuity corners that didn't quite track, so we've been able to use some of what he put together and introduce and reintroduce parts of the family that we haven't seen in awhile," he explains. "It's a pretty big family.

"We'll also see some of Pete's friends affected by what the Kravens have been planning; one will even get his-or-her own limited series that we should announce in a couple days."

In all, Wacker points to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #634-636 as a high-water mark in his ongoing tenure as web-master of all things Spidey, especially concerning its creative team.

Art by Leinil Francis Yu
"These guys are absolute masters of storytelling," he states. "And I think they're creating some moments that will haunt the dreams of readers and Spidey."


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      Why don't they send Kraven's family after Kaine also. He killed Kraven's son during the clone saga.


      when they first introduced kravens 12 yead old daughter as a super villian I thought this is stupid and the whole premise of using a kravens 12 year old daughter as a super-villian is stupid and you can not be a master of storytelling if you think that is smart.