A Game-Changing Story Arc
The Grim Hunt had been building in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man for quite some time. We all knew a plan was set into motion by Sasha Kravinoff, the wife of Kraven The Hunter which was meant to weaken Spider-Man in order to achieve her ultimate goal which was revealed in this book.
I was really impressed with the storytelling of Joe Kelly who incorporated a lot of the spider mythology into the story. Other characters like Kaine, Arachne, Arana, Mattie Franklin, Madame Web and Ezekiel all played important roles. I was intrigued as he went into detail about the fragile state of the Web and how Spider-Man is key in holding it all together. I'd love to hear more about this in future issues. They could really expand on it and turn it into something great.
I really liked Joe Kelly's characterization of all characters in the story. I really felt like I was reading a story full of well developed and well defined characters. Spider-Man's heroism was obviously present but I noticed a lack of his usual joking banter which I didn't mind one bit. This was a darker story and you could feel it as you flipped each page. I liked the writing for the Kravinoff family. A dysfunctional bunch of psychopaths made things interesting and unpredictable. Joe Kelly really kept you immersed in the story the entire time.
There was a back-up story featuring an untold tale of Kraven The Hunter involving Kaine. It wasn't half bad as far as back-up stories go.
Surprisingly I was really digging the artwork in this story arc. For quite some time now, I've felt this series has suffered from inconsistent artwork. The shifting roster of artists have often failed to produce any artwork worth praise. The combined efforts of artists Michael Lark, Marc Checchetto and Stefano Guadiano really delivered some standout material. I loved the darker vibe and grittier tone the artwork presented. It matched this darker story perfectly. I'd love to see this style of art more often on this series.
While The Gauntlet may have dragged on, the Grim Hunt more than made up for it. This was one of the best Spider-Man stories to come out in quite some time. Hopefully they continue to build off of the success achieved in this story.Rating: 5/5