X-Men: The Hidden Years #17: Hunter and Hunted

After the encounter with Kraven the Hunter, Hank goes off into the forested area of the Institute’s grounds to cool off. Kraven grew tired of pursuing Spiderman, and had chosen Beast for his “centerpiece”. But Kraven had previously set traps in the forest and after managing to avoid a number of traps, Beast was finally captured.

The rest of the X-Men are monitoring Avia’s condition. Kraven would provide the antidote to the poison he had given Avia if the X-Men agreed to participate in his hunt.

Meanwhile, the man whom Lorna met previously is part of a mysterious group working for a “Mr Messenger”. They have plans to take on the X-Men and make their next move targeting Lorna psychically.

Back at the Institute, Lorna was momentarily distracted and thought someone in the room had called her name but no one did. Cyclops is concerned that Kraven might play dirty in his hunt since the X-Men had agreed they wouldn’t help Beast “directly”. Out in the forest, once Beast had been snared, Kraven’s hunt began.

In Illinois, Charles Xavier is discussing matters with FBI agent Duncan, a close friend. Duncan is conflicted as how to address this incident with the Sentinel seeing as Xavier wants to study Ashley’s condition alone. Mrs Martin interrupts them asking if they want any refreshments and flirts a little with Xavier.

The rest of the X-Men head out into the forest to find Beast before Kraven does. Havok and Iceman start arguing again, and Marvel Girl gives them a telepathic timeout. Meanwhile, Lorna continues to be distracted by the voices.

Kraven finds Beast and they get into a brawl. When Beast gains the upper hand tying Kraven up in vines, Kraven draws his daggers. The fight starts to get brutal. Cyclops, Marvel Girl and Iceman finally find the two of them and break up the fight. Iceman ices Kraven while Cyclops blasts Beast.

Back in the Institute, the X-Men are at a loss how to deal with Kraven. Kraven had given Avia the antidote and demanded his freedom. Marvel Girl wipes Kraven’s mind of his encounter with the X-Men before they let him go. Beast wants Marvel Girl to do the same to him as she did with Kraven. He feels uneasy knowing that there’s a real beast inside of him. The team assures him that it wasn’t his “fault” and it was noble of him to “sacrifice [him]self to save Avia”.

Havok barges in, telling the X-Men that Lorna “floated up and just drifted away” in the forest.

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