Thursday, March 11, 2010

THE SPIDER Statue from ReelArt Studios

Currently, I'm rapidly finishing up commissioned stories for The Phantom, Ki-Gor the Jungle Lord, Black Angel, and a non-pulp related science fiction tale, as I partially clear my desk-load to begin writing the new adventures of THE SPIDER. I'm immensely nervous and very excited to begin.

In the meantime, I thought perhaps some of you might be interested in seeing my box text for ReelArt Studio's sinisterly sensational statue of the Master of Men, written three years ago. It was an honor and a privilege being asked to provide this brief piece, and it has helped connect my name even closer with that of this fabulous favorite character.

If you're a fan of THE SPIDER, or of genre sculpture in general, I highly recommend the statues of ReelArt Studios.

The Spider, a.k.a. wealthy criminologist Richard Wentworth, is perhaps most popularly viewed by his frenzied multitude of followers as the most vicious hero from the Bloody Pulps of the 1930s and 40s. His justice was swift, merciless, and absolute. He was, in fact, far more terrible than any of the bizarre and murderous fiends that were fatally unfortunate enough to become entangled in his Web of Justice.

However, there was much more to the cackling, cape-swirling mystery man than mere wanton savagery.

In September, 1933, Popular Publications first introduced The SpiderMaster of Mento the hungry eyes of the pulp-reading public and he soon took the newsstands by storm. The Spider’s monthly adventures reached mythic proportions as Wentworth’s New York City faced one impending catastrophic Doomsday after another, often suffering eerily familiar panic-inducing terrors that might well have been lifted from a 21st Century newspaper headline. The Spider boldly faced these monstrous madmen head-on with a venomous laugh and a thunderous brace of blasting automatics. No villain, no matter how brilliantly diabolical, could ever hope to defeat the Master of Men.

Under the breathless, white-hot searing prose of writer Norvell Page, the Spider’s most frequent chronicler, Richard Wentworth is the most fully realized and fascinating personality of all the classic crime fighters. None of the other pulp heroes were nearly as three dimensional, angst-ridden, nor as tragically human as the Spider.

Wentworth’s passion and conviction were shared by his beloved Nita Van Sloan, who knew his darkest secrets, and often fought the apocalyptic menaces, ever threatening, bravely and brazenly, at the Spider’s side. There was no other romantic relationship in the pulps quite like them.

Today, over seventy years later, the Spider’s chaotic classic adventures continue to be savored by a fiercely loyal and ever-expanding fan base.

Most recently Moonstone Books has considerably added to the mythos of the Master of Men by publishing THE SPIDER Chronicles, an anthology of brand new tales for the growing audience of crime pulp fiction. For me, as a writer, one of the biggest thrills of my career was being a part of this revival as one of the very few, very lucky authors who has experienced the rare fortune of adding to those original pulse-pounding 118 classic Spider novels. It was a dream come true.

Now, most appropriately, Richard Wentworth’s awesome alter-ego has come to life in true glorious three dimensions in this magnificent unique statue by Reel Art, skillfully rendered by William Paquet, reigning master sculptor of the macabre. The Spider figure is wondrously detailed, from his twin .45s, steely evil-seeking eyes, and the famous arachnid-embossed signet ring. Further delighting Spider fans is the bonus addition of an alternate head. Along with the iconic masked version, as seen on most of the action-filled cover paintings from the original pulp magazines, the gruesomely fanged, fright-wigged, wild-eyed monster-hero from the chilling text itself is also generously included.

Above the Law! More deadly than the Underworld! Feared, hated, and wanted by both…Beware!

The Spider—Master of Men!

Martin Powell

Saint Paul, MN



  1. Greetings from a rabid Spanish Spider fan!

    Up until yesterday, the biggest comics-related announcement for me was the First Wave mimi and spin-offs from DC. But then I read your May 1st post about Moonstone's publishing plans for The Spider with you at the helm.

    I am absolutely thrilled about them, but I've got a few questions that I hope you don't mind answering:

    - Those semi-annual pulp mags... will they be in the same comic-book sized novellas format than the current "Judgement Knight" ongoing?

    - That wonderful page drawn by the talented Tom Floyd... is it from the new comic-book series? I think Mr.Floyd is an excellent choice, but I've got just one small gripe: WHERE'S THE WIG AND THE FANGS? I really prefer the creepy as hell look of The Spider rather than just the regular mask. As a matter of fact, I think that the current look of the character stablished by Moonstone, mixing mask and theatrical make-up, is fantastic. Mr.Powell, this Spider fan NEEDS his wig and fangs.

    - Is Moonstone considering reprinting the fabulous Tim Truman & Quique Alcatena minis that Eclipse published in the early ninenties?

    Thank you so much for your time and your patience. I wish you the best of luck as The Spider's new chrinicler.

    I assure you I'll be along for the ride.

  2. First Wave MINI, not mimi. My bad.

    "Established, with an "e".

    And at the end, I meant to write "chronicler", but my finger slipped.

    Didn't mean to post a comment on a writer's blog with so many mistakes. Wrote it in a hurry and sometimes my English is a little rusty.

    Thanks again, Mr.Powell.

  3. Hola Rafael,

    Always a pleasure to meet another fan of THE SPIDER.

    Never fear, my interpretation of the Master of Men will feature the fangs and fright-wig that you (and I) prefer.

    Yes, visually, he will have the same appearance as in the proceeding Moonstone books.

    And also, yes, my SPIDER pulp magazines will be in the same format as the previous "Judgment Knight" series.

    The comics I'm also writing will feature new stories that will be authentic to THE SPIDER. I'm a huge fan myself, and see no reason to re-imagine this fabulous character.

    Tom Floyd's comic book page is from "City of the Bleeding Snow", a story he and I did for Moonstone's Holiday Special a few years ago, which was a winner of Best Single Issue of 2007. It's tough to see in the page I posted, but Tom's SPIDER also wears the fangs and fright-wig, as well as the mask.

    Here's a link for that comic book:

    Hope you'll continue to check in. I'll be posting SPIDER news as frequent as possible.


    Martin Powell