Appearing in "The Coffin"
- Nikolai Kravinoff (Referenced)
- Kraven's minions
- Joe Face (Corpse)
- Anna Kravinoff (Referenced)
- Vladimir Lenin (Referenced)
- Harry Skitter (Only appearance)
- Ned Leeds (Referenced)
- Aunt May (Referenced)
- Mary Jane Watson-Parker (Referenced)
- Uncle Ben (Referenced)
- Captain Stacy (Referenced)
- Gwen Stacy (Referenced)
- Doctor Octopus (Referenced)
- Vulture (Referenced)
Synopsis for "The Coffin"
In his room, Kraven the Hunter prepares for a battle of pride and honor. Training in the nude against his various trophy animals, he then storms out of his room. Outside, his assistants are digging a grave in the pouring rain. He grimly thinks about how the world has no room for Russian aristocrats of old. Putting on a robe and pouring himself a drink, Kraven comes to terms with the fact that he will die soon. Entering the main hall of his mansion, Kraven has set up a mock funeral, complete with a coffin at the end of the hall. Approaching it, he is determined to complete one last hunt before the end finally comes to claim him. From within the coffin, Kraven pulls out a Spider-Man costume and begins to cry.
Elsewhere in the city, a number of criminals are holding a funeral in a dive bar for Joe Face, a known street-snitch. They are taking collections since Joe didn't have much or any family to look after his affairs Hearing about it, Spider-Man comes to pay his respect. However, his arrival frightens the assembly of crooks. Spider-Man webs the door shut, telling them that he didn't come for trouble, but to say goodbye.[Continuity 1] One of the crooks still decides to take the opportunity to try and shoot the wall-crawler. However, Spider-Man warns him to not even try. The masked hero then pulls out a wad of money and places it in the donation plate, telling them that it is for a decent coffin and a plot to bury him in. Heading home, Spider-Man wonders what could have drawn him to the funeral. He suspects that it is a fear of his own mortality, especially after so many of those near and dear to him have already died.[Continuity 2] Exhausted, Spider-Man comes into his apartment from the pouring rain, strips off his soaking wet costume and goes to bed. Accepting the fact that, he too, will one day die he watches as a spider descends from the ceiling. He briefly considers plucking it off its web but lets it climb back up to and turns off the life.
Meanwhile, Kraven the Hunter is continuing to prepare for his final battle. Sitting nude in a room that begins filling with thousands of spiders, the villain allows himself to be buried in the arachnids. Suddenly, he begins frantically killing and eating the spiders, he decides that tonight will be the night he goes on his hunt. As Kraven continues to consume the spiders, Peter wakes up from a nightmare where he was alone in the darkness with things crawling all over him. Seeing a spider on his hand, Peter instinctively crushing it against the wall. Unable to sleep and with a pounding headache, Peter goes out into the night to web-sling. At that same time, Kraven the Hunter is on the prowl, searching for his longtime enemy. Meanwhile, Spider-Man can't shake the feeling that someone is following him. However, he tries to pass this off as the upset that he has been feeling since Ned Leeds died. Still, he can't shake the feeling, and his worries prove right when he narrowly avoids a drugged dart shot at him by Kraven. He's not so lucky with the second one. When the drugs in the dart begin to incapacitate him, the wall-crawler begins to hallucinate the ghost of Joe Face. At first, Spider-Man thinks it is this angry spirit that has hurt him, but he manages to regain his lucidity and confirms that it is Kraven the Hunter.
Spider-Man leaps toward his enemy and tries to fight off the effects of the drugs in his system. However, they are too potent and Kraven manages to disorientate him and catch the wall-crawler in a net. With his prey incapacitated, Kraven unslings a rifle that he has slung over his shoulder. Kraven tells Spider-Man that his honor needs to be restored and takes aim. Seeing this, the masked hero tries to talk sense into Kraven, reminding him that they have always battled hand-to-hand. Kraven pulls the trigger and Spider-Man's last thought is the realization that his old foe has completely lost his mind. Soon, Spider-Man is placed in the coffin at the Kraven estate. There is a moment of silence before Kraven's aids lower the coffin into the hole dug in the ground. Kraven takes a shovel and after tossing the first clump of dirt down into the hole he stops. First, he expresses sadness, then grins with insane delight before handing the shovel over to his aids to finish the job of burying Spider-Man's body.
