On the heels of the success of Street and Smith's The Shadow, Popular Publications brought another black hat and black cape wearing hero to the pulps — The Spider, Master of Men! He was the seventh pulp character to get his own magazine.
Readers met another "wealthy, young man-about-town" who in reality was a crimebuster, Richard Wentworth, in "The Spider Strikes," October 1933.
Initially penned by R.T.M. Smith, The Spider's exploits began as run-of-the-mill battles against typical racketeers and criminal masterminds.
But that changed as quickly as the author's name on the magazine's cover. Beginning with the third issue, December 1933, Grant Stockbridge was credited with the writing and The Spider's adventures began to take on mythic proportions. His struggles pitted him against foes such as "The Mad Horde," "The City Destroyer," "Serpent of Destruction" and "The Devil's Death Dwarfs." And, the character of The Spider changed from simply a nickname for detective Wentworth into a shocking, caped and fanged wild man that Wentworth dressed up as.
During this time, Norvell W. Page took the reigns as head writer. He shared the Stockbridge monicker with four other writers, including Emile Tepperman.
In the adventures, Wentworth was aided chiefly by the lovely Nita Van Sloan, his trusted Hindu servant Ram Singh and his chauffeur Ronald Jackson. And, Inspector Kirkpatrick unwittingly helped out during The Spider's 118-issue run from 1933 to 1944.
The Spider strikes terror into the hearts of the most hardened criminals. He is proficient and unswerving and deals swift justice to those who prey upon the innocent. The Spider's trademark, a hideous, blood red spider, stamped on the foreheads of those upon whom he has passed judgment is a sinister warning to all denizens of the Underworld of his wraith!