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Duel of the Hunters is the eighth episode of season two. As Punisher continues to hunt for the now mutated Spider-ManKraven the Hunter attempts to find Spidey so that Mariah Crawford can cure him. In the process, Kraven confronts Punisher to stop him from killing Spider-Man.

Plot

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Inside the warehouse Punisher slowly backs away from the now mutated Spider-Man. As Spider-Man spits acid from his mouth Punisher back away before it can hit him. The acid instead hits his jacket and he takes it off and grabs a gun from the holster on his side. However, Spider-Man is able to knock the gun out of Punisher's hand. Punisher attempts to fight Spider-Man. However, the spider creature is far too powerful and he knows Punisher across the room. As Punisher lands on the ground he finds Spider-Man's mask and picks it up. Just then Spider-Man walks over to Punisher and fires more acid at him, but Punisher is able to move out of the way. As the acid hits a container of chemicals they combust and cause the warehouse to catch on fire. As Punisher makes a run for it Spider-Man captures him in his web and begins to drag Punisher closer and closer toward him. However, the Battle Van (which is being remotely controlled by Punisher) drives into the warehouse and Punisher is able to get inside. Spider-Man starts to rip off the side of the van but as the Battle Van drives off Spider-Man is knocked off the side. As Spider-Man crashes through the wall of the warehouse and we swings away and is spotted by a construction worker who is terrified of the giant humanoid spider.

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As the Battle Van speeds off Punisher cuts himself free from Spider-Man webbing and Microchip contacts him to see if he is alright. Punisher answers that he is fine and drives off in the Battle Van.

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Moments later back at the warehouse firefighters respond to put out the fire. The police also question the man that saw the creature and one officer draws a sketch as the man describes what the creature looks like. As Terri Lee walks up she takes the drawing from the man and looks at the drawing and sees Spider-Man as a monster. Another officer then hands Terri Lee a torn piece of Spider-Man's costume. Terri Lee then tells the officers to put out an APB for Spider-Man.

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A short while later at the Hardy FoundationMariah Crawford watches a news report on Spider-Man and hears that he has mutated into a monster. Mariah then picks up her phone and calls Sergei Kravinoff and tells him of what has happened to Spider-Man and she begs him to come to New York City.

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At that very moment gears up to take on Spider-Man. Microchip protests believing that Punisher should not go after Spider-Man because so far he has only gone after normal criminals. However, Punisher says that he became a vigilante to hunt monsters. Microchip asks if anyone will see the creature. However, Punisher answers that it will find someplace to hide during the daytime. Punisher is correct because as the sun comes up Spider-Man crawls into the subway to sleep.

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Minutes later the Parker houseMay Parker accidentally wakes up Mary Jane who fell asleep on her couch last night. As Mary Jane asks where so is going May answers that she is going to the police because Peter did not come home last night. May says that she believes it was Spider-Man that did something to him. After hearing this Mary Jane tells May that she is going with her to the police because of how much she cares for Peter.

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Later that morning Mariah meets Sergei at the airport as his plane lands. She tells him that the she has finished the cure for Spider-Man and that he must administer it to him.

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As night falls Punisher prepares to fight Spider-Man, or Man-Spider as the media has been calling him. As Punisher gets in his Battle Van, Microchip tells him to be careful. Punisher then drives into the city and follows the signal of the tracer he put on Man-Spider.

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At that moment Felicia Hardy is in her apartment staring at a photograph of Michael Morbius. Michael Morbius then flies to a nearby building and watches Felicia. Morbius begins to feel his hunger for blood but stops himself from harming Felicia. As Morbius flies away he says that he must cure himself but realizes that he might need help to do it.

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Minutes later Man-Spider arrives at Empire State University and goes into one of the laboratories. As the creature looks around he spots the Neogenic Recombinator and picks it up. Man-Spider then remembers back to when he was a human and helped Dr. Curt Connors with an experiment involving the Neogenic Recombinator. Frustrated with this memories the creature lets out a loud roar. Debra Whitman who is in the building hears this and goes into the hall to see what is making the noise. As Debra looks around she sees Man-Spider's shadow and runs outside the building in fear. Debra then runs up to Flash Thompson and tells him about what she saw and asks for his help. However, Flash tells her that she was just imagining things and that Spider-Man is a hero. As Debra and Flash talk Morbius flies to the rooftop of a nearby building. As Flash walks away Debra realizes that he is the star of the ESU football team. Debra then says that even though he is a big time football star he is afraid to walk her back inside the building. Not wanting to be branded a coward Flash walks her back inside. However, when Flash enters the lab the Man-Spider is gone and thinks that it was just the wind that knocked a few things over. After hearing this Debra gets upset and runs off. As Flash enters the lab he finds webbing by the window and begins to wonder what is going on around ESU.

