Kraven the Hunter
|Kraven the Hunter|
Kraven the Hunter on the cover of Venom #157 (January 2018). Art by Mark Bagley.
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #15 (August 1964)|
|Created by||Stan Lee|
|Alter ego||Sergei Nikolaevich Kravinoff|
|Place of origin||Volgograd, Russia|
|Team affiliations||Sinister Six|
Army of Evil
|Notable aliases||Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, The Unhuntable Sergei|
Kraven the Hunter (Sergei Kravinoff) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 (August 1964) as an adversary to the superhero Spider-Man, he has since endured as one of web-slinger's most common foes, and is part of the collective of adversaries that make up Spider-Man's rogues' gallery. However, the character has also been depicted as an antihero, and an ally of Squirrel Girl. In the comics, Kraven is a renowned big-game hunter who aims to kill Spider-Man to prove himself as the world's greatest hunter, but maintains a code of honor and justice, treating his adversaries as equals. He is also the half-brother of the Chameleon, and one of the founding members of the supervillain team, the Sinister Six.
The character has appeared in numerous Spider-Man adaptations, including animated series and video games. He is widely regarded as one of the most formidable enemies among his rogues. The character gained considerable attention from the story "Kraven's Last Hunt". In 2009, Kraven was ranked as IGN's 53rd greatest comic book villain of all time.
The character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 (August 1964), and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko. Though he would occasionally appear in other characters' titles, he was most frequently used as a Spider-Man foe. He is killed off in the acclaimed 1987 storyline by J. M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck, and Bob McLeod, "Kraven's Last Hunt". Although generally considered to be the definitive Kraven the Hunter story, the story originally had a completely different character in Kraven's role. Writer DeMatteis recounted:
As I was getting ready to work on the story, I was sitting in my office and looking through a Marvel Universe Handbook and came across the entry for Kraven the Hunter. To this day, I don't know if this was something that was established in continuity, or if whoever was writing the Handbook entry made it up, but they mentioned that Kraven was Russian. For me, a total Dostoyevsky fanatic, the idea that Kraven was Russian and had the same tortured, Russian soul that the great Dostoyevsky characters had, unlocked this door in my head and suddenly I had a new understanding of this character. I thought about Kraven and the forces that had driven him to be who and what he was. This was a character I had never had any interest in whatsoever. I always thought he was one of the stupidest Spider-Man villains ever, but suddenly I had this whole new take on the character.
Despite Kraven the Hunter being one of Spider-Man's most long-standing archenemies, DeMatteis claims that none of Marvel's editorial staff objected to the proposal to have him killed in the story. Kraven later returns as a ghost in the graphic novel The Amazing Spider-Man: Soul of the Hunter, also by DeMatteis, Zeck, and McLeod. DeMatteis also wrote "Kraven's First Hunt" for The Sensational Spider-Man Annual '96, a retelling of The Amazing Spider-Man #15 which incorporated several DeMatteis retcons, such as that Kraven was abusive towards the Chameleon.
Fictional character biography
Kraven's real name is Sergei Kravinoff. He is a Soviet immigrant, the son of an aristocrat who fled to the United States with his family in 1917 after the Russian nobility was decimated by the February Revolution and subsequent collapse of the reign of Tsar Nicholas II.
Kraven is a maniacal big game hunter who seeks to defeat Spider-Man to prove that he is the greatest hunter in the world. Unlike other hunters, he typically disdains the use of guns or bow and arrows, preferring to take down large dangerous animals with his bare hands. He also lives by a code of honor of sorts, choosing to hunt his game fairly. He consumes a mystical serum to give himself enhanced strength and dramatically slow the aging process. Kraven was trained as a hunter largely by a mysterious man named Gregor, a mercenary who once battled Ka-Zar. Kraven was at one point lover of the voodoo priestess Calypso.
He is contacted by his half-brother Chameleon to defeat Spider-Man. He leads Spider-Man to Central Park with the help of Chameleon, who disguises himself as Kraven to use himself as a decoy while the real Kraven ambushes the hero. However, despite Kraven having weakened Spider-Man with a poisonous dart, Spider-Man prevails in the end. Spider-Man proves a frustrating quarry because Kraven continually underestimates the superhero's resourcefulness.
Kraven becomes a founding member of the Sinister Six when he accepts Doctor Octopus's offer to form a team to fight Spider-Man where they capture Aunt May and Betty Brant. He attacks Spider-Man in Central Park with three tigers. Spider-Man easily fights off the attackers and secures the next clue to where Aunt May and Betty Brant are being held. After Aunt May and Betty Brant are rescued, Kraven the Hunter and the rest of the Sinister Six are arrested by the police.
While in the Savage Land, Kraven the Hunter found Gog in a spaceship that he stumbles upon. Realizing how useful Gog can be, Kraven the Hunter decides to use him in a plot to conquer the Savage Land. After kidnapping the visiting Gwen Stacy from a camp in the Savage Land, Kraven and Gog battle the heroes Ka-Zar and Spider-Man. While Ka-Zar deals with Kraven, Spider-Man defeats Gog by luring him into a patch of quicksand which he sinks to the bottom of.
Determined to end his life as he becomes older, frustrated with his failing health and continuing failure to defeat Spider-Man, Kraven sets out a final hunt for Spider-Man. After capturing Spider-Man, he shoots him with a coma-inducing drug and buries him alive on his estate. To complete his victory, he attempts to become Spider-Man's clear superior by impersonating him in a brutal vigilante campaign and capturing Vermin, the one foe Spider-Man had never been able to defeat on his own (Spider-Man's last battle with Vermin required Captain America's assistance).
