Monday, April 15, 2024

The Spider Widow vs. The Headhunter!

Hero Monday already again? Yep, and this time it's Frank Borth's lovely Diane Grayton donning the hideous witch mask and turning into her horrific alter hag persona, --The Spider Widow! Definitely an odd change-up from the usual comic book plain Jane who transforms herself into a gorgeous goddess to fight evil, and here The Spider Widow battles a vicious head chopper / shrinker in what would turn out to unfortunately be her final comic book appearance ever. A real shame because a creepy cutie like this (and illustrated by Rudy Palais, no less!) would've really slayed the masses in the pre-code horror boom creeping closer and closer less than a mere decade away. From the October 1943 issue of Feature Comics #72, and be sure to get your socks knocked off again as SW battles the yellow menace in a bondage bonanza, leg show-a-rama over at AEET HERE! That's right, --double feature Spider Widow!


Brian Barnes said...

I'd be interested in other spider widow stories -- it looks like the splash is drawn by the original artists, and gcd says he drew all the other stories. That is really fine work on the splash, nothing against Palais who is awesome (and this is some early work so he gets a break) but the Borth splash is art that should hang in a museum and scare the kids.

No chance to show a women in lingerie is missed in this one!

So both the husband and wife took the potion but the wife is perfectly fine and the husband is a "walking dead man" that needs to be tossed out the window? I think the spider widow feels she needs to live up to her name!

Slight complaint: Page 4 is a really hard read; I didn't notice the sword until it was mentioned in text.

Add the spider widow to another of the comic "hot body ghastly face" collection. It was pretty original for a superhero comic but in horror comics skull faced hot ladies would be the norm. BTW -- one obvious at the same time inspiration was Hank's Fantoma, though if Hanks drew as well as either of these two artists he'd be known differently!

JMR777 said...

This comic deserves a reboot, though nowadays the superheroine would take some spider potion to gain supernatural powers along with a face of fear to terrorize the bad guys.

Glowworm said...

The weirdest part about Spider Widow is that while she actually did have power to control black widow spiders (there never was an origin story for how she got those powers), it seems that she seldom uses them. The witch costume is a fun idea actually for an alias, although we still get some pretty shapely artwork of her legs and backside, despite the old lady mask. That last panel on page 2 is awesome of Spider Widow looking in shock at the contents of that trunk. Although where the heck was Emory getting all those heads from without anyone noticing? Wouldn't the cops get suspicious?

Mr. Cavin said...

That splash page really is pretty showstopping. But it's also rather old fashioned looking to me, even for the forties. Not that I mean that as some kind of a knock. Palais' own splash panel, on the real first page of the story, is one of those really nervy creatures of comics art that feels like a cubist collage of several panels compressed illogically into some pretense of a single image. It is definitely not old fashioned. The more I stare at it the wilder it seems.

I like the rest of the work here too, of course. Even the racist generic natives seem like they are having fun. Page two is a dream--there's a full moon in every window! (Surely the dialog balloon is covering it up in that first frame.) Rudy does back up a little too much for the important details to jump out at us--it's possible to lose sight of the sword, sure, and also the mask and even the shrunken heads--but I figure he read the same script I did. If the narration is going to spell everything out for us anyway, might as well focus on all the cheesecake possible instead.

Todd said...

This is a wild ride! My favorite part is Spider Widow negotiating for her own head.