SPIDER QUEEN

Real Name: Shannon Kane; it is possible that her full name is Sharon Shannon Kane or Shannon Sharon Kane (see Comments)

Identity/Class:Human technology user (WW 2 Era, 1959)

Occupation:Crimefighter and/or Axis agent; formerly lab assistant

Group membership:  Icon (Axis Annie, Baron Blood, Brain Drain, Count von Blitzkrieg, DoctOrangutan, Fraulein Fatale, Geist, Hollow Men, Fritz Krone and his robots, Leopard Woman, Madame Mauser, Penny Panzer, Planner, Dieter Skul, Geoffrey Sydenham, Vunderknight, others);
formerly Battle-Axis

Affiliations: (as crimefighter) Detective Mike O'Bell; (as Axis agent) fellow members of Battle-Axis (Doctor Death, the Human Meteor, Strongman, Volton, Skyshark), the Golem, Aarkus the Vision), Alfried Krupp, Albert Speer

Enemies:  (as crimefighter) Curly and his fellow bank robbers, the Noose, an unnamed corrupt police chief, unnamed racketeers;
(as Axis agent) the Invaders (Captain America, the android Human Torch, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Miss America, the Whizzer, the Blazing Skull, the Silver Scorpion), the Golem (after he turned against Battle-Axis), Aarkus the Vision (after he turned against Battle-Axis);
(as ICON agent) Avengers (Blonde Phantom/Louise Mason, Dominic Fortune, Nick Fury, Kraven/Sergei Kravinoff, Powell McTeague, Namora, Sabretooth/Victor Creed)

Known Relatives:   Dr. Harry Kane (husband, deceased)

Aliases: Sharon Kane (see Comments)

Base of Operations: (as crimefighter) New York City; (as Axis agent) a secret Nazi base beneath the Mojave Desert in California

First Appearance: (historic) Eagle#2 (published by Fox Features Syndicate, cover-date September 1941); (Marvel Universe) Invaders II#1 (May 1993)

Powers/Abilities: The Spider Queen wore two bracelet-like devices which emitted a "web fluid" that she could use to bind and restrain others and to swing from rooftops or hang outside windows; she was also an accomplished acrobat and hand-to-hand combatant, and her ability to reproduce her husband's web fluid implies that she was an above-average chemist.

History:   (see comments)

(Eagle#2/Invaders II#3 (fb)) - In 1939 (see Comments), Shannon Kane was working with her husband, "brilliant young government chemist" Dr. Harry Kane, on a special assignment involving new steel alloys. Two Russian agents (Rudy and an unnamed second man) broke into Dr. Kane's lab, killing him before Shannon's eyes and stealing his notes.

(Eagle#2 (fb)/Invaders II#1 (fb) - BTS) - While sorting through her husband's records some months later, Shannon discovered a formula for a "spider-web fluid" which her husband had developed but had supposedly never found practical applications for.   Reproducing the web fluid, Shannon took on the crimefighting identity of the Spider Queen, in part motivated by admiration of Captain America, who had debuted in late 1940.

(Eagle#2) - In 1941, already active as a crimefighter for months, the Spider Queen foiled an attempted bank robbery, strangling one of the fleeing criminals, Curly, with her web line.   Plainclothesman Mike O'Bell took an interest in her activities, and the Spider Queen, hoping to gain inside police information, sought him out as Shannon Kane to win his friendship.   Learning that a recent series of robberies had been undertaken under the leadership of O'Bell's corrupt chief, the Spider Queen exposed the criminal activities, allowing O'Bell to take credit for the capture.

(Eagle#3) - With the assistance of O'Bell, the Spider Queen foiled an attempt by racketeers to force owners of small stores to sign over their businesses.

(Eagle#4) - The Spider Queen worked with O'Bell to capture the escaped murderer known as the Noose.

(Avengers 1959#5 (fb) - BTS) - Affairs with Krupp and Speer gave Spider Queen access to experimental technology.

(post-Eagle#4/pre-Invaders II#1) - At some point following the US's entry into World War II on the side of the Allies, the Spider Queen was approached by Doctor Death to join the team of Axis operatives known as Battle-Axis; motivated by a hatred of the Soviet Union due to her husband's murder, she agreed to work against the Allied cause.   It is not known if Mike O'Bell knew of this decision nor what his reaction was if he did.   The Spider Queen remained out of sight for months as the team prepared to undertake "Project Mojave," an elaborate scheme whereby a device called an oscillotron would cause a severe earthquake on the west coast, destroying war industry plants, releasing poison gas from underground storage, and theoretically causing the US to withdraw from the war in order to deal with the homefront crisis; her absence from the public eye was noted by the member of the Liberty Legion called the Thin Man, who was keeping track of super-hero activities.