After Spider-Man emerges from his grave two weeks later, Kraven explains his actions to him and sets Vermin free, reaffirming to Kraven that his foe is an honorable man. Spider-Man goes after Vermin to prevent his killing again, giving Kraven the opportunity to leave a final confession of his crimes against Spider-Man and then commit suicide. Because of his suicide, his soul is unable to find rest until Spider-Man confronts his risen corpse on Kraven's behalf.
Kraven is resurrected from the dead by Sasha Kravinoff and the Kraven family with a ritual using the blood of Spider-Man. He is shown to now be explosively psychopathic and cold towards his family, beating his son Vladimir and daughter Ana and expressing little attention towards his wife. After being stabbed by his daughter Ana, Sergei recovers stating that Sasha restored him with corrupted blood which he calls "unlife". They pull off the mask of the corpse of Spider-Man hung in their mantel and discover that Kaine is in Spider-Man's costume. Spider-Man, in his black suit, confronts Kraven and the rest of the Kravinoff Family. Spider-Man is tempted to kill Kraven, but he refuses to do so when he is reminded by Julia Carpenter (who has inherited the powers of Madame Web after her death) that committing murder is not in his moral code. Following their defeat by Spider-Man, Kraven and his family escape to the Savage Land. While there, Kraven brutally kills Sasha (who complained that Kraven would have to hunt them to prove their place in the Kravinoff family) and euthanizes Vladimir. Alyosha flees in disgust of what his dad did to his stepmom and half-brother afterwards. Kraven and Ana discuss rebuilding the Kravinoff family, which leads to Ana running off to hunt Alyosha to prove herself worthy to Kraven and rebuild the Kravinoff family.
It was later revealed that back in the 1950s, Kraven the Hunter was a member of Nick Fury's Avengers alongside Dominic Fortune I, Dum Dum Dugan, Namora, Silver Sable, Sabretooth, and Ulysses Bloodstone, tracking a stolen version of the Super-Soldier Serum combined with the Infinity Formula that had been stolen by a group of Nazis attempting to create their own Captain America.
While he is in the Savage Land, Agent Venom lands in the area on an unrelated mission from the federal government. Mistaking him to be Spider-Man, Kraven attacks him and gains the upper hand before Venom escapes.
At one point, Kraven is contacted by a doctor who once treated him when a past hunt went wrong, the doctor requesting that Kraven track down a recent patient of hers- who had been used as a test subject to duplicate another man's electrical abilities — as well as asking that he capture the Black Panther — currently acting as a 'local' vigilante to regain his sense of self after the destruction of Wakanda's vibranium- in return for her help finding a way for him to die. With the aid of Storm, T'Challa is able to stay ahead of Kraven long enough to convince him that the doctor had lied about being able to kill him, Kraven agreeing to leave T'Challa alone and take the doctor's mutated animal subjects back with him into the wild.
When their identities became fractured after a temporary separation, the Hulk discovers that Bruce Banner had hired Kraven to find the lost city of Sasquatches. Although Hulk was uninterested with helping the Sasquatches deal with Kraven, he changes his mind and beats up Kraven.
Kaine in the alias of Scarlet Spider later encountered Kraven the Hunter who was dressed as Scarlet Spider in order to torment him. With the help of Ana, Kraven kidnapped Kaine's friends in order to motivate the Scarlet Spider to fight him. In the end, Kaine delivered Kraven a fatal blow in the chest, which paralyzed his heart. But using the same attack, Kaine brought him back to life supposedly still breaking the curse. Following the fight, both Kravens disappeared.
Kraven, still claiming to be cursed, next battles Squirrel Girl at Empire State University, having earned her ire by lashing out at the local squirrels, including Tippy-Toe. Kraven departs when Squirrel Girl informs him of the existence of sea monsters like Giganto and challenges him to hunt them, instead of limiting himself to going after the same prey he did prior to his resurrection. He later returns to abduct Howard the Duck, but gets trapped with Howard and Squirrel Girl in a manhunt as the hunted. After surviving, he vows to only "hunt the hunters".
During the "Avengers: Standoff!" storyline, Kraven the Hunter was an inmate of Pleasant Hill, a gated community established by S.H.I.E.L.D. who used Kobik's abilities to turn Kraven the Hunter into a zookeeper. He rallied some of his fellow inmates to help him find Kobik and bring her to Baron Helmut Zemo.
During the "Opening Salvo" part of the "Secret Empire" storyline, Kraven the Hunter is recruited by Baron Helmut Zemo to join the Army of Evil. At the time when Manhattan was surrounded by a Darkforce Dome, Kraven the Hunter raided the Daily Bugle in order to find information to the identity of Spider-Man. Knowing that J. Jonah Jameson would be in danger, Phil Sheldon's daughter Jennie headed to J. Jonah Jameson's house to warn him. After Kraven the Hunter attacked J. Jonah Jameson, Jennie Sheldon fired a signal flare into the sky. This attracted the attention of Spider-Woman who defeated Kraven the Hunter. Jennie Sheldon even took pictures of the fight.
