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CHAPTER ONE
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Hello reader! Welcome to a new multi-part DIAL B for BLOG series revealing the secret origins of the Amazing Spider-Man. This blockbuster series will change the way you look at Spider-Man forever. That's a tall order, I know, but as usual, I'm going to make it even taller. Because before we're done, we're also going to change the way you look at Marvel Comics forever!

If you're new here, and you're wondering who I am and how anyone could possibly do all that, let me explain. It's actually quite simple. My name is Robby Reed, and I have a dial. And you know what happens every time I Dial B for BLOG? You're looking at it!

Now, let's get started!
ABOVE: 1938 newsstand, filled to over-flowing with pulp magazines. In the center of the photo, you can see the November 1938 issue of THE SPIDER (cover pictured BELOW).
And here's an iconic cover portrait of THE SPIDER, from issue #95, August 1941.
XTHE PULP SPIDER

THE SPIDER, Master of Men, was secretly detective Richard Wentworth. The character, originally a Shadow knock-off, debuted in “The Spider Strikes,” October 1933. In the Pulps, the character wore a modest black mask with evening dress, complete with a top hat and cape. He also wore a tie. Oh, and he also carried guns. And bullets. LOTS of bullets.

The first Spider story was credited to R.T.M. Scott, but with Spider #3, "Wings of the Black Death" (December 1933), “Grant Stockbridge” took over writing chores.

As Spider-fans know, “Grant Stockbridge,” was a house name used by main Spider writer Norvell Page, as well as Emile C. Tepperman, Wayne Rogers, and Prentice Winchell.

Anyway, under “Grant Stockbridge,” the character went from being an imitation Shadow to being... well, the Spider! One way he differentiated himself from the Master of Darkness was through sheer volume. The Spider didn't just KILL his enemies... he killed them in ever-increasing numbers, and with near-fanatical enjoyment.

He wiped out armies of bad guys every week, and on weekends he demolished satanic cults and criminal gangs just for fun. He enjoyed punching crooks with his Spider Ring (pictured), which left the imprint of a spider smashed into on their bloody faces.

BELOW: a Spider pulp interior illustration by John Gould.
The Spider was featured in two movie serials from Columbia. The first was The Spider's Web (1938), starring Warren Hull as the Spider. In this serial, Hull wore an entirely new costume that had never been seen before in the Spider pulps, complete with an almost-full face mask and flowing, spider-webbed cape.
Here's THE SPIDER with a hat, on the cover of Screen Thrills Illustrated #8...
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Want to get the flavor of the Spider movie serials? Click the PLAY button below to see The Spider swing into action in scenes from THE SPIDER'S WEB! (23 second clip).

"Fly Man didn't sound that good."
XTHE NAME GAME

"Stan said he liked the name Hawkman, but DC had the name and the character," according to Steve DItko.

"So I went down the list," Stan Lee once wrote. "Fly-Man didn't sound that good. Mosquito-Man, I don't know. Bug-Man, Insect-Man, and I got to Spider-Man and somehow Spider-Man -- and also when I was a kid there was a pulp magazine called The Spider, Master of Men."

"[He] had absolutely nothing to do with spiders, but he was a guy who wore a mask sort of like the Spirit -- if you remember that -- and a hat and a coat and he went out and fought crooks, but they called him the Spider. And I read those things when I was about eight years old, and I thought it was so dramatic. So everything fell in place and I thought, I'll call him Spider-Man."
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DC's SPIDER MAN
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Stan Lee knew DC already had a Hawkman, but he didn't know that almost a decade earlier, DC created a Spider Man of their own! We can't really blame him -- not many people are aware of this fact: DC had a character called Spider Man YEARS before Marvel!

DC's Spider Man made his inauspicious debut in House of Mystery #28, July 1954, in a story with an unknown author, drawn by Ed Smalle.

Obviously, DC had no idea what they had on their hands. The DC Spiderman didn't even get the issue's cover (pictured right), drawn by Ruben Moreira. Instead, the cover featured a story titled, "The Clock Strikes Death."

What a missed opportunity! So Robby made up for it with the fake cover seen below...
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Here are some "highlights" from the (not very)
amazing story of DC's Spider Man!
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Meet Mr. Weems -- a man fascinated with insects who want to add a rare "Spider Man" bug to his collection. He searches the world, and finally, one day...
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Weems shows his collection to a friend, and explains a bizarre theory...
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In the end, Weems is killed by a falling horse (don't ask), and as his body is hauled away...
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Uh, OK, it's stupid. Maybe there's a GOOD REASON Stan Lee knew of DC's Hawkman, but never heard of DC's Spider Man.

The SHAZAM SPIDER MAN
THE SHAZAM SPIDER MAN

WHIZ COMICS #89 featured Captain Marvel getting trapped in a bad guy's "Web of Crime." The villain's name? You guessed it, SPIDER MAN. And this was way back in September 1947.

HOUSE of the SPIDER MAN
The first use of the name "Spider Man" in a fictional story occurred in "The House of the Spider Man," illustrated by Maurice Bramley. This prose short story was published in The World's News, June 1, 1940 edition. You can read more about it at 20th Century Danny Boy.

HAWKMAN meets SPIDER MAN
We close chapter one of our Secret Origins of Spider-Man with a fake cover depicting a meeting between Spidey (by Ditko) and Hawkman (by Murphy Anderson)...
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Time for Robby to
rewrite the history books-- AGAIN!
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