Ditko villains were, in many ways, pedestrian folk. That is, they had very few in the way of super powers or mutant abilities. Most of them were people who had acquired their so-called superiority through special potions, or exceptional training, or technological gimmicks. In a few cases, these folk got to where they were on the crime scene by pure force of will.
Thus, we were introduced to common burglars, masked secret agents, renegade scientists, and the like. You met very few traditional super-folk in the array of Spider-Man's Ditko-created antagonists. One early and exceptional such bad guy was Kraven, the Hunter. Kraven is loosely based on Count Zaroff from the Richard Connell story "The Most Dangerous Game". Like Zaroff, Kraven (Sergei Kravinoff) is former Russian aristocracy adrift in the world since the Russian Revolution. He spends his days hunting the most dangerous animals he can find, all with his bare hands. For Kraven has increased his physical strength to superhuman levels by way of secret potions he has found in his travels. In addition, he has equipped his attire with a few hidden weapons, such as a gas spray that can incapacitate his prey.
Of course Kraven arrives in New York and soon decides to hunt Spider-Man, since no animal on Earth has prove the equal of Kravinoff's skill as a huntsman. Here we have a classic Ditko situation: the man of pure self, Parker/Spider-Man, against a villain of wrong-headed ego. In Kraven, we see one of the few moments wherein Ditko gives us an antagonist who has taken the wrong path but who might just as easily have walked a road of honor. In the case of Kraven, his sense of honor is still present, but warped by madness.
In the few years that Steve Ditko produced The Amazing Spider-Man comic, he used Kraven in three stories: issue #15 (the origin issue), Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (the Sinister Six storyline), and issue #34 of Spider-Man. With the departure of Ditko from the title, Kraven was left pretty much to the dust-bin of comics history, being brought back from time to time by other writers years later. I recall that J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck used the character in a well-received story arc in the 1990s. But he was a Ditko villain: classic in most ways unique to the man who created him, but just different enough morally to make him appear to be cast from a slightly different mold.
|My copy of Amazing Spider-Man #15.|