At the time when Venom encountered some Dinosaur People in the sewers, Kraven the Hunter followed Venom and killed an Ankylosaurus-type Dinosaur Person before engaging Venom in battle. He was fended off by Venom who vowed to fight Venom again. Upon the news of Dinosaur People being found beneath the streets of New York City, Mayor Wilson Fisk and NYPD Commissioner Chris Rafferty appointed Kraven the Hunter to lead a SWAT Team into the sewers and eliminate them. When Venom deactivated each trap and confronted Kraven, Venom was caught off-guard when Kraven the Hunter revealed his secret ally Shriek who used her attacks on Venom and then collapsed the ceiling over him. Shriek then tells Kraven the Hunter that she can have Eddie Brock's head after the mission is done. As the Dinosaur People feed on the rats that enter their lair, Kraven the Hunter sneaks up on some Dinosaur People and kills them. Venom catches up to Kraven the Hunter and fights him and Shriek. With help from Tana, Venom stated that the Dinosaur People weren't killing anybody and that they are only surviving underground. Kraven the Hunter and Shriek are arrested by the NYPD as the captain stated that he never liked Kraven the Hunter anyway.
Kraven the Hunter was hired by the evil organization Rampart to lure Captain America to them. After a brief struggle with Kraven the Hunter, Captain America was frozen in ice by Rampart's freeze cannon.
Squirrel Girl has helped Kraven reform, teaming up with him to fight other villains, even establishing a friendship with him. She helps Kraven realize that Spider-Man is not even close to the most dangerous prey in the Marvel Universe.
In a prelude to "Hunted", Kraven the Hunter reminisces about how Sasha, Vladimir, and Alyosha were killed by him and Ana for not living up to his legacy. After cutting a deal with the High Evolutionary, Kraven the Hunter has 87 clones of him created, trained as the Sons of Kraven, and sent out to prove themselves by being hunted by each other. This motif caused Ana to leave him. The one that hunted and killed the other Sons of Kraven was labeled as the Last Son of Kraven. With help from Taskmaster, Black Ant, and Arcade, Kraven the Hunter starts hunting various animal-themed characters like Beetle, Kangaroo, Owl, Puma, the Serpent Society, Squid, and White Rabbit. In the case of King Cobra, Rhino, Scorpion, Stegron, Tarantula, and Vulture, they were grouped together as the Savage Six. While making the final preparations for the "Great Hunt," Kraven the Hunter recaps on his own immortality when it was revealed that the Kraven the Hunter that was stabbed by Scarlet Spider was actually a clone. Kraven the Hunter sends Last Son of Kraven to capture Spider-Man for the Great Hunt. After a Hunter-Bot created by Arcade Industries is demonstrated on Iguana, Kraven the Hunter and Arcade being the Great Hunt where Central Park is surrounded by a dome that is from the same technology as the Planetary Defense System. It is revealed that the moment the individual connects to the Hunter-Bot and if is destroyed, then the individual is killed which is what happens when Vulture destroys Bob's Hunter-Bot. Kraven the Hunter plans this from the beginning to punish the hunters for killing animals for sport. Kraven the Hunter has Arcade tell Vulture that there is a chance to break the forcefield by killing more Hunter-Bots. During a fight between the Hunter-Bots and the animal-themed characters, Kraven the Hunter's secret motive is to force Spider-Man into killing him again so that he can be free from his dreadful curse. He does this by trapping Curt Connors when he tries to rescue his son Billy. Spider-Man was forced to "kill" Curt by tearing out the implant chip that prevented Curt hurting humans as the Lizard despite the risk that taking out the chip would kill Curt. After Spider-Man found the dead bodies of the guards that were killed when Lizard escaped, he was confronted by Kraven the Hunter. During their fight, Spider-Man figured out that Kraven the Hunter was the one who killed the guards to frame Lizard as the wounds are too precise for the Lizard's feral claws. In order to guilt Spider-Man into becoming a hunter, Kraven the Hunter attempts to force Spider-Man to watch Lizard save Billy and Black Cat from Last Son of Kraven, but Spider-Man rejects the idea that this can only be accomplished through violence. Upon realizing that he was the beast that he was wanting to kill all along, Kraven the Hunter released all the surviving animal-themed characters and sends Spider-Man to protect Mary Jane. Kraven the Hunter then dons a copy of Spider-Man's black suit to act like him once more. When Last Son of Kraven was conned into strangling Kraven the Hunter to death, he soon realized that he was fooled when he sees Spider-Man swinging away. His funeral is later attended by Last Son of Kraven. Chameleon is revealed to be one of the attendees as he is pleased that Kraven the Hunter spared him from the Great Hunt. As he walks away, Chameleon quotes to his dead half-brother to sleep well and states "You needn't worry. The world is no longer your burden. Besides, there won't be much of it left soon... Not by the time I've finished".
Powers and abilities
By regularly ingesting the potion made from various unnamed jungle herbs, Kraven grants himself superhuman physical abilities making him a physical threat to Spider-Man, though these powers are not as developed as those possessed by Spider-Man. Kraven's body is also more durable and more resistant to certain forms of injury than the body of a normal human. He can withstand great impact forces, such as falling from several stories or being repeatedly struck by a superhumanly strong opponent, that would severely injure or kill a normal human, with little to no injury to himself. The effects of the potion have dramatically altered Kraven's aging process to the point that he has aged little, if at all, over several decades. Despite being over 70 years of age, he has the physical appearance of a 30-year-old man.
The potion enhances Kraven's sight, hearing, and smell to superhuman levels, adding to his already impressive tracking skills. He can see farther, and with much greater clarity, than a normal human. His hearing is similarly enhanced, enabling him to detect sounds which an ordinary human cannot, or sounds that a normal human could detect, but at much greater distances. Kraven can use his sense of smell to track a target by scent, much as some animals do, even if the scent has been somewhat eroded by natural factors.
