Amazing Spider-Man #15
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #15
Review/plot: Spider-Man foils the planning of a bank robbery, but one of the robbers escapes. It is the Chameleon in disguise. He had been arrested as a spy and deported, but he came back and has been engaged in petty crime. Having been foiled by Spider-Man again, he decides he needs to be taken care of, and calls in his buddy, the popular hunter, Kraven.
Peter has been summoned by JJ to take pictures of Kraven when he arrives at the docks. Flash and Liz also show up to see Kraven, and when Liz starts mooning over Peter, Betty gets jealous. People think of Peter as a loser with the ladies, and say that it was unrealistic for him to marry Mary Jane, but the truth is that the girls are all over Peter in these early issues once his glasses are gone.
Kraven fights some escaped gorillas and then announces that he'll be hunting Spider-Man. JJ tells him that it's against the law to hunt human beings. In all the excitement, Peter has forgotten to take pictures. The Chameleon arranges a burglary so that Kraven can watch Spidey in action. He is duly impressed. Then Spidey and Kraven fight, and Spidey almost wins until Kraven hits him with a potion that gives him the shakes.
Spidey runs off.
Despite his shakes, Spidey hunts down Kraven the next day, and winds up fighting both him and the Chamelon, who is acting as a Kraven duplicate. Eventually Spidey wins.
This issue also begins an important subplot: Aunt May threatening to set Peter up with their neighbor's niece.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Tales #153
Inbound References (6): show
The way Kraven is introduced as a celebrity, once could expect a contemporary portrayal would have him be a star in his own reality TV series.
I think Kraven is a very interesting villain in his Ditko issues, but he rapidly becomes a boring B-lister after Ditko leaves.
Posted by: Chris | August 1, 2012 1:12 AM
Those colored word balloons are actually a pretty neat effect, I wonder why they stopped using those?
Posted by: S | August 2, 2012 5:04 PM
Later stories reveal that chameleon and kraven are step brothers.
Posted by: doomsday | July 4, 2013 1:56 AM
Half-brothers, not step brothers.
Posted by: Michael | July 4, 2013 9:00 AM
"The way Kraven is introduced as a celebrity, once could expect a contemporary portrayal would have him be a star in his own reality TV series."
This is exactly what Bendis decided to do in Ultimate Spider-Man. Kraven is pretty much all talk in that universe, though.
Posted by: TCP | September 23, 2014 3:58 PM
Yeah even when he gets werewolf powers or laser guns he tended to get beaten quickly.
Posted by: david banes | September 23, 2014 6:39 PM
Aunt May tries to set Peter up on a date with Mrs. Watson's niece. Is this the first published mention of Mary Jane?
Posted by: Robert | December 8, 2015 12:22 AM
Robert, i didn't track it at the time, but according to Wikipedia this is the first mention of MJ and the it's the first time the MCP list her as "behind the scenes" in an Amazing Spider-Man issue.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 8, 2015 7:58 AM
I disagree that Kraven was boring after Ditko. Fearful Symmetry was an outstanding storyline. I like Kraven but always found his name odd because craven which is pronounced the same means cowardly.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 29, 2016 7:00 PM
@Bobby- that's supposed to be the point. He's what TV Tropes calls an Egomaniac Hunter. Note how he runs away from Spider-Man and got his powers by stealing from the natives.
Posted by: Michael | November 12, 2016 12:54 PM
I suppose but I never really thought of him as cowardly.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 12, 2016 4:17 PM
This issue is also the first appearance of Mary Jane's Aunt Anna Watson.
She only appears in one panel on page 11.
Posted by: Rick | October 22, 2017 5:37 PM
Added her with a scan. Thanks Rick.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 24, 2017 11:46 AM
The one thing I didn’t get about this story was Kraven coming to hunt Spider-Man, since he was the “most dangerous man of all.” However, at this point that honour should have clearly gone to the Hulk. Obviously Chameleon had a lot of influence in his half-brother chasing Spidey, but you’d think his arrogance would caused Kraven to pick Hulk as the prime target at some point (or did he? Forgive my ignorance if there was another story like this). Most likely, Kraven knew his limits and understood there was no way he had a chance against the big green meanie.
Posted by: Paul Peterson | March 11, 2018 10:01 PM
1) Yes, I think Kraven knew he couldn't take the Hulk without "cheating", which would be like shooting game from a helicopter, emotionally unsatisfying.
2) I would love to see the Marvel movie costume designers take on Kraven. I love his look, but what the hell is going on with his vest? Did he really take an actual lion head and split it down the middle? How grotesque would that be in real life?
Posted by: Andrew | March 12, 2018 6:53 AM
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