Anticipation and hype are slowly but surely building up in a big way for Insomniac’s superhero sequel, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. The game is expected to have a major presence on Wednesday’s PlayStation Showcase which could very well offer the best look yet at both plot and gameplay. Especially if that supposed September release date is to be believed.
Spider-Man 2 is set to feature Spidey’s most lethal adversary, Venom, and will adapt the classic ‘Black Suit’ storyline. A tantalizing prospect for any lifelong fan. But I think we’re missing something. Spider-Man 2’s secondary antagonist comes with an equally significant story in Spidey’s lore. A story which rocked Spider-Man’s world and left a brutal impact on Peter Parker. To understand the story, we have to understand the villain of the piece. We have to understand Kraven.
Big Game Hunter
Kraven the Hunter was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 all the way back in 1964 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. In his first appearance, the character is portrayed as an egomaniac who is obsessed with the idea of overcoming “the most dangerous game” Spider-Man.
He quickly established himself as a major player in Spidey’s vast and varied hall of rogues, being considered as one of the few villains who can push the wallcrawler to his physical limits. The villain’s obsession with either defeating or capturing Spider-Man is one that’s been portrayed in other media like animation, alternate comics universes, and in games.
Kraven was a recurring side villain in the Spider-Man movie games based on Sam Raimi’s trilogy. He got a slightly more substantial role in Beenox’s tie-in to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 where he’s featured as a Ra’s Al Ghul-like mentor to Peter Parker.
While Kraven is ranked highly against other villains amongst the fandom, the same old dynamic began to wear thin. The character needed real depth. He got exactly that in the late 80s when the creative duo of J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck delivered a story that not only serves as the character’s legacy but is also considered one of the greatest Spider-Man stories of all time.
The Last Hunt
Kraven’s Last Hunt begins with an unusually dark and dreary night in New York. The hunter sits alone, forlorn in his vast mansion surrounded by the head mounts of game he’s conquered over the years. The once proud hunter is a husk of his former self following defeat after defeat at the hands of Spider-Man. In his madness and grief, he hatches one final dark plot to claim victory over the webslinger.
Meanwhile, Peter Parker is having a rough time. He’s reeling from the loss of his close friend and ally, Ned Leeds. After another traumatic loss, Peter is left reflecting on the consequences that come with being Spider-Man. As he swings into the night he’s attacked with renewed vigour and fury by an incensed Kraven.
Peter Parker is shot and killed.
After holding a funeral, Kraven claims the Spider suit and attempts to become a more efficient and brutal Spider-Man. The hunter stalks the streets of New York violently attacking criminals and drawing media attention through his ruthless tactics.
I lied by the way. Peter isn’t really dead.
Instead, he’s buried alive while placed in a coma-like state for two weeks. It’s during this time the reader gets a real deep dive into the psyche of Peter Parker. In his mind, he’s finally found the space of total tranquillity he’s been seeking. He’s free from responsibility. Of course, it only lasts so long. As he’s met with visions and ghosts of the past, Peter begins to steadily wrestle his demons and crawls his way to the surface, resulting in this panel.
I won’t spoil the end of Kraven’s Last Hunt as it’s absolutely worth reading, but this iconic story could in fact have a bearing on the way Spider-Man 2’s plot plays out.
A Potential Influence
It’s hard to say at this stage if Insomniac has any plans whatsoever to incorporate this story but I can’t help but feel it’d be missing a beat if it overlooked it. It’s shown that it loves to have villains with real depth as seen with Doc Ock, Mister Negative, and the Tinkerer.
A scenario which sees Kraven in his final days relentlessly hunting down Spider-Man to restore his honour before his time is up could add some much-needed nuance to the character and establish him as a true threat. The story arc could also have an impact on gameplay. Peter being out of commission after being buried alive will allow Miles his time to shine in the narrative as he once again must protect New York alone in Peter’s absence.
Insomniac has also been known to throw in a good homage to some of Spidey’s most iconic moments in film and comics. Kraven’s Last Hunt not only features one of the most striking imagery of the character’s 60-year history but also could allow the studio to lean into more psychological aspects of storytelling that they toyed with in the first game.
This story could even run concurrently with plans for the black suit. It’s not known how, or even if, Peter will come into contact with the symbiote, but there is one way to do it. Peter is lowered into the grave in his classic red and blue colours, as he lies in a coma-induced state he wrestles with his demons as he’s slowly corrupted by the symbiote. He rises from the grave in the black suit. What a moment it would be!
One thing’s for sure, Insomniac has plenty of lore to dive into with this one and the story for Spider-Man 2 is almost certain to be bigger, grander, and carry much higher stakes. I just hope that one of Spidey’s most formidable rogues gets his time to shine.
Would you like to see inspiration from Kraven’s Last Hunt incorporated into the plot of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 at all? What are you expecting from the Insomniac sequel? Let us know in the comments section below.
The third act main villain is very likely to be neither Venom or Kraven though
Soapbox: Let Insomniac tell the story they want and lets hope it's an original story and no rehash of any comic.
N.i.c.e. Spiderman 2 is going to be amazing.word up son
I think with Venom being involved we're likely to see other symbiotes. If not Carnage then perhaps some of the symbiotes from Lethal Protector.
Definitely concur that the Kravens Last Hunt storyline is Spiderman comics at their best!