This story is continued in Amazing Spider-Man #293...
Appearing in "Crawling"
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Referenced)
- Captain America (Steve Rogers) (Referenced)
- Anna Kravinoff (Referenced)
- Hitler (Referenced)
- Vladimir Lenin (Referenced)
- Nikolai Kravinoff (Referenced)
Synopsis for "Crawling"
This story continues from Web of Spider-Man #31..
Karven the Hunter has succeeded in burying Spider-Man alive and stolen his identity. Standing before Spider-Man's grave, Kraven pulls off his mask and laughs maniacally in the pounding storm. Elsewhere, a woman tries to run for cover from the rain down an empty Manhattan street. She is frightened when a rat scurries past her causing her to slip and fall to the ground. As the woman tries to recover, a manhole cover opens up behind her and a hair covered hand reaches out from the sewers and pulls the woman in. Trapped in the sewers among the rats, the woman is approached by the rat-man known as Vermin, who intends to eat the woman. Meanwhile, Mary Jane Watson waits at the apartment she shares with her husband waiting for him to come home from his rounds as Spider-Man.[Continuity 3] Mary Jane can't help but worry that her husband might be dead when she spots a rat scurrying across the apartment. Revolted by the site of the vermin, Mary Jane beats it to death with a boot. Seeing the smashed corpse of the rodent disgusts Mary Jane who turns away from the grotesque site.
Meanwhile, Kraven the Hunter travels across the city in a Spider-Man costume back to his mansion. In the grips of madness, he intends to try and literally become his seemingly dead foe. Entering a room with a massive display of spiders, Kraven strips off the upper part of his costume and laps at a bowl of hallucinogens on the floor. Suddenly gripped with pain, Kraven angrily smashes the display glass, filling the room with spiders. Beginning to hallucinate, Kraven tries to keep his fear in check as the mass of spiders forms into a massive gestalt. While back in the sewers, Vermin and the sewer rats have finished devouring his victim. After his meal, the Vermin comes across a page from a newspaper. Seeing a photo of Spider-Man frightens Vermin, who recalls his last encounter with Spider-Man and Captain America.[Continuity 4] Vermin is conflicted between his fear of the masked hero and the idea that he isn't afraid of anyone. The Vermin tries to prove this by trying to go up to the surface. However, when a spider crawls past the manhole cover, the Vermin is frightened and returns to the safety of the sewers. Hearing footsteps above, the Vermin fears that it is Spider-Man coming after him and beats one of his own rats to death in order to keep quiet and avoid detection.
However, this is not Spider-Man, but his wife Mary Jane who is out walking in the rain trying to find some sign of her husband. Her search is interrupted by two men who catcall at her. When she tells them to get stuffed they become angry. At that moment, Kraven the Hunter tries to maintain his sense of identity as he fights the mass of spiders but he is soon swarmed by them all. Simultaneously, the Vermin senses some calling out to him and thinks it is Spider-Man and grows angry. While on the surface, Mary Jane tries to get away from the two men who were gawking at her. When they catch up to her, they are suddenly Spider-Man apparently appears. However, as Mary Jane watches as the costumed man brutally beats the two men without a single word, she realizes that this is not her husband. When she begs Kraven to stop, he does and then leaps away. Not far away, Vermin emerges from the sewers to hunt for Spider-Man, but he is not sure where to begin looking. His mind suddenly turns to food once he discovers that he is hungry once again, and begins searching for something -- or someone --to eat.
This story continues in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #131...