(Invaders II#1) - On June 22, 1942, at New York Harbor, after the Invaders attacked a Nazi u-boat, Battle-Axis counterattacked, with the Spider Queen fighting Captain America during the struggle before Battle-Axis departed.   Battle-Axis next abducted the Whizzer, although Miss America evaded capture.

(Invaders II#2) - The members of Battle-Axis traveled to Hollywood, CA via the airship of the Nazi Skyshark, and the Spider Queen and others stood by as Volton electrocuted two police officers who witnessed their arrival.   The Spider Queen accompanied the Human Meteor and Strongman to UCLA, where, after questioning the oscillatron's creator, Professor Carson, they killed both Carson and private detective Dan Hurley before clashing with Captain America, Miss America, and the Silver Scorpion, then subsequently fled the scene.

(Invaders II#3) - In Battle-Axis's secret base beneath the Mojave Desert, Doctor Death and the other members of Battle-Axis elaborated on their background and plans to a captive Torch and Whizzer.   When the Invaders invaded the base, they were fought to a standstill by Battle-Axis (with the Spider Queen fighting the Silver Scorpion), until Doctor Death, using the "dimension smasher" created by Professor Enoch Mason (a scientist forced into his employ), summoned the extradimensional Aarkus (a.k.a. the Vision) and forced him to defeat the Invaders.

(Invaders II#4) - When Doctor Death explained his plans to the captive Invaders, Spider Queen expressed surprise upon hearing that poison gas would be released upon western California; when the Invaders escaped and attacked Battle-Axis, she was drawn into battle with Miss America, but the fight ended when the Sub-Mariner destroyed the oscillotron.   Spider Queen and the other members of Battle-Axis (except for Doctor Death, who was left for dead) surrendered to the Invaders and were presumably taken into custody.

The Spider Queen's subsequent wartime activities and her fate following the war are unrevealed (see Comments).

(Avengers 1959#5 (fb) - BTS) - Spider Queen joined Geoffrey Sydenham's secret US intelligence organization Icon around 1959.

(Avengers 1959#5) - Spider Queen joined Sydenham in Washington DC alongside Baron Blood, Brain Drain, Geist and some Hollow Men. They fought the Avengers, who attempted to take down Icon. Blonde Phantom knocked her out during the fight.

Comments: Created by Elsa Lesau (believed to be a pseudonym for Louis and Arturo Cazeneuve) for Fox Features Syndicate; adapted for the Marvel Universe by Roy Thomas, Dave Hoover, and Brian Garvey.

Roy Thomas had originally intended Battle-Axis to consist of minor wartime heroes of Timely Comics (predecessor of Marvel), but Mark Gruenwald nixed that idea, and super-heroes from now-defunct wartime publishers were used instead; the Spider Queen's position in Battle-Axis was probably originally intended for the Silver Scorpion.

This wasn't the first time Golden Age characters jumped companies to enter the Marvel Comics universe. Some examples (by no means all of them): The name Spirit of '76 was first used by a Harvey Comics character, something Roy Thomas probably knew when he created his version; the western Ghost Rider (later renamed the Phantom Rider) started out with Magazine Enterprises and was brought to Marvel by Dick Ayers, his original artist. American Ace, a minor Timely/Marvel character who hasn't resurfaced since the end of the Golden Age, debuted months before the first "Marvel" Comic, in "Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly", a free give-away produced by Funnies, Incorporated, the studio which provided many early Timely Comics stories. But perhaps the most significant Marvel character who began elsewhere was another individual who started in that same give-away...Namor the Sub-Mariner!  -  Loki  

In Invaders II#3, while recounting her origin to the Human Torch, the Spider Queen claimed that her real name was Sharon Kane, that her husband was killed on June 20, 1941, and that her husband's web fluid was developed as a weapon to be turned over to the government, all allegations which contradict her original golden age origin; it may be that she deliberately chose to provide the Torch with false details to confuse any subsequent investigation.

It should be remembered that all the non-Marvel adventures listed in the history above, along with details of affiliations, enemies and relations, are unconfirmed. They happened to the original Golden Age character from Fox Features Syndicate. Similar adventures and details are ASSumed to apply to the Marvel Universe version, but these are not confirmed.  This might also explain the discrepancies between her Golden Age appearances and the story she told the Torch.

                It's interesting to note that her deceased husband was named Harry Kane, which was also the secret identity of Hurricane, an identity used by the Eternal Makkari during the war. The Marvel Universe series showed that Makkari sometimes used the identities of dead humans (Adam Clayton), so perhaps this was the source of his "Harry Kane" identity. Ron, who wrote this entry, isn't fond of this theory, and as he points out, Makkari could also have taken the name from the Western gunslinger of the same name - Loki

The Spider Queen was the only member of Battle-Axis whose costume colors in her original appearances were unknown; it may be that her golden age adventures depicted her in colors other than red and yellow (which give her an unnecessary resemblance to Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)).

