Kraven the Hunter (Alyosha Kravinoff)
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|Kraven the Hunter|
Art by Ariel Olivetti.
|First appearance||Spectacular Spider-Man #243 (February 1997)|
|Created by||J.M. DeMatteis|
|Alter ego||Alexei Sergeevich "Alyosha" Kravinoff|
|Team affiliations||Sinister Six|
|Notable aliases||Al Kraven|
|Abilities||Expert weapons master|
Exceptional hand-to-hand combatant
Superhuman strength, speed, agility, dexterity, reflexes/reactions, coordination, balance and endurance
Extraordinarily enhanced senses
Ability to communicate with and control animals
Alyosha Kravinoff, also known as the second Kraven the Hunter, is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the illegitimate son of Kraven the Hunter, the nephew of Chameleon, and the half-brother of Vladimir Kravinoff and Ana Kravinoff.
Fictional character biography
Alyosha Kravinoff is an illegitimate mutant son of the supervillain Kraven the Hunter. Unlike Alyosha's half-brother Vladimir (the Grim Hunter), Alyosha was separated from his family and raised in an African jungle. After Kraven the Hunter's suicide, Alyosha came to New York City to investigate the father he barely knew. Dressed as Kraven, Alyosha confronted his uncle Dmitri Smerdyakov (AKA Chameleon). Believing his abusive half-brother had returned from the dead, Chameleon revealed to Alyosha much about the dysfunctional Kravinoff family. Kraven's former lover Calypso Ezili did actually return from the dead and she mistook Alyosha for Kraven the Hunter. She seduced Alyosha, but afterwards he spurned her affections. Later, riding a bull elephant atop Manhattan's rooftops, Alyosha attacked Spider-Man. He poisoned him with a hallucinogenic dart, but then set him free. While at the Kravinoff estate, Alyosha was learning about his father from Spider-Man when Calypso returned with Kraven's tribesmen. She set the home ablaze and killed all but Gulyadkin the Lion. Calypso poisoned Alyosha and Spider-Man and used her hypnotic powers to force the two to fight to the death. Spider-Man resisted and injured Calypso, while Alyosha subdued her with his lion. Despite asking for her forgiveness, Alyosha savagely killed Calypso and all the tribesmen with her.
He was later hired by the city of New York to help capture the Fantastic Four's enigmatic enormous canid Puppy. Next, he was hired by White Wolf, head of the deposed Wakandan secret police, to capture the Black Panther. The Black Panther turned the battle around, nearly killing Alyosha. Sandman later invited Alyosha to join Sandman's Sinister Six to hunt Doctor Octopus and Senator Ward (the host body for the alien Z'nox). Venom, slighted at his rejection by the Six, hunted each of the team members. Refusing to be "the hunted," Alyosha trapped Venom with fire, but Venom seriously injured him and escaped.
Alyosha then adopted a more relaxed personality as a suave, witty ladies' man. As "Al," he began dating Timber Hughes, an aspiring actress who worked as a waitress at an all-villain bar. Al sought to help Timber's career in Hollywood by becoming a director. Despite celebrity connections, Al's efforts were stonewalled by arrogance, greed, and corruption within the Hollywood elite. Forced out of Hollywood by the powerful Rothstein brothers, Al is beaten while Timber was brutally raped. Both Al and Timber exacted vengeance which involved defeating another half-brother Ned Tannengarden (who was later killed by Chameleon), and left Hollywood to pursue heroics in New York City.[volume & issue needed]
Alyosha is one of few mutants that retained their superhuman powers after the M-Day.[volume & issue needed] He is one of the superpowered beings recruited within the Beyond! miniseries by Stranger posing as the Beyonder.
Alyosha Kraven later eventually becomes fully deranged from experimenting with his father's potions, and in his madness began collecting a zoo of animal-themed superhumans, including Bushmaster II, Gargoyle II, Tiger Shark, Kangaroo II, Aragorn (the version that was owned by the Vatican Black Knight), Vulture, Mongoose, Man-Bull, Dragon Man, Swarm, Mandrill, Grizzly III, Frog-Man, and Rhino. In the end, the Punisher (whom Kraven referred to as "Tiny Monkey") managed to sabotage this zoo. Kraven himself escapes to the Savage Land.
During The Gauntlet storyline, Alyosha returned to New York to help his half-sister Ana and stepmother Sasha in the Grim Hunt by hunting Kaine. They then witness Spider-Man's fight with the Lizard. He was present at the ritual where Sasha sacrificed Mattie Franklin as part of a revival ritual that resurrects his half-brother Vladimir as a humanoid lion-like creature. After the Kravinoff Family was defeated, Alyosha alongside the other Kravinoff Family members escaped to the Savage Land. Alyosha soon abandoned his family after Kraven killed Sasha and Vladimir. In an attempt to impress Kraven, Ana pursued Alyosha with the intent of killing him in exchange that he trains her in order to rebuild the Kravinoff Family.
Powers and abilities
Alyosha is a mutant who has superhuman strength, speed, agility, dexterity, reflexes/reactions, coordination, balance and endurance, and a healing factor. His five senses are extraordinarily heightened, and when enraged, he may shift into a bestial fury. He inherited these from his father Kraven, who mutated himself through the constant use of mystical potions.
Alyosha revealed to Spider-Man in his limited series that his mother was a natural-born mutant from whom he inherited the ability to communicate with and have control over animals.[volume & issue needed]
Additionally, he is an expert in weaponry such as poisons, guns, darts, axes, spears, whips, and nets, and is an exceptional hand-to-hand combatant. He wore his father's lion vest, with embedded electroshock circuitry. He travels with his pet wolf Nickel and occasionally other exotic animals.