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Outside a redhead woman walks through the rain. As Man-Spider comes up behind her it sees her red hair and believes that she is Mary Jane. As Man-Spider jumps in front of her the woman is terrified and runs off. Nearby Punisher is watching from the Battle Van. As Man-Spider crawls up the side of a building Punisher ejects from the van and lands on the roof. As Man-Spider fires acid from his mouth Punisher blocks it with a shield. As Man-Spider web slings away Punisher fires his gun at at him but misses. As Punisher follows the creature onto another roof he uses a gun to fire a adhesive which causes Man-Spider to stick to the ground. As Punisher is about to kill Man-Spider, Kraven the Hunter arrives and throws bolas at Punisher's gun knocking it out of his hand. As Punisher pulls another weapon out of his jacket Kraven tackles him to the ground. As they fight Man-Spider is able to free himself and spots Morbius flying through the window of a nearby building.

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As Morbius enters the laboratory he sees Debra looking through a microscope and he asks her to help him. As Debra looks up she sees Morbius and screams at the sight of his vampire appearance. As Morbius is about to feed on her blood Flash runs in and pushes Debra out of the way. Flash attempts to fight Morbius. However, Morbius overpowers him and drains his blood. Before he can drain anymore Man-Spider shows up and webs Morbius' arm but Morbius (who is shocked at Spider-Man's mutation) snaps the web line and starts to fight Man-Spider. As Morbius throws Man-Spider at the wall he runs toward the window and flies away. Man-Spider then approaches Flash Thompson's unconscious body and recalls memories of Flash from when he was human. Haunted by these memories Man-Spider begins to shriek and yell. As Debra wakes up she pulls the fire alarm which scares Man-Spider away.

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Meanwhile, on the rooftop Kraven and Punisher continue to fight. Punisher then sees Man-Spider get away and is angered by this. However, Kraven comes up behind Punisher and grabs him. After a brief fight Punisher is able to subdue Kraven by trapping him in a net. Punisher then warns Kraven to stay out of his way. However, Kraven replies that revenge is a foolish reason to hunt. However, Punisher says that hunting for revenge works for him and then jumps off the roof. After Punisher leaves Kraven is able to break through the net. Kraven is then able to pick up Spider-Man scent and begins to track him. Kraven then calls Mariah and tells her that he knows where to find Spider-Man and that she must come at once.

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Meanwhile at the Parker house, May watches a J3 Communications news report on the disappearance of Peter. Man-Spider then walks up to the window and scratches it. However, Man-Spider runs off before May sees him. Man-Spider then goes to Mary Jane's home. As Man-Spider goes through the window Mary Jane screams in terror. Harry Osborn tackles the creature but Man-Spider knocks him to the ground. Mary Jane then runs over to Harry and begs Man-Spider not to hurt them. Man-Spider then leaves. As Harry asks why it went away Mary Jane answers that she didn't know but she got a strange feeling that the creature knew her.

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As Punisher tracks Man-Spider in his Battle Van, Man-Spider realizes that he is being tracked and jumps on the hood of the Battle Van. Punisher accidentally drives the Battle Van off a cliff and it crashes. Punisher is able to get free right before it explodes. Punisher attempts to defend himself but Man-Spider grabs him. As Man-Spider lifts Punisher above his head he covers his body a web.

