It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Kraven the Hunter. I have several story ideas for him bouncing around in my head and now that I have some extra free time, I'm going to finally enjoy writing them! I want to focus on Kraven's relationship with his daughter, Ana, but before I get to that, I'm going to have some fun. How has Kraven never fought Wolverine in the primary Marvel Universe?! In addition to having a blast writing about these two going at it, I also want this brief story to be about two things that are very important to me right now: Self-reflection and trying to become a better person.
The plan is to tell this story in three short chapters. The first one is the only one written purely from Kraven's perspective - I think that's especially important because I want to set the character in a new direction instead of doing the same old thing with him. Hopefully you enjoy reading this and I really do look forward to your thoughts. Thanks!
Chapter One: Kraven's New Hunt
Written by Gregg Katzman
My name is Sergei Kravinoff and I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do is not very nice. Thanks to my family’s wealth and herbal potions which slowed my aging and made me physically superior to the average human, I have spent decades traveling the planet and defeating every beast and impressive creature with nothing more than my bare hands. When there was no beast left to defeat, I set my sights on the heroes of this world.
From the unforgiving jungles of the Savage Land to the people wearing spandex in the concrete jungles, all that mattered to me was proving I’m the most formidable being on the planet. When I finally bested the Spider, I felt my life was complete. So, I ended my life on my own terms, but my family brought me back to life with dark and twisted magic. I was a narrow-minded fool for thinking this life holds no greater purpose than defeating a lighthearted child who dresses as an arachnid.
Most ordinary humans strive for something called a work-life balance. It is clear to me that I was so focused on my work that I completely forgot about the purpose of this life. When I was in the Savage Land, I never took a moment to appreciate the breathtaking landscapes that surrounded me, or the towering creatures roaming the fields. When I was in New York during the winter, I never took a second to simply look up and appreciate the beauty of the snow as it peacefully fell in front of incredible architecture. What is the point of living if you’re not trying to enjoy it?
I returned to this life against my own will and it is clear to me that I will never be able to return to the grave. Only the Spider may end my life since I was brought back with his blood, but it is obvious that he will never cross that line. There are two options for me now. The first is to spend my time being angry and repeating the mistakes I made in the past. The second is to move forward and appreciate this second chance at life. No longer will I go after noble men and women. I will focus on those who deserve to be hunted, like the evil people who prey on the weak or abuse their power, and I will teach this mission to my daughter, Ana, as well. But, before I seek out these new challenges, there is one man I must approach. He claims he is also the best there is at what he does, and I am curious to see which one of us is truly the best. Wolverine, it is time for us to finally meet.
Chapter Two: A Caffeinated Combatant
Written by Gregg Katzman
PAGE 1: 4 panels
Exterior of a coffee shop in NYC. The sign says "Sorrentino's Super Coffee"
Logan's sitting alone at a table in the corner, enjoying a hot cup of coffee and reading a newspaper. He's wearing his usual pair of jeans, red shirt, and his trench coat jacket is over the chair.
Close-up of Logan as he flips through the paper. The headline says "Deadpool Sued by NYC Food Truck Alliance" and has an image of Deadpool arguing with a person who works in a taco food truck called "Millar's Mighty Tacos"
OLD MAN LOGAN: Damn it, Wade...
MAN OFF PANEL: Is this seat taken?
OLD MAN LOGAN: Have at it, bub.
From over Logan's shoulder, we now see Kraven the Hunter is sitting at the other side of the table, confidently staring at the X-Man. Kraven's wearing a suit, not his usual attire.
KRAVEN: James " Logan" Howlett, also known as the Wolverine. It's a pleasure to finally meet you. I am -
OLD MAN LOGAN: I know who you are, Kraven. Shouldn't you be buggin' Spider-Man instead of makin' small talk with me? If you're huntin' for some coffee, you can go get it over at the counter. Bye.
PAGE 2: 3 panels
Kraven sits across from Logan with his shoulders back and his legs crossed. Logan is slouched over with his warm cup of coffee in one hand and a newspaper in the other.
KRAVEN: I respect you, so I'll be blunt. You claim to be the best there is at what you do. However, there is one little problem: I am the best there is at what you do.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Not my problem, Tarzan.
