In the Hands of the Hunter!
Writer: Stan Lee
Art: John Romita
Lettered by: Sam Rosen
Originally published: April 1967
We learn in a flashback that when Kraven the Hunter previously fought Spider-Man, he was doing so with the promise of $20k if he could kill Spidey – courtesy of the Green Goblin! It turns out that way back when, when I said I liked that Kraven’s motivation wasn’t greed, I was dead wrong. Nice retcon, Stan.
In the present, Kraven finds out that the Goblin is dead and blames Spider-Man for keeping the 20 grand from him. He vows revenge. Kraven knows that Norman Osborn was working for the Goblin (but not that Osborn was the Goblin) and decides to go find him to demand some money. When he finds that Osborn is out of town, we’re treated to a view of his new weapon – nipple lasers that will magnetize Spider-Man’s elecrolytes.
There’s some Peter/Harry/Gwen action, then Pete invites Betty and Ned to Flash’s going-to-war party. On part night, Gwen definitely has MJ beat fashion-wise…although their dresses are both awesome. That Romita sure has an eye for fashion.
Unfortunately for the gang, KRAVEN SMASHES INTO THE PARTY! Since Norman Osborn was out of town, he’s going after Harry. When Flash tries to come to the rescue, Kraven bitch slaps him onto the floor and kidnaps Harry. Luckily, Spider-Man is on the scene and they have a big fight. After awhile, Kraven hits him with the nipple lasers and really turns the table on ol’ Spidey. Just then, Norman Osborn shows up and takes Kraven’s attention away from Spider-Man. Osborn, who has no memory of ever encountering Kraven (or of being the Green Goblin) gets grabbed by Kraven but is saved by his own amnesia – since Kraven has some sort of lie-detecting “jungle instinct”, he knows Osborn is telling the truth about not knowing Kraven or the Goblin. Kraven assumes that he has the wrong man and starts to leave. Spider-Man would probably stop him, except that Norman Osborn was klutzy and fell off a high building, so Spidey had to go save him.
When it’s all over, Peter says goodbye to Flash and finally, for once, starts to question whether the poor guy will survive the war.
This issue was really good!