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Monday, August 02, 2010

97 The Spider – Millennium Hero of Tamil Comics

Dear ComiRades,

Welcome back after a small hiatus. As a process, TCU is about to index the popular characters who have carved a niche for themselves in Tamil Comics Ulagam. Amongst them is one Mr Spider (Not To be confused with Spiderman). The Spider That we are talking about is one of the finest Comic characters from the famed Fleetway Publications, UK. The 1st time ever TCU read a comic of Spider was in the Mid 80’s and that story sort of captured the best of spider: Fantasy, Tough Villains, Even tougher duels, Situations that you would never ever face in any other storyline, Science & technology and above all, the Genius of Spider himself. That was பாதாள போராட்டம் (The Immoratals – Fleetway Super Library –Stupendous Series No 20). What caught the attention was the fact that Spider was a super hero without any super powers (Like Spiderman or Superman). At best, he was a well trained and physically fit individual.

Ever Since, TCU is sort of addicted to Spider Stories. Later on, after compiling all of the Spider Stories and reading them in a chronological order gave a new look to spider from that of the earlier one we had about him. Let us get back to the 1st ever story of Spider. It was the summer of 65 in which Spider Made his debut and there was not much of noise about him making his debut in that issue. They even had the Header column to Zip Nolan and there was no mention (Not even the regular style of – Starting this issue) of spider being present in the book. However, on page 4, we have the story: The Spider with artwork by Reg Bunn and storyline presented by Ted Cowan.

Lion Issue No 690 – Dated 26th June 1965 Front Cover Robot Archie

Lion Issue No 690 – Dated 26th June 1965 Page 4 – 1st Page of Spider

Lion 26 June 1965 (01) Front Page Robot Archie Lion 26 June 1965 (04)The Spider

Spider's 1st appearance This is the 1st panel in Page 2 of the story and this is where Spider makes his 1st ever appearance in Comics. Have a closer look at the fingers and ears of Spider and you will know that you are dealing with someone who is out of ordinary.

While reading the forward of Steve Holland in the One and only book from Titan books, i wondered about the similarity of the questions we had about spider:

  • Was the Spider an alien? or his looks were another cunning diversion? What about those fingers and ears? That black hair and his catchphrase “By the webs of juba” (what does it really mean, if it has any?). What is the backdrop of spider? what he was doing before he started his own army? There are many questions and imagining and discussing that with the friends will be one of the best ways to spend time while on a rainy evening.

Reading this story, we had glimpses of Spider and his abilities. And the 2nd story increased his legend and then Jerry Siegel (Co Creator of Superman) took over the strip from Ted Cowan. Under Siegel, there were many more thrilling adventures and the storyline took a great change when Spider started to fight against the crooks started to help Lawmen.

As kids, often we used to dream of having our own Spider Web-Guns. And also the Heli-car (Which had the ability to distinguish Spider’s voice from the rest and respond to his masters voice). It will be a great understatement if we say that Spider was a Success in Tamil Comics. He brought the second wave (The 1st one being steel-claw, who made his his debut in 1972, some 12 years ago in Tamil) in Tamil comics and those were the days in which if you had the picture of Spider in the cover, the book will be sold out. Such was the pulling power of spider that most of the specials in the Mid 80’s had his own presence and Mr S. Vijayan (Editor of Lion Comics, who at the age of 18 Had the guts to Introduce him in Tamil), understood this and he made Spider to appear in his other publications as well to boost their sales (Mini Lion / Junior Lion Comics, Thigil Comics). More from the Editor himself on how and why Spider made his Debut in Tamil.

Singathin Siru Vayadhil Part 2 A Singathin Siru Vayadhil Part 2 B Singathin Siru Vayadhil Part 2 C

Now then, Spider was an instant success and then the love story with the readers continued for 2 decades and when the millennium came, The Editor announced a poll and the question was very simple: Who is the Hero of the millennium among all the characters who have made their debut in Tamil Comics. The List included some of the well known international heroes such as James Bond 007, The Steel Claw, The Phantom, Tex Willer, Bernard Prince, Barracuda & Frollo, Johnny Nero, etc.

Untitled-5 And so, the poll was announced and you have to consider certain facts as well. Blueberry has appeared in a handful of stories and XIII was not completed at that time. And to the amazement of TCU, there was no mention about Modesty Blaise. However, when the poll results were announced, there was a small issue. At the final stage, the leading heroes were The Steel Claw, Blueberry, Tex Willer and The Spider (In that order). However, the entire order went for a toss once a certain fan from Chennai sent 400 different entries all favouring spider and thus creating chaos. This is what the Editor has to say on that issue. Millenium Hero

 Now, Here is a complete list of Spider stories appeared so far in Tamil language. This list includes reprints as well. It was sad that these stories were not published in the chronological order. (And that list is applicable for many a storyline as well).