KRAVEN: It is now. Tonight at 1 AM, I will enter Central Park from the north, you shall enter from the south. We will fight until only one of us is left standing.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Can't feed your ego tonight 'cause I got plans. Bed's lookin' real cozy around 1 AM. Raincheck?
Kraven leans forward while Logan remains in the same position, still unamused and uninterested in what Kraven has to say.
KRAVEN: You're under the impression this is optional. Let me be clear: It is not. I am trying to do the right thing by talking to you instead of simply ambushing you when you exit this location or being cliché by kidnapping someone you care about to get your attention. I'd hate to have to go with the cliché option, James.
OLD MAN LOGAN: You're a real gentleman, Kraven, but I don't think you realize what you're getting yourself into. Tell me, why is your skin so thin that you're not okay being the second best there is at what ya do?
Kraven smiles; Logan remains the same.
KRAVEN: Ha! I guess we'll find out tonight, won't we?
PAGE 3: 3 panels
Close-up of Kraven's eyes and you can see Logan in their reflection
KRAVEN: We have a lot in common, you know. We like to pretend we're noble men, but deep down, we're both animals that simply want to rip into something that deserves our bloodlust. You can deny it all you wish, but you know how therapeutic the violence can be, especially when you're looking down at your defeated enemy. Also, it appears death cannot claim either of us - let's test that, shall we? We're both trying to mentor younger versions of ourselves as well. Perhaps we can all go out when this is over. I do believe the little girl pretending she's Wolverine and my Ana could be quite a duo. Perhaps a hunting trip in the Savage Land is in order?
Close-up of Logan's face, now looking focused and serious
OLD MAN LOGAN: Screw it, it's been a long week and I could use a punchin' bag. If teachin' you a lesson tonight means I won't see you again, then sure, I'm in. But are you really sure you want this? This ain't like dancing with the wall-crawler. I ain't gonna joke. I ain't gonna flip around. It'll be me popping my claws and then you bleeding on the ground, wishin' you stuck to fighting lions, tigers, and bears.
A side view of the two staring at each other. Kraven is leaning forward and smiling. Logan's leaning back and sipping his coffee.
KRAVEN: We shall see, James. We shall see.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Your funeral, bub.
PAGE 4: 8 panels
Kraven's luxury apartment in NYC. The walls are full of trophies (animal heads) and decorative items from various countries. Very open spaces with limited furniture and massive floor to ceiling windows. Kraven and his daughter, Ana, are training in unarmed combat.
ANA: I can still capture the female Wolverine as a back up plan, father.
KRAVEN: There is no need for that.
Ana attempts to kick her father in the head, but Kraven ducks.
ANA: How do you know?
KRAVEN: The threat of going after someone he loves is motivation enough. There is no need to harm an innocent. Besides, I am not confident you would succeed in your mission, child.
While Ana is still in the position with her missed kick, Kraven elbows her in the stomach.
KRAVEN: You're fast. You're vicious. But your technique is lacking. One day you will surpass me, but that day is still very far away.
Ana is on her knees, holding her stomach in pain. Kraven is extending his hand to help her up. Despite the pain, she keeps her emotions contained and glares at her father. One hand is holding her stomach, the other is reaching for a knife on the back of her belt.
ANA: You're right, father. But you're getting soft!
Ana lunges at Kraven with the knife.
Kraven blocks the knife with his open hand, letting the knife stab through his hand as he prevents her from stabbing him in the chest.
KRAVEN: No, I am not, and again, you need to work on your technique. You are far too easy to predict.
ANA: But -
KRAVEN: Please, do not insult yourself by acting like an ordinary teenager who would rather spew excuses instead of listening. You are better than that.
ANA: I... I know, father. I know I can defeat the imposter Wolverine, though. Let me prove it to you.
Kraven takes the knife out of his hand; Ana's guard is down since their fight is now over.
KRAVEN: I said no. I expect you to perform better tomorrow.
ANA: That's assuming you return from your fight, father. You may be able to best your teenage daughter and the Spider, but Wolverine will show you no mercy.
KRAVEN: Good, and I shall show him none.
