The Spider design color, 2.JPG
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.

The Spider Returns images.JPG

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.
The Spider design color, 1.JPG




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!


  1. I hope that the writer will stay true to The Spider and not deviate from the original. Spider fans will not be happy and with the use of a web gun is not a good start. Please do not let comics do to the pulps that the movies have done to comics.

  2. Why pay money to bring back a forgotten pulp character, and then not make him look anything like the pulp character?

    Why not make something new?

    I really don’t understand publishers.

  3. Even though I’m a hardcore old pulp guy, (for instance, I just put November’s Pulpfest on my calendar), I disagree with Dave and Kid K. I’m intrigued by Dynamite’s take on the character. The new costume is innovative and fresh, but still seems to maintains the vibe of the original Spider. ( I always found the fright-mask/domino mask switch of the Spider a bit odd anyways). Really looking forward to this one, as well as the Shadow.

  4. This time I will reserve comment until I see the finished product. Always loved the character, though. A more hard-ass version of The Shadow.

  5. Interesting. I just noticed that in addition to Ross’ hood/mask version, one of the interior pages show’s The Spider w/ guns blazing, sans hood.

  6. I’ve always liked the web cloak version from the serials, and in some panels in the artwork it seems to be used to good effect.

    (Aside: I’ve always wanted Red Circle’s The Web to have a B&W costume because the yellow/green was just silly-stupid)

    And while I’m not keen on the idea of a ‘web gun’ or ‘laser-webs’ (WTF?) , we do have to acknowledge that the Spider did have a web-line and several gadgets over the years.

  7. Based on David Liss’ work on “Mysterymen” (despite the stolen title), I’d say the Spider is worth checking out.

    But I loved Baker-Helfer’s Shadow, so I’m no purist.

  8. Thanks for the shout-out about Pulp Adventurecon in November, Ed. For those who might be curious, it’s November 5th in Bordentown, NJ, a few miles from Trenton and just off NJ Turnpike exit 7.

    I wonder … Moonstone was given the license to do SPIDER comics … and now Dynamite is doing them concurrently? Very strange …

  9. “I wonder … Moonstone was given the license to do SPIDER comics … and now Dynamite is doing them concurrently? Very strange …”

    @Rich: No. Very Joel Friedman. I hear rumors that Friedman’s pulled crap like this before, multiple licenses to multiple companies, more licensing money. That’s what it’s really about @Brooklyn Comics, stroking Friedman’s giant ego.

    Plus it seems pretty obvious Nick Barucci will not rest until he’s put Joe Gentile and Moonstone out of business. And I mean going down in flames out of business.

  10. Yeah, but … Moonstone is currently publishing SPIDER comics … Now this? Talk about cannibalizing your audience.

  11. The Ross design doesn’t look bad but I think the pulp version (the impression I get is that it was a Mr. Hyde sort of disguise with fangs) would be way more interesting.

    And I’d pass on the web gun. The pulp version had a trick cigarette lighter that tatooed a spider symbol on crooks’ foreheads IIRC.