Real Name: Josiah Creech
Identity/Class: Unrevealed (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Carl, unidentified woman
Enemies: A gang of scavengers (Kurt Eraclid, others)
Known Relatives: Vampire tarantulas (his "children" (see comments) )
Base of Operations: His home in the village of Marud, Romania (see comments)
First Appearance: Adventures into Terror#15/5 (January, 1953)
Powers/Abilities: Appearing to be a portly older gentleman, Creech could alter his body to become an eight-legged "vampire tarantula," with fangs and a thirst for blood--it was unrevealed which was his true form.
In human form, Creech was a wealthy man--his home contained a fortune in gold, along with valuable paintings and artwork.
While in his arachnid form, Creech's body was highly resistant to injury--on one occasion, he survived at least seven gunshots without any ill effects.
Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: 270 lbs. (by approximation)
(Adventures into Terror#15/5 (fb) - BTS) - The past and true nature of Josiah Creech is unrevealed, but he eventually accumulated a great fortune and settled in the little village of Marud, where the citizens knew him to be a wealthy man. But Creech had a secret double-life--he could transform himself into a vampire tarantula, and he apparently had other giant tarantulas living with him as his "children".
(Adventures into Terror#15/5) - For several nights, the citizens of Marud were terrorized by man-sized vampire tarantulas--the monsters killed and feasted upon several villagers, and the peaceful townsfolk had no alternative but to flee from their homes.
Creech looked out his window and watched the long procession of villagers leaving; two of the townsfolk tried to convince him to accompany them, but Creech refused to join the fleeing cowards--with the village abandoned by its citizens, Creech became Marud's sole resident.
However, Creech wasn't alone for long--soon, a gang of human scavengers arrived to take advantage of the empty village. The thieves looted the shops and empty houses, taking all the valuables that were left behind--they even stole from the pockets of the giant tarantulas' dead victims. After they had picked the deserted town clean of everything that would bring a price, the fraternity of scavengers decided to go to Josiah Creech's home--they planned to kill him, then take his fortune and leave the village to the tarantulas.
The scavengers went to Creech's darkened house and climbed through a window; the sounds of a crackling log-fire attracted them to the living room, where they found Creech sitting in a chair before the fireplace. Creech turned his head toward the thieves and politely asked what he could do for them; the scavengers didn't answer with words, but with bullets--they shot hot lead into their wealthy victim, until they were sure that Creech was dead.
But just as the murderous scavengers were about to frisk the body, to see if there were any keys to strongboxes, they noticed that Creech was still looking at them!
In the dim light, the horrified scavengers saw Creech
approaching them in his arachnid form, with his vampire tarantula
"children" accompanying him--Creech informed them that they had arrived
just in time for supper...and they would be the main course!
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Hy Rosen.
Actually, the first caption in this 5-page story--The
Tarantula!--identified Marud as a "little Roumanian village"--I'll
just attribute that "u" to a misspelling, rather than assume that it's yet
another fictional European country.
It was unrevealed if Creech actually had a parental relationship with the other vampire tarantulas--although he referred to them as his "children," he could have just been speaking metaphorically.
And it was unrevealed if Creech was an actual supernatural vampire--maybe he and his "children" were really some form of giant ticks (...which are still arachnids, but just not as scary as tarantulas).
This story was reprinted in Vault of Evil#3 (June, 1973).
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Josiah Creech has no known connections to:
Numbering at least four, they were man-sized arachnids with a
thirst for human blood; apparently, they were the "children" of the
wealthy Josiah Creech (see comments).
Carl and his female companion were two residents of Marud;
when vampire tarantulas began to terrorize their town, they packed up
their belongings and began to walk to Bucharest to seek refuge.
Armed with knives and pistols, they included
the leader, Kurt (last name unrevealed), Fritz (last name unrevealed),
and three unidentified others.
images: (without ads)
Adventures into Terror#15/5, p2, pan5 (Main Image - Josiah Creech looking out the window of his home, speaking to Carl and unidentified woman)
Adventures into Terror#15/5, p2, pan6 (Headshot - Josiah Creech, watching villagers flee town)
Adventures into Terror#15/5, p4, pan6 (Josiah Creech turns to "greet" scavengers when they invade his home )
Adventures into Terror#15/5, p5, pan7 (Josiah Creech in vampire tarantula form; other vampire tarantulas)
Adventures into Terror#15/5, p1, pan4 (vampire tarantulas attack village)
Adventures into Terror#15/5, p3, pan1 (two dead villagers; vampire tarantula (background) )
Adventures into Terror#15/5, p2, pan3 (unidentified woman and Carl, outside Josiah Creech's home)
Adventures into Terror#15/5, p4, pan3 (after killing Fritz, Kurt (left) addresses three remaining scavengers)
Adventures into Terror#15/5, p5, pan6 (Kurt (center) and other scavengers, terrified after seeing Josiah Creech's tarantula form)
Adventures into Terror#15/5 (January, 1953) - unidentified writer, Hy Rosen (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 03/14/2021
Last updated: 03/14/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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