Hunting Kraven Books

by Ryan Kirksey

ASM-15-198x300 Hunting Kraven BooksAn interesting post over at popped up in mid-January with a prediction based on some seemingly innocuous information. With filming locations confirmed for Spider-Man 3 (Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Iceland), they speculated that a location with as much diverse landscape to offer as Iceland gives a clue that Kraven the Hunter is up next in the Spider-Man roster of MCU villains.

The Kraven origin story revolves primarily around Russia and Africa, so color me confused for now. I don’t know the first thing about Iceland, but apparently previous films such as Thor: The Dark World and Batman Begins filmed there because of the diverse geographical options. I can see a Russian setting there, but is there a region of Iceland that can be made to resemble Africa? I guess that’s what sound stages and CGI are for. They could also forego an origin, but fans dig that stuff, so it seems unlikely.

It’s just very early hypothesizing – obviously – but assuming there is some truth to the Kraven rumor, how should speculators be prepared? A Kraven movie is in the works by Sony after all, although there has been zero news since that 2018 announcement. Perhaps there will be an introduction in the MCU’s Spider-Man 3 and then a deeper dive into the character with Sony.

Where should a Kraven collector focus, particularly as it pertains to Spider-Man? Let’s take a look.

ASM-15-198x300 Hunting Kraven BooksAmazing Spider-Man #15

This first appearance is well-known and heavily desired even before any movie news enters the picture. Throw in the fact that’s it’s an early Silver Age Spider-Man and we have a blue-chip stock on our hands. If you are lucky enough to own any of the 115 or so copies that are registered at CGC 8.0 or above, you have a book that is easily worth more than $2,000. A CGC 9.0 sold over the summer for a cool $6,000.

If you are looking for a book under four figures, you will likely have to get one at a CGC 5.5 or below. At that range, books have been selling between $700-$900 for the past six months.

What’s interesting about this book beyond being the first appearance is how well it could tie into the MCU storyline that was left open in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Peter Parker’s identity has been revealed so any number of people with the means and motivation (Jonah Jameson, Vulture, etc.) could look to hire one of the world’s best hunters and mercenaries to capture Parker. This is essentially the story in ASM #15 as Chameleon hires Kraven to capture Spidey.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1

I am leaving off Kraven’s second appearance in Tales of Suspense #58 for now because that book revolves around the Captain America vs. Iron Man storyline and is a major key for its own set of reasons. The Kraven and Spider-Man issues seem to be more relevant here as any intro of the character is almost definitively going to come from that family of movies.

We have covered this particular issue several times, most recently done exceptionally well by James Jou. The introduction of the Sinister Six is a matter of when, not if, at this point as Spider-Man fans have been clamoring for it since it was teased at the end of Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man 2. The nature of this book wreaks havoc on buyers, because with so many characters involved, anytime one of them is introduced it drives the prices up significantly. Despite having sky-high prices already, I can only believe they will go higher when any official word comes of this team on the big screen.

Amazing Spider-Man #48ASM48-199x300 Hunting Kraven Books and Amazing Spider-Man #49

These two issues, while they are Silver Age Spider-Man, are not necessarily key issues for any particular reason, but are intriguing to the potential introduction of Kraven because of the story that spans their pages.

ASM49-198x300 Hunting Kraven Books

In issue #48, Vulture (Adrian Toomes) is locked up in prison (hmmm, sounds familiar) and divulges the location of his Vulture wings to a cellmate (Blackie Drago). That prisoner escapes, locates the wings, and becomes the new Vulture. This new enemy begins his search for Spider-Man who just so happens to be on the hunt for Kraven during this issue. Issue #49 includes a battle royale with Spider-Man, Vulture, and Kraven, and Spidey escapes because the two villains can’t get coordinated on how to defeat him. We know Vulture/Toomes exists in the MCU, and now we have visual evidence that he exists in the Sony Spiderverse as well, so the possibilities are endless with how the two studios could decide to connect the two in future films. Regardless of which one is first to market with this potential partnership, these books could start picking up steam.

For a Silver Age pre-#50 Amazing Spider-Man, these two books are incredibly affordable right now. There have been multiple sales of #48 in a CGC 9.6 for under $1,000 the past two years, and copies of 8.0 at less than $200. Issue #49 is trending upwards in price lately, perhaps as long-term speculators make the connection. The three most expensive sales of a CGC 9.6 in the last eight years have all been recorded in the last nine months, averaging $1,475, although the most recent 8.0 sold in December for only $89. That presents a strong buying opportunity if a copy in the 8.0-9.0 range emerges for sale.

What other Kraven books are you hunting before his theatrical release?


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Mitch January 30, 2020 - 11:54 am

Dude, what about ASM #47, best Kraven cover of all???

Ryan Kirksey January 30, 2020 - 12:53 pm

That one is definitely in the mix! I just wanted to highlight the underrated #48 and #49 because I think their storyline is interesting and ties well to known events.

Ariel January 31, 2020 - 7:41 pm

Hi, I don’t have Instagram, but regularly look at your pictures. I just saw your post about the Ghost Rider books. Is there a way to contact you (not on Instagram)? Also, do you ship to Canada? Thanks, Ariel


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