There was a time when the world marveled at his physical prowess. A period when his courage inspired awe and his exploits drew envy. An interval when he truly was the world's greatest hunter. That was before the environmentalists deserted him, and the animal rights activists condemned him. It was before he met Spider-Man. Before he knew failure and humiliation. Sergei Kravinov was aware that death was coming. He could sense its stealthy approach and could almost see it grinning in the shadows. But Kraven wasn't ready to die. He couldn't rest until he had reclaimed his honor and dignity. Until he had satiated his pride and proven his superiority. Until he had defeated Spider-Man. And so, gathering his strength, Kraven went out on one last hunt...
Kraven was still faster than a panther and stronger that a great ape, but he knew that he was no longer in his prime. Yet he believed that he would never know peace unless he humbled Spider-Man. Formulating a daring plan, he sought to immerse himself in Spider-Man's essence by burying his body within a veritable mountain of spiders and by using jungle herbs and potions to expand his consciousness.
Having recently returned home from his honeymoon, and thinking about death all around him after going to a crook's funeral, Spider-Man was out web-swinging one night when he was suddenly attacked , drugged and captured by Kraven. As the hunter advanced on his prey, Spider-Man was unconcerned. Until, that is, he saw the rifle and the look in Kraven's eyes. Aiming the rifle at Spider-Man, Kraven shot the wall-crawler right between the eyes.
Kraven took the wall-crawler's body back to his estate, placed him in a coffin, and buried him on the grounds. But it wasn't enough for Kraven to merely slay Spider-Man. The hunter had to prove his superiority. He had to become his enemy. So, dressing up in a duplicate costume, Kraven assumed Spider-Man's identity.
Kraven began to patrol the city, dispensing his own vicious brand of justice. He even rescued Mary Jane from muggers, but she immediately saw through the disguise. Unlike Spider-Man, Kraven actually killed some of the criminals he came across.
While Kraven focused on Spider-Man, a ratlike monster stalked the streets of Manhattan. He was called Vermin, and he possessed superhuman strength, speed, and stamina. Kraven used his skills to track the monster through the sewers. Dressed like Spider-Man, Kraven confronted Vermin, beat him unconscious, and took him prisoner.
As Kraven claimed victory over Vermin, the real Spider-Man stirred...he had only been drugged by Kraven. Buried deep in the ground, Peter Parker opened his eyes. Desperate to be united with Mary Jane, he broke his way out of the coffin and began to crawl upward, clawing his way to the surface. Two weeks had passed since Kraven had buried him alive. After a brief visit to assure his wife that he was still alive, Spider-Man began to hunt the hunter.
Compassion, Not Vengeance
Through sheer brutality, Kraven had battered Vermin into submission. He took the monster into custody because he wanted to see if Spider-Man was powerful enough to do the same. But the web-swinger had nothing to prove. He didn't care what the hunter thought and no desire to inflict pain.
Blood and Thunder
Filled with fury, Spider-Man attacked Kraven, who didn't bother to resist. The hunter merely smiled... he had won. He had allowed Spider-Man to live when he could have easily killed him. Kraven had finally proven himself superior to Spider-Man. When the wall-crawler refused Kraven's challenge to fight Vermin, the monster attacked him. Kraven immediately acted to save his old enemy, but released Vermin. Having achieved what he set out to do, Kraven allowed Spider-Man to pursue Vermin. The hunter then committed suicide.