Spider in Tamil - Chronological OrderHere are the cover images of all the Spider stories appeared so far. It is near impossible to find ComiRades having the complete set of Spider stories. Hence, the collection becomes a rarity. You can judge the quality of the cover images with that of the originals as they are often inspired from them and in TCU’s opinion, these covers are much better than the original covers.

Lion Comics Issue No 3 Dated Sep 1984 Spider Yethanukku Yethan The Man Who Stole New York

Lion Comics Issue No 4 - Dated Oct 1984 – The Spider - Doctor Tucker - The Animator

Lion Comics Issue No 7 Dated Dec 1984 Spider Badhala Porattam - The Immortals

Lion Comics Issue No 3 Dated Sep 1984 Spider Yethanukku Yethan The Man Who Stole New York Lion Comics Issue No 4 Dated Oct 1984 Spider Dr Tucker The Animator Lion Comics Issue No 7 Dated Dec 1984 Spider Badhala Porattam - The Immortals

Lion Comics Issue No 8 Dated Jan 1985 The Spider Kolaip Padai The Anderoid Emperor

Lion Comics Issue No 10 Dated Feb 1985 Spider Kadaththal Kumizhigal The Bubbles od Doom

Lion Comics Issue No 12 Dated Apr 1985 Spider Pazhi Vangum Bommai The Scarecrows Revenge

Lion Comics Issue No 8 Dated Jan 1985 Spider Kolaip Padai The Anderoid Emperor Lion Comics Issue No 10 Dated Feb 1985 Spider Kadaththal Kumizhigal The Bubbles od Doom Lion Comics Issue No 12 Dated Apr 1985 Spider Pazhi Vangum Bommai The Scarecrows Revenge

Lion Comics Issue No 15 - Dated July 1985 - 2nd Annual - Saithan Vinjani - Professor of Power        

Lion Comics Issue No 17 Dated Sep 1985 Spider Yar Andha Mini Spider - Vs SpiderBoy

Lion Comics Issue No 22 Dated Feb 1986 Spider Sathuranga Veriyan The Chessman

Lion Comics Issue No 15 - Dated July 1985 - 2nd Annual - Saithan Vinjani - Professor of Power Lion Comics Issue No 17 Dated Sep 1985 Spider Yar Andha Mini Spider Vs SpiderBoy Lion Comics Issue No 22 Dated Feb 1986 Spider Sathuranga Veriyan The Chessman

Lion Comics Issue No 25 - Dated May 1986 - Summer Special - Kutra Thozhirsalai - Crime Unlimited       

Lion Comics Issue No 29 Dated Sep 1986 Spider Needhik Kaavalan Spider The Exterminator

Thigil Comics 18 Part Series-From Sep 1986 To Feb 88 Spider Vinveli Pisasu The Crook From Outer Space
Lion Comics Issue No 25 - Dated May 1986 - Summer Special - Kutra Thozhirsalai - Crime Unlimited Lion Comics Issue No 29 Dated Sep 1986 Spider Needhik Kaavalan Spider The Exterminator Thigil Comics 18 Part Series Dated Sep 1986 Feb 1988 Spider Vinveli Pisasu The Crook From Outer Space

Lion Comics Issue No 31 Dated Nov 1986 Spider Thavalai Edhiri Vs  The Ant

Lion Comics Issue No 35 Dated Mar 1987 Spider Marana Master The Death Master

Lion Comics Issue No 36 Dated Apr 1987 Spider Sivappu Thalabathi The Red Baron

Lion Comics Issue No 31 Dated Nov 1986 Spider Thavalai Edhiri vS The Ant Lion Comics Issue No 35 Dated Mar 1987 Spider Marana Master The Death Master Lion Comics Issue No 36 Dated Apr 1987 Spider Sivappu Thalabathi The Red Baron

Lion Comics Issue No 38 Dated June 1987 Spider Kal Nenjan Mr Stone Heart

Mini Lion Comics Issue No 7 Dated Aug 1987 SpiderCobra Theevil Spider - Spider in Cobra Island

Mini Lion Comics Issue No 8 Dated Aug 1987 Spider Padai The Spider

Lion Comics Issue No 38 Dated June 1987 Spider Kal Nenjan Mr Stone Heart Mini Lion Comics Issue No 7 Dated Aug 1987 SpiderCobra Theevil Spider The Spider in Cobra Island Mini Lion Comics Issue No 8 Dated Aug 1987 Spider Padai The Spider

Lion Comics Issue No 42 Dated Oct 1987 Spider Agrovin Visithtira Savaal Dr Argos Challenge

Lion Comics Issue No 46 Dated Feb 1988 Spider Visithira Kullan The Shriveller

 
Lion Comics Issue No 42 Dated Oct 1987 Spider Agrovin Visithtira Savaal Dr Argos Challenge Lion Comics Issue No 46 Dated Feb 1988 Spider Visithira Kullan The Shriveller