Appearing in "Descent"
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
- New York Police Department
- Heroin drug dealers
- Captain America (Steve Rogers) (Mentioned)
- Daily Bugle (Referenced)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Descent"
Kraven the Hunter has seemingly killed Spider-Man and usurped his identity.[Continuity 5] As the Spider, Kraven barges in on a gang of crooks engaged in a drug deal and brutally beats them into submission. That's when the police arrive, but when they ask the masked man to stand down, but the Spider flees. Thinking that this is Spider-Man, the officers remark how the hero has been on a rampage against crooks all week long. When they check on the crooks, they discover that one of the heroin dealers is dead. Not far away, Kraven finds himself struggling to keep his identity straight. At first, he thinks of himself as "the spider", but then denies this. Ripping off his mask, he shouts his name over the pounding rain, considering himself Spider-Man's superior as he defeated the wall-crawler and taken his place.
Elsewhere in the city, a woman tries to hail a cab, only for it to pass her by. Angry to be left in the pouring rain, the woman decides to walk since her destination is ten blocks away. Unfortunately, she is yanked into a nearby alley by the man-monster known as Vermin. After senselessly slaughtering his innocent victim, and consuming some of her body. The vicious creature then scurries across the street hoping to find its foes, Spider-Man and Captain America. Instead, Vermin walks into the path of a squad car. Leaping on the hood of the car, the Vermin smashes through the windshield and throws the police officer in the passenger seat onto the street. There he is swarmed by an army of rats summoned up from the sewers by Vermin. The officer's partner manages to wing Vermin with her gun. However, before the creature can attack it pauses. This is because the other officer reminds him of his mother. Licking her face, Vermin orders his rats back into the sewer and streaks off into the night rain.
Meanwhile, Joe Robertson goes over the newspaper while listening to the evening news. He is disturbed by a knock at the door. It turns out to be Peter Parker's newlywed wife, Mary Jane who has come talk about her husband.[Continuity 6] She is about ready to tell Joe that Peter is really Spider-Man, but decides not to tell him after all. She apologizes for calling so late and promptly leaves. While back at the Kravinoff estate, Kraven torments a rat in a cage with a knife. His fevered mind thinks that there must be one final tests out there to prove that he is superior to Spider-Man, sensing a creature to hunt somewhere in the city. In the sewers below, Vermin looks up to the surface with fear, almost as though he can sense that something dangerous is now stalking him. The creature is correct, as Kraven has decided to go on the hunt that very evening.
Later, dressed in a Spider-Man costume, Kraven tracks down Vermin who is sleeping in the sewers. Seeing what he thinks is his foe Spider-Man, Vermin begins to panic. Kraven mocks Vermin over his last defeat at Spider-Man's hand. The Vermin points out that he had Captain America to help him last time and lunges at the masked man.[Continuity 7] Kraven mocks the Vermin as they battle it out. Vermin savagely lashes out at Kraven, cutting his side and biting his foot. However, Kraven manages to beat the man-monster into unconsciousness. With his foe defeated, Kraven carries Vermin back home with him. Throughout this entire ordeal, spiders have swarmed around the grave where Kraven buried Spider-Man. Suddenly, the wall-crawler's hand bursts out of the dirt, his first thoughts are his wife, Mary Jane.
Appearing in "Resurrection"
- Vermin (Edward Whelan) (Cameo)
- Gwen Stacy (Referenced)
- Uncle Ben (Referenced)
- Aunt May (Referenced)
- Ned Leeds (Vision)
Synopsis for "Resurrection"
In a white void, Peter Parker is tucked into the fetal position. He feels warm and safe. Suddenly, the silence is interrupted by the sudden appearance of Ned Leeds. Remembering who he is, Peter is horrified to see Ned as Leeds is dead.[Continuity 8] Saying this aloud makes Ned realize that he is dead and his body suddenly decomposes into nothingness. Consumed with fear, Peter tries to reclaimed the warm silence of the void. From the darkness, the eyes of Spider-Man stare out at him and tell Peter to get out. Suddenly, he starts thinking of his newly-wed wife Mary Jane.[Continuity 9] Not wanting to leave this comfortable place, he tries to push it out of his mind, but the incoming darkness forces him to accept the real world outside. That many of the people he loved are dead, that he is the immortal spider.[Continuity 10]
Totally embracing his animal nature, Peter then turns into a spider and begins crawling down a tunnel. On the other end, he can see the glowing red eyes and white fangs of creatures seeking to destroy him. Doubting who and what he is, Peter begins to doubt himself as the creature attacks him. Soon, his spider form is mauled to death. However, Peter sees that the spider is nothing more than a coffin trapping him and he needs to get out. Peter pulls himself out of the dead body of the spider, accepting that he is Peter Parker. Getting to his feet, Peter walks toward his attackers. He sees Spider-Man's face again, this time, the mask starts coming off, revealing Kraven the Hunter beneath. Reliving the moment when Kraven shot him over and over again. Each time, Kraven orders him to get out. Peter reaches the end of the tunnel and comes to a dead end. Thinking of his wife, Peter begins to frantically dig his way out. Proclaiming his love to Mary Jane, Peter makes the final push out from the grave that Kraven the Hunter buried him in.
