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Review: Amazing Spider-Man #634 (The Grim Hunt, Part 1)

Some of my fears have gone away.

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Kraven the Hunter. He was pretty much always a lame/cheesy villain until Kraven's Last Hunt. That arc was simply crazy good. He elevated himself fifty times and finally proved himself as a worthy villain for Spider-Man. In the end, he went out with a bang...literally. That was such a powerful story that still stands the test the time. With The Grim Hunt, there's talk of a "resurrection." That's where my fear comes in.

The Good

This arc starts off perfectly. We've been reading through The Gauntlet and seeing Spider-Man get a bunch of crap thrown at him. If you've seen the preview, you already know that Kaine, Spider-Man's imperfect clone, shows up, badly beaten. Stronger that Spider-Man, if Kaine can barely survive this, how can Spider-Man? On a side note, I have to express my joy at that the Clone Saga still exists after the events Brand New Day. Seeing Madame Web, Mattie Franklin and Arachne was a nice touch as well. There is also a major reference to The Other that made me take pause.
Joe Kelly does a great job bringing in the various Kravinoff descendants. The story combined with the art, almost doesn't feel like a regular Spider-Man story. There is definitely a dark tone. Normally I'm not entirely crazy about the dark stories that beat down the hero for the sake of a story. Comics are meant to be entertainment and I don't necessarily need to see one of my favorite heroes beaten to the edge. But this was just so good.
Also, while I'm not the biggest fan of back up stories, we get an "untold tale" from Kraven's past. What makes this good is it's written by J.M. Dematteis himself, the gentleman responsible for Kraven's Last Hunt. Kraven is portrayed as the noble, tough bad ass he should've have been from the beginning. 

The Bad

I'm still really nervous about the talk of a resurrection. There is also a unfortunate death here for a character that I'm sad to see depart the comic world. The other bad thing is this issue along with issue #633 both shipped in the same week. I know I shouldn't be complaining over two issues of one of my favorite comics but I can see this being a problem for others. There could also be the chance that some might accidentally only pick up one of the issues. 
Truthfully, those are my only complaints. In other words, this issue rocked.

The Verdict - 5/5

The older Spider-Man stories will always have a special place for me. They were the first ones I really started reading and I picked up as many back issues as I could. Kraven's Last Hunt ranks as one of my all time favorite arcs. I had high standards for this issue before reading it. I had big fears that it would possibly tarnish the memory I had over Last Hunt. I should have known better and had faith in the "Webheads" that have been overseeing the different story arcs. 
Now if this had shipped the same day as the next issue, I really would've had nothing to complain about. Read this issue. And read Kraven's Last Hunt if you haven't already.