Lion Comics Issue No 50 Dated May 1988 Spider Venus Kal Marmam The Stone of  Venus

Lion Comics Issue No 55 Dated Oct 1988 Spider Sirupillai Vilaiyattu Childs Play

Lion Comics Issue No 59 Dated Mar 1989 Spider Mr Marmam Dr Mysterioso

Lion Comics Issue No 50 Dated May 1988 Spider Venus Kal Marmam The Stone of  Venus Lion Comics Issue No 55 Dated Oct 1988 Spider Sirupillai Vilaiyattu Childs Play Lion Comics Issue No 59 Dated Mar 1989 Spider Mr Marmam Dr Mysterioso

Lion Comics Issue No 63 Dated Sep 1989 Spider Marana Ragam Melody Of Crime

Lion Comics Issue No 72 Dated Nov 1990 Spider Meendum Spider The Return of the Spider

Lion Comics Issue No 83 Dated May 1992 Spider Bottle Boodham The Crime Genie

Lion Comics Issue No 63 Dated Sep 1989 Spider Marana Ragam Melody Of Crime Lion Comics Issue No 72 Dated Nov 1990 Spider Meendum Spider The Return of the Spider Lion Comics Issue No 83 Dated May 1992 Spider Bottle Boodham The Crime Genie

Lion Comics No 99 Dated Apr 1994 Reprint of Pazhi Vangum Bommai The Revenge of the ScareCrow

Lion Comics Issue No 100 Dated May 1994 Spider Story Mr Freeze

Lion Comics No 108 Dated Jan 1995 Spider Reprint of Yethanukku Yethan The Man Who Stole New York

Lion Comics Issue No 99 Dated Apr 1994 Spider Reprint of Pazhi Vangum Bommai The Revenge of the ScareCrow Lion Comics Issue No 100 Dated May 1994 Spider Story Batman Mr Freeze Lion Comics Issue No 108 Dated Jan 1995 Spider Reprint of Yethanukku Yethan The Man Who Stole New York

Lion Comics Issue No 111 Dated Apr 1995 SpiderReprint of  Kutra ThozhirSalai Crime Unlimited

Lion Comics Issue No 112 Dated May 1995 Spider Local Talent Hunt Story

Comics Classics Issue No 1 Dated May 1999 Doctor Tucker Reprint of The Animator

Lion Comics Issue No 111 Dated Apr 1995 SpiderReprint of  Kutra ThozhirSalai Crime Unlimited Lion Comics Issue No 112 Dated May 1995 Spider Local Talent Hunt Story Comics Classics Issue No 1 Dated May 1999 Doctor Tucker Reprint of The Animator

Comics Classics No 3 Dated Dec 1999 Kadathal Kumizhigal Reprint of The Bubbles of Doom

Comics Classics Issue No 5 Dated Aug 2000 Kal Nenjan Reprint of Mr Stone Heart

Comics Classics Issue No 7 Dated Jan 2001 Sirupillai Vilaiyaattu  Reprint of Childs Play
Comics Classics Issue No 3 Dated Dec 1999 Kadathal Kumizhigal Reprint of The Bubbles of Doom Comics Classics Issue No 5 Dated Aug 2000 Kal Nenjan Reprint of Mr Stone Heart Comics Classics Issue No 7 Dated Jan 2001 Sirupillai Vilaiyaattu  Reprint of Childs Play

Comics Classics Issue No 10 Dated Dec 2001 Thavalai Edhiri Reprint of Vs The Ant

Comics Classics Issue No 13 Dated June 2003 Kolai Padai Reprint of The Anderoid Emperor

Comics Classics Issue No 16 Dated Oct 2004 Pazhi Vangum Bommai Reprint of The ScareCrows Revenge

Comics Classics Issue No 10 Dated Dec 2001 Thavalai Edhiri Reprint of Vs The Ant Comics Classics Issue No 13 Dated June 2003 Kolai Padai Reprint of The Anderoid Emperor Comics Classics Issue No 16 Dated Oct 2004 Pazhi Vangum Bommai Reprint of The ScareCrows Revenge

Comics Classics Issue No 18 Dated May 2005 Baadhala Porattam Reprint of The Immortals

Comics Classics Issue No 21 Dated Dec 2005 Yaar andha Mini Spider  Reprint of The Spider Boy

Comics Classics No 22 Dated Jan 2008 Yethanukku Yethan  Reprint of The Man Who Stole New York

Comics Classics Issue No 18 Dated May 2005 Baadhala Porattam Reprint of The Immortals Comics Classics Issue No 21 Dated Dec 2005 Yaar andha Mini Spider  Reprint of The Spider Boy Comics Classics Issue No 22 Dated Jan 2008 Yethanukku Yethan  Reprint of The Man Who Stole New York

Prakash publishers ventured into English version of the same in the early part of 90’s and they published the Spider stories in the very similar mould as that of the Fleetway Graphic Novels. These books are still available with the publisher. Contact +91-04562-372649 to purchase from any part of the world.