Struggling to his feet in the middle of a raging storm and heads toward Kraven's mansion. He searches around the property and can't find a single soul. In the library, he finds a number of newspapers. The front page stories are about Spider-Man going berserk and Vermin's murder spree. Reading the dates on the papers, Spider-Man is horrified to discover that he had been buried underground for two weeks. This horror turns into rage when he processes the fact that Kraven left him for dead and spent two weeks perverting his identity. Entering Kraven's trophy room, the wall-crawler rips apart everything in sight. Stopping to rest, two of Kraven's aids enter the room. Before they can flee, Spider-Man turns around and lunges at them and demands to know where their master is. The two men are so terrified that they can't speak. Spider-Man drops them and decides to find Kraven by himself and leaps out the window into the storm. Elsewhere, Kraven the Hunter removes his Spider-Man mask, sensing that Spider-Man is free. While in an electrified cage, Vermin is filled with fear and tries to get out. Grabbing the cage, he is jolted back with a powerful blast of electricity.
While at their shared apartment, Mary Jane is up late watching the news. She fears that the man who has been posing as her husband may have killed him. She thinks about her encounter with this imposter, Kraven the Hunter, who saved her from some rapists and is horrified by the whole situation.[Continuity 11] Tossing her remote control to the floor, it is caught in a web. Looking at the window, she sees someone in a Spider-Man costume. When the wall-crawler removes his mask, Mary Jane is so happy to see that it is her husband Peter and the two embrace and crawl into bed together. After their romantic reunion, Peter wakes up from a troubled sleep and decides to go back out looking for Kraven and Vermin. Mary Jane tries to convince him to go back to bed because he needs to recover from his ordeal. Even though Peter wants to stay with her, his sense of responsibility prevents him from resting until the two violent criminals are brought to justice. Mary Jane tries to get her husband to talk about his ordeal, but he refuses to talk about it. He insists that he is going and after briefly holding her hand and putting it on his face and then leaves out the window.
As he swings the city looking for Kraven, his foe senses that he is coming. Suddenly, Spider-Man's spider-sense begins to go off, bringing him right to Kraven.
Appearing in "Thunder"
Synopsis for "Thunder"
This story continues from Web of Spider-Man #32...
With the Vermin his prisoner in an electrified cage, Kraven the Hunter thinks about his mother's descent into madness. In his frenzied mind, he has come to believe his mother was stolen from him by the "spider" that has been haunting him his entire life. His thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Spider-Man who is furious that his old foe buried him alive and usurped his life for two weeks. He strikes Kraven across the face, drawing blood, and his foe only smiles. When Spider-Man tells Kraven how much he is going to hurt Kraven, the villain holds his hands up and tells Spider-Man to strike freely, explaining that he has already won. Pulling off his replica Spider-Man costume, Kraven explains that since he "killed" Spider-Man he as now "become" his most persistent foes. As Kraven continues to strip nude, Spider-Man points out that he didn't actually die. Kraven understands this, saying he could have killed the wall-crawler if he wanted. Putting on his traditional Kraven garb. He then tells Spider-Man to follow him, assuring him that there are no traps waiting for him. The whole time this discussion is occurring, the Vermin tries to break out of his electrified cage, but to no avail.
