The King Of Crooks Returns In: ‘The Spider’s Syndicate Of Crime’ Classic Collection

by Richard Bruton

The Spider’s Syndicate Of Crime – The world’s most sinister criminal mastermind’s adventures finally reprinted as ‘The King of Crooks’ returns!

First appearing in the pages of the Lion in 1965, The Spider was that classic idea of a supervillain taking centre-stage, his impossibly angular looks and determination to rule over New York City making him look and read like no other.

As Paul Grist (The Union, Jack Staff) says in his introduction…

There has never been a comic character, before or since, quite as weird and haunting as the Spider.

The Spider was created by Reg Bunn and writer Ted Cowan, but after the first couple of tales, Cowan passed his pen to Jerry Siegel, who amped up the weird and wonderful, even shifting the Spider’s motivations to sometimes have him work with the police – although usually only to clear the criminal ranks for his own ends!

Reg Bunn‘s artwork is a wonder, so dense, so much on the page, necessary in those times of getting a full storyline out in very few pages. But there’s a deliciously spider-like look to it all, Bunn’s scratchy cross-hatching a joy to see.

Dubbed ‘The King of Crooks’, the arrogant and cunning criminal mastermind was one of the most popular British comic book villain of the ‘60s – equipped with a razor-sharp mind, superb athletic ability and a vast array of cutting-edge gadgets, The Spider set his sights on taking over the New York underworld and establishing a ‘Syndicate of Crime’!

This first collection sees him recruiting other fiends into his fledging empire and seeing off competition from other villainous foes, including Mirror Man, Dr Mysterio, The Android Emporer, and Cobra, alongside reluctant allies, the criminal ‘Prof’ Pelham and safecracker Roy Ordini.

This new Treasury of British Comics reprint sees the work fully remastered and collected in archival-quality reprints for the first time, the first of a proposed definitive four-volume reprint series. It also includes the character’s first annual story presented in its original colour.

There’s also a special limited hardcover edition will be available exclusively from the Treasury of British Comics webshop with a cover by Chris Weston.

The Spider’s Syndicate of Crime – written by Ted Cowan and Jerry Siegel, art by Reg Bunn.

Published by the Treasury of British Comics on 15 April 2021.



Now… preview time…

(Chris Weston’s hardback exclusive cover – available from the Treasury of British Comics webshop)


(US Edition cover)


And finally, just to give you the idea of how it all looks… the first few pages of these gorgeous looking adventures of the ‘King of Crooks’!

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