Writer Nick Spencer’s “Hunted” arc has put Spider-Man through the wringer. Between the insanely lethal hunter robots and an army of animal-themed villains, there’s been a lot for Spidey to contend with. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 brings all of this to a close in an emotional way, especially for Kraven.

Say what you will for how we got here, but Nick Spencer absolutely knocks it out of the park in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22. Much like with Spencer’s other Spidey arcs, the payoff has been well worth the wait. We get some deeply intense character moments here, as well as some brutal action sequences.

Capturing the finale of “Hunted” is artist Humberto Ramos. His energetic style works surprisingly well in this relatively reserved issue. Despite some anatomical inaccuracies and inconsistencies, Ramos still manages to help Spencer deliver a clean finish to what has been a brutal Spidey event.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 Ends the Hunt

As any good finale issue should, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 delivers concrete answers and wraps up this arc in a satisfying way. Spider-Man set the Lizard free, and Kraven is finally ready to show himself. The villains and hunter bots are about to go to war. Black Cat and Billy Connors are cornered by Kraven’s son. Things are looking bad.

Spidey’s confrontation with Kraven comes first and foremost in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22. However, what starts as a battle of blows between these two quickly turns into a battle of philosophies. Kraven uses Spidey’s flaws and faults against him, and we revisit Peter’s nightmare of finding MJ dead at home. Enraged, Spider-Man nearly beats Kraven to death. But a sudden realization regarding Kraven’s machinations brings Pete to his senses, and he’s able to outwit Kraven.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 page 3. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Spidey makes Kraven watch as his son is brutally beaten by the Lizard. The Lizard doesn’t lose control; he saves Billy and Black Cat, then runs off. Then, with some choice words from Spidey, Kraven has a change of heart. He orders Arcade to end all the chaos, and lets Spidey go so he can save MJ.

Kraven then readies himself to lay everything to rest. Fans (or anyone with any idea) of “Kraven’s Last Hunt” might see this ending coming. That said, the way Spencer pulls it off is still unique and inventive. Above all else, it’s a satisfying conclusion to this extraordinarily intense ride.

What has “Hunted” All Been For?

Since the end of his first Spidey arc, I’ve held to the idea that Spencer’s writing works in a pattern of, “the build-up is questionable, but the payoff is always worth it.” Each of his arcs have pretty much panned out that way so far. That still stands true with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 closing out “Hunted.”

“Hunted” has been a hit-or-miss arc for me. Though there are many shocking and intense moments, the surprises and revelations of the story didn’t do all that much to change many of the characters. Come AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22, the only characters that have really changed are Kraven and the Lizard.

That said, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 still managed to surprise me. I was left feeling the arc had concluded in a sensible manner. In truth, this story is about Kraven, so it makes sense that he’s the one to change most by the end. Believe me, Kraven’s ending is completely fitting and appropriate. I was hoping for something like this, though I’m reluctant to believe Marvel won’t undo it before long. I’m trying not to spoil things, but I think you’ll get what I’m saying once you read the issue (which you absolutely should).

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 page 11. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The confrontation between Spider-Man and Kraven was perfect. It was the kind of final encounter you might get from a Marvel movie. Both Spidey and Kraven express a significant depth of emotion and conviction. They trade words rather than fists, and the resulting conversation they share is surprisingly powerful and organic. This battle of words perfectly drives the story to its dramatic conclusion.

I also enjoyed the material involving the Lizard, and how that tied back to Spidey and Kraven’s confrontation. Overall, this is a strong conclusion to this brutal event.

Capturing the Conclusion of “Hunted” in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22

Artist Humberto Ramos, accompanied by colorists Edgar Delgado and Erick Arciniega, puts on a more mixed performance than in his previous “Hunted” issues. While Ramos’ loud, emotive style still works in the confines of this grim story, there are too many character inconsistencies this time around, which drags down the overall quality.

Spidey was usually good, but there were more than a few panels where his torso was obnoxiously oblong, or his limbs were too slim. I don’t know why, but Ramos really can’t draw Vulture well at all, either.

Though on a more positive note, all the character expressions and emotions come across very well. Kraven had the most consistency, top to bottom. He has a demanding presence and a cool, collected demeanor throughout, which I love. I’m also a big fan of the Lizard’s new animalistic look. I’m more forgiving if his anatomy is a little off; he just underwent another big transformation, so it makes sense if he’s not completely uniform.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 page 19. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Delgado and Arciniega’s colors work well to counteract some of Ramos’ penciling inconsistencies. The pages where we see Kraven’s son in combat are all shaded and highlighted beautifully. I’m a sucker for panels shaded with those blood red tones. Also, the sequences depicting Spidey’s nightmare feature some unique shading and line work.

So, while the character drawings are questionable, there are plenty of redeeming qualities to the art in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22. While it’s definitely hit-or-miss, I’d say there’s at least more hits than missess.

What Comes Next for Spider-Man?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 wraps up “Hunted” in the best way possible. Spencer delivers a meaningful conclusion to both the story as a whole and to Kraven himself. Ramos’ art, while it has its flaws, still serves to vividly bring this arc to a close. When you add in Delgado and Arciniega’s colors, there’s much more to love than to hate.

Though Kraven’s latest hunt has concluded, Spider-Man isn’t out of the woods just yet. He has to get home and make sure MJ is alright. Beyond that, there’s still a lot of clean up to do regarding all the villains now free to do as they please. Hopefully, we’ll see all of that next time.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
While "Hunted" as been pretty hit-or-miss, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22 delivers the ending this arc needed. This is Kraven the Hunter at his finest. Spencer breaks the character down and gives meaning to his madness, while Ramos, Delgado, and Arciniega capture all the action with mixed results.
88 %
A Powerfully Satisfying Conclusion

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