It’s predators vs. prey in part two of Nick Spencer and Humberto Ramos’ “Hunted” storyline. Spider-Man is trapped in a dome around Central Park along with many different animals themed villains. Or are they trapped in there with him? No, actually they’re all trapped since there are robotic soldiers trying to kill them.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“HUNTED” PART 2 Kraven’s plan begins to unfold in CENTRAL PARK! He lets the prey loose and the hunt begins. But Kraven isn’t the hunter this time. Who has Spider-Man in their crosshairs?! Rated T
Why does this matter?
As Marvel editor Nick Lowe pointed out at the end of the last issue this is the story Spencer pitched to get the job. That sets the bar a bit higher. Plus, Kraven has been teased for many issues so it best be a top notch story!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue picks up where the last left off with Spider-Man and many animal-themed villains running for their lives. We get a taste of what is going on, and then writer Nick Spencer reveals everything in regards to the immediate threat under the dome. This helps add context and potentially set up some interesting Spider-Man vs. Kraven-looking soldiers for future issues.
Much more focus is on Mary Jane this issue. As she’s wont to do she’s worried about Peter and Spencer lets us see how she copes knowing he’s risking his life out there. The captions over her scenes are a bit unnerving focusing on the concept of predators and other interesting ideas. It’s a good combo since it leads to quite a last page.
Ramos does well with what he’s given with colors by Edgar Delgado and Erick Arciniega. Spidey isn’t in this issue much (more on that later) so much of the art is focusing on dialogue-heavy scenes or quick semi-close up shots of attacks in the park. The opening double page spread is quite effective in showing usually frightening villains fearing for their lives as they run away and Spider-Man is right there with them.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
It’s kind of amazing how little Spider-Man is in this book. By my count he only appears on 4 pages, some of which he’s only in one panel or a small slice of the page. I had a similar problem with Amazing Spider-Man a few issues back. This issue spends more time with ancillary characters, Arcade and how he’s doing all this, and Mary Jane. Heck, even Kraven doesn’t show up in this issue. Without Spider-Man in this issue quipping and doing the punchy-kicky, you’re left catching up on things and reading plot set up. The comic is either juggling too much or just not plotting things out well enough to keep your interest.
Is it good?
I’m having a hard time getting into “Hunted” due to the slow start and even slower second chapter in the story arc. The issue has a clever backbone with creepy captions about predators, but the biggest failing is how it lacks Spider-Man. Instead, it focuses on everybody else, progressing plot elements but leaving you with an incredibly middling issue.