Spectacular Spider-Man #241-245 (1996): 1st new Kraven, Kangaroo

Aaaaand we’re back! Ben Reilly is dead (or “dead”), and Peter Parker is back starring in his own books, which have returned after the horrible Clone Saga interruption, picking up the pre-Clone numbering. At the conclusion of the Clone Saga, Peter and Mary Jane’s unborn baby died. But they’re smiling on the cover.


This is mostly a bridge story. We get “reacquainted” with Peter and MJ, with some typical scenes, but we also get some Clone wrap up.

It does feel good to see the real heroes again, after that awful and awfully long Ben Reilly period.

Chameleon played an important role in the Clone Saga, and now he’s incarcerated at Ravenscroft Asylum. He also knows Peter is Spider-Man.

He’s being messed with by an evil doctor there (Ashley Kafka), and of course he escapes. He then disguises himself as Dr. Kafka, imprisons Spidey, and tries to brainwash him.

At the end of issue #243, a new Kraven is shown–who is partnered with Chameleon. He’s one of the original Kraven’s sons. Chameleon and Kraven come after Peter in his home.

Turns out, Kraven Jr. pissed that Chameleon once impersonated his dad, so he shoots Chameleon in the end.

Chameleon isn’t dead, and we’re not led to believe he is–so that’s a good thing.

And that’s pretty much this story. Nothing really gets resolved or moves forward, but it’s not badly written/drawn/told.

Along the way, a new Kangaroo is introduced and we get deeper into the “Flash Thompson is an alcoholic” subplot. The Kangaroo story is pretty funny,

Spidey takes him down easy, but he escapes custody and gets battle armor.

The new Kangaroo, at the end of this story, joins a new team of villains that includes Grizzly, Gibbon and The Spot. Maybe that will be a fun future story? I hope so. Because all these villain revivals feels very…Creatively narrow. JM DeMatteis’ original Death of Spider-Man story was great, but this is the second sequel to it. On the other hand, the story is much better than the Ben Reilly books and, frankly, than most other Marvel stories coming out in ’96 so…It’s hard to argue with success.

Also a new Jack O’Lantern called “Mad Jack.”


But don’t get attached. He’s actually Mysterio, and he’ll also be the villain in an upcoming arc. He torments J. Jonah in this story, but JJJ is otherwise living his best life…

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