In the late ‘80s, the writers, editors, and artists behind Spider-Man felt intense pressure to keep up with the dark, gritty stories that had become popular in comics such as Daredevil and Batman. In order to compete, writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Mike Zeck concocted a violent and brutal story focusing on one of the Wall Crawler’s more maligned enemies, Kraven the Hunter.

In Kraven's Last Hunt, the baddie grows weary of his inability to defeat Spider-Man and finally decides to take one last run at the Wall Crawler’s life. Shrugging all of the usual supervillain pandering and boasting, Kraven simply shoots Spider-Man with a tranquilizer and buries him alive. With Peter Parker now out of the picture, Kraven dons the red-and-blue costume and, to prove he's the better hero, begins to fight crime.

Kraven’s Last Hunt features the usual comic action, but it also blends aspects from classic literature and recurring themes in order to present a deeper, more complicated narrative. It routinely quotes William Blake’s poem The Tyger, and Mike Zeck’s art fills the book with gritty photorealism. This one's for a more sophisticated audience.