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Kraven the Hunter is the seventh episode of season one and introduces the villain, Kraven the Hunter and his lover aswell as Spider-Man's friend Dr. Mariah Crawford.

Plot

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At the Hardy Foundation a mad man named Sergei Kravinoff destroys Dr. Mariah Crawford's laboratory. Kravinoff then tells Dr. Crawford that he has traveled a log way to bring her home. However, Mariah begs Kravinoff to let her stay so she can find a cure for him. At that moment Peter Parker walks up to Dr. Crawford's office door thinking to himself how that he must ace Dr. Crawford's interview to get a job working in a real laboratory. However, as Peter approaches Mariah Crawford's office he hears shouting and breaking glass coming from inside. As Peter peeks his head in to see if everything is alright Sergei Kravenoff throws Mariah's desk against the door. Mariah then runs to the window and goes up the fire escape. However, Kravinoff follows her. Mariah then goes to the roof where she is cornored by Kravinoff. Dr. Crawford then loses her balance and falls of the building but she is caught by Spider-Man. Spider-Man then takes Mariah back to the roof and sees Kraven. Spider-Man attacks Kravinoff but Kravinoff is able to get the upper hand. Kraven then grabs hold of Spider-Man and holds him over the edge of the Hardy Foundation's roof. Spider-Man then does a back flip over Kravinoff's head and escapes his grasp. Kravinoff then trys to hit Spider-Man with a flag pole. However, Spider-Man grabs the flag pole and fings Kravinoff over the side of the building. When Spider-Man and Dr. Crawford look for Kravinoff they see that he has vanished. Dr. Crawford then frantically tells Spider-Man that no one can stop him and that she is not safe. Spider-Man then picks up Mariah and web swings away.

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As they web swung Spider-Man asks Mariah who that was. Mariah then tells Spider-Man that his name is Sergei Kravinoff and that he was a big game hunter in Africa that became a leading guide after hunting was outlawed and that that was how she met him. Mariah had hired him to help her look for a colleague of her's named Dr. James Reeves who disappeared in the jungle while doing research. During this time Mariah Crawford and Sergei Kravinoff fell in love. Several months later Mariah and Sergei found Dr. Reeves. They then discovered that Reeves had created a wonder drug that could cure any disease. However, there was a side effect. The serum turned whoever sues it into a feral creature. Reeves then gave Mariah a vile of the serum. As Dr. Reeves walked away Mariah ran after him to try and convince him to come back to New York City.  However, Mariah was attacked by a pack of hyenas. Sergei was able to fend off the hyenas but was badly injured. Mariah then gave Sergei the wnder drug which was able to quickly heal his wounds. However, Kravinoff became more beastial and began to hunt like a wild animal. The serum changed Kravinoff so much that he took a new name. . . Kraven the Hunter. Spider-Man then takes Mariah to Joseph Robertson's apartment and tells her that it belongs to a friend that is out of town. Mariah then tells Spider-Man that she came back to America to find a cure and that she needs his help. Mariah also tells Spider-Man that she needs a lab to find a cure for or else Kraven will hunt both of them down. However, Spider-Man tells Mariah that it's not humanly possible to track them, but Mariah replies that Kraven isn't human anymore. As Spider-Man web swings away he says to himself that the look in her eyes even has him spooked but believes that with any luck the police have him already.

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Shortly after Kraven finds Spider-Man's web on a rooftop and sniffs it. Kraven is then able to get Spider-Man's scent and begins to track him through the city. Meanwhile, back Robbie's apartment Mariah waits for Spider-Man. She then sees a shadow coming through the crack in the door and believes it is Kraven and escapes but accidentally drops a piece of paper on her way out. However, it is really Joseph Robertson who was just getting home from his trip. As Robbie listens to the messages on his answering machine he hears a message from J. Jonah Jameson who tells him that he is sorry for cutting his vacation short but he needs him to cover a trial. As Robbie starts to leave Kraven breaks down the door and accuses Robbie of being Mariah's other man and demands to know where she is. Robbie tells him that he doesn't know her. Kravn then picks up a piece of paper on the floor and sees that it was written by Mariah. Kraven then accuses Robbie of lying to him.

