6 Other Spider-themed Heroes and Villains (Again Not Spider-Man)
Spider-Man: No Way Home comes out this week and we are going to celebrate that greatness with another Spider-Man-themed List of Six! That’s how search engines and internet synergy work, right? Honestly, I have no idea. More web-savvy readers would be shocked at how little I know about making this blog work. But enough about me, how about spider-based comic book characters?
Once upon a time, I wrote a list of spider-themed heroes and villains other than Spider-Man. Because there are a lot. I’ve decided to do that list again, because there are a lot. It’s just plain fun! From Marvel to DC to Image to beyond, spiders make for good characters. Or they also make for bad characters! We’re about to find out!
Join me after the jump for six more spider-themed comic book characters!
As we all know, Shelob was the giant spider that attacked Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. It’s also a fun name! This Shelob has nothing to do with the LOTR character, other than taking the name. She’s a Ghost Rider villain, fighting both Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch. Weirdly enough, Shelob is an ancient spider entity who slumbered for hundreds of years before being awoken…so did J.R.R. Tolkien somehow know about her while she slept, and that’s where he got the name? Is that what Marvel is implying? Anyway, she was a bit of a temptress, able to turn people into skin suits she could wear, or she could just be a giant spider monster. So good stuff. She was eventually shrunk down and trapped in a jar by some of Ghost Rider’s magical allies.
Fun fact, Shelob may not have taken her name from LOTR, but the X-Men villain Sauron definitely did. Karl Lykos was a fan of the books and specifically picked that name for himself when he became a villainous pterodactyl man.
5. Daddy Wronglegs
Oh baby, the things you find while searching the internet for spider-themed comic book characters. Behold, Daddy Wronglegs! Otherwise known as that time the Punisher fought a giant, alien, spider drug dealer! So Daddy Wronglegs was an alien brought to Earth during the Maximum Security storyline in the early 2000s. He used his venom to become a drug-dealer, and Punisher does not like drug dealers. So Frank Castle hunted this monster down and got into a big fight! And he was only saved by the timely arrival of the Fantastic Four! This comic sounds like it had everything!
How about a fun Alan Moore character? Created for the Tomorrow Stories comics, Cobweb is Moore’s take on Golden Age Phantom Lady, and seems like an excuse to write some sexy comics about a lady superhero. The stories were driven by erotic artist Melinda Gebbie, who it seems just wanted to write some awesome, sexy superhero comics that also served as some solid satire. Cobweb is Laurel Lakeland, a rich and bored heiress who decided to become a costumed superhero for the thrills. She’s also an LGBTQ+ hero, who teamed up with her lover/driver Clarice for her adventures. And sometimes they fought the villain Money Spider, who leaned even more into the spider theme. This whole thing sounds like a lot of fun — but it might also be me missing the point.
Arachnid is a reoccurring villain for Savage Dragon, that seemingly endless Image Comic that Erik Larson keeps making. He was an early villain, a giant, cannibalistic creature that lived in the sewers and fed upon homeless people — so much so that when Dragon first found him, Arachnid was too big and bloated to put up a fight. Dude just got his butt handed to him and arrested. Arachnid would pop up time and again to combat Dragon, always getting his monstrous butt handed to him. Classic super-villain.
2. Lord Recluse
Remember City of Heroes, that excellent MMORPG about superheroes from a million years ago? They actually gave that game it’s own lore and backstory, and established heroes. Remember City of Villains, the sequel/spin-off game? Same exact thing! And the biggest of the bads, the ruler of the Rogue Isles, the Archvillain himself, was Lord Recluse! Stefan Richter was best pals with Marcus Cole, the heroic Statesman. Together they tracked down the Fountain of Zeus and got powers, then opened Pandora’s Box to kick off the Age of Heroes…I told you there was lore and backstory. Lord Recluse decided to use his powers for evil and joined Arachnos, an evil organization themed after spiders. I could have made a whole list based on evil organizations themed after spiders…and that might be my spider-list when the next Spider-Man movie comes out.
Sex sells, baby! Meet Arachnophilia, a name they absolutely went with without any apparent hesitation. She hails from the Supreme Powers universe, that dark and gritty retelling of the Justice League in the guise of the Squadron Supreme for Marvel MAX back in the day. She wasn’t part of the original comic, instead showing up in the later stories by different creators. Nell Ruggles was your typical psychopath teenager who developed weird, sticky spider powers and was hired by SHIELD to be one of their dark and edgy superheroes. I think by this point in the story, Marvel had decided to start adding dark and gritty Marvel heroes to their dark and gritty Justice League. So in the end, it all still comes back to Spider-Man!