Satan's Murder Machines:
The story opens with the Richard Wentworth, the Spider's alter ego, already having been framed for robbery and murder. He's in the process of trying to clear his name when he's accosted by rampaging giant robots. Without giving too much away, the robots are robbing people and slaughtering whomever gets in their way. One particularly memorable scene sees one of the robots pluck the head from his captive.
The thing that immediately jumped out at me about The Spider is the sense of desperation. Even thought I knew he wouldn't be killed, part of me still thought it might happen. It seemed as if the Spider was constantly having to think on his feet just to keep his head above water, just barely staying ahead of the police and the nigh-invulnerable robots. If I had to rate the book based on this story right now, I'd give it a four.Death Reign of the Vampire King:
Someone's releasing ravenous vampire bats with poisonous bites, killing hundreds of people. Of course, everyone suspects the Spider. Throw in some South American Indians with blowguns and a Bat Man with glider wings and you have an exciting story. There are plane crashes, gun fights, and a one point Wentworth and Jackson are stripped naked and thrown into a room full of vampire bats. Not as good as the first story but still a gripping read.The Octopus:
Not a Spider story but still really good. Jeffery Fairchild lives a triple life, one as the aged Dr. Skull and another as the mysterious Skull Killer, a man of justice who brands a skull on the forehead of his victims as a calling card. In his Dr. Skull guise, he encounters a woman who's slowly being transformed into an octopoid horror. Little does he know that he's only touched the tip of the iceberg. Before he knows it, the whole city is crawling with mutated monstrosities, led by the mysterious Octopus. Creepy as hell and a pretty good story.Later
: In conclusion, the Spider is everything I had hopes the Shadow would be. His adventures are a lot grittier and better written.