Firstly, I’d like to break down the visuals to try and parse the basic elements of what make this panel great.
Not only that, but DeMatteis constantly cuts back to the rat at the grave itself as it sniffs and scurries at its base. This is an effective tension building device, the reader just waiting for Peter's hand to punch up through the soil in a Carrie-esque manner.
We also have Kraven’s rebirth as a ‘new’ Spider-Man of course, but the tombstone also serves as a symbol of Kraven’s emergence as a credible villain and threat. He’s done what no other Spider-Man villain had done up until that point, besting Spidey both physically and mentally and consuming his very existence. It’s no coincidence that the inscription merely reads, ‘The Hunter’, giving the villain a credible veneer he’d lacked up until these issues.
Did anyone else have a similar experience with this arc and some of the striking imagery prevalent in it? Can anyone think of an opening Spidey panel that tops this one?
Comments and feedback are much appreciated.