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Man-Spider then takes Punisher to an abandoned parking garage. Sometime later Kraven arrives and cuts him free from the webbing and suggests that they work together. As Kraven cuts Punisher free he tells Punisher to follow him. As they walk Punisher sees a camera hanging from a web and grabs it. Kraven wars Punisher not to vibrate the web. However, the vibrations from Punisher touching the web alerts Man-spider to their presence and attacks them. Kraven and Punisher then work together to defeat Man-Spider. Punisher then grabs a gun from his jacket and as he fires it places an electric field around Man-Spider. As Punisher grabs a grenade from his jacket he threatens to blow Man-Spider up. However, Kraven grabs Punisher before he can kill him. At that moment Mariah Crawford walk in and tells Punisher that the creature is her friend and that he needs help. At first Punisher does not sympathise with her. However, Mariah tells Punisher that Spider-Man is a victim just like how his wife and two children were victims. After hearing this Punisher agrees to help Mariah. As Kraven and Punisher hold down Man-Spider, Mariah injects him with the cure. As the cure begins to take effect Mariah tells Punisher to take off his coat and place it over Man-Spider's head to protect his identity. Punisher does as he is told and then gives Mariah Spider-Man's mask which he found earlier in the warehouse. Mariah then places the mask on Spider-Man's head and removes the coat. As Spider-Man looks up he sees Mariah and Kraven but is terrified when he sees Punisher. However, Mariah tells Spider-Man that Punisher helped save him. As Kraven walks up to Mariah he says "Well my little Calypso, you have done it again." As Spider-Man asks what Calypso means Mariah answers that Calypso was a goddess that offered the gift of life to Odysseus. Spider-Man then says that she is his Calypso too. As Punisher walks off Kraven chases after him and says that Spider-Man is innocent of the kidnapping charge. When Punisher starts to look around he sees a sign that says World Trade Center parking garage. Kraven then reveals that he was able to track Man-Spider because his webbing had traces of gunpowder from an explosion in the Word Trade Center parking garage from several years ago. Punisher is impressed by what he hears and Kraven says that they would be a magnificent team.

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Moments later the sun rises. From a rooftop Spider-Man watches as Kraven and Mariah get into a cab and drive off. Spider-Man thanks Mariah and notices what a beautiful day it is and that he is lucky to be alive and to be Spider-Man.

Cast

Actor Role
Christopher Daniel Barnes Spider-Man / Peter Parker
John Beck Punisher / Frank Castle
Gregg Berger Kraven the Hunter / Sergie Kravinoff
Susan Beaubian Mariah Crawford
Jim Cummings Man-Spider
Sara Ballantine Mary Jane Watson
Linda Gary May Parker
Robert Axelrod Microchip
Gary Imhoff Harry Osborn
Liz Georges Debra Whitman
Patrick Labyorteaux Flash Thompson
Nick Jameson Michael Morbius
Dawnn Lewis Terri Lee
John F. Beard Newscaster

Cameos

Locations

Items

Continuity

Trivia

  • In the original Six Arm Saga story Peter Parker only grew four extra arms but did not turn into an actual human sized spider.
    • In later issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man did turn into a human spider. This happened in The Amazing Spider-Man #437 (1998). Peter Parker's transformation also resembles another character from the comics called Spider-X.
  • When Kraven fights Punisher, Kraven says "It is written that a man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but cannot sit on it." This is an approximation of a famous Boris Yeltzin quote usually translated as "You can build a throne of bayonets, but you can't sit on it for very long."
    • Boris Yeltzin was the president of Russia at the time this episode aired. He was in office from 1991 to 1999.
  • When Punisher subdues Kraven he says "Don't know who you are jungle boy but if you get in my way one more time the lion ain't gonna walk tonight or ever again. You understand?" This might be a paraphrased version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight which is a song from the Disney movie The Lion King which came out a in 1994.
  • Kraven also quotes English philosopher Francis Bacon when he says "A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green."
  • In the episode Kraven says that he is hunting Spider-Man by his scent. Kraven should not be able to do this since he no longer has the enhanced senses given to him by the wonder drug.
    • However, it's possible that his ability to track creatures by scent is an actual hunting technique and the wonder drug only strengthened the ability.
  • When Spider-Man asks what Calypso means Mariah Crawfors tells him that Calypso was a goddess that gave life to Odysseus. This is actually not true. In Greek mythology Calypso was a nymph (not a goddess) that held Odyssues captive to make him her immortal husband. 
  • Kraven says that he tracked Man-Spider from gunpowder that was left behind in the World Trade Center from a bomb explosion from several years ago. Kraven is actually talking about a real life terrorist bombing that happened in the World Trade Center garage on February 26, 1993. Several terrorist sent a truck bomb into the parking garage of the North Tower and planned to blow the building up and have the North Tower fall onto the South Tower and bring both buildings down. The terrorist's plan failed. Only six people were kill and tens of thousans were injured.
    • After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack which brought down the Twin Towers this scene was edited out of reruns.
  • After Spider-Man is cured his costume is torn. However, in the next scene (which presumedly only takes place a few minutes later) his costume is repaired. This is an error within the episode since Spider-Man would have no time to go home and get a spare costume.
  • Both IMDB and Wikipedia incorrectly list Patrick Labyorteaux's brother, Matthew Labyorteaux, as the voice of Flash Thompson in this episode. Flash Thompson was voiced by Patrick Labyorteaux in this episode.

