If yesterday’s announcement of acquiring the Shadow license didn’t tip you off, this will nail the case that Dynamite is going deep into the pulp catalog: they’re adding The Spider to their comics line-up. The creative team includes writer David Liss, artist Colton Worley and cover artists Alex Ross and John Cassaday.
The Spider is another popular pulp character in the masked millionaire playboy vein — some have pointed to him as an inspiration for Bat-Man. Previous comics incarnations came to us from Eclipse and Moonstone.
As far as yesterday’s comments war about the viability of pulp characters today, I’d agree that just plopping the name of an old timey character on a modern version is not going to work unless the underlying concept is sound — and gets sold to a new audience. Against that, it’s worth pointing out that these character were popular for a long time for a reason — basic, powerful dynamics that are definitely upgrade friendly. It’s really all in the execution.
Dynamite Entertainment is pleased to announce the upcoming publication of another classic character, The Spider! The Spider will be written by acclaimed comics writer and novelist (Man Without Fear: Black Panther/The Ethical Assassin), David Liss!
“Pulp fiction is full of big characters, but few come bigger than the Spider – a rugged, daring, self-sacrificing character who would take any risk to face down enemies of New York and the nation,” says writer David Liss. “And what enemies they were. The villains that filled the pages of the Spider killed thousands, destroyed whole portions of the city, infected people by the hundreds, released vermin, hypnotized, zombified and otherwise transformed anyone who came into their path. Partly it’s the sheer scale of the Spider’s world that makes him so compelling, but it is also his own quiet, determined dignity in the face of villainous bombast, his rock-steady sanity as he confronts an insane world. So when the chance came along to take this historically important character – one of the most significant sources of the early comic book superheroes, especially Batman – and bring him into the modern world, I couldn’t resist. The Spider is firmly rooted in the Depression era, but he also has qualities that seem timeless, in no small part because those qualities have influenced so many characters that have come after him. This is the kind of character who inhabits stories that are both archetypal and inspiring as well as full throttle fun.”
The Spider cover artist and character designer Alex Ross says, “I always found it fascinating that there was a spider-based hero in the pulp era of the ’40s who first wore a webbed cape and mask in the movie serials.”
“Dynamite plans to give The Spider the same quality care that we have given to all of our properties. With David (Liss) being the incredible writer he is, and Alex bringing The Spider showcasing a look reflective of his early days, with covers by Alex (Ross), John Cassaday, and additional high profile artists, this is going to be a great read, with incredible art and visuals by Colton Worley,” says Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. “Stay tuned for more exciting news regarding The Spider!”
The Spider was created by Harry Steeger at Popular Publications in 1933. He fought crime by donning a black fedora, a black cape, a trademark ring and a brace of .45 automatics to terrorize the criminal underworld, while driving in his sleek black specially outfitted Daimler. The Spider novels were mainly written by Norvell W. Page, who filled them with danger, impending doom, fantastic villains, and great action!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.