Ana clenches her fist as her father walks away.
ANA: I am better than the imposter Wolverine and I will prove it to you, father.
PAGE 5: 5 panels
CAPTION: CENTRAL PARK, 1:15 AM
Old Man Logan is casually walking through the park.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Okay, let's get this over with.
Close-up of Old Man Logan's face as he sniffs the air.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Come on down, jungle boy.
Kraven, wearing the updated version of his costume seen in Grim Hunt, leaps out of a tree that is only 20 feet or so in front of Logan
KRAVEN: So glad you made it, James.
Kraven wields two knives and prepares for combat.
KRAVEN: No traps, no tricks. Just you and me.
Logan pops his claws.
PAGE 6: Splash page
Side view of the two lunging at each other, only a few feet away. Logan's snarling as he leaps forward with his claws and Kraven's smiling as he lunges with his blades.
Chapter Three: The Best There Is
Written by Gregg Katzman
PAGE 1: Splash page
Kraven the Hunter and Wolverine clash, both landing brutal attacks on the other. Wolverine's claws slash across Kraven's chest, and Kraven's knives slash across Wolverine's chest and abdomen. Neither appears to be in pain.
PAGE 2 and 3: 30 Panels (3 rows of 10 going from left to right across the two pages)
Kraven ducks a slash from Wolverine.
While ducked under Wolverine’s attack, Kraven stabs one knife into Wolverine’s stomach and one into the arm that’s exposed above him.
With his free arm, Wolverine impales his adamantium claws into Kraven’s stomach.
With his claws still in Kraven, Wolverine uses his adamantium-laced skull to land a brutal headbutt directly on Kraven’s nose.
While Wolverine is in close, Kraven uses his opponent’s momentum against him to violently throw him into a thick tree.
Kraven wipes the blood off his face as Wolverine gets back up.
Kraven smiles and spins his two knives and Wolverine’s ready to lunge.
Wolverine lunges at Kraven.
Wolverine lands a jump kick to Kraven's face.
Kraven counters by stabbing both of his knives into Wolverine's back (this is a nod to Deadpool #88).
Wolverine slashes at Kraven’s face; the Spider-Man villain barely dodges as the claws graze past his cheek, drawing blood.
Kraven dives forward, stabbing Wolverine with both knives in the chest.
While Kraven’s up close, Wolverine elbows him in the throat.
Kraven’s momentarily stunned and Wolverine stabs him in both sides of his ribs.
While still impaled and up close, Kraven uses both of his knives to stab Wolverine in the neck, viciously linking the two.
Close-up as the two are connected.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Grrr.
KRAVEN: This is... fun, James.
Wolverine knees Kraven in the groin.
Kraven raises his right arm, ready to attack with his knife.
Wolverine stabs Kraven’s right wrist, forcing him to drop the knife.
Wolverine stabs Kraven’s left hand, forcing him to drop the other knife.
With Kraven disarmed and his wrists healing, Wolverine intensely plunges all six of his claws into Kraven’s chest.
Kraven falls to his knees, holding his chest. Wolverine spits blood out.
KRAVEN: Im… impressive, James. This is… the best fight… I’ve had in… years.
OLD MAN LOGAN: I’ve had better.
Kraven stands back up as Old Man Logan turns his back to Kraven; all his wounds are now fully healed.
KRAVEN: This isn’t over.
OLD MAN LOGAN: It was a good fight, bub. You should be proud of that. It’s late and I’m old, so if you’ll excuse me I need to go get my beauty sleep.
Kraven smiles as he leaps at Wolverine.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Damn it…
Wolverine slashes Kraven across the cheek.
Kraven recovers and uses a nerve strike on Wolverine’s left shoulder, making the hero’s arm briefly go numb.
Kraven goes for a punch with his right hand to Logan’s throat.
With his right arm, Wolverine counters by stabbing his claws directly into Kraven’s fist before the blow lands.
Wolverine follows-up with a slash, but Kraven dodges it and, in one swift motion, moves into position behind Wolverine.
KRAVEN: You’re good, James, but I’m better.
Kraven has Wolverine in a choke hold.