The Spider Queen's costume was seen on display alongside the costumes of other wartime heroes in the mansion of Thomas Halloway, a.k.a. the Angel (the earliest known hero of Earth-616's golden age, already active as of Marvel Comics#1), in Captain America I#442; whether or not this indicates that the Spider Queen eventually abandoned the Axis cause to return to crimefighting is as yet unrevealed, although this would be consistent with the doubts she expressed about some of Battle-Axis's activities during the Invaders storyline.

Profile by Ronald Byrd.


Clarifications: The Spider Queen should not be confused with:

  • Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), super-heroine and private investigator @ Marvel Spotlight I#32
  • Spider-Woman (Julia Cornwall Carpenter), super-heroine and member of Freedom Force, the West Coast Avengers, and Force Works @ Secret Wars#6
  • Spider-Woman (Martha "Mattie" Franklin), teenage super-heroine who briefly impersonated Spider-Man @ Amazing Spider-Man I#441
  • Spider-Woman (Charlotte Witter), granddaughter of Madame Web, mutated by Doctor Octopus @ Amazing Spider-Man II#5
  • Spider-Man (Peter Benjamin Parker), one of the first, most famous, and greatest heroes of the modern era @ Amazing Fantasy#15
  • any of Spider-Man's various impersonators
  • any versions of him from alternate earths and/or timelines
  • Spider-Man (Ben Reilly), a.k.a. the Scarlet Spider, second clone of Peter Parker @ Amazing Spider-Man I#149
  • Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O'Hara), hero of an alternate future @ Amazing Spider-Man I#365
  • Spider-Man 2211, hero of a subsequent alternate future @ Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man
  • Spider-Boy (Peter Ross) @ Earth-Amalgam, teenage amalgam of Spider-Man and Superboy @ DC Vs. Marvel#3
  • Spider-Boy 2099 (Mig-El Gand) @ Earth-Amalgam, hero of alternate future of Earth-Amalgam @ Spider-Boy Team-Up#1
  • Spider-Girl (May Parker) @ Earth-MC2, daughter of Spider-Man in alternate timeline/future @ What If II#105
  • Spider-Kid (Oliver Osnick), a.k.a. the Steel Spider @ Spectacular Spider-Man II#72
  • the Spider-Amoeba, large unicellular creature created by Carrion @ Spectacular Spider-Man II#31
  • the Spider Clan, a Peruvian tribe @ Peter Parker:   Spider-Man Annual 2001
  • the Spider-Hybrid, created by a mixture of Spider-Man's DNA and DNA of the Brllna>zhhk< @ Peter Parker:   Spider-Man#24
  • the Spider People of Ultraverse, worshippers of Spider-Man via dimensional rift @ Prime II#1
  • the Spider-People, worshippers of Omm, @ Conan the Barbarian I#13
  • the Spider-Slayers, various robots existing in at least twenty incarnations, created to capture and/or kill Spider-Man @ Amazing Spider-Man I#25
  • the Spider-Squad ("Strongman," "Acrobat," "Tumbler"), three criminals in exoskeletons @ Amazing Spider-Man Annual I#11
  • Spider-X (Brian Kornfield), youth mutated by a Darkhold page @ Midnight Sons Unlimited#3
  • Spidercide , the third clone of Spider-Man @ Spectacular Spider-Man II#225
  • Spiders Man @ Earth-X, homeless man mutated by Plague X in alternate timeline/future @ Earth-X Sketchbook
  • any other spidery character
  • any other character with the word "Queen" in her name

The Spider Queen's deceased husband, Dr. Harry Kane, should not be confused with:

  • Hurricane (Harry Kane), super-fast criminal of the 1870s @ Two-Gun Kid#70
  • Hurricane, a.k.a. Harry Kane, an alias used by the Eternal Makkari during World War II @ Captain America Comics#1

Images:
Invaders II#1, page 10, panel 2
Invaders II#3, page 6, panel 1
Invaders II#1, page 24, panel 6

Other appearances:
Fox Features Syndicate:
Eagle#2 (September, 1941)
Eagle#3 (November, 1941)
Eagle#4 (January, 1942)

Marvel:
Invaders II#2-4 (June-August, 1993) - Roy Thomas (writer), Dave Hooker (pencils), Brian Garvey & Brian Akin (#3) (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Avengers 1959#5 (March, 2012) - Howard Chaykin (writer/artist), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)


Last updated: 01/07/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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