Even without his superhuman powers, Kraven is an Olympic-level athlete, and a gifted tactician, hunter and hand-to-hand combatant. He also has great knowledge of pressure points, both in the anatomy of humans and in many animals. He can strike at these nerve clusters with pinpoint accuracy, allowing him to incapacitate more-powerful opponents or animals. He is familiar with many exotic poisons and tranquilizers, which he often uses during his hunts.
Due to a flaw in the ceremony that resurrected him, Kraven was given "the unlife... the eternal curse", as he discovered when his daughter stabbed him through the heart. According to Kraven, he can now only die by Spider-Man's hand. However, this curse was apparently broken when Kaine temporarily killed Kraven by stopping his heart and then restarting it with the same move.
Kraven the Hunter had children who were following in his footsteps:
- Vladimir Kravinoff took up the name "Grim Hunter" and decided to hunt down Spider-Man and several of his foes. During the fight with Spider-Man, he is murdered by an insane clone of Spider-Man named Kaine. Sasha Kravinoff later sacrifices Mattie Franklin as part of a ritual that revives Vladimir in a humanoid lion form during the Grim Hunt storyline. Sasha later stated to Kraven that Vladimir's appearance was the result of a test revival ritual to see if she can bring him back to life. Vladimir was euthanized by Kraven (which he does due to "respect for the dead") in the Savage Land at the conclusion of The Grim Hunt arc.
- Some time after the death of Vladimir, his half brother and mutant, Alyosha Kravinoff, becomes the second Kraven. Ana Kravinoff later killed him to prove herself to her father after Kraven euthanized Vladimir.
- There was a third son named Nedrocci "Ned" Tannengarden who tries to kill Alyosha, but he was murdered by the Chameleon (who during that time believed himself to be the original Kraven the Hunter).
- It was revealed during 2009's X-Men/Spider-Man crossover that years earlier, Kraven made a deal with Mister Sinister. He and the Blob tracked down the X-Men, and they fought the united forces of Spider-Man and the original X-Men. Kraven fled after a short battle, but not before wounding each member of the X-Men. Kraven returned to Sinister, with genetic samples from Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel, and Beast. Furthermore, Sinister requested from Kraven a sample of his DNA. Mister Sinister later cut a deal with Carnage in order to obtain a sample of the Carnage Symbiote. After removing the sentience from the Carnage symbiote sample, Mister Sinister combined it with the DNA of the original X-Men and Kraven the Hunter where he will use this creation on a later date. Years later after the death of Kraven, an ex-Morlock who had kept his powers post M-Day named Joe Buggs was murdered by a mysterious mutant hunter. His friend Ed (who had lost his powers) went to the X-Men for help. He claimed that the man who killed Buggs was Kraven the Hunter. Although they were skeptical about Kraven's apparent resurrection, the X-Men called on the help of Spider-Man, who had battled Kraven many times over the years. After discussing the battle that they had with Kraven years ago and the fact that he had given samples of the X-Men's DNA to Sinister for cloning, the lights went out on the wing where they were located. The hunter attacked and quickly dispatched Colossus but was held at bay by Spider-Man's webbing. He broke free claiming his name is Xraven. The X-Men quickly realize that Xraven has all of the powers of the original X-Men while also sporting claws, big feet, and wings that have a very flexible skeletal structure enabling him to press them to the back of his torso and legs with only the slightest bulge visible under his clothing. He was able to defeat Cyclops and Shadowcat, holding her hostage, giving the ultimatum that he would kill her if they did not surrender. Spider-Man insulted Xraven, claiming that Kraven would never threaten a helpless girl. Xraven was momentarily fazed by his comment, but attacked again, claiming that he is the "favored one". Cyclops realizes Xraven's weakness and tells him that Mister Sinister sees him as nothing but a pawn. He tells Xraven to read his mind, in order for him to see the kind of a man Sinister really is. After Xraven sees Cyclops's memories, he flees but the X-Men become aware of the fact that he was able to get DNA samples from Shadowcat, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Wolverine. Returning to Mister Sinister with the samples, Mister Sinister tells him that he planned to clone a new generation of mutants, and that he would unite all mutantkind. After seeing what Sinister's real intentions were in Cyclops's memories, Xraven destroys the samples, claiming that Mister Sinister would breed slaves as opposed to warriors, and Xraven attacks him. Although it is clear that Mister Sinister survived his confrontation with Xraven, it is currently unknown whether Xraven survived. Upon researching Xraven, Captain America doesn't consider him evil. He states that Xraven must be brought in partly because of the murder he committed and partly to prevent the Kravinoff family from obtaining him.
- Kraven's wife Sasha Kravinoff and his daughter Ana were part of a Gauntlet on Spider-Man's life causing chaos and weakening the web crusader prior to the events that lead to resurrecting Kraven from the grave.
