Episode Number: 15
Season Episode Number: 2
Production Number: 202
Airdate: January 18, 2009
Writer: Matt Wayne
Director: Kevin Altieri
Voices: Josh Keaton (Spider-Man), Lacey Chabert (Gwen Stacy), Alanna Ubach (Liz Allan), Eric Vesbit (Kraven the Hunter), Angela Bryant (Calypso Ezili), Andrew Kishino (Kenny 'King Kong' Harlan), Phil LaMarr (Randy Robertson), Grey DeLisle (Sally Avril), Dee Bradley Baker (Curt Conners), Kath Soucie (Martha Conners), Brian George (Miles Warren),Peter MacNicol (Master Planner).
Plot: Sergei Kravenoff comes to New York in serch of the ultimate prey: Spider-Man! But when Spider-Man proves to be too much for a normal human to handle, Kravenoff pays Professor Miles Warren to turn him into the ultimate hunter.
Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Kraven is an interesting character. Most of Spidey's villains go after him because it's personal. Either they blame Spider-Man for their condition or for foiling their master scheme or for something Spider-Man has done to them in the past.
But Kraven has no beef with Spider-Man. He hunts him for sport. This puts an interested angle on their relationship because there is not personal struggle between the two. With Venom it's really tragic because Peter and Eddie were best friends. Same with the Green Goblin in this series. The Sinister Six all blame Spider-Man for ruining plans and locking them up in jail so they are out for revenge.
For Kraven it starts out as game. He has no ties to Spider-Man, no reason to constantly pursue him, but what Kraven is actually battling is his ego. He will keep on going after Spider-Man at what ever cost because he is ashamed at himself for not being the best hunter. In the comics, when he actually succeeds at 'killing' Spider-Man, he commits suicide because his life no longer has purpose. That says it all right there.
Originally in his comic roots, Kraven would drink a potion of strange jungle herbs which would enhance his strength, speed and senses. But in this Spectacular Spider-Man world of genetic mutations and experiments, Kraven decides to have himself genetically turned into an anthropomorphic animal. An interesting twist on the character, one that provides some of the best action we've seen in this series. Seriously, this show is action packed.
Peter Parker's love life is the underlying sub-plot for the season and is pretty in your face in this episode. One of the main reasons I stopped watching Smallville was because there were too many love stories that never went anywhere. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good romance, but I hope this one doesn't drag out this entire season. And now they introduce Debora Whitman, another Parker girlfriend from the comics?! Are they planning on making this a four-way love triangle? And what about Mary Jane?! Too many girls!
The Master Planner gets his second voice cameo in this episode. You can see that the voice credit goes to Peter MacNicol who also voices Doctor Octopus in this series. (Those of you who know your Spider-Man history should also know that Doctor Octopus IS the Master Planner!)