Death On Eight Legs


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Spider-Verse Week continues with The Black Spider, a killer vigilante who bore a great resemblance to such pulp fiction stars as The Shadow, Black Bat and – natch – The Spider … only with one crucial difference.

While The Black Spider – secretly District Attorney Ralph Nelson, a crime-buster frustrated by red tape – had no compunction against shooting down criminals he generally preferred to intimidate that particular cowardly lot by covering them with poisonous spiders.

To be honest, I find that a lot more intimidating than a guy dressed up like a giant bat.

Although never a headliner, The Black Spider did make 10 appearances as a back-up feature in Ace Periodical’s Super-Mystery Comics. That’s about as much as the Spider-Mobile got, right?

From Super-Mystery Comics vol. 1 #3 (October, 1940), here’s “The Black Spider.” Story and art are uncredited.

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Pretty bad-a$$, but the Black Spider is about as good at hiding his secret identity as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

Coming tomorrow: The Spider Widow! She’s not what you expect …

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