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The next day at the Parker house, Peter puts on a tuxedo. Peter then tells Aunt May that he is going to a fashion show. Aunt May then replies that she is so glad that Mary Jane invited him. As Peter arrives he finds Mary Jane and she tells him that he looks great. Mary Jane then asks Peter if he would like to get something to eat afterward which he says yes. As the fashion show starts Peter goes into the audience and watches Mary Jane strut across the stage in a leopard print dress. After seeing her Peter says that that dress "brings out the animal in him." At that moment Kraven enters the room searching for Mariah. However, Kraven picks up Spider-Man scent and begins to track him. Just then Felicia Hardy walks up to Peter. Felicia then tells Peter that the fashion show is a Hardy Foundation event. She also tells Peter that since he is here they can go to the after party together. However, Felicia walks off before he can tell her that he is going out with Mary Jane after the show. Peter then sees Kraven and realizes that he must have his scent. As Peter exits the room to change into his Spider-Man costume he is spotted by Felicia and Mary Jane who both believe that he is ditching them. As Kraven runs on stage he orders Spider-Man to come out of hiding and face him. As Spider-Man shows up Kraven jumps out a window and follows him outside. Spider-Man shoots a web line at Kraven and it hits his chest. However, Kraven grabs the web and throws Spider-Man off the side of the building. Spider-Man then uses the same web line to swing back up and grabs Kraven from behind. However, Kraven is able to throw Spider-Man off of him. As Kraven charges at Spider-Man, Spider-Man jumps out of the way and Kraven goes over the side of the building. When Spider-Man walks over he sees that Kraven is holding onto the edge of the building. Kraven then reveals that he has Robbie and that if he dies Spider-Man will never see him again. Kraven then tells Spider-Man that he has six hours to bring him Mariah or else he will never see Robbie again. Spider-Man then lets Kraven go and he is able to get away. Spider-Man then blames himself for Robbie getting kidnapped because Kraven never would have taken him if he hadn't taken Mariah to Robbie's apartment.

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Meanwhile at the Central Park Zoo, Kraven sets various traps for Spider-Man. At that moment Spider-Man goes back to Robbie's apartment and looks for clues as to where he could be. However, Spider-Man has no idea where either one of them could be. Meanwhile at a laboratory Mariah call a friend of hers and says that she needs to use some equipment in her lab.

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Back at the zoo Kraven takes a gag out of Robbie's mouth and gives him some water. Robbie then asks Kraven why he abducted him. Kraven answers by saying that "If you take what belongs to another there must be retribution." Robbie attempts to tell Kraven that New York isn't a jungle. However, Kraven tells Robbie that New York is a concrete jungle and that the same rules apply.

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At that moment Spider-Man continues to look for Mariah knowing that he is running out of time. When Spider-Man arrives at a laboratory he does not find Dr. Crawford and is unaware that he missed her only by a few seconds. Spider-Man then decides that he can't let Kraven call the shots and that he must now hunt the hunter. Spider-Man then sees a sign advertising the Central Park Zoo and realizes that is where he must be.

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Back at the laboratory Mariah finishes the cure and tests it on a mouse that was also exposed to James Reeve's serum with great success. Mariah then places a test tube full of the antidote into her pocket and runs out the door.

