Spider-Man: The Lost Hunt #5
Years after the spider-bite, the Sinister Six, the symbiote insanity, and the death of his Aunt May, Peter Parker's life seemed to be slowing down. He had married his longtime girlfriend Mary Jane Watson, and with a child on the way Peter began debating whether or not it was time for him to hang up his mantle as Spider-Man.
It's a good thing the Jackal returned just in time to send his life spiralling into insanity once more. With the reappearance of his long time foe, as well as his clones Ben Reilly and Kaine, Peter's chance to leave the mantle in the hands of someone else finally came. he entrusted New York City to Ben Reilly as the Sensational Spider-Man! MJ and Peter walked off into the sunset, to grow old and happy in Portland, Oregon.
Yet, the ghosts of Peter Parker's past can't leave well enough alone. Just as the couple begins to settle in to their future, the ghost of Kraven the Hunter's legacy begins their hunt...
SPIDER-MAN: THE LOST HUNT #5 is the finale of author J.M. Dematteis’ second modern day exploration of the Clone Saga, and offers a satisfying (if contrived) ending to a series that was, overall, pretty okay.
The biggest issue with this series, and Marvel’s retro series overall, is the total lack of stakes. This never really comes up as a criticism however, as the appeal of something like this is not what it can do for the character’s future, but instead how fun it can be to revisit their past.
Sadly, in the case of Spider-Man: The Lost Hunt, it’s focused on an era of Spider-Man where Peter Parker is the least exciting part. He’s retired, MJ is at her least likable thanks to unfair characterization, and he’s given up the mantle of Spider-Man.
As such, the story line spends its time mostly fleshing out the lore that surrounds Kraven the Hunter with a narrative focused on shattering the cycle of violence established in Kraven’s Last Hunt. We focus on a long forgotten associate of Kraven’s who has gone off the deep end. However, there are stories that have come out since the era in which this story was set that directly invalidates the thematic poignancy of this story. The Kraven cycle does not end after this.
However, the ride is still well written. The character work done with the Grim Hunter Gregor and his mother Oshira is compelling regardless of its futile future. The radical devotion to the symbol of a greater being that Gregor has bouncing off of Peter’s struggle to retire is really interesting to read.
Eder Messias’ art is dynamic and reminiscent of the era in which this story takes place, but the color flattens the work down and takes away from some of the more exciting action scenes. The Spider-Armor’s return was exciting not just in concept, but from how menacing the reveal panel looks under Messias’ pen.
The only negative that the book can’t control is its ending. It relies on MJ doing something she would logically never do in order to spur a reaction from Gregor that brings about the book’s final emotional moments. It’s a too-convenient bow on a narrative that is otherwise airtight.
SPIDER-MAN: THE LOST HUNT #5 is a solid trip down memory lane that does some interesting things with its characters with a thematic plot that, sadly, holds zero weight on it's own thanks to it's instantaneous invalidation by future stories.
Spider-Man: The Lost Hunt #5 – The Spider-Armor Returns!
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 7.5/107.5/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10