The THOUSAND

 

Real Name: Carl King

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Predator

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Hosts: Mr. Ambrose, Mr. & Mrs. King, Jess Patton, unidentified man, dozens of others

Enemies: Spider-Man (Peter Parker)

Known Relatives: Unidentified parents (deceased)

Aliases: He usurped the identity of each of his hosts

Place of Birth: Queens, New York City, New York

Base of Operations: New York City;
    presumably born in Queens, New York

Education: High-school dropout

First Appearance: (BTS) Amazing Fantasy I#15 (August, 1962);
    (seen & named) Tangled Web of Spider-Man#1 (June-August 2001)

 

Powers/Abilities: The Thousand were 1000 spiders that held Carl King's consciousness. After leaving one host they typically entered the mouth of a new host, consuming their innards (usually first liquefying and drinking the brain, and then devouring the intestines, lungs, kidneys, skeleton, etc.), leaving the skin intact so that the host still appeared to be a normal person; the process of consumption appears to only be minutes to hours. With each host consumed in succession, the Thousand became more powerful; after consuming several dozen, its host was physically stronger than Spider-Man. In addition, its host could cling to surfaces to scale walls, paralyze a victim with a venomous bite, and hideously contort its body. If the host were destroyed, the Thousand can simply find a new host.

Height: (King) 6'1"; (Thousand) Variable
Weight: (King) 224 lbs.; (Thousand) Variable
Eyes: (King) Blue; (Thousand) Red
Hair: (King) Reddish-blond; (Thousand) None

 

 

 

 

 

History:
(Tangled Web of Spider-Man#1 (fb)) - Carl King bullied Peter Parker back in elementary school, tormenting him relentlessly.

(Tangled Web of Spider-Man#2 (fb) - BTS) - Peter complained to his aunt, who complained to the principal, but when the principal asked for witnesses, no one came forward.

(Tangled Web of Spider-Man#2 (fb)) - At Midtown High School, King continued to torment Parker, forcing him to write his papers, and then beating him up if his grades weren't good enough. King further humiliated Parker, convincing him that everyone liked King and hated Parker for being a worm.

(Amazing Fantasy I#15 - BTS / Tangled Web of Spider-Man#2 (fb)) - King attended the science exhibit where Peter Parker was bitten by an irradiated spider, and King followed Parker as he ran out, observing as he climbed a wall to escape an onrushing car.

(Amazing Fantasy I#15 - BTS / Tangled Web of Spider-Man#2 (fb)) - King watched as the masked Parker defeated Crusher Hogan.

(Amazing Fantasy I#15 - BTS / Tangled Web of Spider-Man#2 (fb)) - King watched Parker continue to experiment with his powers.

(Amazing Fantasy I#15 - BTS / Tangled Web of Spider-Man#2 (fb)) - King observed as Spider-Man first emerged from Peter Parker's window.

(Tangled Web of Spider-Man#3 (fb)) - King returned to the site of the science exhibit, found the dead radioactive spider--kept for study--and ate it. Nothing seemed to happen for the next couple days, but all the while his body had been breaking down, consuming itself, and changing into a thousand spiders that held his consciousness. One morning he saw a giant spider in the back of his throat via a mirror, and when his mom came in and yelled at him, he ejected the spiders into his mother's mouth, taking over her form and leaving behind his own now-empty skin. He gained control of his mother's body and the spiders consumed her innards. That night, the Thousand passed into and took over his father.

(Tangled Web of Spider-Man#3 (fb) - BTS) - King consumed his girlfriend.

(Tangled Web of Spider-Man#3 (fb) - BTS) - Each time the Thousand took a new host, it could break their innards up a little faster; each time it took a new host it was a little stronger. He consumed about a dozen new hosts each year, mostly homeless people and the occasional odd child.

(Tangled Web of Spider-Man#1) - King sat in a diner, ruminating on how he was jealous of Spider-Man's fame and glory (which he felt was rightfully his), as well as insulting the waitress that approached him. He later hid out in the Daily Bugle and ambushed administrative assistant Jess Patton, taking her as his new host.

 

 

