Thursday, February 13, 2014


I have no idea why she's doing that thing over on the side there.

She’s a fright-masked debutante with un penchant for vigilantism and a pocketful of black widow spiders, he’s a man with a giant purple bird costume and what appear to be khaki-color Dockers from the JC Penney’s collection.  Together they’re the Nick and Nora Charles of golden age comics except for about a hundred reasons – can they find true love in an age before Craigslist?

The Spider Widow and her eventual inamorata and sidekick The Raven are a pair of Quality Comics superheroes who never quite made it over into the mainstream DC Universe after the latter company snatched up the former’s copyrights, which is why you may have seen Plastic Man and Blackhawk comics in the sixties and seventies, but never a Spider Widow title. Well, that’s A reason.

Cab fare.
Unremarkable on her own, Spider Widow (aka Dianne Grayton) debuted as a bored debutante who discovers one day that she can control spiders, which I can do too if I have a stiff piece of cardboard and a drinking glass. “Whoosh,” I command, “Get thrown out my front door like you didn’t expect that to happen, spider,” and it does! Deciding to fight crime and Nazis, Spider Widow dons a rubber hag mask and otherwise form-fitting black dress and descends into the nightmares of criminals who have to now deal not only with a fear of poisonous spiders but an sexual attraction to a horrible witch with terrific tits.

She’s not solo for long when she’s joined by The Raven, another amateur vigilante with a pretty great bird costume which he ruins by painting the legs green. Fuck are you, Raven, a parrot? Swooping in to assist the Widow, Raven was alerted to the danger by a Help Wanted ad directed at the spidery superheroine. I assume it was a help wanted ad, anyway, not something in the personals. “SSW (Single Spider Widow) seeks BFM (Bird-Faced Man) for NSGT (Nazi-smashing Good Times) for fun, friendship, more. Pls include photo, NFB (No Fat Birds)”

The Spider Widow and Raven end up getting involved in a back-and-forth with The Phantom Lady, Quality’s highest-profile female superhero, with whom the Widow engages in a deadly – if temporary – feud crossing into both of their titles (Police and Feature Comics). I have to assume it all resolved itself in a subsequent ménage a trois, and so did you probably. Comics! They’re for the emotionally mature!

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