- The Last Son of Kraven was one of the many "Sons of Kraven" that was cloned from Kraven the Hunter's DNA by High Evolutionary. He hunted his fellow clones and returned to Kraven the Hunter where he proved himself by presenting him with the skulls of his fellow clones. Kraven the Hunter sent Last Son of Kraven to subdue and capture Spider-Man for the upcoming Great Hunt that is sponsored by Arcade's company Arcade Industries. Last Son of Kraven later chased after Black Cat. Kraven the Hunter donned the Black Spider-Man suit where he tricked Last Son of Kraven into killing him. After attending his funeral of his "father," Last Son of Kraven went to the Kravinoff estate, rips off his clothes, and trashed it out of frustration. After calming down and drinking some wine, Last Son of Kraven found a letter written to him by his "father" behind Kraven the Hunter's rifle on the wall. The letter from Kraven the Hunter stated that Last Son of Kraven was to finally inherit his legacy not as Kraven's son, but as the man himself since he was cloned from his DNA. Last Son of Kraven read on the letter "You were forged in fire, born in blood. My spirit made flesh. More than my child—you are me, and I am you. One and the same now." This led to Last Son of Kraven taking on the aliases of Sergei Kravinoff and Kraven the Hunter where he cuts his hair, wipes off his tiger stripes, and dons a copy of Kraven the Hunter's outfit.
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows
The dimension's Kraven, known as Karnov is a member of the Sinister Sextet, the dimension's Sinister Six. In addition to being a hunter, Karnov is also a butcher. The Web Warriors (an alternate versions of Spider-Man) visited the 1602 Universe to deal with the Sinister Sextet and apprehended the villains.
In Marvel Noir, Kraven is depicted as a former animal trainer in a circus that was taken by Norman Osborn, a mob boss known as "The Goblin", as one of his hitmen and collectors. He was killed when a mass of man-eating spiders covered his body and started eating him during Spider-Man's fight with Osborn. His final act was to kill Osborn when his mangled spider-ridden corpse lands on him thus spreading the mini man-eaters.
Kraven is seen on Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution attacking the Marvel Apes along with other zombies, often hungry for human (or in this case, ape) flesh. He also makes a brief cameo appearance on Marvel Zombies: Dead Days when the zombie Sinister Six attack Wolverine and Magneto. It is later revealed that he was actually infected by the Earth-Z zombie Sentry, thereby spreading the infection all over the dimension.
Marvel Zombies Return
In the first issue, he is seen with his Sinister Six teammates terrorizing Empire State University after the Kingpin hires them to distract a heist. When a zombified Spider-Man next comes to the dimension, he was zombified by the Zombie Spider-Man after he violently rips out his throat, as Spider-Man's efforts to resist his hunger were overwhelmed by the unique scent of Kraven's various jungle potions. As he next devours Peter's friends alongside the undead Sinister Six, the very-angry Zombie Spider Man next kills him for that overwhelming thing they started to do.[volume & issue needed]
Old Man Logan
In the pages of Old Man Logan, Kraven the Hunter was among the villains that took part in the elimination of the superheroes. During the fight in Manhattan, Kraven the Hunter emerged from the alley after Punisher killed Electro. He snuck up on Punisher and stabbed him in the chest.
The pages of Old Man Hawkeye revealed that there was a hunting group called the Killer Kravinoffs that use the hunting methods of Kraven the Hunter. They consist of Vladlena Kravinoff and her unnamed brothers where they seek to live up to the legacy of their grandfather. The Killer Kravinoffs catch up to Marshal Bullseye who trailed Hawkeye to Kree Haven. They reveal to Bullseye that Red Skull has placed a bounty on his head and that they have taken advantage of it due to them being hunters. Bullseye manages to slay the Killer Kravinoffs, though he was too wounded to continue his next attack on Hawkeye.
In the Ultimate Marvel series, Sergei Kravinoff is a Russian-Australian and the host of his own TV reality show. In the TV show, he hunts down dangerous animals and intends to hunt and kill Spider-Man on live television in order to boost his ratings (after his first fight with Doctor Octopus attacking Justin Hammer's NY facility). He is arrested after being knocked out with a single punch by the superhero (who was trying to help two people out of an overturned car) and his show is canceled.
In the Ultimate Six story arc, Kraven genetically tampers with his DNA, allowing him to become a gruesome werewolf-like monster with large hands and feet, claw-like fingers, enlarged red veins, darker skin, fang-like teeth and berserk-like feral behavior. Kraven is taken in S.H.I.E.L.D. confinement after being taken down by the Ultimates for tampering with his DNA. Kraven eventually escapes with other Spider-Man villains Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Electro, and Sandman. They capture Spider-Man, tie him up, unmask him, humiliate him, and blackmail him into joining their group as its sixth member. Kraven helps with the attack on the White House through he is electrocuted by a lightning bolt from Thor when he tries to attack Peter.
He is last seen in another S.H.I.E.L.D. containment facility surrounded by soldiers, while claiming that he was under mind control.[volume & issue needed]
Alongside the rest of the Ultimate Six, Kraven (who is back to his human state) plays a role in "The Death of Spider-Man" storyline. Norman Osborn breaks him and the rest out of the Triskelion and after their escape, Osborn informs them that God wishes for them to kill Peter Parker as they reform the Ultimate Six with Vulture as a replacement for Spider-Man. Elijah Stern gives Kraven a set of blasters and knives. When Electro is shot by Aunt May, an electric surge knocks out Kraven, Sandman, and Vulture.
2004-05 Marvel Age Spider-Man
In this rendition, Kraven is a hunter from a TV show and claims he will kill Spider-Man when paid by the Chameleon. He defeated Spider-Man once and injured his arm, but Spider-Man barely escapes. When he and the Chameleon fight Spider-Man, he defeats both of them and calls the police.[volume & issue needed]
On Earth-001 during the Spider-Verse storyline, Kravinoff (a man that resembles Kraven the Hunter) is a member of the Hounds who are servants of Verna of the Inheritors. He accompanies Verna and the other Hounds when they head to Earth-1610 to hunt Miles Morales. He is killed by the Superior Spider-Man, and his allies Spider-Punk and Assassin Spider-Man.