(Tangled Web of Spider-Man#2) - As Patton, King told Peter Parker a story about being broke, alcoholic, and just thrown out by her boyfriend, duping the sympathetic Parker into letting her stay at his place. No sooner had they arrived when "Jess" told Peter to turn into Spider-Man, then twisted her head around 180 degrees and attacked him. Surprising Peter with how she contorted her body as well as the ferocity of her attacks, she pummeled him out a window. He caught himself with a webline and changed to Spider-Man, but she leapt atop him and bit him, paralyzing him and causing them both to crash to the ground. She brought him back to his apartment and tied him up. When Spider-Man revived, she revealed herself to be King and explained how she had seen Parker first become Spider-Man.
    The Thousand then emerged from Jess Patton's lifeless body and crawled atop the helpless Spider-Man, preparing to climb down his throat and consume his body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Tangled Web of Spider-Man#3) - Having heard the commotion, Parker's landlord, Mr. Ambrose, rushed into the room, and the Thousand swarmed over him and consumed him first. As Ambrose, King finished telling Spider-Man his origin. As the paralyzing venom wore off, Spider-Man broke free and attacked the Thousand, denouncing King as a friendless bully terrified of girls. Angered, King beat Spider-Man senseless, told him of the dozens of people he had killed, and then pronounced Spider-Man to be the same frightened worm Parker had been. Spider-Man took off his mask, told King he wasn't afraid of him, and then fought back. He injured King, tearing the top of Ambrose's head off, but King caught him and smashed him to the ground, stunning him. Intending to deliver the final blow, King swung at Parker again, ignoring his warnings and striking a high-voltage generator and electrocuting himself.
    At least one of the Thousand survived, plotting vengeance from the streets below their battle, but he was stepped on and crushed by an oblivious passerby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by Garth Ennis (writer), John McCrea (pencils), James Hodgkins (inks).

    At the time of the series, Peter was not married to MJ, but was out on a date with this artsy chick named Skye. That puts in mid-1980s or earlier real time, IIRC. Sometime after the death of Gwen Stacy, but before he married MJ. Mr. Ambrose was the superintendent in the story, but it still could have been when Mrs. Muggins was the landlord. Also, Spidey fought the Rhino and acted like they'd fought 100 times before.
    Anything more definitive than that?

    Technically, the name of the comic book during the first arc was Tangled Web: The Thousand, but I'm going with the title of the series for the bulk of its publication.

I still vote for a connection to Omm!

The Thousand has an entry in OHotMu 2006 A-Z#11.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to;


Mr. Ambrose

 

    Superintendent to Peter Parker's apartment building, he had the misfortune of walking in on the Thousand as it prepared to consume Spider-Man. Not wishing to allow Ambrose to escape with knowledge of his existence, the Thousand consumed Ambrose--who stood paralyzed by fear--in short order. In Ambrose's form, the Thousand battled Spider-Man, had the top of its head ripped off, was electrocuted, and fell off a building.

 

 

 

--Tangled Web of Spider-Man#3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mr. and Mrs. King

 

    Carl's mother was briefly seen screaming at him for being late for school before the Thousand  took possession of her form and consumed her. That same night the Thousand transferred into Mr. King who became its next victim. Given Carl's disposition, one would suspect that his parents were abusive, though that's unconfirmed.

    That particular scene with Mr. King (possessed by his mutated son) with the satisfied look on his face while laying next to his wife's desiccated corpse is particularly disturbing to me.

 

 

 

--Tangled Web of Spider-Man#3 (3 (fb)

 

 

 

 

 


Jess Patton

 

    An administrative assistant at the Daily Bugle, she offered to try to talk Jonah Jameson into using Spider-Man's pictures, and then made a romantic innuendo, though Parker didn't even pick up on the latter. That night she left late, intending to go home to her nightly routine of feeding her pet cat and being lonely, but she was ambushed by the Thousand. Suspecting him to be a would-be rapist, she fought back, kicking him between the legs and macing him, neither of which had any effect. The Thousand then possessed and consumed her, and it used her to earn Peter Parker's sympathy via a story about being broke, alcoholic, and just thrown out by her boyfriend, duping the sympathetic Parker into letting her stay at his place.
    No sooner had they arrived when "Jess" told Peter to turn into Spider-Man, then twisted her head around 180 degrees and attacked him. Surprising Peter with how she contorted her body as well as the ferocity of her attacks, she pummeled him out a window. He caught himself with a webline and changed to Spider-Man, but she leapt atop him and bit him, paralyzing him and causing them both to crash to the ground. She brought him back to his apartment and tied him up. When Spider-Man revived, she revealed herself to be King and explained how she had seen Parker first become Spider-Man.
    The Thousand then emerged from Jess Patton's lifeless body and crawled atop the helpless Spider-Man, preparing to climb down his throat and consume his body.

 

 

--Tangled Web of Spider-Man#1 (2

 

 

 

 

 


unidentified host

 

    The form in which the Thousand ambushed Jess Patton.

 

 

 

--Tangled Web of Spider-Man#1


images: (without ads)
Tangled Web of Spider-Man#1, p14, panel 2 (unidentified host)
            panel 3 (Carl King - elementary school)
        p21, panel 1 (early transfer)
        p22, panel 2 & 3 (Jess Patton body and face)
    #2, p15, panel 3 (Jess Patton contorted)
        p20, panel 3 (main image)
    #3, p1 (Mr. Ambrose)
        p6, panel 2 & 3 (Mr. & Mrs. King)
        p14 (head ripped off)


Appearances:
Tangled Web of Spider-Man#1-3 (June-August 2001) - by Garth Ennis (writer), John McCrea (pencils), James Hodgkins (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)


Last updated: 04/28/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Back to Characters