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A short while later Spider-Man arrives at the zoo and sneaks inside. However, Spider-Man falls into a trap set by Kraven. This causes Spider-Man to fall into the rhino exhibit where a rhino charges at him. However, Spider-Man is able to jump out of the way. and make it to safety. Spider-Man then sees Robbie suspended above a water fall. While hiding in the shadows Kraven asks Spider-Man where Mariah is. Spider-Man replies that he doesn't know and asks Kraven if they can talk to each other and act like civilized men. Kraven refuses and sets off explosions that cause giant trees to fall over but Spider-Man is able to jump out of the way. Kraven then releases a smoak screen and attacks Spider-Man. However, Spider-Man is able to throw him onto the ground. As Kraven stands up he reaches into his jacket and grabs a bola and throws it at Spider-Man and it ensnares him. At that moment Mariah runs in. However, Mariah accidentally activates one of Kraven's traps which forces her into a cage with lions and also sends Robbie into the water to drown. As Kraven goes to help Mariah, Spider-Man dives into the water to save Robbie who is about to be eaten by alligators. Spider-Man then grabs Robbie and gets him away from the alligators and gets him to safety. Spider-Man then saves Kraven from the lions and they learn that he is badley injured. Dr. Crawford then gives Kraven the antidote which counteracts the affect of James Reeve's serum and returns him to his old self.

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The next morning Sergei and Mariah board a ship to Africa. Kraven then tells Mariah that the nightmare is finally over and kisses her. On land Spider-Man watches as the ship leaves port. He then swings off into the city complaining that he will be lucky if Mary Jane or Felicia ever talk to him again.

Cast

Actor Role
Christopher Daniel Barnes Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Ed Asner J. Jonah Jameson
Linda Gary May Parker
Sara Ballantine Mary Jane Watson
Jennifer Hale Flecia Hardy
Rodney Saulsberry Joseph Robertson
Gregg Berger Kraven the Hunter / Sergei Kravinoff
Susan Beaubian Mariah Crawford

Cameos

Locations

  • Central Park Zoo
  • Laboratory
  • Ship port

Items

Continuity

None.

Trivia

  • When Spider-Man first encounters Kraven the Hunter, Spider-Man attempts to shoot a web line at Kraven. However, Kraven is able to jump out of the way. Spider-Man then says "Faster then a speeding web line. Who am I dealing with here?" That is a paraphrased version of Superman's faster then a speeding bullet.
  • Toward the beginning of the episode Spider-Man mentions Rhett Butler who is one of the main characters in Gone with the Wind.
  • Spider-Man also mentions the horror movie icon Freddy Kruger who is the main antagonist of the A Nightmare on Elm Street movies.
  • Robert Englund who played Freddy Kruger in all eight movies (not including the reboot) would later go on to voice the Vulture in The Spectacular Spider-Man.
  • When Kraven crashes the fashion show looking for Spider-Man you can hear a woman say "Look. It's the guy from Cats." Cats is a Broadway musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber that premiered in 1981.
  • During the episode Spider-Man calls Kraven, Jungle Jim. Jungle Jim was a comic strip character created in 1934 by artist, Alex Raymond and writer, Don Moore.
  • During the episode Kraven quotes Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's poem Prussian Nights.
  • At the end of the episode Spider-Man mentions Danielle Steel who is an American novelist and is currently the best selling author alive and the fourth best selling author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold.
  • This is the only episode where Kraven is a villain. In all of his other appearances Kraven is portrayed as a hero.

Episode review

A review by Amazing Spidey from Marvel Animation Age

Arguably the weakest episode the first season had to offer. It seemed very flat to me, for whatever reason. The villain wasn't particularly interesting and the supporting character, Dr. Crawford wasn't up too much either.

Kraven is a villain who can appear threatening if handled carefully, but can come off as very corny. His origin flashback was executed well, which is more or less where the dangerous part of the character came from. He came across as somewhat threatening but corney at the same time, somewhere in the middle. I always felt that he was too much of a whimp in this episode. The fights were lacking that certain ommpphh that the rest of the premiere season lacked, and the episode really suffered for it.

The shining point was the animation. Kraven was very fluent in both his movements and the modle itself, with his fur flowing nicely as he jumped about. The Robbie Robertson sub-plot wasn't all that bad either; he didn't do too much, just served as a hostage and nothing else.

Overall it was an average episode, nothing especially stands out, it never seemed to move out of second gear. Ironically enough, Kraven works far better as a hero in this show than he did as a villain. His later appearances all outshined this episode.