On Earth-803 set as well during the Spider-Verse storyline, he appears as member of the "Six Men of Sinestry" battling Lady Spider.
In this alternate reality, Spider-Man kills Kraven and is a fugitive of the law.
Spider-Man: Life Story
In a continuity where characters naturally aged after Peter Parker became Spider-Man in 1962, an aged Kraven hunts down Spider-Man as he dismisses the events of the Cold War. When Kraven tries burying Peter alive, the Venom symbiote that was bonded to Spider-Man helps him escape the grave and nearly causes him to kill Kraven before Mary Jane helped separate it from him. After that, Kraven feels he had accomplished his goal and gets ready to commit suicide as he's also suffering from cancer. However, the symbiote bonds with Kraven before the hunter commits suicide with his rifle.
In 2019, the Venom-possessed Kraven attacks Peter and Miles Morales in Doctor Doom's space station as the two heroes attempt to shut down Doom's technology across the planet. When he attempts to let the symbiote possess Miles, he discovers that Otto Octavius is possessing Miles's body, allowing Peter the chance to attack him with a sonic blast from his suit. When the symbiote separates from him, he is nothing more than a skeleton.
In Warp World where the universe was folded in half during the "Infinity Wars" storyline, Kraven was fused with Bushman. He is a villain of the superhero Aracknight (a fusion between Spider-Man and Moon Knight) and he is seen fighting Ghost Panther (a fusion between Black Panther and Ghost Rider).
In other media
- Kraven the Hunter appears in the Iron Man portion of The Marvel Super Heroes entitled "Cliffs of Doom", voiced by Chris Wiggins. He and Chameleon collaborate to steal Tony Stark's magnetron laser.
- Kraven was intended to appear in the 1960s Spider-Man animated series, but due to his appearance on The Marvel Super Heroes, the producers were unable to use him. Instead, an Australian hunter named Harley Clivendon (also voiced by Chris Wiggins) appeared in his place in the episodes "The One-Eyed Idol" and "Fountain of Terror".
- Kraven the Hunter appears in the 1981 Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Jack DeLeon. In the episode "The Hunter and the Hunted", J. Jonah Jameson hires him to capture Zabu so that he can become the Daily Bugle's mascot. When Ka-Zar arrives in New York to rescue Zabu, Kraven captures him as well, but Spider-Man eventually rescues the pair and they defeat Kraven, who is then handed over to the authorities.
- Kraven the Hunter appears in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "The Crime Of All Centuries", voiced by George DiCenzo. He manages to bring dinosaurs he captured in the Savage Land to Manhattan to prove the location's existence, but later aims to make a dinosaur army and captures Firestar so he can force her to power a machine to hatch the dinosaur eggs.
- Kraven the Hunter appears in the 1994 Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Gregg Berger. This version of the character is not portrayed as a villain, and has come into conflict with Spider-Man only after he was driven insane by a serum he had been injected with. Debuting in his self-titled episode, "Kraven the Hunter", Sergei Kravinoff was originally a big-game hunter who got wounded while saving his fiancée, Dr. Mariah Crawford, from hyenas. To save his life, Mariah administered a serum that healed him and increased his senses and physical abilities, though it also caused him to become increasingly bestial. Adopting the name "Kraven the Hunter", he attacks Mariah, but Spider-Man is eventually able to subdue him, and Kraven is cured of his insanity. After learning of Spider-Man's mutation in the episode "Morbius", Kraven returned in "Duel of the Hunters" after Mariah enlists his help in tracking down and capturing and curing Spider-Man, who has mutated into the monstrous Man-Spider. While he initially faces opposition from the Punisher, who is trying to kill Spider-Man, the two eventually join forces and capture him so Mariah can cure him. In "The Return of Kraven", Kraven returns to New York and takes the same serum that caused his initial transformation in an effort to track down a mysterious creature that has been attacking people in Central Park. After several encounters with Spider-Man, he is subdued and explains that, in an effort to save Mariah's life when she contracted an African plague, he injected her with the serum, causing her to mutate into a feline-esque monster. With Spider-Man and Black Cat's help, Kraven eventually captures Mariah and restores her using an antidote created by Dr. Curt Connors before he and Mariah leave New York.
- A Counter-Earth version of Kraven the Hunter appears in Spider-Man Unlimited, voiced by Paul Dobson. This incarnation, simply called the Hunter, is a mercenary working for both the rebels and the High Evolutionary who lives in the upper parts of the latter's city. In the episode "Enter the Hunter!", he is hired by the High Evolutionary to hunt down Spider-Man. Upon breaking into his lair, Spider-Man discovers that the Hunter is using a toxic formula that gives him the traits of certain animals when mixed with their pheromones, but shortens his lifespan. Spider-Man eventually defeats the Hunter and promises to do so again now that he knows his secret.
- Kraven the Hunter appears in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series voiced by Michael Dorn. In the two-part episode "Mind Games", it is revealed that he already fought Spider-Man in the past and that he poisoned the Gaines Twins' parents, although this led to their children gaining hypnotic powers. The Twins tried to use them to exact revenge on Kraven, but his senses were too keen for their abilities. After Kraven escapes from prison years later, the Twins hypnotize Spider-Man into thinking he murdered Mary Jane Watson and kill Kraven as revenge. Spider-Man almost kills Kraven during their ensuing fight, but he is able to break the hypnosis and spare his life before handing Kraven over to the police.
