Sunday evening, through the wonderful powers of the internet, I caught episode 15 of the Spectacular Spider-Man. Titled "Destructive Testing," here we are introduced to one of Spidey's oldest, yet less appreciated villains, Sergei Kravenoff. Kravenoff possesses enough speed and strength to bring down a rampaging rhino in the wild. But he's tired of easy hunts. He craves a challenge that is worthy of his skill. Calypso gets word from an annonomus friend in America about prey that Kravenoff may find inteteresting. A certain friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Kravenoff's first battle with Spider-Man proves to be a lesson in humilty for the hunter. While he is trhilled to be hunting a worthy prey, his defeat isn't something he takes lightly. Believing Spidey's powers are the only reason he won against him, Kravenoff inlists the aid of Miles Warren to give him the powers of the same animals he hunted in the jungle and this is where the the big kicker comes in.
In the comics, Kraven has always possessed speed and strength beyond normal men. He gained his powers by drinking rare jungle elixers, yet he still retained the look of a human being. Well in this episode, after taking a formula from Warren he turns into what looks like a human-lion creature and takes on the name Kraven the Hunter. He doesn't turn into a physcho but it's a seriously big change, one I'm still not feeling yet. I mean, Kraven is still likable, but it will take some getting used to. And even with the power upgrade, Kraven still got beat. With the score Spidey 2, Kraven 0, the Master Planner (who was Kraven's annonomus friend) asks Kraven how he feels about "hunting in packs." That's two villains Spidey has yet to apprehend this season so it looks like Kraven and Mysterio are gonna be members of the Sinister Six.
What about Spidey's life outside of the suit? Well, Peter's wondering if he should go for Gwen or Liz. Both girls are into him, but Liz is far more aggressive when it comes to getting a guy. She thanks Peter for tutuoring her to help her pass her final in bio by giving him a hug AND a kiss and right in front of Gwen, no less. I think Liz is communicating to Gwen through her actions and she's saying "BACK OFF!"
In this episode we are also unexpectidily introduced to Debra Wittman! She was given an ethnic change, which doesn't bother me. I suspect this was done to keep her from looking similar to Gwen. Already got one blonde with glasses in the lab at ESU. Deb is the lab assistant of Miles Warren and even though she was only on screen for a very brief moment, she came across as cold as ice. More on her character will be revaled, I'm sure.
Flash suffered a knee injury during a football game, causing Liz some conflict with her newfound feelings for Peter. Even Peter was concerned about Flash. Matter of fact, he even cheered for Flash during the game. Could this be the beginning of Peter and Flash becoming friends? I hope so. No other medium outside of the comics has portrayed these two as pals.
Overall, I liked "Blueprints" better than this episode, but this was still a fine second episode to season two. Miles Warren is one skeaky, manipulating man and I really want to see what else he does this season. Bring on the Master Planner, the return of Venom and the gang war!