Spider-Man follows Kraven down into the basement of his mansion where various trophies are kept, including the cage which holds the Vermin. Kraven tells Spider-Man that the man-rat is the "cannibal killer" that has been reported about in the news. The mad hunter then gloats over the fact that he was able to kill this vicious killer, something that both Spider-Man and Captain America failed to do.[Continuity 12] He then tosses a torch into Vermin's cage, the flames frightening him. Vermin becomes even more afraid when he sees Spider-Man. However, the wall-crawler means the tortured creature no harm and uses his webbing to pull the torch out of the cave. Seeing Kraven grinning at him, Spider-Man becomes enraged and tells Kraven to put an end to this madness. Instead, the hunter leaps onto a trophy of an elephant and gives out a triumphant animalistic cry. Spider-Man flips the elephant over sending Kraven crashing to the ground.
When the Hunter gets back on his feet, Kraven reaches out to touch Spider-Man, but the hero swats Kraven's hand away. Amused, Kraven releases Vermin and tells Spider-Man to battle the pitiful creature for his amusement, but the hero refuses. As a result, Kraven taunts the Vermin enough to enrage the man-rat and it attacks Spider-Man instead. Spider-Man tries evading Vermin's slashing attacks, trying to talk sense into the creature, explain Kraven's manipulations, but Vermin believes he is lying. Spider-Man's temper is quickly lost when Vermin manages to slash open the wall-crawlers arm. Furious, he beats into the Vermin trying to explain how Kraven shot him and buried him alive. Realizing what he has done, Spider-Man stops himself and can't bring himself to escalate things any further. Vermin, however, has no such compunctions and lashes into the hero again. However, before the creature can land the killing blow, Kraven whips the creature back and then pins its hand to the wall with a knife. Kraven then tells Vermin that his point has been made and he is free to go. Vermin becomes frightened, pulls the knife out of his hand and scurries away. Weakly, Spider-Man begs Kraven to go after Vermin as he will kill again. However, Kraven decides that he must "help" Spider-Man and carries him back upstairs.
There, Kraven tells Spider-Man that he is free to go, that he knows the wall-crawler will not rest while Vermin is on the loose. Spider-Man is reluctant to leave Kraven to hunt and ruin someone else's life. However, Kraven assures him that after tonight, he will hunt no more. Considering this, Spider-Man warns Kraven that he will be back and leaps out into the storm to hunt down Vermin. As Spider-Man goes, Kraven offers him a silent farewell. Looking at an old family photo, Kraven thinks about how his family fled Russia and how he earned his honor in the jungles. How after years of elusively searching for happiness, Kraven now feels he has finally achieved it. With nothing left to live for, Kraven takes his rifle and places the barrel in his mouth, and pulls the trigger. The recoil from the blast sends Kraven's dead body cartwheeling backward into an open coffin, his blood splatters the framed family photo.[Continuity 13]
This story concludes in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #132...
Appearing in "Ascending"
- New York City Police Department
- Kraven the Hunter (Photo)
- Flash Thompson (Photo)
- Reed Richards (Referenced)
- Baron Zemo (Referenced)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Ascending"
Following his final battle with Kraven the Hunter, Spider-Man goes after Vermin, who escaped during the battle.[Continuity 14] In the sewers below the city, Spider-Man begins to feel claustrophobic and fights off the fear caused by being buried alive recently.[Continuity 15] Crawling through a muck-encrusted pipe, the wall-crawler manages to get into a primary sewer tunnel. He stops to rest when suddenly, a rat bites his finger. Soon a horde of the rodents begins flooding out of the sewer pipes. As Spider-Man struggles to fight off the swarm of pests, Kraven's servants prepare his body for burial on the surface. While at Kraven's home, the police have arrived following an anonymous tip. Their search of the premises uncovers a written confession of Kraven's activities, plus photos proving that he briefly usurped Spider-Man's identity and was responsible for the serious of violent attacks on criminals.
