May. 4, 2020

The Spider #23 Master of the Death Madness 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…

 Returning to New York aboard The Plutonic, Wentworth and Nita first encounter the death madness. People are committing suicide with wild abandon as if they are being compelled to do so. Upon arrival in New York, The Spider discovers groups of people being lead in chants to Anubis and encouraged to die. They hang themselves, jump off bridges, shot themselves, cut their own throats.

The actual goal of the mastermind is not really clear, especially with the last great press for mass suicide. Cui bono? I’ll give it three out of five stars.

Excellent readability!

Quoth the Raven…