Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is geared to swing onto PS5 in October, with a story that kicks off with Peter Parker using the corrupting power of the Venom Symbiote to take on the murderous villain Kraven the Hunter. And September 6's Amazing Spider-Man #33 feels like a perfect appetizer for the video game, with a brutally badass story of a savage Spider-Man turning Kraven the Hunter into Kraven the Hunted.
The issue, by writer Zeb Wells, artist Patrick Gleason, colorist Marcio Menyz, and letterer Joe Caramagna is a spiritual sequel to the classic Spider-Man story 'Kraven's Last Hunt,' with the added twist that, this time, it's Spider-Man doing the hunting and Kraven on the run as his prey.
Spoilers ahead for Amazing Spider-Man #33
The story picks up where Amazing Spider-Man #32 left off, with Peter Parker having been cursed with the sins of Norman Osborn by Kraven, who was attempting to bring out Osborn's currently dormant Green Goblin side through a magical ritual. However, Kraven accidentally brought out Spider-Man's dark side instead, sending Peter spiraling into anger and violence.
Donning his notorious black costume (which Spidey usually only wears when he's seriously pissed off), Peter hunts down Kraven, injecting him with a serum that turns his sweat into a pheromone that attracts the Vermin, a group of mutated rat people living in the New York City sewers.
In a beat that reflects 'Kraven's Last Hunt,' Peter allows the Vermin to shred Kraven within an inch of his life, tying him up at the last second and throwing him in a coffin - again, just like Kraven did to Peter in the landmark story.
In a particularly cold moment, Peter throws Kraven's hunting rifle into the casket just before he closes it, telling Kraven (in this case the son of the original, who was the villain of 'Kraven's Last Hunt') it's there "in case you want to skip to the end," referring to the original story in which Kraven took his own life.
And with that, Peter closes the lid, and buries the injured and defeated Kraven alive.
Now, we're not suggesting that Amazing Spider-Man #33 is directly connected to Marvel's Spider-Man 2 - it's a spiritual follow-up to the classic 'Kraven's Last Hunt' story, and it revolves around the redemption of Norman Osborn, which is one of the title's current main subplots.
But for fans who are excited by the premise of Marvel's Spider-Man 2, which features Peter Parker wearing his Symbiote costume and using its enhanced powers to fight Kraven, while also battling against the emergence of his own dark side, it's a solid preview of the dynamic of the game.
Of course, in Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Peter manages to shed his Symbiote costume, which will go on to become a brand new version of Venom not previously seen in comics. However, in the Amazing Spider-Man comic, it seems that the wild card in the current story will be Norman Osborn, as Marvel has seemingly been foreshadowing his return to his Green Goblin persona.
Amazing Spider-Man #34 goes on sale September 20.
Kraven the Hunter, Norman Osborn, and Venom are all on the list of the best Spider-Man villains ever.