WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #24 by Nick Spencer, Ryan Ottley, Mark Morales, Cliff Rathburn, Nathan Fairbairn and VC's Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
The Amazing Spider-Man has taken Peter Parker on quite a ride recently. It's been one of his most dangerous outings, as the "Hunted" storyline finds Kraven the Hunter working with Arcade on a new hunt, not only for the wall-crawler, but for other animal-themed heroes and villains in Central Park.
It culminates in a showdown that changes the status quo for Kraven, as he battles Spider-Man almost to the death. However, right after he and Spider-Man agree to end their war, Kraven actually dies at the hand of someone close to him, his last remaining clone. The big twist, however, comes in Issue 24, where, in the wake of Kraven's burial, his "son" -- an identical genetic copy -- dons the mantle and continue father's work.
To recap, Arcade placed a force field over Central Park, transforming it into a hunting ground in an event that pays homage to "Kraven's Last Hunt" and "Grim Hunt," storylines that helped to define his rivalry with Spider-Man. They had tourists establish neural links to Hunter-Bots, so they could remotely kill their targets. However, as much as they were predators, the tourists become prey as well, because once their bots are destroyed, the severing of the neural connection kills them too.
Thankfully, Peter figured out the inner workings of the hunt leading to this slugfest, with the hunter clearly trying to goad the web-slinger into fulfilling the prophecy, which foretold the Spider will kill the man known as Sergei Kravinoff. But Peter refuses to do so, causing Kraven to finally understand his warrior code. As a result, he shuts down the project and sets everyone free. Spider-man heads off to rescue a wounded Black Cat, who ironically saved Billy from his farther, the Lizard, and then heads to Mary Jane. Still, it's pure mayhem, as villains like Vulture and the reformed Savage Six are roaming free. Now that the veil is lifted, however, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four are among the heavy guns sweeping in to clean up the mess.
But that failure doesn't stop Kraven from what turns out to be a suicide mission. His son finds Spider-Man, in his black suit, in their home and decides to beat the hero to death. However, the kicker is, it was really Kraven who wore the suit to trick the lad into ending his life. He had enough of this lifelong vendetta, and he leaves his last son -- the sole survivor from a batch of 87 initially pitted against each other -- wondering what's the next step. He takes his rage out in brawls with panthers and gorillas, gets drunk and, surprisingly, is about to end his own life when he finds a note from his father. The letter instructs him to carry on the legacy, as Kraven is his birthright. And so, he cuts his hair, shaves, and dons his father's costume. In a sense, he's not even a son; he's an exact copy of the hunter, which means that, while one Kraven died, another immediately was born.
Another twist comes at Kraven's burial site, where the Chameleon (his half-brother) vows revenge for his death. It's uncertain whether he thinks Spider-Man is responsible, but he promises to raze the world for the murder. Fans are now eager to see how he'll react when he meets the new Kraven, and if he'll find out this newbie is actually his brother's true murderer.
Either way, as one problem is put to bed, another rises, except this clone is stronger and faster than the original. What makes it worse is he's even more unforgiving, so with the rage he has to unleash, it won't be long before Kraven 2.0 begins the next hunt for Spider-Man.
The Amazing Spider-Man #25 goes on sale July 10.