Spidey Friday Night Fights: Hey, Hunt This!


“Two Shades of Ugly…”


Hey hey hey Spider-Fans.  It’s Friday, and that means yet another Spidey Friday Night Fight!

I know, I know… your weekend just would start out the same if not for ol’ Tireless George chronicling Spidey’s battles over the decades.  But Crawl Space delivers and Spider-Man fans reap the benefits.

This week, since Marvel’s releasing a new Kraven story that some of you are reading and some of you aren’t, I thought we’d take a look back at another Kraven moment from Spidey’s history.  So we’re turning to Amazing Spider-Man #49 from June, 1967.

The story we’re focusing on is called ‘From the Depths of Defeat,’ by Stan ‘the Man’ Lee and Jazzy Johnny Romita.  And it’s not just Kraven this time around – it’s Blackie Drago as well!

Read on, Crawl Spacers!  See you below the fold…


Our Story:  Kraven’s set his sights on Spidey – and the second Vulture, Blackie Drago – while Drago’s gloating over thinking he just killed Spider-Man in the previous issue.  Oh brother is he in for a surprise!


TONIGHT’S CARD


In the left corner…

Peter Benjamin Parker, aka ‘The Spider-Man’


Height & Weight: 5′10″ / 165 lbs.
Powers: Proportionate strength, speed and agility of a spider.
Spider-Sense.  Webshooters.  Eye of the Tiger.  Err… Spider.

And in the right corner…

Sergei Kravinoff, aka ‘Kraven the Hunter’ & Blackie Drago, aka ‘The Vulture’


Height & Weight: 6’0″ / 235 lbs. & 6’0″ / 210 lbs.
Powers: Enhanced Strength & Reflexes.
Tactics & Tracking.
Master of Armed & Unarmed Combat.
Can tame wild animals.

Oh, and Drago can… fly.


ROUND ONE – DING!


While Kraven and Drago try to settle their differences through polite discussion and compromise, Spidey starts up the taunt machine.  I really dig Romita Sr.’s artwork here and each time a character lunges through the air the panels turn into a ballet of violence.

And using the advantage of surprise Spidey serves up a dish of his own.

The special tonight?  Face Poundings, and they’re two for the price of one.

Kraven’s probably arrogant enough to think he can turn the tables and lay a beating on both Spidey and Drago, but Drago?

Well Drago’s probably regretting every life decision that’s brought him to this point.

Spidey’s more than ready to put Kraven back in his place when he makes an attack leap and tops it off with some more colorful banter.  Spidey’s “sweetie” and “grind” comments here are kind of funny when contrasted to today’s Amazing Spider-Man.

Back then it comes up in the context of a fight – today it might pass for dialogue between Spidey and Black Cat doing the masked mambo.


ROUND TWO – DING!


Drago recovers enough from Spidey’s earlier punch to take a swoop at the Wallcrawler and he finds time to grace us with the stupidest comment of the fight:

“Even your Spider Strength is no match for the power of my wings!”

Oh lordy, Drago’s such a newbie to the whole villainy bit.  So Spidey shows how just how ridiculous that is while Kraven watches on, lookin’ stupid.

Spider-Sense gives our hero the edge here as Kraven scrambles at Spidey from behind but Kraven still shows off why he’s considered a Spider-Man A-list baddie.  He pulls a wrasslin’ move on our Webhead and for the first time in this fight Spidey’s in a legitimate spot of trouble.

The suspense is killing you, right?

Well probably not cause Spidey’s the main character and you’ve probably already figured out how this all works.  Heh.


ROUND THREE – DING!


With Spidey in Kraven’s hold Drago decides to steal the Hunter’s thunder and makes a move at Spidey himself.  Not only is Drago really bad at the whole villainy thing but he’s also a cheap shot artist.

Oh, where’s the honor?

So Drago finally gets a hit in and that sticks in Kraven’s craw.  He wants Spidey all to himself and doesn’t mind telling Drago as much.  Fortunately, Drago’s cheap-shot opens a window of opportunity for Spidey to deliver a Spider Strength elbow to Sergei’s ribs.