- Kraven the Hunter appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man, voiced by Eric Visbit. Debuting in the second season episode "Destructive Testing", Sergei Kravinoff was originally a renowned hunter who could take down large animals with only his natural abilities. After his lover Calypso informs him about Spider-Man, whom she learned about from an anonymous friend, Kravinoff travels to New York to kill Spider-Man and prove himself as the world's greatest hunter. He is defeated during their first fight, and later enlists Dr. Miles Warren to give him super-powers to make him an equal match. Warren uses a serum derived from Curt Connors' Lizard formula to mutate Kravinoff into a humanoid black-maned leonine creature with elements of leopard and cheetah DNA (reminiscent of the Ultimate Marvel version of Kraven). Adopting the name "Kraven the Hunter", he fights Spider-Man again and narrowly defeated. After Calypso rescues him, her friend contacts them; revealing himself as the Master Planner. In the episode "Reinforcement", Kraven is recruited into the Master Planner's Sinister Six to eliminate Spider-Man. While the web-slinger manages to defeat them, most of the Sinister Six, including Kraven, escape before the police can arrest them. Kraven is later mentioned in "Gangland", wherein the Master Planner attempted to contact him, only to learn his phone was being jammed.
- Kraven the Hunter appears as a recurring villain in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Diedrich Bader. Introduced in the second season, this version uses high tech versions of traditional hunting weapons and mystical artifacts he collected from his journeys. Kraven also killed the second White Tiger, Hector Ayala, and gained an arch-enemy in his daughter, Ava Ayala, who took up her father's mantle. Debuting in his self-titled episode, Kraven arrives in New York to hunt down White Tiger and claim her Amulet. While he succeeded and was turned into an anthropomorphic white tiger, he is eventually defeated by White Tiger and Spider-Man before being arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. In the episode "The Sinister Six", Kraven joins the titular supervillain team to eliminate Spider-Man, though they are ultimately defeated by the web-slinger and his own team. In "Return of the Sinister Six", Kraven is given a lion-themed exo-suit built by Doctor Octopus and joins the armored Sinister Six, though they are again defeated by Spider-Man's team. In "The Savage Spider-Man", Kraven teams up with Taskmaster to lure Ka-Zar to New York by kidnapping Zabu so Taskmaster can recruit Ka-Zar for his Thunderbolts. Kraven later tries to sacrifice Zabu in a ritual to gain immortality, but is defeated by Spider-Man and Wolverine. In "Contest of Champions Pt. 1", the Grandmaster pairs Kraven with Molten Man and Wendigo King in a fight against Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Hulk, during which the villains lose. In the episode "HYDRA Attacks Pt. 2", Kraven is among the villains freed by Doctor Octopus from the S.H.I.E.L.D. Tri-Carrier after he converted it into HYDRA Island, and promised a position within the HYDRA-backed Sinister Six if he captures Spider-Man. While he manages to track him down, Kraven is defeated by Scarlet Spider. In "Double Agent Venom", Kraven hunts Spider-Man and Scarlet Spider; capturing the latter and taking him to the restored HYDRA Island. After Spider-Man and Scarlet Spider rescue Flash Thompson following his separation from the Venom symbiote, Doctor Octopus has Kraven merge with the symbiote, though he is ultimately defeated after Flash re-bonds with it. In the episode "The New Sinister Six Pt. 2", Kraven appears as a member of the HYDRA-backed Sinister Six during the team's attack on the Triskelion. In the two-part series finale, "Graduation Day", Kraven rejoins Doctor Octopus and fights Squirrel Girl, Triton, and Cloak and Dagger alongside a mind-controlled Vulture before being defeated and imprisoned at the Triskelion. Upon escaping, he joins the Superior Sinister Six to eliminate Spider-Man once and for all. During the final battle at Oscorp, Kraven is defeated after the de-powered Rhino and Vulture drop debris on him.
- Kraven the Hunter appears in Spider-Man, voiced by Troy Baker. This version is the host of a TV show called Kraven's Amazing Hunt (reminiscent of the Ultimate Marvel incarnation of Kraven) and has a cybernetic right arm. Introduced in the episode that shares his TV show's name, he is hired by Norman Osborn to capture Spider-Man and the Ultimate Spider-Man, which he does while broadcasting it for his show. After failing to capture them, Vulture knocks out Kraven and Spider-Man and brings them to one of Osborn's secret labs, but the Ultimate Spider-Man tracks them down and releases Spider-Man before everyone is forced to evacuate after the lab starts collapsing. Following this, Spider-Man urges Ultimate Spider-Man to release Kraven. In "Spider Island: Part 3", Kraven attempts to hunt down Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn after they are mutated into Man-Spiders, but is foiled by Peter Parker, Anya Corazon, and Harry Osborn.
- Kraven the Hunter appears in the Avengers: Black Panther's Quest episode "T'Challa Royale", voiced again by Troy Baker. This version also hosts a TV show and was designed after his 2017 Spider-Man animated series incarnation. While tracking N'Jadaka to Pele Pele, Black Panther is ambushed by Kraven, who N'Jadaka hired to attack him. Using a device that renders Black Panther's suit powerless, Kraven hunts him throughout Pele Pele, but is ultimately defeated.
- Marc Webb confirmed that Kraven the Hunter's spear appears in the end credits for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Webb also confirmed that Kraven would have appeared as a member in The Sinister Six film and in The Amazing Spider-Man 3 if they were to be produced.
