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The Spider

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The Spider (ஸ்பைடர்) is a comic book character who started out as a a supervillain before becoming a superhero. He appeared in Lion between 26th June 1965 and 26th April 1969 and was later reprinted in Vulcan. He was created by writer Ted Cowan and artist Reg Bunn. Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel took over the writing of the character with his third adventure, and would write the bulk of his adventures
 

Publication history

The Spider first appeared in The Lion from 26 June 1965 to 26 April 69, as well as in Lion Annuals. He would later be reprinted in Vulcan 1975-76.

He was also reprinted in other countries, such as Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and others.

2000AD had a one-off special with The Spider, but this version was so out of character that most fans try to ignore it.

An elder, now retired, version of The Spider has appeared in Jack Staff. Most fans feel this version a proper revival of the character. However, due to copyright issues its doubtful he will re-appear.

The Spider, along with other IPC characters, is appearing in the Albion mini-series from the Wildstorm imprint of DC Comics.

Character biography

The Spider appeared in the 1960s in the United States with the aim to become King of Crooks. He broke out several other criminals to become members of his army of crime, and would clash with both the police and with other criminal masterminds.

No origin was ever given for The Spider, nor any explanation for his appearance: pointed ears and teeth, and upswept eyebrows. His base of operations was a Scottish castle he brought over to the US.

Eventually, he changed to fighting crime and for a brief time he was associated with the "Society of Heroes" (Captain Whiz; Mr Gizmo; Rex Robot.; Tigro the Wild Man; Rockman; Snowman (Professor Fred Storm)). All except The Spider died fighting the Sinister Seven.

An elder, now retired, version of The Spider has appeared in Jack Staff. This version does not seem to have become a hero, and instead was active as an undefeated thief from the 1960s through the 80s in the UK. Its unclear if this Spider ever put together an army of crime, or only worked alone.

Powers and abilities

It is unclear what powers, if any, The Spider has. He is physically fit, but probably not any more then most humans. He is also cunning and intelligent, and a superb hypnotist. He has trained himself to be immune to his own knockout/poison gas.

The Spider wears a black form-fitting outfit, along with a strange backpack/harness. The harness serves as a jetpack and webshoters, as well as the sources for his web gun and gas gun.

In his appearances in Jack Staff, the Spider states that his outfit serves as an exoskeleton, which increases his strength and agility.

Bibliography

His first appearances has been reprinted in: King of Crooks (2005, Titan Books ISBN 184576000X)

Other appearances

As well as appearing in his own series he has appeared in a number of other British comics as himself in figures crafted as an homage:

  • In Alan Moore's run on Captain Britain a superhero called The Arachnid was killed by the Fury on Captain UK's world. Seen (on the 15th page of the reprinted graphic novel) only as a gravestone amongst a number of others all also referencing versions of famous superheroes.
  • In the Nikolai Dante series The Romanov Job as "Abel Ganz. The Tarantula. Anarchist. Assassin and all-round master criminal" (first appearance 2000AD #1282, 13th March 2002) alongside other similar characters based on Janus Stark ("Janos Starak. Escapologist Extraordinaire"), Catwoman ("Selina Solaris. The Panther.") and Crusher Creel ("Grushko Kreel").
  • Jack Staff as an aging figure and former adversary of the eponymous hero. He gives his name as "Alfred Chinard", but this may be an alias, as "A. Chinard" is an anagram for "Arachnid". He may not appear again due to copyright issues, unless under a different name.
  • Albion which saw Alan Moore bring him back again, but this time as himself, along with the various other British superheroes of that era. Surprisingly, he is referred to as "Chinard", the name used in Jack Staff.