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Spider, The

Entry updated 29 September 2020. Tagged: Character, Publication.

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US Pulp magazine, 118 issues October 1933 to December 1943; monthly until February 1943, bimonthly thereafter. Published by Popular Publications; edited initially by Rogers Terrill until mid-1936 when he was elevated to Editorial Director, and then by a succession of editors until W Ryerson Johnson closed down the final issue. The Spider, one of the hero/villain pulps, began as a straightforward imitation of the highly successful The Shadow, telling of a mysterious caped avenger. The first two novels were by R T M Scott; the remainder, credited to the House Name Grant Stockbridge, were mainly by Norvell W Page with others by Emile C Tepperman, Wayne Rogers and Prentice Winchell (1895-1976).

Under Page's guidance, the Spider became a more ruthless character who stamped a spider sign on the foreheads of the villains he killed, and the menaces he fought became more fantastic, including a metal-eating virus and Neanderthal hordes (the two novels concerned were reprinted under their original titles as The City Destroyer [January 1935; 1975] and Hordes of the Red Butcher [June 1935; 1975]). The Spider also contained short stories, including the non-sf Doc Turner series by Arthur Leo Zagat. The character later featured in a cinema serial, The Spider's Web (1938; 15 episodes, Columbia, starring Robert E Kent). Since 1969 further novels have been reprinted in book form (see Norvell W Page for details). A final Spider manuscript by Donald Cormack, left unpublished when the magazine folded, was reworked with new characters as Blue Steel (1979) as by Spider Page. [MJE/FHP/PN/MA]

further reading

  • Robert Sampson. Spider (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1987) [nonfiction: hb/]


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