May. 4, 2020

The Devil’s Death Dwarfs by Norvell Page 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…

This is the second issue in the Living Pharaoh series. Despite believing Tang-akhmut had died at the end of The Coming of the Terror, Wentworth soon is forced to admit the man is back. People are menaced by a horde of ugly dwarfs wielding whips and bolas with many poisoned needles attached. The bolas are thrown, they wrap the victim and death follows swiftly. Others are beaten to death with the whips.

Children are kidnapped to gain control of their parents, either for wealth or power. The Living Pharaoh controls the police. Murders are ignored and the police are mainly used to hunt the Spider!

I didn’t think this one quite as good as the previous issue, but it is still pretty good. Once more the Living Pharaoh has managed a disguise that enables him to pass undetected when he wishes. The final reveal actually came as a surprise.

I give the story four out of five stars…

Quoth the Raven…