“I am no agent. My name is Sergei Kravinoff…”
“Be very quiet. I’m hunting Wabbits,” Elmer Fudd
Writer- Robbie Thompson
Artist- Nathan Stockman
Colors- Jim Campbell
Letterer- Travis Lanham
Cover Artists- Khary Randolph & Emilio Lopez
Editors- Darren Shan, Axel Alonso, Joe Quesada, Nick Lowe & Dan Buckley
The Story- Spidey #9 opens up with Peter lamenting on the trouble he is having with his job. The Daily Bugle barely pays him and gives him no credit for the Spidey pictures he submits. Peter further laments that he cannot get Aunt May a decent birthday present because he is so broke. The scene then transitions to Kraven the Hunter who is looking for the person that took pictures of Spidey. J. Jonah Jameson gives up Peter as the photographer. Kraven then manages to track down Peter by scent.
Peter notices that someone is following him thanks to his Spider-sense. Peter quickly changes into his costume and ambushes Kraven. The two square off and fight on equal footing for a while. Kraven seemingly gains an upper hand as the fight progresses and Spidey starts to notice that Kraven is switching up his tactics frequently. Spidey ponders whether Kraven is testing new tactics. Spidey manages to shine a light into Kraven eyes which momentarily blinds him. Spidey uses the distraction to his advantage and lands a decisive hit on the hunter. Spidey ensnares Kraven in webbing but he manages to escape.
It is revealed that the confrontation was all a part of Dr. Octopus’s plan. Behind the scenes Dr. Octopus was analyzing Spidey’s battle prowess in order to come up with a counter.
Peter returns home and gives Aunt May a birthday present. The present being an old picture of Aunt May, Uncle Ben and Peter smiling together.
Analysis- This issue does very little to stand out. The comic centers mostly on Kraven and Spidey’s confrontation but adds little to their dynamic. We learn very little about Kraven. In addition, the encounter adds nothing to Spidey’s character. The villains in “Spidey” have not been represented very well but some issues have shown potential. The issue with Dr. Doom revealed a decently deep and complex character. Additionally, I am frustrated with none of the villains Spidey fights to be a first encounter.
The original premise of “Spidey” (that the comic tried to sell to its would be consumers) was that this is an inexperienced Spider-Man that has a long way to go. These comics and especially this one feels like a Spidey that is just going through the motions. This Spider-Man does not feel like a novice but a veteran that has seen it all. As a result the fights feel mundane and since these are one and done stories the readers knows Spidey will win.
J. Jonah Jameson makes his first appearance this issue. It is an appreciated debut and he feels true to his character (though I do not think its hard to get Jonah’s character right). However, I have to wonder why it has took so long for Jonah to make an appearance. It was revealed many issues ago that Peter is working for the Daily Bugle.
Pros- (1) J. Jonah Jameson’s debut is a welcomed one.
(2) I thought the fact that Peter takes pictures using Uncle’s Ben old camera is a nice touch.
(3) Nathan Stockman’s representation of Spidey and his world feels spot on. I always felt Nick Bradshaw depicted fantastic Spidey battle sequences but I was on the fence with his depiction of Spidey. Andre Lima Araujo’s depictions were not the best addition but I did feel like this depiction of Spidey’s physique was realistic. Stockman gets both aspects right. His Spidey looks like classic Spider-Man and his battle sequences are great.
(4) I have to give it to the duo of Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez again. The cover of Spidey #9 looks amazing. Their cover art has been my favorite when it comes to “Spidey.”
Cons- (1) This issue does not stand out for me. There is nothing special or novel about Spidey#9.
(2) I do not feel emotional involved in Peter and Aunt May’s relationship. This is a serious problem because that is staple Spider-Man. The scenes with Aunt May could be removed and it would not effect the story. “Spidey” has shown in some instances that it can be somewhat deep and complex. It has shown this in the issue with Dr. Doom and with the interaction between Iron Man and Spidey.
My Final Grade is a C-
The Spidey #9 feels like it is going through the motions.
P.S. What is up with Peter having painted nails in the last two panels.