Episode review

A review by Amazing Spidey from Marvel Animation Age

This episode was the 3rd and final part of The Man-Spider saga and it was easily the best. Despite already having a truckload of characters from the previous 2 parts, another one was brought in, and used incredibly well. Ironically enough, Kraven worked better in this series as a hero than he did a villain. He lacked any presence as a villain, but as a hero he really didn't. I got a kick out of seeing Kraven helping Spidey, for some reason. It just worked.

There wasn't a lot of Morbius in this episode, and I think it works better for it. Despite being mutated, Spider-Man still attempted to stop Morbius from draining Debra Whitman's plasma. He still obviously had Peter's mind at this part of the episode, as he later tried to find Mary Jane too. He lost it later, after being attacked by The Punisher and taking him back to his make shift hideout, the World Trade Center's parking garage (which may or may not be in any future airings, due to the networks standards). I liked how he wasn't completely mindless, but was almost powerless to control Man-Spider. I think not having the character speak made it so much better.

It was interesting simply because it was different. The writers tend to have Spider-Man never stop talking to himself in each of the episodes, in this episode; he couldn't speak and had no inner monologue. The animation is worth noting, especially as from this point on, right the to the end of the season; it's well. . . not very good at all. To be honest, the rest of the season, specifically the Morbius episodes, are nothing short of an eye sore.

The Man-Spider arc was certainly an interesting one, a mixture of new characters all wanting different things. This arc was the peak of the whole Neogenic Nightmare. I personally think the story would've worked so much better dragged on, in my opinion.

Quotes

"What happeded big guy?"

"I looked the devil square in the eyes. . . and I blinked."

-Microchip & Punisher

"Put out an APB. . . for Spider-Man."

-Terri Lee

"Sergei, Spider-Man has mutated. He's dangerous. You must come at once, please!"

-Mariah Crawford

"Spider-Man's turned into some kind of monster. This isn't your kind of fight. We were just gonna do a simple, high profile job to get you in good graces with the law that's all. Are you listening to me? Your not in this to fight monsters."

"Wrong. That's exactly what I'm in this to fight. . . monsters. I'm gonna hunt that thing down and destroy it before anybody gets hurt. Are you gonna help?"

"Ya, sure, anything you want. It's gonna take hours for us to prepare. Ya think anybody will see that Man-Spider in the meantime?"

"Na. If there's anything left of his human mind my guess is he'll find someplace to hide to avoid being spotted in the daylight. When the time comes I'll find 'em with that tracer I put on his leg last night. For now let 'em get his beauty sleep. He's gonna need it big time."

-Microchip & Punisher

"Mrs. Parker, I must have nodded off."

"Mary Jane dear, you've slept all night. It's morning."

"Morning? Where are you going?"

"To the police. Peter never came home last night."

"What?"

"You know how Peter is. Always following that awful Spider-Man around, taking those pictures. Now they say on the news that Spider-Man's turned into a monster! I'm so frightened. Peter could be in horrible trouble or worse."

"I'm going to the police with you."

"No. You don't have to."

"If anything's wrong I must know. I care for Peter and if he's been harmed I don't know what I'd do."

-Mary Jane & May Parker

"I have worked all night to create an anti-toxin but I must administer it to him soon or he will be that Man-Spider creature forever. Oh Sergei, I'm so glad your here."

"My Calypso you must rest. We have a long night ahead of us. While I do not have the super strength of a scientifically created madman anymore I intend to be no less a hunter."

"Sergei did you bring your ceremonial hunting garb?"

"Does the lion hunt without his mane?"

-Mariah Crawford & Sergei Kravinoff

"Don't you ever get tired?"

"Never."

"Then I guess I can't quit either. Somebodies gotta keep you alive. Frank, be careful okay."

"I'll do what I have to."

-Microchip & Punisher

"I hunger. Felicia, my love. No! I must keep trying to rid myself of this horrible need for plasma! I must do this for you Felicia, and perhaps I need help."

-Michael Morbius

"Help! Please help!"

"Hey what's wrong with you?"