KRAVEN: It’s clear we can’t kill each other… so knocking you out… will have to suffice and prove that… I’m superior.
PAGE 4: 4 Panels
Close-up of Kraven talking into Wolverine’s ear as he has a tight grip around the hero’s throat.
KRAVEN: You were worthy prey, James. Thank you for this.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Like… you… said, bub…
Close-up of Wolverine’s hand as his claws pop out.
OLD MAN LOGAN: This ain’t over.
Logan thrusts his fist over his shoulder, stabbing Kraven directly in the forehead.
Kraven – eyes closed and blood flowing from the stab wounds in his heads – falls over.
OLD MAN LOGAN: But now it is.
PAGE 5: 7 panels
The panel is black.
The top and the bottom are black, and the middle is blurry. You can barely make out Old Man Logan.
At this point it’s clear we’re in Kraven’s point of view. Old Man Logan is extending his hand down at the reader.
OLD MAN LOGAN: C’mon, bub. Get up.
Kraven smacks aside Logan’s hand
KRAVEN: I do not need your help.
OLD MAN LOGAN: You’re a real proud fool, ain’t ya?
KRAVEN: I’m only one of those things, James.
OLD MAN: A fool, gotcha.
Kraven gets up; Old Man Logan’s claws are not popped, of course.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Listen to me, Kraven. Some fights ya win, some fights ya learn from. There’s always gonna be someone out there who’s better than ya. If you think otherwise you’re going to go mad and that’s no way to live.
KRAVEN: It’s the only way to live, James. You’re right, though. I was a fool… a fool to match you blade for blade instead of using my usual methods. The next time we face, it will be different.
OLD MAN LOGAN: You got serious problems, guy. But you know what? This is the best workout I’ve had in awhile and stabbin’ your smug face sure did feel good. You set the date, I’ll be there. Guess you were right about it bein’ therapeutic.
Old Man Logan puts his hand on Kraven’s shoulder.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Coffee? Sorrentino’s is open 24/7 and you ain’t gonna find better coffee in the city. Your treat.
PAGE 7: 4 panels
Establishing shot outside of “Sorrentino’s Super Coffee” at night.
KRAVEN: If I had my net, I-
OLD MAN LOGAN: Shut up and enjoy your coffee, Kraven.
Both men are sitting at the same table from chapter two. This time their attire is shredded and there is dried blood stains on their clothing.
KRAVEN: I respect the outcome of the fight, but as I said –
OLD MAN LOGAN: Blah, blah, blah. It’ll be different when you have all my toys. Blah, blah, blah. I got it.
KRAVEN: It’s true.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Sure it is.
Wolverine is drinking his coffee while Kraven is appreciating the scent of his warm drink.
OLD MAN LOGAN: Ya got a narrow mind, Kraven. Trust me, there’s more to life than your foolish “I’m the best” mission. Cast aside that arrogance and take a nice, long look at your life. If you got loved ones, be with ‘em. Trust me, there ain’t nothin’ more important than that. And if you do even think about comin' after the people I care about, we'll see if you can survive havin' your head chopped off. Got it?
KRAVEN: I do not need a lecture from you about the importance of family. There is nothing more important to me than making sure the Kravinoff name is respected.
OLD MAN LOGAN: If you walk around in public dressed like that, don’t expect respect anytime soon, bub.
Kraven leans forward while still holding his coffee while Wolverine is still relaxed.
KRAVEN: I look forward to our next fight, James.
OLD MAN LOGAN: As long as you don’t drag anyone else into this and keep buyin’ the coffee, I’ll keep stabbin’ you in the face. It ain’t healthy, but it sure does feel good to unleash on someone who can take it.
KRAVEN: We shall see, James. We shall see.
Establishing shot of Kraven’s luxury apartment. Kraven returns, still in his slashed apart attire that is covered in dried blood.
KRAVEN: Ana, it’s time to train.
Kraven opens a large door to one of the rooms.
Kraven is visibly upset as he sees All-New Wolverine on the floor, with her hands and legs trapped in adamantium restraints.
Ana stands behind Kraven. She’s covered in slash wounds, but standing confidently and smiling.
ANA: I told you I was good enough, father.