Spidey follows up with a nice right cross to Kraven’s blockish head and plays connect the dots with the Hunter’s teeth. And what’s up with Kraven’s head anyway?  Anyone ever notice that or is it just me?  I mean from for decades Kraven always just had this giant square-head.  Like someone painted hair and a goatee on a cinder block and stuck it on top of a man.

Anyhoo!  Drago decides to try his mighty wings (can’t type that without laughing) again and shows he’s at least learning that he and Kraven need to consolidate their attacks.

But Kraven apparently doesn’t get the memo as he takes aim with his lion vest and tries to zap Spidey.


ROUND FOUR – DING!


Luckily our hero’s just too quick thanks to the proportionate strength, speed and agility of a Spider.  He arcs through the air and out of the way just in time and Kraven’s lion-bolts (heh) hit the bumbling Drago instead.

And with that, Vulture’s officially out of the fight.  It’s probably best that way.  Just stay down Drago and someone with a uniform and armored transport will be around to collect you shortly.

We can also pause here to reflect how much Kraven looks like Freddie Mercury on steroids.

Kraven makes a final, desperate play at Spidey and gets the air – and practically everything else – knocked out of him when Spidey delivers up the Pain Train to Kraven’s chest.

And is it me or has almost the entire fight been pretty much 100% Spidey?  As Loverboy would say, “The Kid Is Hot Tonight!”


ROUND FIVE – DING!


Kraven’s shocked, stunned and apparently knocked unconscious by Spidey’s massive blow.  And the Wallcrawler even manages to get in a final taunt before Kraven goes lights-out, boasting about the fact that his Spider Strength poured it on against the Hulk in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3.

Man, that Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3 was something else, huh Crawl Spacers?  Not only did Spidey whip the Hulk but he also took on the Avengers in their own HQ as well.  Hmm.  I wonder if that might make a good Spidey Friday Night Fights Hall of Fame match someday…

Newsflash, true believers: Drago’s a dud, Kraven goes thud and Spidey’s a stud.  You can read all about it in tomorrow Daily Bugle, complete with pictures by Peter Parker.

You know, If Kraven ever stopped hunting long enough to read the paper and notice who was taking the picture of him and Drago covered in web’s, from Spider-Man’s perspective, he might have gotten further in his crusade against the Webhead.  But he apparently had more important stuff on his one-track mind.


And with that all eyes turn to the judges for tonight’s decision…


DECISION – SPIDER-MAN!


Aaand how!  Taking down two villains at once (well okay, one and a half cause it’s Drago) is a good night’s work for our hero.  How will he celebrate?  Maybe he’ll go to Disneyland and check in with his new bosses.

As always we turn now to our Spidey Friday Night Fight studios for expert analysis and commentary with Ben Grimm and Shang Chi.  Unfortunately Shang Chi can’t be with us tonight because, as his note put it, he “is spending tender time with a special lady friend.”  So filling in for Shang tonight is Frank Castle, the Punisher.

Ben, we’ve seen Spidey take down whole teams of heroes before yet tonight’s a special win because he beat just two villains.  Could you share the difference between the two with our viewers?


“Sure thing, Georgie.  Ya see, when yer fightin’ a group of heroes… that is ta say when yer a hero, too, fightin’ off against other heroes… ya never really worry that they’re out to kill ya.

Well usually ya don’t.  I mean there’s exceptions, like when Iron Man and Reed use Thor’s DNA to make a Murderbot or anytime yer up against Wolverine (who likes to slice faces off) or Elektra.  But most times heroes can come up against one another fer whatever reason and not really feel like they’re in too much peril if’n they wuz ta loose.