(I still think Venom will be playable in some form, ala Ultimate Spiderman)
Playable Venom, or infected Peter Parker has always been my hope (especially as there is multiple lore spider-people) I'd like to see an original take on it all though. And I really, really want my DualSense, or 3D spacial audio to be speaking Venom's thoughts to me. That's literally all I want from a game like this 😅
Or... VenoMJ? 😱😁
I remember reading this in the monthly issues as a kid. If memory serves, it was a crossover between Amazing, Spectacular, and Web Of which made it tough to track down issues at the local convenience store. I was probably too young for it, but it definitely left an impression, especially the art in the spider munching panels.
I was a fan of the early Peter David story ‘The Death of Jean Dewolff’ as well, which also took the friendly neighborhood web slinger to darker places. That story blew my young mind when I realized that Spiderman and Daredevil knew each other and lived in the same city. Ahhh, nostalgia.
Each to their own, obviously, but I do not play Spiderman for the story...
I think this has a very good possibility of happening. Maybe not exactly how the comic is, but they'd definitely reference or homage it.
Insomniac knows that fans want Peter to get the symbiote. Hell, when they were asked why the black suit wasn't in the first game (I did like how they gave us a replacement with the Dark Suit) Brian Intihar said, "That suit is a part of one of the best Spider-Man stories ever told and it deserves its time in the spotlight and we want to tell that story the way Insomniac would tell it."
So that pretty much says Peter will get the suit.
Plus, it would give us some fun gameplay opportunity. What if instead of Peter getting the symbiote off himself, you have to play as Miles and fight Peter? Like hitting the bell to stun him and whatnot.
CAN"T WAIT for the new Spidey!
This sounds awesome, great piece Bobby!
@nocdaes which is fine but the Spider-Man games are known for their great stories especially the first one that a lot of critics and fans thought was one of the best spidey stories in years.
isn't the games based on ultimate spiderman ?
@pip_muzz I agree! I personally don't think Carnage will be in 2 though. I think if they do him that'll be for the 3rd game. We may get a spinoff game for Venom like we did for Miles!
Venom: Lethal Protector
Best Spidey story ever in my opinion but i would rather they do their own story. I also think both Venom and Kraven aren't the big bads.
@Brawl4002 Yeah while i'm not sure if Venom will be playable in SM2 i do think a spin off is surely happening and i think that's where Carnage will be used.
This would be kinda epic 😎
@Tielo Well, they could never do a spiderman story that is worse than one more day,so yeah.
I kinda picture Kraven as more like Taskmaster in the first game, with challenges based on avoiding traps — or a timed challenge, swinging away while being chased by him. But unlike Taskmaster, he’ll eventually be integrated into the main plot.
@WallyWest @ChrisDeku I agree that neither Venom nor Kraven are the final villain. Given the connection to this version of Venom, I think Green Goblin would be most likely.
@Brawl4002 A Venom spinoff game could be a possibility. But what I’m hoping for is to have Gwen Stacy be introduced like Miles was in the first game, with a Spider-Gwen spinoff game afterwards.
@Brawl4002 Kraven an Miles have to work together to save Peter.
@Impossibilium with the whole multimedia event stuff Sony is trying to do I be amazed if there not some tie Into the animated film.
I wish they stuck to this idea for No Way Home. Probably would have been a good movie if they had.
@Impossibilium That would be a huge change to Spider-Gwen though as the whole point of her appeal is she isn't Peter's Gwen and that she comes from a universe where she becomes "Spider-Man" instead of Peter and he's the one to die instead of her. Without the appeal of her universe and backstory she has no place in this universe unless they explore the Multiverse (what is so overused right now in media and comics).
@stefan771 Except No Way Home was a great movie.
@Impossibilium @WallyWest @ChrisDeku 100% agreed, but hopefully this time the audience (us) won't see it coming.
We all knew that Doctor Octavius was going to become Doc Ock in the 1st game.
@WallyWest I’m with you when it comes to the Multiverse stuff. It’s not so bad in the comics, where they have over 70 years of stories, so adding in extra universes just adds to the thousands of other stories that were already told. My main problem with the current state of the MCU is that they skipped past all the great, fundamental storylines that shaped the characters over the years and jumped right into multiverses and alternate timelines.
And yeah, Spider-Gwen’s origin story would be completely different if she were introduced to the games. But given that they’ve messed with so many other characters (the Tinkerer, MJ, Doc Ock, Miles), I think they could come up with a way to bring her into the games without losing the core of her character. She could just be introduced as a love interest for Miles, not Peter. To pay homage to her comic book origin, they could use a de-aged Curt Conners instead of Peter, or make her dad be a doctor instead of a cop and have him be the Lizard. I think there’s lots of ways they could make it work.
And — I know this might invalidate any other opinion I might have — I’m with @stefan771 in that I thought No Way Home sucked (I thought I was the only one!). For the reasons stated above (skipping over other stories for multiverse stuff), and many others. If you want to see a huge change to a character’s origins, look no further than the MCU Peter — skipping Uncle Ben altogether, only to try to make up for it after already being Spider-Man for years.
A little late to suggest what a game releasing in a few months should be like, don't you think @Bobby Houston??!!
Edit: Maybe change title to "suggestion for Spiderman 3 game..."
Fellow gamers, remember the hyphen! It's Spider-Man!
They should adapt the Ultimate Marvel version of Kraven; knocked out in one punch in his first meeting with Spider-Man 👍
@Brawl4002 I just thought that instead it's maybe more likely, as Peter is the main Protagonist, and you only get to sometimes play as Miles and MJ in the first game, that it's Miles that gets to be Venom this time. So there can still be playable Venom, but it's Peter's job to sort it all out, before it transfers to Eddie Brock for a spin off game.
But my first thought remains, it's MJ who is always poking around places she shouldn't be, and could easily see, touch or interfere with something she shouldn't, typical Journalist... 😅
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