Real Name: Inapplicable

Identity/Class: Terrestrial arachnid mutate

Occupation: Would-be world conqueror

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Its spider "brothers"

Enemies: Humanity in general (including Robert Carter and other personnel of atomic research center)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The monster" (as called by Robert Carter)

Base of Operations: An atomic research center;
   formerly the desert outside Robert Carter's house, somewhere in New Mexico

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#73/1 (October, 1961)

Powers/Abilities: Originally an unspecified species of desert spider (see comments), it was bombarded by the radioactive energy of an atomic machine; afterward, its body grew to gargantuan size, and its brain was also enlarged--with its increased mental capacity, the Spider was able to think and speak to humans, while still able to communicate with other spiders.

At its increased size, the Spider was bullet-proof, and its natural strength was magnified thousands of times, giving it the power to lift a building from its foundation. The size and strength of the webs it weaved was also proportionally increased.

The Spider was eventually killed by the explosion of a runaway missile.

Height: 20' (by approximation)
Weight: 10 tons (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Reddish-brown

(Journey into Mystery I#73/1) - One night, a small and harmless spider crawled through the open bedroom window of the sleeping Robert Carter. The tiny spider continued skittering aimlessly until it crawled on a pair of Carter's hanging trousers, then settled itself into one of the trouser cuffs.

   The following morning, Carter awoke and got dressed, not noticing the tiny arachnid clinging on his trousers. Carter drove to the atomic research center where he worked and went to his lab, unaware of the silent hidden spider he was carrying with him.

   In his lab, Carter activated an atomic machine--the physicist was so engrossed in his work, he didn't notice the spider crawling out of his trouser cuff and up the table where the machine sat. Moments later, Carter left to answer a phone call--he didn't want to have to wait for the device's energy output to build up again, so he left it on while he went to take the call.

   Without reason or purpose, the tiny spider happened to crawl into the path of the machine's atomic rays, and it was bombarded by the output. As its cell tissue was energized, the spider began to grow...and GROW...and GROW! Along with its body's expansion in size, the Spider's brain also enlarged, increasing its mental capacities, and giving it the ability to think and speak!

   Hearing the sounds of a ponderous form moving in the lab, Carter and his associates rushed into the room, where they beheld the mind-staggering sight of the Spider, now as large as a house!

   After spinning a web and blocking Carter and the others, the Spider smashed through the wall, then proceeded to weave an immense web around the entire facility, trapping all the personnel within. The Spider then told its human prisoners of its plan--it intended to gather thousands of its kind and expose them to the same atomic energy, and thus create an invincible army of giants to conquer all of Earth!

   The monstrous Spider went off into the desert, where it summoned countless other spiders, then headed back to the research center.

   When the Spider returned with its multitude of tiny allies, Carter noticed an off-course missile flying overhead, and he challenged the Spider to stop it. To prove its power, the Spider spun a web upward and snared the missile, then it climbed up to seize the weapon and shatter it to bits.

   But just as the Spider got within scant feet of the missile, the weapon's self-destruct mechanism detonated, thus ending the menace of the Spider--along with its dreams of world-conquest--in a fiery explosion.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

This 7-page story--Where Will You Be, When...The Spider Strikes!--never specified the species of the Spider--considering its "hairy" appearance, maybe it was a dwarf tarantula.

But the Spider (much like Rorrg) only had six legs--maybe this physical oddity was because it was a mutant arachnid to begin with, which might explain why the radiation mutated it further, rather than kill it (...or else Kirby just forgot to draw the additional pair of appendages).

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

The Spider has no known connections to:

Robert Carter has no known connections to:

Robert Carter

Professor Robert "Bob" Carter was a top nuclear physicist who worked at an atomic research center in New Mexico; he lived in an unidentified small town 20 miles from the facility.

One morning, Carter went to the lab, unaware that he was carrying a tiny spider in the cuff of his trousers. Carter activated an atomic machine, and unknowingly exposed the arachnid to the device's radiation, which caused it to grow into the monstrous Spider.

Later, when the Spider had the entire research facility trapped beneath its huge web, Carter spotted an off-course missile flying overhead, and he challenged the Spider to stop it. The Spider snared the missile in a web, but when it climbed up to shatter the weapon, the missile exploded, and Carter stood over the vanquished monster's remains.

--Journey into Mystery I#73/1

atomic research center

Located somewhere in New Mexico, it was where Professor Robert Carter worked.

When a tiny spider was bombarded by the rays of an atomic machine at the center, it was mutated into the giant and intelligent Spider.

The huge arachnid trapped the entire facility within a web, until it was eventually killed by an explosion.

--Journey into Mystery I#73/1

atomic machine

A highly radioactive device of unspecified function, it was located at an atomic research center in New Mexico, where it was operated by Robert Carter.

One day, after Carter activated the device, he stepped away for a few moments to answer a phone call--in order not to have to build up the machine's output again, he left it on while he answered the call.

But while Carter was away, a tiny spider chanced to crawl near the device, and the powerful rays of atomic energy increased the arachnid's size and mental capacity

The giant Spider intended to use the machine on others of its kind, to create an invincible world-conquering army, but the monster was killed before it could carry out its plan.

--Journey into Mystery I#73/1

The Spider's "brothers"

A multitude of common arachnid denizens from the desert of New Mexico, they were commanded by the mutated Spider.

The Spider intended to expose them to the rays of the same atomic machine which had mutated it into a giant, and thus create an invincible world-conquering army of giant spiders.

But the Spider was killed by the explosion of a runaway missile before it could carry out its plan--with the death of their leader, presumably the other spiders returned to the desert.

--Journey into Mystery I#73/1


It was a weapon being tested at a U.S. Army base. But after it was launched, the missile went off course, so one of the military personnel pressed a self-destruct button to make it explode; the soldiers were disappointed that their test had failed.

But ironically, their failure had saved the world from the menace of the mutated Spider: The missile just happened to fly over an atomic research center five hundred miles away, where the giant arachnid had snared it with its web; when the missile exploded, the Spider was killed.

--Journey into Mystery I#73/1

images: (without ads)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, cover (Main Image - The Spider)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p6, pan3 (Headshot - The Spider)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p1, pan1 (The Spider attacks humans)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p6, pan1 (The Spider tears a building off its foundation)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p2, pan4 (Robert Carter drives past sentry at research center)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p6, pan6 (Robert Carter trapped behind web, as The Spider returns with other spiders)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p7, pan7 (Robert Carter stands by remains of The Spider)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p1, pan2 (atomic research center)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p4, pan4 (atomic research center trapped underneath The Spider's web)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p2, pan6 (Robert Carter operating atomic machine)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p3, pan7 (after being exposed to radiation of atomic machine, The Spider grows)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p6, pan4 (The Spider summons its "brothers")
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p6, pan7 (Robert Carter (off panel) challenges The Spider to stop missile)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p7, pan2 (The Spider snares missile in its web)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p7, pan4 (after The Spider climbs web toward ensnared missile, missile explodes)
Journey into Mystery I#73/1, p7, pan5 (U.S. Army personnel discussing missile going off course)

Journey into Mystery I#73/1 (October, 1961) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters)

First Posted: 03/14/2021
Last updated: 03/14/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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