The bloody, mistaken identity of Spider-ManPosted: 11/25/2013
To make up for the delay of today’s article, I promise it’ll be super long. I’ll combine two articles into one and resume normal schedule on Wednesday. Thanks! I love you guys and girls.
Instead a lengthy introduction (which I’ll still do), let’s pick up as the two best friends Spider-Man and Daredevil hang out/club criminals:
Today, I hope you enjoy Amazing Spider-Man #565-567, written by Marc Guggenheim and drawn by Phil Jimenez. We’re sitting in the perfect late-2000s Spider-Man. His marriage has been freshly dissolved by devil fistbumps, and he still struggles to maintain a successful (and financially stable) personal life now without a supermodel waiting at home to ease his major emotional baggage. I know dear Peter Parker makes jokes in costume, but y’know — tears of a clown and whatnot. Though a little less than a hundred issues after this (and they pump out a new issue every other hour, so it’s like two years of real time), he finally gets that fancy job and beautiful girlfriend he so badly deserves. I mean, until he dies a few dozen issues later.
Anyway, Spider-Man currently faces another problem all too familiar and wildly annoying: a Kravinoff.
Comic book rule: if a supervillain’s offspring shows his or her face in comics, there’s a 100% chance he or she is either horrifically emotionally or mentally damaged. Most likely both. Seriously, think of supervillain children: Harry Osborn, Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver, Sin, Cassandra Cain, Jericho/Ravager, Talia al Ghul, etc. And now meet Ana Kravinoff, the lovely daughter of Kraven the Hunter. And like hunting lions in the African savannahs, first you have to weaken it by forcing the lion into unemployment. Then ruining its lion roommate’s life. Finally drag the lion deep into those African sewers for a fun game of run-or-be-speared. Probably. I’m not really much of a hunter.
Speaking of Spider-Man’s roommate, you should learn about Vin Gonzales — a NYPD cop, all around good dude, and with a horrible hand dealt by the oozing aura of Parker’s awful luck.
I think you may have a vague idea of where this is going. The dark lighting and article title pretty much give away Kraven Jr.’s mistake.
Cool eye makeup, right? It doesn’t do much for camouflage, but I figure that matters little when she can just cut out the heart of anyone who gets too close. For reference, Vin has no idea Parker’s Spider-Man. And he’s also wearing Parker’s only outfit. Our hero can’t fight crime in street clothes — Luke Cage already claimed that costume. Though remember in Ultimate Spider-Man when Venom battled Parker in a hoodie in the rain on his school’s football field? That was a great arc.
I know there’s a grammatical error in that last panel. It bothers me too. More importantly, the Daredevil costume looks strange with eyes — and it took me years of reading comics before I even realized Daredevil’s outfit doesn’t include eyeholes. But even as Spider-Daredevil rushes to save his roommate, poor baby Kraven keeps making mistakes. Y’see, New York City includes hundreds of superheroes and supervillains who scurry over every block of the city. Including underground. Like this nasty fellow:
I agree that “interloper” and “defiler” are big words for a giant rat man. Vermin shows up every once in a while when superheroes traverse sewers. Mole people too. Occasionally the Lizard. Luckily, he also provides enough time for Spider-Daredevil to receive information necessary to save poor Vin’s life. And unlike Batman, Spider-Daredevil uses kindness — a far more effective weapon than concussing thugs on rooftop ledges.
MGH gives its user superpowers for a brief amount of time. The same stuff that lil’ Kraven injected Vin with and the same stuff that definitely flows in Ana Kravinoff’s evil veins. Also, with Vermin an established part of Spider-Man’s rogue gallery, we shouldn’t allow our antagonist as the only one who gets to rumble with the huge talking rat.
To up the embarrassment for Vermin, did you know Ana Kravinoff’s only about twelve years old? I’m serious. The very last page of this arc (which I skip) lists her birth date as 1996, making her twelve when this story came out. I know she looks like an adult, but kids hit puberty more quickly when they spend their childhoods killing elephants with their bare hands. We shouldn’t sweat the details — Parker has been in his late twenties for like four decades by now.
Baby Kraven’s game has simple rules. Spider-Man runs around the sewers until she impales him. It’s a hunt! Though despite Vin being just a normal cop (usually cannon fodder to showcase supervillains), he still gets his moment. His very brief moment.
Remember, Spider-Daredevil just kicked a preteen in the face. While Parker’s a fantastic fighter, he relies mostly on his speed and spider sense and not really any formal training, which is all Kraven Jr. has. That and a full dose of MGH, I guess.
The full extent of Ana Kravinoff’s superpowers sort of rely on the writer’s wishes. Essentially, MGH serves as comic book technology, which like comic book magic, has potentially no limits to what it can do. Honestly, I’m making the assumption she shot herself up based solely on her matching Spider-Man’s superhuman agility. She could just be simply the world’s most sober and impressive seventh grader. Either way, the fight rages on. Our dynamic duo’ll need some assistance from man’s best sewer friend.
Happy ending for all! Except lil’ Kraven mauled by a human rat, but she totally survives to stalk another day. Still, the next scene (and one necessary to prevent a cop’s natural inclination to question oddities), sets up Vin’s destiny and his eventual fall from grace. But more on that Wednesday.
To be fair, that was a pretty terrible explanation by Spider-Man, but at least the curious stench has faded from Vin Gonzales’ mind. The anger and frustration, though? Oh, that never goes away.