The classic era had quite a few inconsistencies (possible understatement of the year), but one that has me scratching my head this morning is the strength of Sergei Kravinoff. I've always believed he has 2 ton strength because of handbook entries and I still do, but his history is all over the place. Sergei doesn't have any sheer lifting feats (tossing cars, lifting tanks, etc), in fact, the most impressive strength related feat we've ever seen in casually punching through walls and the claim (made at least twice per issue, jeez) that he can drop an elephant/rhino in a single strike. These are all fine under the 2 ton range, but let me share with you some things that made me go "wait a second..."
1) Claims that once Spidey's speed is gone, Kraven's "far greater strength" will earn him the victory. Huh?!
2) 4th panel, Spidey thinks "mustn't give him a chance to recover! He's too strong.." I know 2 tons isn't shabby for street level, but would Spider-Man really think that's "too strong?"
3) I know Kraven has the upperhand here, but would 2 tons really be enough to overpower Spidey in a grapple like this? Major negative, I say. What's especially humorous is that Spider-Man doesn't even win through his strength, he just rolls out of the way.
4) Parker briefly struggles with a "bone crushing bearhug."
5) And on the opposite side of the spectrum, we have an encounter where Kraven claims a gorilla is stronger.
Could this just be credited to the inconsistencies of early story telling? Absolutely. But, as a big fan of the character, I wanted to share my confusion surrounding this and hear what you guys think about this subject. I'm not looking to redefine how we classify his strength- I still believe it's 2 tons - I just wanted to bring this up for discussion.
Sources saying he's 2 tons: