Spider-Man is known to have one of the most epic rogue galleries in comics. However, Kraven the Hunter and Venom the Symbiote have to be among the fan-favorite characters – as shown by getting their own movies. Tom Hardy’s Venom already had two, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Kraven the Hunter is coming in 2023. So, if Kraven and Venom ever fought, who would win?
Venom would defeat Kraven the Hunter in most fights. He’s just superior in terms of physiology, strength, and additional superpowers. However, Kraven is a tough, resilient opponent for anyone, so the fight would depend on Venom’s current host, too. Kraven could certainly win occasionally.
We have a lot to work with to determine the winner objectively. Moreover, the two Spidey adversaries fought each other in the comics several times too, so it’ll be interesting to see who won those fights and under which circumstances. Let’s dig in and try to find out, who would win between Kraven the Hunter and Venom, and why?
Venom is an intelligent alien life form known as a Symbiote, whose first full appearance came in The amazing spider-Man #300 in 1988. Symbiotes are powerful but need to merge with a host organism while on Earth. Humans are their primary choice since humans are the most intelligent life form on Earth, and they are usually the most compatible to accept and survive the symbiotic connection.
Most commonly, Venom’s host is Eddie Brock – the character we’ve seen Tom Hardy play in the two Venom movies. However, the Symbiote bonded with numerous hosts over the years, including even Spider-Man himself. What’s special about Venom, though, is that he gains all the attributes his host had and keeps those powers and attributes after separating from the host.
That means Venom has all Spidey’s physical attributes, too, including his incredible superhuman strength. And, Eddie Brock was already quite strong before Venom, capable of lifting around 700 lbs. After merging with Venom, his base strength amplified greatly, sometimes matching Spidey’s, while sometimes being even stronger.
Also, Venom is highly vulnerable when without a host, but when merged, he’s nearly invulnerable to any kind of physical damage (except fire, but later got rid of that weakness). Venom’s durability is phenomenal, and he also has superhuman speed, durability, reflexes, balance, and more.
On the other hand, there have been several Kravens throughout the years, but the most well-known is Sergei Kravinoff. He was a human but one of the best hunters in the world, capable of catching or killing virtually anything that walks the Earth.
After a while, Kraven drank a mystical potion from a voodoo priestess called Calypso that gave the Hunter incredible superhuman abilities resembling a jungle cat. It included superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, reflexes, and super-enhanced senses.
Later, after a curse, Kraven had been left nearly immortal. No matter how hurt he got, the Hunter would always survive. Only Spider-Man could kill him, and we know Peter never kills unless absolutely necessary.
Overall, both have incredible superhuman physiology, but I have to give the point to Venom. The strength discrepancy is too big, and Venom’s alien, Symbiote physiology is simply superior to that of a human – even a superhuman like Kraven.
Point: Venom (1:0) Kraven
Despite Kraven the Hunter generally being a human, his superpowers make him a whole lot more than that. While Kraven can get hurt physically and mentally, he showed that he could survive incredibly tough blows – even ride them with little to no damage.
He took numerous blows from Spider-Man over the years without suffering an injury. Sure, Spidey tends to hold back, but he’s still easily a 40-ton lifter, probably even more. Withstanding such hits is impressive, to say the least, especially without damage.
Also, Kraven’s stamina and longevity have to be considered when looking at the durability factor. He seems to be unaffected by certain types of injuries, such as cuts or flesh wounds. Kraven just keeps going and has the stamina to keep a peak level of physical exertion for hours before feeling any fatigue.
Finally, the guy is almost immortal. If I recall correctly, there was a curse cast upon Kraven after he was resurrected for the first time that rendered him incapable of dying unless it comes at the hand of Spider-Man. No matter how badly hurt Kraven got, he always survived and lived to keep pursuing the Web-slinger.
As for Venom, his Symbiote physiology makes him almost completely invulnerable to physical damage. He trades blows with Spidey with no damage, absorbs bullets, and even fights big Marvel powerhouses like the Juggernaut. As tough as Kraven is, I don’t think he could trade blows with the Jugger.
Also, Venom is immune to most known diseases and viruses and has an incredibly powerful healing factor, making him that much more dangerous. However, he’s not immortal. Earlier in the comics, sonic waves, and sources of immense heat, namely fire. Now, those weaknesses aren’t a thing anymore, but they usually characterize all Symbiotes.
I think both of them have unique durability features – different from one another, but equally as awesome. I’m giving both Kraven and Venom points for durability.
Point: Venom (2:1) Kraven
Kraven the Hunter, as I mentioned, was nothing but a regular human before gaining his superpowers. Most of his superpowers are physiological but paired perfectly with the skills and abilities he already had.
Kraven has superhuman strength allowing him to lift around 2 tons. However, when you pair that with his immense fighting experience and combat skills, you get a guy who can go toe-to-toe with much stronger characters, such as Spider-Man.
He also has superhuman speed, stamina, agility, and reflexes, matching or exceeding those of Captain America. That puts Kraven in the same group as only a handful of human characters in the Marvel universe.
One of Kraven’s biggest, strongest superpowers are his enhanced, superhuman senses. Pair that with phenomenal hunting and tracking expertise, and Kraven can easily track his prey using nothing but smell. His hearing is amplified, too, and his vision incredibly powerful, albeit affected by darkness.
Finally, Kraven has been resurrected once, but the curse that ensued made the Hunter immortal – no matter how hurt he gets, Kraven survives, unless it comes at the hand of his arch-nemesis, Spidey.
One might not call the rest of his abilities superpowers, per se, but Kraven is also an expert combatant and weapon specialist, including marksmanship, melee, and strategy expertise. Kraven is also the best hunter and tracker in the world.
Venom has a much wider specter of superpowers. The symbiotic bond with his host and the physiological superpowers that come with it are just the tip of the iceberg.
Venom has a strong healing factor, being almost completely unaffected by physical damage. He merely transforms his body and makes wounds disappear. However, Venom’s genetic memory is the best thing he has – when merging with a host, he can remember his genetic code after separation and gain all the superpowers his host had.
That means Venom has all the powers Spider-Man has, including the Spidey-sense, web-slinging, etc. The Symbiote briefly merged with Kraven once, too, meaning he has all of Kraven’s superpowers and add some. A hive mind connects all the Symbiote, so Venom can call for reinforcements without ever communicating with his kin.
While Kraven probably has more combat skills, Venom’s superpowers go above and beyond him, giving the Symbiote the point in this category.
Point: Venom (3:1) Kraven
Venom had two major weaknesses throughout the character’s history – heat and sonic waves. Both can hurt and kill the Symbiote if he’s exposed to it for long. When I say heat, it usually means fire, explosions, and similar stuff. However, with time, Venom developed somewhat of a resistance to these factors, as we see in Venom: Along Came A Spider #2.
Other than that, the symbiote is highly susceptible to the host’s emotions, and without a host, he can’t do much or even survive for long. Other than that, an Anti-Venom suit can hurt the Symbiote when coming into contact with one and can kill Venom if the contact is long.
Kraven, on the other hand, has several weaknesses. First of all, although his physiology had been enhanced, Kraven is still in a human body, meaning he can get hurt. While he is more resistant to injury and heals a bit faster, Kraven bleeds like everyone else.
Also, he is way too driven with a singular cause – for him, it’s killing Spider-Man, and not much else. Such a narrow perspective had Kraven in danger several times and seeing that he can get physically injured, it’s not a good look for the Hunter against Venom.
Still, I’d give Kraven the point here because the fire and sonic weaknesses are just too simple for him to exploit against Venom. Sure, the Symbiote evolved and surpassed them eventually, but still had them for most of the character’s history.
Point: Kraven (3:2) Venom
Finally, the two had fought in the comics several times throughout history. And, while there was never a clear-cut winner, with pure incapacitation or a kill shot, Venom usually came out on top against the Hunter.
They fought in Venom Comics Vol. 3 #3, where Kraven mistakenly attacked Agent Venom, thinking he was Spider-Man, but the Symbiote eventually ran away. They also had an encounter in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #22, albeit it was Alyosha Kravinoff, the second Kraven. Here, Kraven trapped Venom with fire, but Venom escaped and severely injured the Hunter.
The two merge in Spider-Man: Life Story #3. After Kraven believes he killed Spidey, he thinks he has nothing to live for anymore and decides to kill himself. However, before he pulls the trigger, Venom bonds with Kraven, saving his life that way.
However, their best fight came in Venom #156-158, when Venom defended some Dinosaur People that Kraven wanted to kill. The fight was brutal, dark, and violent, as you’d expect from these two. Kraven got round one, but Venom returned.
He fought Kraven and Shriek together and beat them both enough for the police to have them arrested. Although the fights between Venom and Kraven were usually quite close, the Symbiote is usually the winner if it’s not a tie, so he gets the point in this category.
Point: Venom (4:2) Kraven
Kraven The Hunter Vs. Venom: Who Wins?
The scoreboard says 4:2 in Venom’s favor over Kraven. It might seem like a clear-cut win, but it’s actually a much closer contest than one would think. Kraven’s skills are unmatched, and the guy is much stronger than people give him credit for.
However, what makes him so dangerous against Venom is his resourcefulness. The guy is a brilliant tactician and always knows how to sneak up on his prey undetected. If he can surprise Venom in any situation, I believe he could exploit one of the Symbiote’s weaknesses to cause damage, incapacitate, or even kill Venom.
It’s easier said than done, though. Venom has been around for years, has a huge strength advantage, and a plethora of superpowers Kraven the Hunter simply can’t match. If they ever fought, I’m giving Venom a 3:2 advantage through five fights, simply because Kraven wouldn’t give up until the Symbiote is dead.