Now it’s different when yer squarin’ off against villains cause most of th’ time, sure – they wanna kill ya.  Sometimes ya get lucky.  Sometimes Blaastar and Annihilus get in a lucky shot on ya and then fight one another long enough fer ya to recover so ya can get back up and give ’em both a beatdown after they’ve worn another out.  But some of these freaks… includin’ old timers like Bullseye or youngbloods like Wolverine’s kid, whose name I can never remember… man they’ll just kill ya right then and there.  Cuz yeah, they’re the worst of the worst.

And that’s what Spidey wuz up against here tonight – two of his worst.  Well… Kraven and a Vulture knock-off anyway, but sure enough Drago woulda killed ‘im if he’d had th’ chance.  And Kraven?  Hell, is there anything Kraven talks about besides wanting to kill Spider-Man?  Cripes, hangin’ out with th’ guy must sound like sittin’ next to a broken record.

Now Frank might have a different perspective on things.  Oh boy, this oughta be rich.”


“So much of this is unnecessary.  If Spider-Man simply employed high ballistics with enough stopping power he’d never have to worry about the likes of Kraven or Drago again.  Do you know how many criminals I could put away permanently if I had Spider-Man’s capabilities?  The only thing I’d leave behind for other heroes to fight is pollution.

Take this fight for example.  Kraven’s strengths lay in his enhanced abilities and his unnamed expertise.  Or in other words he has to be close to you to really do that much, unless he’s hunting you with a sniper rifle.  Though from what I hear of him he’s more likely to use that on himself and save you the job.

Anyway with someone up close in your grill like that you want something mid-range and mean.  Something like a Desert Eagle .50 fired directly at his chest, center mass, should do the trick.  No more Kraven, no more getting hunted.  Just a byline at the bottom of the scrawl on a 24 hour cable news network.  ‘Markets close down… Storms slam Northeast… Kraven the Hunter killed in NYC… Cowboys over Giants, 24-9…’  You get the idea.

But that Drago freak?  My grandmother had .22 pistols that would take out Blackie Drago.  Good Lord, the security alarm on my van’s capable of defeating Blackie Drago.

With Drago you don’t need anything fancy.  Wait for him to trip himself up and hit him a couple of times with whatever you have.  .38, .357, .44… you know, whatever you have on you and loaded.  Or to make it even quicker just use a 12-gauge to clip the bird’s wings and blow his chest cavity out his back.  Work’s done, on to the next soon-to-be-corpse.

Why you people want to keep fighting the same freaks over and over is something I’ll never know.  And they call *me* the crazy guy.  Whatever.”


Yikes.  We’re definitely going to get letters after that.  Thanks, Frank.  Alright Teaser Line, tell us what we’re lookin’ at next week!


NEXT WEEK:  Captain, the Carnage Level’s at Maximum and I don’t know how much more we can take!


Glad to see you’re feeling better, Teaser Line.


NEXT WEEK:  Hey, thanks George!


Once again we wrap up this week with a look back at this week’s Marvel Fight Club match.

Last week we learned that Maria Hill had fallen to Jack O’Lantern in Hell while Mephisto made smores in Marvel Fight Club #5 – ‘Snowball’s Chance!’

So what’s the low down on this past week?

In our most titanic brawl yet Marvel’s resident alien dragon, Fin Fang Foom, faced off against Hank Pym’s gift to Earth, Ultron.  Bearing witness to this event were the peaceful Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  What could go wrong?!

We called the fight Marvel Fight Club #6 – ‘Farmageddon!’ and it was our closest match so far!  52% of you Crawl Spacers felt that Fin Fang Foom was just too much for Ultron to take while 48% of you picked Ultron as the victor.  So somewhere in Lancaster County right now Foom’s picking his teeth with Ultron’s adamantium frame, or parts of it, while the Amish are probably hoping he hasn’t noticed them at all!

That one really came down to the wire.  The voting was close right up unil the end.  At one point hours before the poll closed the two were tied, but then two votes came in for Foom to put him over the top.  Enjoy the win, Fin!


For Ben Grimm, Shang Chi, the Punisher, myself and everyone on the Spidey Friday Night Fights & Marvel Fight Club team have a fantabulous weekend, Crawl Spacers!


–George Berryman

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