Spider-Man has a long, long list of enemies that have been seen to possess a single-minded purpose over the years, and that’s usually the ultimate demise of the wallcrawler. Kraven the Hunter however was always one of the men that seemed to be the most capable and the most dangerous among them, despite the fact that he wasn’t the strongest or possessed of the same power levels of other villains. He was enhanced at some point in his narrative but apart from this he was a normal human being that existed at peak conditions, a naturally-born hunter that enjoyed taking down big game with his bare hands. In the MCU however it might be that he’ll take on a different appearance and even origin.
When thinking about what Ryan Scott has revealed of the rumor that Kraven might enter the MCU as a former Wakandan exile it does seem interesting, but it also seems like a gamble. Those who know the story of Kraven know very well that he was a Soviet immigrant that went after Spider-Man in order to prove that he was the greatest hunter in the world. After all, Spidey was and has been a difficult opponent to pin down, at least for those villains that don’t have the power level of Thanos or greater. There’s even enough sense in making him an exile from a technologically superior nation since it would indicate that he has access to weapons and devices that might make him an even more dangerous hunter. The only problem with this however is that in the comics Kraven had his own tools to deal with, but in the end he was the hunter, the guy that didn’t see the need to depend so heavily on his tools when it came down to the kill. It might be kind of a gamble to make Kraven a Wakandan for the simple fact that it detracts from the source material in a huge way and might alienate a lot of fans. The idea of making Kraven a black man as a twist is something that might intrigue a lot of people, but it’s also a part of Hollywood’s attempt to bring more diversity to movies that could potentially backfire. There’s nothing wrong with diversity, but instead of changing the source material with every chance that’s presented, how about we find villains and heroes that could interact with the current MCU movies and don’t need to be changed?
As I said, it’s a rumor at this point and nothing more, but the fan art that you see above is a good indication of what some people want to see. The Soviet version of Kraven might meet with the kind of backlash that might have people wondering if we’re still in the 80s, but if the role was updated it would still work. To be quite honest Kraven in any form would be fun to see since he’s one of Spidey’s most vicious villains and one of the few that has ever given him the kind of grief that others haven’t. In some ways Kraven has been worse than other villains that could stomp him into mush, and it’s because he’s been driven to the point of fanaticism when it comes to hunting his prey. As Christopher Fiduccia of ScreenRant seems to allude to this could eventually lead to a connection between Spider-Man and Black Panther since an exile of Wakanda would no doubt be T’Challa’s province and if that exile is seeking to take Spider-Man’s life it would seem that he might need to step in at some point.
The battles between Kraven and Spider-Man have been epic in the past since you might believe that Spider-Man would thrash the hunter within an inch of his life, and he has in some instances. But Kraven has been something of a menace to Spidey more than once since his abilities are beyond the range of a lot of human beings and his ability to hunt is second to none. Unfortunately one of the downfalls that might come from bringing him to the MCU is that the MCU has a bad habit of stripping the power from their characters. If you need an example look at Hulk and Thor, both of whom were, in the comics, able to rock Thanos all on their own, even when he had the Infinity Gauntlet. In the MCU however they’ve been toned down quite a bit, and other characters have been seriously undercut as well. Kraven is not the type of character that needs to be dulled down in order to give the heroes a chance, as regardless of being a regular human he’s still been someone that has given Spidey no end of problems. If he comes into the MCU as a Wakandan then so be it, but if he comes in at all, people will be ecstatic no matter what.