Writer: Nick Spencer
Art Team: Huberto Ramos, Victor Olazaba, Edgar Delgado, VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: March 13, 2019
Cover Price: $4.99
Another week, another issue of the Amazing Spider-Man Hunted event, this time we officially begin the story line for real. No more preludes, no more tie-in’s (for now), just the Real Deal Holyfield to lead the way for what we’re about to get into. So does this issue change my mind, finally getting me to buy into whats going on currently in the pages of the Hunted, or do I remain befuddled by a story with plenty of motivations (maybe too many), but little focus? Lets discuss.
The issue begins with a bit of recap catching anyone up on the status of Black Cat, Lizard Boy, and Spider-Man from issues #16 and #16.HU. Eventually we get to Kraven revealing himself to his new prisoners, Black Cat and Lizard Boy, who seem to be kept away from everyone else for now in a fancy hotel and not cryo-chambers, as Kraven hints at his plans at play to his unwilling guests.
Then we finally get a bit of extended time with a horribly sick Spider-Man, swinging in rainy New York City, making his whole health situation even worse. Eventually Spidey tracks his Spider-Tracer to the location Black Cat was captured, but is actually lured into a hallucinogenic gas trap by Kraven’s son, who makes quick work of Spidey in the current state he finds himself in. Some of this fight is inter-cut with scenes of Arcade and Kraven kicking their plan into high gear, now that Kraven Jr. gets the Spider into position, and off we go.
At this point we’re roughly three quarters of the way through this issue, three issues into this ‘mini-event’, and while some good time is spent with Kraven throughout this series so far, his plan to me is still murky at best, and seems to maybe change from issue to issue, with a lot of different wheels in motion. I’m struggling to make sense of his true purpose here. Maybe I’m a dummy and I just don’t get it, or am thinking too much about it, but I’m not sure how any of them connect yet.
From here Spider-Man wakes up in his black suit, under the now laser domed park, surrounded by a gaggle of all his to familiar villains who wish him harm. There’s a few quick blows exchanged quickly when they initially think Spidey is responsible, but its all quickly broken up by what look to be Kraven androids? This being another new piece to add to the puzzle we’re struggling to put together as well.
I really love Ramos, Olazaba, and Delgado’s art touch to this issue, and if I can’t have Ryan Ottley currently penciling the title, I’m glad they’re here to fill the void in his absence. I really dig these character designs, and although I do understand some of the complaints I hear from people who aren’t fans of this style, the longer , lanky look for the character and Spider-Man book in general always works for me, especially in the costume.
Overall I find the Hunted to be on the brink of being very interesting, but the book is struggling to find a true focus in my eyes, to make the story feel as epic as the creative team wants us to believe. Sure Kraven has his reasons but, its odd they continue to be different every single issue, moving everything we setup previously behind shifting to something new we then haven’t. It’s good but not something I’m rushing to recommend it to anyone just yet.