King of Crooks (Hardback)

Authors: Various
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP 14.99
ISBN 1 84576 000 X
Available 25 November 2005

After more than forty years in the comics wilderness, arch-criminal and twisted mastermind the "King of Crooks" i
s finally coming home. Bursting onto the pages of Lion back in the '60s, The Spider was a breath of foul air in a world of four-colour good guys and square-jawed heroics. Written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and illustrated by Reg Bunn, the comic introduced the villain with an astonishing exoskeleton and a brilliant brain to an enchanted public. Now Titan are reintroducing these classic stories to a new generation of readers...

What's really scary about King of Crooks is the fact that it has aged incredibly well. Forty years on and there isn't anything like The Spider in the comic industry. The Punisher is about the closest you'll get.

Spider, the self-styled "King of Crooks" is a brilliant megalomaniac with a high-tech suit, an ultrachic helicar and twin pistols that fire high-tensile webs and paralysing gas. Obsessed with becoming the "King of the Underworld", and aided by his "Army of Crime", this fiendish individual launches plot after plot from his secret castle hideout, facing down both the law and his unforgettable rogues' gallery.

This volume represents Spider's first three adventures. He takes on the mind-warping Mirror Man, the nefarious Dr Mysterioso, and a council of gang lords who are plotting his downfall.

Hats off to Titan (bless 'em) for digging into the IPC vaults and bringing yet another classic series back into print. Titan are really spoiling old comic fans at the moment. What with an ongoing series of releases from Dan Dare, Charley's War, James Bond and Modesty Blaise graphic novels being reprinted recently, no one can say that they are slacking.

Give this release a shot - you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Nick Smithson

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