To Salvage My Honor!
Story: Denny O’Neil
Pencils: Alan Weiss
Inks: Janson, McLeod, Rubinstein, Wiacek, Milgrom
Lettering: Mark Rogan
Coloring: Bob Sharen
Originally published: October 1980
As you may know, I’m not normally a fan of Kraven. However, I think he’s probably better than the lame-ass parade of goons from the last while. Spidey hasn’t really faced a real villain since the Vulture in Spectacular 44 & 45. Combined with all the Spider-Woman I’ve been reading, this has been a really boring stretch.
We open on Kraven and a lady named Calypso, somewhere in the Caribbean. Calypso is busing goading Kraven, who is lamenting the dirty tactics he has employed against Spider-Man of late. But it looks like he will soon have a chance to redeem himself, as they prepare to ship some animals to New York.
Once there, Calypso frees all the animals, causing a stampede and forcing Kraven into action. He and Spidey actually kinda work together to set things right. Later Calypso claims Spider-Man was actually the one who opened the animals’ cages, and the slaps Kraven in the face and calls him a coward. I think Kraven could do better, this chick seems like a bitch. But, she manages to convince Kraven to go after Spidey.
They end up fighting in the Museum of Natural History where Spider-Man puts in a quite lousy performance. Some posturing from Kraven and dumb luck let him come out on top, but he really should have died.
A couple of b-plots worth mentioning: first, Deb Whitman’s uncle is in some kind of trouble, which she asks Peter to help out with. He’s a dick, of course, and refuses. But later he feels guilty and heads out to the docks as Spidey to investigate. Second: Rupert Dockery is still being a sleaze at the Globe, and when he gives Pete a dirty assignment, Pete refuses.
I enjoyed this issue. Kraven was a lot more of a real, balanced character than he normally is.