Before Marvel Comics' "Spider-Man" made his debut in "Amazing Fantasy" #15 (1962), the first masked 'Spider' crime-fighter was 'The Spider', created in 1933 by Harry Steeger at Popular Publications now controlled by Steeger Properties, LLC amassing thousands of pulp magazine stories for licensing in all media, including film and TV adaptations:
Cover artists for "The Spider" magazine, publishing monthly from 1933 to 1943, included Walter M. Baumhofer for the debut issue, followed by John Newton Howitt and Rafael De Soto.
'The Spider' was millionaire playboy 'Richard Wentworth', a former 'Major' now living in New York City, as the last surviving member of a rich family.
His earliest costume was a black domino mask, black hat and cape. Later he added vampire-like makeup, followed by a face mask with grizzled hair and a 'hunchback' added to terrorize the criminal underworld with The Spider's brand of violent vigilante justice.
At times, Wentworth ventured into the underworld disguised as small-time hood 'Blinky McQuade' in order to gain needed information.
'Scotland Yard' knew Wentworth as 'Rupert Barton', giving him the rank of 'Inspector' for services rendered. He was also a 'Lieutenant' in the 'FBI'.
Wentworth was an accomplished pianist, violinist, sports car enthusiast and fluent in several languages.
Previous feature film adaptations of the character include "The Spider's Web" (1938) and "The Spider Returns" (1941), both starring actor Warren Hull.
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