By Todd Allen
With The Shadow already scheduled Dynamite is now scheduling their second pulp adaptation, The Spider. The Spider was effectively The Shadow’s nastier little brother. Originally created to tap into the popularity of the Shadow’s pulp magazine, The Spider amped up the Shadow’s format: more violent, more lurid, wider-ranging schemes from the villains, more outright “weirdness” in the “Weird Tales” sense of “weird.” The other major difference was that The Spider had a more streamlined backstory: only one identity and a much smaller circle of sidekicks/assistance.
Whereas Dynamite’s Shadow series is set back in the 1930s, The Spider will updated to a modern setting.
I find the choice of David Liss as writer to be a very interesting one. While it didn’t get a lot of attention, Liss wrote a very pulpy mini-series for Marvel in Mystery Men, not too long ago. If he can can translate the Mystery Men vibe to a modern setting, this could be a lot of fun. Costume-wise, it looks a bit more like the movie serial version of the Spider (yes, the character was popular enough for the movies, back in the day). The Spider’s seal, frequently left on the forehead of evil-doers, does seem to translate well to this adaption. Scroll down and you’ll see.
Press Release and first five pages follow.
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT PROUDLY PRESENTS…THE SPIDER!!!
IN COMIC STORES EVERYWHERE MAY 2012!
February 16th, 2011, Runnemede, NJ – The Spider, one of the greatest pulp characters of all time is now re-launched into the 21st century! Dynamite Entertainment proudly presents The Spider #1, which will hit comic book stores everywhere in May 2012! The series will be written by acclaimed novelist and acclaimed comics writer David (Black Panther: The Man Without Fear) Liss and drawn by Colton (Complete Dracula, Kato) Worley, with covers by Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Ron Lesser and Francesco Francavilla!
In The Spider #1, the world knows Richard Wentworth as a decorated war hero and the son of a wealthy industrialist – but only a few confidants know the truth. As New York City slides into violence and despair, Wentworth has transformed himself into a force of justice as The Spider! With only his wits, his technology, and his pistols to aid him, he fights a one-man man war against crime, but when a mysterious new villain threatens the city with an unspeakable horror, it may be more than even The Spider can handle. How far will a sane man go to restore order to an insane world? Find out in The Spider #1 when it ships in May!
“Part of what always made The Spider so cool was the sheer scope of destruction caused by his villains,” says The Spider writer David Liss. “The Spider’s enemies thought nothing of demolishing city blocks, killing thousands, turning countless innocents into mindless slaves. Faced with crime this insane, The Spider had turn himself into a force of equal ferocity, destruction and ruthlessness. He’s the most badass and take-no-prisoners of the pulp heroes because he has to be, and it’s been absolutely awesome transferring that kind of sentiment from the 1930s to contemporary times. Some things have been updated, but he’s still the kind of vigilante that makes the bad guys wet their pants.”
“This book has it all,” adds artist Colton Worley. “It’s got action, pulp, noir, horror, romance…everything you could ever want in a story all in one place. And helping to create the world that David Liss has set up has been a great experience.
“Dynamite has propelled The Spider into the 21st century at breakneck speed,” says CEO and President of Argosy Communications Joel Frieman. “Please fasten your seat belts.”
“David [Liss] and Colton [Worley] are a perfect pairing for the Spider,” states Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt. “The moment we saw Colton’s first pages from #1 we spread them around like proud new parent’s showing off pictures of our first-born, they were that amazing. All thanks to the incredible script by David of course. The time is right for a pulp revival and we’re leading the charge.”
“I have wanted to publish The Spider comics for some time now,” says Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. “But I wanted to make sure that the comic book had a creative team who could do him justice! And with the dream team of David Liss and Colton Worley, The Spider #1 will be a must read for all comic book and, of course, The Spider fans! Check out the awesome interior pages from Colton Worley for issue #1!”
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!
To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com
For art and more information, please visit:
About Dynamite Entertainment:
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, Green Hornet, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, Game of Thrones and more!
In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and best selling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Michael Avon Oeming, Mel Rubi, Marc Guggenheim, Stephen Sadowski, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner and a host of up and coming new talent!
DYNAMITE is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s PROJECT SUPERPOWERS – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. Several of their titles have also hit The New York Times Best-Sellers list: The Boys, Vampirella Archives, Robert Jordan’s New Spring and Wheel of Time graphic novels. In 2005 Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%). The company has also been nominated for several industry awards, including the prestigious Eisner Award.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.