Writer: Nick Spencer
Art Team: Iban Coello, Edgar Delgado, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: March 6, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Nick Spencer has used Kraven as a cliffhanger since the beginning of his run on this series. Then came the big setup last issue giving us a full background on Kraven and his motivations for this Hunted story-line. Now we continue that story, in these HU tie-in issues, with the first taking a focus on Black Cat now. So lets discuss just exactly what shes up too here, and see if we get any more Spider-Man this issue than we did last issue. Lets get into it.
Good news, bad news situation here Spider-Man fans. Spidey does play a larger role in this story than just popping up in the after thought backup’s, however is still just largely a background character in this Hunted story-line so far, with Black Cat’s past and current predicament taking center stage. I understand Spider-Man will be pulled into these events based on the location they’re occurring, and the people being pulled in around him, but as it is currently it feels this story seems like it could have been published much like Spider-Geddon to its benefit. If Peter’s involvement was going to be so minimal I would have preferred this to be told in a separate Kraven: Hunted title. Even the length of this series is beginning to near the Spider-Geddon in size with the addition of these .HU, and now epilogue issues, it just a thought, but with the title character taking up so little page space so far one I’d prefer.
Anyway enough of me ranting how sick I am of Spider events, we get glimpses of Black Cat’s past inter-cut with what shes currently doing, which is meeting with and being setup by Hammerhead, her former cohort in crime when she went by ‘the Queenpin’ (cringe worthy term I know). He gives her the lowdown on Owlsley, promising if Cat does him this solid all will be even, considering Cat left Hammerhead high and dry when she went ‘clean’ again. It’s all pretty predictable if you’ve ever digested any sort of mob media in the past and plays out that way too.
Needless to say this all leads to Black Cat’s capture at the hands of Taskmaster and Black Aunt, for Kraven, via the assist from Hammerhead, who then gets a few digs in on Black Cat to let her know who’s boss now. Really that’s about it for this issue, and unless you’ve been really disconnected from the Spider-Man universe the last few years, there is nothing new here to really move our story forward. Sure the call outs to continuity past continue to be done well enough, but the cliffhanger here is the same it was for issue 16, which really takes the wind out of this issues sales if you ask me, with Peter in the same spot he was previously. Even Kraven, in what feels like his own event, is absent from this issue which just gives this whole Hunted thing a weird focus at this point two issues in.
Overall for the start of a mini event within the Amazing Spider-Man title, two issues into this Hunted story-line, the book has lacked anything really for our title character to do. Sure we’ve covered Kraven and his past, as well as Black Cat and her past, but Spider-man still has no idea what is even really going on here, and has no reason to really be involved other than coincidence. This just all feels poorly setup, especially for a villain we’ve seen half a dozen times already, prior to this whole thing beginning. The art continues to carry this book, providing bored longtime Spider readers with the only bit of content they’re not familiar with this issue. Here’s hoping Spider-Man has a bigger role in issue seventeen because right now he’s a sideline character in his own title and I’m losing interest more and more in the Hunted.