- A bakery named Kraven Pastries and ballet troupe named the Kraven National Ballet after its sponsor appear in the 2020 Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters film Morbius.
- In 2018, Sony announced to develop a Kraven the Hunter movie as part of Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters with Richard Wenk writing the film and eyeing Antoine Fuqua to direct the film. Wenk stated that the film will be inspired by Kraven's Last Hunt.
- Black Panther director Ryan Coogler revealed that he originally planned to include Kraven in the film.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts stated he "would love" to use Kraven in the third Spider-Man film.
- Kraven the Hunter appears as a boss in Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six.
- Kraven the Hunter appears as a boss in the Xbox and Game Boy Advance versions of the 2002 Spider-Man game.
- In the Xbox version, Kraven (voiced by Peter Lurie) is hired by Norman Osborn to kill Spider-Man, and lures him to a zoo before poisoning him with toxic gas to weaken him. Kraven tries to hunt Spider-Man as he makes his way past various traps, and eventually engages him in a fight, during which he uses strength-enhancing potions. After Spider-Man defeats him, Kraven chooses to wait for the police out of respect for him.
- In the Game Boy Advance version, Kraven is a mercenary working for Osborn, and first fights Spider-Man in a ship's hold. He later attacks him again inside a funhouse at Coney Island. After the second fight, Kraven informs Spider-Man that the Green Goblin knows where Mary Jane Watson lives.
- Kraven appears as a boss in Spider-Man 3, voiced by Neil Kaplan. He hunts the Lizard, and tries to kill Spider-Man when he interferes.
- In the next-gen version, Kraven is partnered with Calypso, who provides him with various magic spells that give him the powers of a bear, a crow, and a black panther, and escapes after his battle with Spider-Man.
- In the PS2, PSP, and Wii versions, Kraven leads a group of hunters and only uses one potion that grants him super-speed. He is also arrested after his defeat at Spider-Man's hands rather than escaping.
- Kraven the Hunter appears as a boss in the PS2 and PSP versions of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, voiced by Dwight Schultz. He booby traps the sewers in an attempt to hunt down the Rhino and fights Spider-Man when he comes across him, leading to his defeat.
- Kraven the Hunter appears as a boss in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, voiced by Jim Cummings. In the first Amazing segment, Kraven kidnaps Spider-Man and brings him to a temple in a jungle to hunt him on his own terms while he is accompanied by his students. To entice his foe to cooperate, Kraven reveals that he has a piece of the Tablet of Order and Chaos. As Spider-Man hunts Kraven through the jungle, he evades his traps and defeats his hunters before fighting him in a cage match, resulting in Kraven's defeat. Humiliated in front of his students, he uses the tablet piece to enhance his powers, gaining superhuman speed and strength, though he is still defeated by Spider-Man, who claims his tablet fragment.
- While he does not appear in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, one of Mike Haggar's new costumes is based on Kraven the Hunter.
- Kraven the Hunter appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by JB Blanc.
- Kraven the Hunter appears as a boss in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, voiced by Steven Blum in the console version and by Nolan North in the mobile version. A renowned hunter, he came to New York to hunt down Oscorp's failed cross-species experiments and successfully killed some of them while also acting as a vigilante in an attempt to earn Spider-Man's trust. He and Spider-Man later become allies, with Kraven mentoring the young hero as they work together to track down Cletus Kasady. Upon finding him, Spider-Man grows distrustful of Kraven due to his willingness to let Kasady murder someone. Shortly after Kasady's arrest, it is revealed that Kraven was actually hired by Wilson Fisk to eliminate his rivals, which Kraven tricked Spider-Man into helping him accomplish, before attempting to kill him as part of his contract with Fisk. After Kraven is defeated, he lets Spider-Man known how to get to Fisk out of respect before the web-slinger leaves him for the police.
- In the mobile version of the game, Kraven is depicted as the leader of the Russian Mob, which is in the middle of a gang war with Hammerhead. He takes numerous hostages and forces Spider-Man to pick up calls at pay phones across the city, releasing a hostage per phone call. Kraven later appears in person while crashing an arms deal between Donald Mencken and Hammerhead. When Spider-Man interferes, Kraven and Hammerhead form a temporary truce to kill him. Though Spider-Man defeats them both, they are able to escape. While Kraven does not appear again in the game afterwards, Rhino mentions that Kraven's legal team prevented him from receiving jail time later in the game.
- Kraven the Hunter appears in Marvel Heroes.
- Kraven appears as a playable character and a villain in Marvel: Future Fight.
- Kraven appears as a playable character in Marvel Puzzle Quest.
- Kraven the Hunter appears as a playable character and boss in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2. In the game's story, Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and White Tiger fight several escaped inmates from the Raft on the Brooklyn Bridge, including Kraven and most of the Sinister Six. The heroes are able to defeat them moments before Kang the Conqueror arrives and makes Manhattan part of Chronopolis.
- Kraven the Hunter is featured in a storyline in the newspaper edition of The Amazing Spider-Man starting with the October 8, 2012 strip. In this story, Kraven has been paroled from prison for helping medical science by locating a rare plant. He also appears at the Jungle World Casino in a large animal show.
- Kraven the Hunter appears in the musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, as a member of the Sinister Six, portrayed by Christopher Tierney. In this version, Kraven starts out as a scientist who is experimented on by the Green Goblin and then manipulated into joining the Sinister Six.
- Kraven the Hunter is the opponent defeated by Spider-Man in the 1966 Aurora plastic model kit.
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