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Amazing Spider-Man #34: Review

Mar 1966
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

The Thrill of the Hunt!

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #34 Review by (February 28, 2024)

Review: We have the return of the Hunter in an honestly pretty by-the-numbers Kraven story. Kraven comes to hunt down Spider-Man once again, dressing up as him to harass Jameson in order to draw the real Spidey out. I do think it’s interesting to note that this will not be the last time that Kraven dresses as Spider-Man, doing so much more famously in the Kraven’s Last Hunt story decades later. Kraven also comes prepared, using a spray to dull Spidey’s spider-sense, showing he’s learned a bit from previous encounters. The fight itself is cool if pretty standard with Spidey just walloping on Kraven and eventually dropping him. Kraven shows that he’s got a code of honor, when he admits to impersonating Spider-Man, giving him some more interesting characterization.

Meanwhile Peter also learns that he’s unpopular at school and why. He’s not rushing to beg them for him to explain himself, so for now they all still hate him, though Peter and Gwen are at least intrigued by the other. The groundwork is slowly being laid. A little moment of Fridge Brilliance I thought: at first it seems random that Kraven just had a Spider-Man costume to impersonate him with. Then, you remember that he’s crashing at the Chameleon’s old hideout from ASM #15 so it’s very likely there would be a Spider-Man suit there to use! Overall, a fun if pretty underwhelming Kraven story. To be fair, it’s hard to follow the last three issues!

Comments: Kraven returns, not seen in Spider-Man since Annual #1. This won’t be the last time Kraven dresses as Spider-Man.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #34 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Our story opens with Kraven the Hunter perusing his trophy room of all of the wild beasts that he’s successfully hunted. However, Kraven the not satisfied, as his greatest prey, Spider-Man, has still eluded him. Kraven takes one of his special potions, to increase his physical attributes, hungry for a challenge. Kraven heads outside where he encounters a wild lion and quickly and ferociously humbles the beast. Kraven then makes preparations to return to America to find Spider-Man. We then cut to a startling scene, as Betty Brant seemingly asks Peter what big secret he’s been hiding from her. Peter climbs to the ceiling and reveals that he’s also Spider-Man, to Betty’s dismay! Betty then awakens with a start, the encounter having all been a dream. Betty refuses to believe that could be Peter’s secret but concludes that she needs to make a decision, one way or the other.

Meanwhile Peter revels in being able to actually get some studying done, now that Aunt May is out of danger. Peter stops by the hospital where he finds that Aunt May’s friend Anna Watson is visiting, before the doctor tells them the good news that Aunt May can go home! Mrs. Watson offers to take May home, while Peter heads to ESU. There, we find Gwen Stacy being mobbed by tons of guys, all itching to see who she’s going to the game with. Gwen ponders how Peter is only guy who hasn’t paid her any attention when she drops a book, just as Peter arrives. Peter offers to help her but Gwen rebuffs him, as Harry Osborn tells Peter flat out how unpopular he is. Peter realizes how much he was ignoring his classmates when Aunt May was sick, but decides he’ll just wait for them to get over it, as he catches up on his schoolwork. Peter and Gwen are both intrigued by the other, but for now, things are at an impasse.

On his way home, Peter suddenly hears sirens and goes to change to Spider-Man. However, Peter decides the police can handle it, as he needs to study and look after Aunt May anyway. We then cut to Kraven, now back in America, as he holes up in the Chameleon’s old hideout. Kraven ponders how to best hunt Spider-Man, deciding to use just the right bait to lure him out. We then see J. Jonah Jameson hailing a cab, when he’s suddenly surprised by Spider-Man! Spider-Man claims he just wants to talk but Jameson freaks out, attracting a crowd as Spider-Man promises he'll be back! We then discover that it was really Kraven disguised as Spider-Man, knowing this little act is sure to draw the real one out! Back at home, Peter is shocked to see the reports of Spider-Man attacking Jameson, but decides to wait and see what happens, as he doesn’t want to leave Aunt May while she still recuperating.

Over the following days, Kraven, dressed as Spider-Man, continues to hound Jameson. With the public's impression of Spider-Man worsened once again, Peter decides he needs to take action. When Anna Watson stops by to see Aunt May, Peter takes the opportunity to go out as Spider-Man. Spidey heads in the direction of the Daily Bugle and quickly finds the phony Spider-Man, giving chase. Spider-Man lands on an old, abandoned building, as a bunch of goons notice from the street and decide to ambush him. Kraven reveals himself as the imposter, before spraying Spider-Man with a jungle scent, in order to dull his spider-sense. Kraven offers Spider-Man the chance for them to stalk each other in a worthy fight, agreeing to surrender himself as the imposter if he loses. Kraven heads into the building, as Spidey chases after him, narrowly avoiding a waiting booby trap!

Spider-Man continues to avoid Kraven’s traps, when his spider-sense alerts him to two of the goons, planning to ambush Spidey. Spidey quickly takes care of them, before webbing up several others. He then makes his way further into the building, as he’s suddenly grabbed by Kraven, as the two begin to trade blows. Just then, more of the goons show up, with Spidey and Kraven heading opposite directions, each dealing with some of them. Spidey and Kraven then search for each other once more, as Kraven spots Spidey perched on a wall. He then distracts Spider-Man with a thrown brick, before leaping on him from above! Kraven swings the two back into the building, where they continue their fight.

After a furious battle with the elusive Kraven, Spidey finally lands some good solid hits, taking out the Hunter, leaving him and the goons for the police. Kraven, a man of honor, admits to being the one stalking Jameson, as Frederick Foswell delivers that bad news to Jameson. We then see that a new secretary has replaced Betty at the Bugle, after she mysteriously left! The issue ends with Peter, despondent over the situation with Betty, deciding that he’ll just need to forget about her, as he can’t give up being Spider-Man!

Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko
Stan Goldberg
Steve Ditko (Cover Penciler)
Steve Ditko (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Plot: . Letterer: Sam Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)

(Kraven the Hunter)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Anna Watson, Betty Brant, Frederick Foswell (Big Man).

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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