Back in the sewers, the rats have retreated from Spider-Man, who mockingly calls out to Vermin. When the man-monster tires to ambush Spider-Man from behind, his spider-sense warns him of trouble. The creature tries to drown Spider-Man in the fetid water. This reminds Spider-Man of being buried alive and he struggles to break free. Vermin soon loses his prey and fears that his foe will hurt him again. The Vermin's fears are warranted, as Spider-Man has managed to scurry up to the ceiling and webs him up. Spider-Man assures Vermin that he hasn't come to hurt him, and that the man who attacked him earlier was Kraven the Hunter in disguise.[Continuity 16] As he tries to convince the pitiful creature that he is trying to help, Vermin manages to break free from the webbing. Vermin refuses to surrender and cured of his condition, having come to love his current life. During the battle, Spider-Man's claustrophobia gets the better of him and flees in fear, with the Vermin following not far behind.
However, Spider-Man isn't just running out of fear, he also tricks Vermin into following him up to the surface. By this time, the rain storm has finally ended and the sun is rising in the morning sky. Horrified to be on the surface in the day light, the Vermin freezes in the middle of the morning rush hour. However, before the pitiful creature can be run over by a truck, Spider-Man swings by and rescues him. Wrapping the Vermin up with webbing and turns him over to the police. He tells the officers that he is going to get in contact with Mister Fantastic, as he believes that Reed Richards can potentially cure the Vermin of its condition. With the nightmare finally over, Peter returns home to his wife Mary Jane, who is overwhelmed with joy to see that he is alive and well.[Continuity 17] While back at the Kraven estate, Sergei Kravenoff's servants hold a silent ceremony for their master before placing his body into the ground.
- ↑ Spider-Man often got information from Joe Face, as seen in Marvel Team-Up #127.
- ↑ Peter lists off those in his life who have died: His Uncle Ben (Amazing Fantasy #15), George Stacy (Amazing Spider-Man #90), his daughter Gwen (Amazing Spider-Man #121), and Ned Leeds (Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1).
- ↑ Mary Jane refers to herself as a newlywed in this story. She and Peter Parker had just recently been married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. However, years later in Amazing Spider-Man #545 the demon known as Mephisto erased all history of Peter and Mary Jane's marriage. As such reality had been altered so that they were no longer married, but a common-law couple that lives together.
- ↑ Spider-Man and Captain America both battled Vermin together in Marvel Team-Up #128.
- ↑ Kraven appeared to kill Spider-Man in Web of Spider-Man #31.
- ↑ Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife in this story. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erases their marriage from existence in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As a result, Peter and Mary Jane should be considered a common-law couple as opposed to husband and wife here.
- ↑ The Vermin fought both Spider-Man and Captain America in Marvel Team-Up #128.
- ↑ Ned Leeds was murdered in Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1.
- ↑ Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. They had just recently got married in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erased their marriage from existence in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such, they should be considered a common-law couple here, as opposed to husband and wife.
- ↑ Among the people that Peter lists as being dead are: His Uncle Ben (Amazing Fantasy #15), Ned Leeds (Spider-Man Versus Wolverine #1), and Gwen Stacy (Amazing Spider-Man #121).
- ↑ Mary Jane was almost raped by a gang of men in Amazing Spider-Man #293, only to be saved by Kraven.
- ↑ Spider-Man and Captain America last fought the Vermin in Marvel Team-Up #128.
- ↑ Although Kraven dies here, he is later resurrected by his family in Amazing Spider-Man #635
- ↑ Kraven the Hunter committed suicide in Amazing Spider-Man #294.
- ↑ Spider-Man was buried alive by Kraven in Web of Spider-Man #31. The hero broke free in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #131.
- ↑ Kraven, posing as Spider-Man, beat Vermin unconscious in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #131.
- ↑ Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife in this story. However, years later, the demon Mephisto erased their marriage from existence. As such, they should be considered a common-law couple as opposed to husband and wife here.
"Fearful Symmetry" is an image taken from William Blake's 1794 poem " The Tyger".
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- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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