SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #247-253 (1997-1998)

Following up on a preceding subplot, JJJ is in the hospital after getting beaten up by Jack O’ Lantern who, it turns out, was really Mysterio, hired by Norman Osborn, who now owns the Daily Bugle (because stealing a newspaper is what was considered high crime back then).

All this trauma makes John Jameson turn into Man-Wolf again.

Spidey loses his temper and attacks Norman in his home, which Norman captures on security footage.

Also, Kraven Jr. is running around New York with wild animals to sic on Spider-Man, and he meets the recently resurrected Calypso, but rejects the idea of a partnership with her. Then he attacks Spider-Man with elephants.

I mean, that’s an awesome comic book moment. So is this:

He kills Spider-Man. Only no, of course he doesn’t. He merely captures him and wants to talk with Spider-Man to work through his daddy issues.

Only Calypso didn’t like Kraven’s rejection, so she uses her magic drums to hypnotize Kraven and Spidey into fighting to the death. The fight is grueling, but Spider-Man shakes off her influence and manages to escape. Spider-Man is exhausted, and is captured by Sir–a lackey of Norman Osborn created by Doctor Angst (who is not seen after this arc, thankfully).

Kraven’s arc is over, for now, and we will turn next to a focus on the Osborn story. These are all overlapping, long stories that don’t end in these issues, but this is as good a place as any to break them up. It’s afterNorman Osborn tricking Spider-Man into beating him up, giving him the edge–and the newspaper to publish about it.

The complex plotting makes it a little hard to write about these issues, but it makes them much more interesting to read.

Also: Flash Thompson gets drunk, drives, and crashes a car. And speaking of cars…

Grizzly has a car now.

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