Lion Comics English Issue 1 August 1992 Incredible Spider Front Cover – The Childs Play

Lion Comics English Issue 1 August 1992 Incredible Spider Front Inner Cover Editorial

Lion Comics English Issue 1 August 1992 Incredible Spider Page 3 First Page

Lion Comics English Issue 1 August 1992 Incedible Spider Front Cover Lion Comics English Issue 1 August 1992 Incedible Spider Front Inner Cover Editorial Lion Comics English Issue 1 August 1992 Incedible Spider Page 3 First Page

Lion Comics English Issue 3 October 1992 Spider The Chessman Front Cover

Lion Comics English Issue 3 October 1992 Spider The Chessman First Page

Lion Comics English Issue 3 October 1992 Spider The Chessman Last Page

Lion Comics English Issue 3 October 1992 Spider Chessman Front Cover Lion Comics English Issue 3 October 1992 Spider Chessman First Page Lion Comics English Issue 3 October 1992 Spider Chessman Last Page

For those who love stats and indices, Here is the Complete Spider index with Maximum possible details. A Big thanks to Steve Holland & Muthu Fan in helping these compilations. Spider Complete Index  As mentioned, Here are the Fleetway Graphic novels of Spider. Just compare the covers with that of the Tamil ones and you may find that the covers are used in different stories. The Titan Book cover is also included here.

Fleetway SS 02 Dated Jan 1967 The Professor of Power Saithan Vinjani in Tamil

Fleetway SS 04 Dated Feb 1967 Crime UnLimited Kutra Thozhirsalai in Tamil

Fleetway SS 06 Dated Mar 1967 Bubbles Of Doom Kadathal Kumizhigal in Tamil

Fleetway SS 02 Dated Jan 1967 The Professor of Power Saithan Vinjani Fleetway SS 04 Dated Feb 1967 Crime UnLimited Kutra Thozhirsalai Fleetway SS 06 Dated Mar 1967 Bubbles Of Doom Kadathal Kumizhigal

Fleetway SS 08 Dated Apr 1967 The Man Who Stole New York Yethanukku Yethan in Tamil

Fleetway SS 10 Dated May 1967 The Chessman Sathuranga Veriyan

Fleetway SS 12 Dated June 1967 The Animator Dr Tucker in Tamil

Fleetway SS 08 Dated Apr 1967 The Man Who Stole New York Yethanukku Yethan Fleetway SS 10 Dated May 1967 The Chessman Sathuranga Veriyan Fleetway SS 12 Dated June 1967 The Animator Dr Tucker

Fleetway SS 14 Dated July 1967 The Scarecrows Revenge Pazhi Vangum Bommai in Tamil

Fleetway SS 16 Dated Aug 1967 Mr StoneHeart Kal Nenjan in Tamil

Fleetway SS 18 Dated Sep 1967 Dr Argos Challenge Agrovin Visithira Saval in Tamil

Fleetway SS 14 Dated July 1967 The Scarecrows Revenge Pazhi Vangum Bommai Fleetway SS 16 Dated Aug 1967 Mr StoneHeart Kal Nenjan Fleetway SS 18 Dated Sep 1967 Dr Argos Challenge Agrovin Visithira Saval

Fleetway SS 20 Dated Oct 1967 The Immortals Baadhala Porattam in Tamil

Fleetway SS 22 Dated Nov 1967 The Shriveller Ratchasa Kullan in Tamil

Fleetway SS 24 Dated Dec 1967 Melody Of Crime Marana Raagam in Tamil

Fleetway SS 20 Dated Oct 1967 The Immortals Baadhala Porattam Fleetway SS 22 Dated Nov 1967 The Shriveller Ratchasa Kullan Fleetway SS 24 Dated Dec 1967 Melody Of Crime Marana Raagam

Fleetway SS 26 Dated Jan 1968 Childs Play Sirupillai Vilaiyattu in Tamil

Titan Books – King Of Crooks – The 1st Three Adventures of The Spider (The Spider, The Return of the Spider & Dr Mysterioso + The Red Baron) Spider Padai, Meendum Spider, Mr Marmam + Sivappu Thalabathi

Fleetway SS 26 Dated Jan 1968 Childs Play Sirupillai Vilaiyattu King_of_Crooks_pg_ 002

Well, that’s all for this 1st part of Spider post and TCU will be back with another post on Friday and will try to be as regular as possible from here onwards. As usual, post your comments in the comments section. For those who want to Pen their thoughts in Tamil, Kindly Use the Option Provided in the Widget section or Click Here.

Thanks & Regards, 
King Viswa.

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