Real Name: Casimir Kravadka

Identity/Class: Human (1861, World War I, World War II to 1954);
   Hungarian citizen

Occupation: Would-be world conqueror; former school teacher

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: His spiders

Enemies: Citizens of Gyor

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The Spider Man"

Base of Operations: His laboratory in Gyor, Hungary

First Appearance: Uncanny Tales I#26/2 (November, 1954)

Powers/Abilities: The elderly Professor Kravadka was an eccentric genius in the field of biochemistry; he developed an unspecified method to increase the size of spiders (see comments).

   After enlarging two spiders, Kravadka hoped that the pair would mate and breed an army of gargantuan arachnids that he could use for world conquest, but his plan failed because he had completely overlooked a very important detail.

Height: 5'8" (by approximation)
Weight: 150 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: White

(Uncanny Tales I#26/2 (fb)) - The early life of Professor Casimir Kravadka is largely unrevealed; at some point, he became a biology teacher at an elementary school in the small Hungarian village of Gyor.

   Kravadka always gave his students the same homework--he had the children bring to him all the spiders they could capture in glass jars; the professor was very pleased that his students had brought him so many spiders, so he rewarded the class with early dismissal. The students' upset mothers (concerned about their children's education) complained to the village school board, but the school board officials indifferently ignored the mothers' complaints; because of his odd school assignments, the people began to refer to Kravadka as "The Spider Man" behind his back.

   When Kravadka gave the class an entire week off after they brought him additional spiders, the irate mothers went to the school board and threatened to pull their children from the school unless something was done about Kravadka's strange behavior. Finally forced to take action, the school board summoned the professor to explain himself. During the inquiry, Kravadka admitted that he cared more about the spiders than the children's education, and as a result of his remark, Kravadka's employment was terminated.

   With his career as a teacher over, Kravadka lived in seclusion in his laboratory, but he was unconcerned about losing his job because he could now spend more time with his spiders and work on his experiment. Kravadka had enlarged two spiders to be larger than dogs, and they were still growing! He planned to continue feeding the beasts so they'd grow larger, and when the two reproduced, Kravadka would have an entire army of giant spiders he could use to enslave the world!

   A week later, the two spiders had grown to the size of elephants; Kravadka continued to feed the giant spiders, and he waited for them to reproduce. Kravadka waited for weeks...for months...for years, but the two enormous arachnids never mated to spawn the giant spider army he hoped for. Although feeding the pair of behemoths cost him all his savings, Kravadka refused to give up hope.

   As time went by, Kravadka got poorer, and older, and weaker, yet he was still convinced he would eventually be successful and the two giant spiders would reproduce. But Kravadka withered from hunger and old age, and he finally died, still waiting for the the creatures' offspring which never came; the giant spiders eventually died as well, since the professor was no longer around to bring them food.

(Uncanny Tales I#26/2 (fb) - BTS) - The people of Gyor eventually discovered Kravadka's body, and although they learned of his evil plan, they still gave him a decent burial in the village cemetery.

(Uncanny Tales I#26/2) - A townsman stood over Kravadka's grave and thought aloud how everybody in the world might have become Kravadka's slaves if the professor had known more about the arachnids and hadn't conducted his experiment with two male spiders!

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Ed Winiarski (artist).

In the last story-panel, Kravadka's gravestone shows that he was born in 1861, and died in 1954, which indicates that the main events took place prior to 1954.

It was never specified exactly what Kravadka did to make the two spiders so big, but considering all the chemicals he had in his lab, I'm guessing he created a "growth serum"--maybe in his earlier years, Kravadka was an associate of Thomas Burke.

And Kravadka never mentioned exactly how he was going to control the spider army if his plan had worked.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

Casimir Kravadka/"The Spider Man" has no known connections to:

Kravadka's giant spiders have no known connections to:

Kravadka's giant spiders

Initially enlarged to be bigger than dogs, Kravadka kept them in a large barred chamber of his laboratory; he continued to feed the spiders until they were larger than elephants, and he had hoped that the giant spiders would mate and produce gigantic offspring, so that he might use the creatures to conquer the world.

But Kravadka's plan ultimately failed because the giant spiders never reproduced--unknown to Kravadka, both spiders were males.

After Kravadka's death, the giant spiders died from starvation.

--Uncanny Tales I#26/2

Citizens of Gyor

Inhabitants of the Hungarian village of Gyor, they included the mothers of Kravadka's students (Mrs. Polgar (in red) identified), members of the village's school board (at least two men), and a townsman who visited Kravadka's grave.

--Uncanny Tales I#26/2

images: (without ads)
Uncanny Tales I#26/2, p3 pan1 (Main Image, Kravadka in his laboratory)
Uncanny Tales I#26/2, p1, pan1 (Headshot, Casimir Kravadka)
Uncanny Tales I#26/2, p3, pan4 (Kravadka performing experiment in laboratory)
Uncanny Tales I#26/2, p3, pan5 (Kravadka fantasizes about conquering the world with giant spiders)
Uncanny Tales I#26/2, p3, pan3 (Kravadka looks at dog-sized spiders)
Uncanny Tales I#26/2, p4, pan5 (spiders grown to the size of elephants)
Uncanny Tales I#26/2, p4, pan8 (giant spiders dead)
Uncanny Tales I#26/2, p2, pan3 (upset mothers of Kravadka's students complain to school board)
Uncanny Tales I#26/2, p4, pan9 (townsman standing by Kravadka's grave)

Uncanny Tales I#26/2 (November, 1954) - unidentified writer, Ed Winiarski (pencils and inks, signed "Ed Win"), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 08/06/17

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