"That spider monster people are talking about I think I just saw it in the science lab."

"Lady that monster story is just more garbage cooked up by the Daily Bugle to slam Spider-Man. Spider-Man's a good guy! A hero!"

"So what are you saying? I'm seeing things."

"Hey your the beaker brain not me."

"Wait a minute. Your that ESU football star, Flash Thompson."

"Please, hold the applause."

"Well if your so great the least you can do is escort me back inside."

"Lady I got places to go."

"Hu, some big star you are. Your affraid."

"What! Aw come on."

(Flash and Debra go back to the lab.)

"In there."

"It was the wind. It kocked a few things over. You must've imagined the rest lady. I'm tellin' ya that science stuff is bad for your brains."

"Oh really? And how would you know that? You jocks don't have any!"

"Hu, your welcome."

(Flash goes into the lab and finds webbing by the window.)

"Webbing? Just what is going on around here?"

-Debra Whitman & Flash Thompson

"Made the glue stronger webhead. This time I really gotcha."

-Punisher

"This is what I live for webhead. Stopping monsters like you from harming innocent lives. Say good night."

-Punisher

"I don't know who you are but you just made a big mistake. Who are you!"

"Someone who does not need barbaric weapons to hunt."

-Punisher & Kraven

"The television, they say you are a vigilante who thinks he is above the law."

"So what?"

"It is written that a man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but cannot sit on it. Give up this hunt! It is not about good or bad, it is about life!"

"Don't know who you are jungle boy but if you get in my way one more time the lion ain't gonna walk tonight or ever again. You understand?"

"A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green. Francis Bacon. Revenge is a foolish reason to hunt!"

"Maybe. But it works for me."

-Kraven & Punisher

"You move swiftly Spider-Man, but I have your scent. I will find you."

-Kraven the Hunter

"Remind me never to do that again."

"Harry you brave fool."

"Mary Jane what made it go away?"

"I don't know. But for a brief moment I had the strange feeling that it knew me."

-Harry Osborn & Mary Jane Watson

"We would do well to work together yes."

-Kraven to Punisher

(Punisher grabs a grenade from his jacket.)

"Do not hurt him!"

"I won't hurt him. I'm going to disintegrated him. There won't be any nerve endings left to feel the pain."

(Kraven grabs Punisher.)

"Forget it. I drop this and we all make the news today."

(Mariah Crawford walks in.)

"Sergei let him go!"

"Who are you?"

"My name is Dr. Mariah Crawford and that creature down there is my friend! He needs my help!"

"Sorry lady. Not my fault you keep lousey company."

"Wait. They say on TV that you fight criminals to avenge the loss of your family. That they were cought in a crossfire between rival gangs. Don't you known that nothing you do now can ever bring them back. This man has a disease. He's trapped in this creature's body. He's a victim just as your wife and two children were victims. The only monster here is you."

"I'm listening."

"I must administer this serum. I need for you and Sergei to hold him down."

(Kraven and Punisher hold Man-Spider down.)

"Hurry lady!"

(Mariah Crawford injects Man-Spider with the cure.)

"There it's done."

(Man-Spider starts to transform back into a human.)

"Take your coat off. Drape it over his face."

"What?"

"The man wears a mask for a reason. We must respect his wishes."

(Punisher places his coat over Spider-Man's head.)

(Punisher takes Spider-Man's mask out of his pocket and gives it to Mariah Crawford.)

"Here put this on 'em. I found it. Thought I'd keep it as a souvenir."

-Kraven, Punisher, & Mariah Crawford

"I feel like I just woke up from a nightmare."

"Well my little Calypso you have done it again."

"Calypso?"

"In mythology Calypso was a goddess who offered the gift of life to Odysseus."

"Well then I guess your my Calypso too."

-Spider-Man, Kraven, & Mariah Crawford

"Wait! If it is any consolation to you Spider-Man is innocent of the kidnapping charge."

"It isn't."

(Punisher sees a sign that says World Trade Center parking garage.)

"World Trade Center parking garage. How did you know?"

"The gravel that I found in Man-Spider's webbing it still had the scent of gunpowder from that bomb explosion of years ago."

"Clever. I'm impressed."

"We would be magnificent together."

-Kraven & Punisher

"Thank you for giving me back my life. What a beautiful day this is gonna be. I feel lucky to be alive, and lucky to be who I am. . . Spider-Man."

-Spider-Man

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