May. 4, 2020

Reign of the Snake Men by Emile C Tepperman as Grant Stockbridge

The Spider is Richard Wentworth, a wealthy criminologist. Backed up by his manservant Ram Singh, his old war pal Jackson, and his fiancé Nita van Slone, Wentworth takes on crime at the street level.

The Spider has no scruples about killing. The criminals who cross the Spider die and their foreheads are marked with a scarlet spider.

The Spider is wanted by the police, and his friend Commissioner Kirkpatrick suspects Wentworth. Hardly surprising, as everyone seems to know the Spider’s secret. In fact, the Spider’s secret identity is pulpdom’s worst kept secret. Almost every issue has the bad guys using Nita against the Spider, well aware that Wentworth and the Spider are the same person.

Proving it is another thing altogether…

In the final battle of The Spider and Tang-Akhmut, the Man from the East, the Living Pharaoh, Tang-Akhmut has released a new threat—leprosy! Men with the horrible disease stalk the city, snakes painted on their chests, claws attached to diseased fingers. Spurred on by promises to be resurrected in healthy bodies they claw at faces, spreading a form of the illness the Man from the East has made more lethal than ever!

This ending story is better than the previous one but doesn’t come up to the first two. But that’s the difference between Page and Tepperman. The final moments of the Living Pharaoh are very Tepperman, reminding me of The Avenger.

I’ll give it four stars out of five… 

Quoth the Raven…