Quotes

"I sure hope he's not here interviewing for the same job!"

-Peter Parker after seeing Kraven destroy Mariah Crawford's lab

"Mariah, you can not give your heart to another man."

-Kraven the Hunter

"Nice outfit. Don't tell me your a leo right?"

-Spider-Man to Kraven

"Faster then a speeding web line. Who am I dealing with here?"

-Spider-Man

"I will not hurt her."

"So your going to hurt me instead?"

"Spiders are revered as hunters. But you have proven to be easy prey."

-Kraven the Hunter & Spider-Man

"So when did he change from Rhett Butler to Freddy Kruger?"

-Spider-Man asking Dr. Crawford about Kraven

"Look doc, I'm sympathetic but I don't usually handle domestic disputes."

"He's dangerous. He's the most dangerous animal alive. Until he's cured he could hurt anyone around him."

"The guy that lives here is out of town. It otta be okay for you to hide out here for a while."

"I can't stay here. I must find a lab and finish my work."

"With the king of the jungle running around out there? Not a chance."

"But Kraven will hunt the both of us down."

"Stop worrying doc. We webbed across the city ten stories high. It's not humanly possible to track us."

"Kraven isn't human. . . not anymore."

"Look I have to be someplace right now. But I'll be back and then we can set you up in a lab somewhere okay."

(Spider-Man swings off)

"The fear in her eye's has even me spooked. But I don't think this Kraven guy can find her. With any luck the cops 'ill grab him first. . . or maybe animal control."

-Spider-Man & Mariah Crawford

"Where is she! Where!"

"Who are you? Whats going on here?"

"I can still smell her perfume. You are hiding her, you must be the other man!"

"Other man. What are you talking about?"

"Mariah Crawford!"

"I don't know her!"

(Kraven picks up a piece of paper and sees that it is written by Mariah Crawford.)

"You are lying!"

-Kraven the Hunter & Joseph Robertson

(Peter sees Mary Jane in a leopard print dress)

"Wow. That outfit brings out the animal in me."

-Peter Parker

"Yo Jungle Jim! Up here!"

-Spider-Man

"Where is my woman?"

"Your the hunter can't you find her?"

-Kraven & Spider-Man

"Robbie, where the heck are you. The airline says your plane landed hours ago. What happened to you?"

"How does I was kidnapped by a crazed big game hunter grab ya JJ?"

-J. Jonah Jameson (over an answering machine) & Spider-Man

"Robbie's one of the people I respect the most. When will I learn to keep my friends out of my fights? Now I have to find him and the doctor. Where do I start?"

-Spider-Man

"Why are you doing this?"

"I was raised in the traditions of nobility and now I live in the world of the jungle. The codes of conduct that govern both are very similar. If you take what belongs to another there must be retribution."

"I don't know what your talking about! This isn't the jungle!"

"It's a concrete jungle! The same rules apply."

-Joseph Robertson & Kraven the Hunter

"That's it! I must hunt the hunter!"

-Spider-Man

"Kraven is who I am. I belong among the animals."

-Kraven the Hunter

"Welcome to my jungle."

-Kraven the Hunter to Spider-Man

"Your smoke screens no match for my spider sense. Your nothing but an animal!"

"I know fears and delights, the silver of the Prussian moon's the crimson of the Prussian nights."

"Quoting Solzhenitsyn doesn't make you human."

-Spider-Man & Kraven the Hunter

"Not bad for a guy with a busted web shooter."

-Spider-Man

"Mariah, the nightmare is finally over. I feel human again."

-Sergei Kravinoff

"Ya, okay bye bye. What a beautiful happy ending. I feel like I'm trapped in a Danielle Steel novel. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the hero supposed to get the girl? I saved the city from jungle boy and I'll be luck if Mary Jane or Felicia ever speak to me again. Not to mention that the animal kingdom walked all over my costume. Never again do I get in the middle of a lover spat. Stick a fork in me I'm done."

-Spider-Man

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