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The Spider: Robot Titans of Gotham

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  64 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Two complete novels in one volume of the adventures of the mysterious masked crime fighter known as "The Spider," hunted by the underworld and the police alike. In one, the Spider battles an army of giant robots that has New York City under siege--a storyline so fraught with action and peril, that the very creators of Superman had borrowed it for one of the Man of Steel's ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by Baen Books (first published 1935)
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After the Golden Age by Carrie VaughnDreams of the Golden Age by Carrie VaughnThe Spider by Norvell W. PageSuperpowered by James SchannepFirst Night by Erwin Blackthorn
Superhero noir
3rd out of 21 books — 5 voters
The Meat Market by James ChalkThe Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerRed Harvest by Dashiell HammettBlind Corners by Jemir Robert JohnsonTarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Pulps Past and Present
98th out of 201 books — 85 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 186)
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Dan Schwent
Sep 05, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulp
Satan's Murder Machines: The story opens with the Richard Wentworth, the Spider's alter ego, already having been framed for robbery and murder. He's in the process of trying to clear his name when he's accosted by rampaging giant robots. Without giving too much away, the robots are robbing people and slaughtering whomever gets in their way. One particularly memorable scene sees one of the robots pluck the head from his captive.

The thing that immediately jumped out at me about The Spider is the s
...more
Craig
Sep 23, 2011 Craig rated it really liked it
The Spider was a wonderful pulp hero that never got the attention of The Shadow or Doc Davage; he was one of the Other Guys... like in the DC Universe you've got Batman and Superman and the other guys. Nonetheless, it was a terrific series, and heavily influenced later comics superheroes. This volume includes two of the best of the series, SATAN'S MURDER MACHINES and DEATH REIGN OF THE VAMPIRE KING (coolest title ever!), as well as a third stort featuring a character called The Octopus, which is ...more
Ed
Dec 15, 2015 Ed rated it did not like it
I'm a fan of hero pulps, and I'd always heard of the Spider, but I'd never read any of his stories. So, I was very happy to find this collection of two of his tales. Both stories were big on action, but thin on plot. Very thin. Extremely thin. Now, this is from a guy who's a big fan of Doc Savage tales, which are just about as formula as you can get. But Doc Savage villains have at least a decent motivation and plan. The villains in these stories, the Iron Man and the Bat Man (yep, really!) seem ...more
Ed Dexter
Sep 05, 2012 Ed Dexter rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulp
Like The Shadow before him, The Spider is a rich playboy by day and a mysterious crime fighter by night. There's a few differences between them, most notably the Spider leaving his symbol stamped on the foreheads of his victims and he seems a little more eager to brandish his twin pistols. But he also comes off a little more the everyman at times as he doubts himself and his chance of success.

As you can see from the summaries, you've got everything you need to make great pulp stories: a hero wit
...more
Johnny
Jun 06, 2008 Johnny rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: David Wilson
Shelves: science-fiction
I have a beautiful coffee table book that consists mostly of covers from pulp novels. Often, when I look through that book, I see fascinating covers from magazines that once serialized stories about The Shadow, The Bat, and Doc Savage (to mention only three). Several of the covers were of The Spider magazine. This was unfortunate because I had never read a novel about this character (who seemed to be very much like The Shadow). I even did a search of websites which specialized in out-of-print no ...more
Shawn
Dec 06, 2012 Shawn rated it liked it
Shelves: action
A bit disappointed I must say. There are three really good stories in this collection but not all of them are about the Spider. The first two are and the third is with Dr. Skull. Not that the Octopus was a bad story but it did seem a bit like false advertising. So it gave me a few sour grapes. They are still good stories from the 30's probably not up to the level of the Shadows or Doc Savage but still good quality.

I recommend it if you like that style of writing but be aware of what you are gett
...more
Michael
Mar 29, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
Absolutley loved it. Richard Wentworth is a wealthy "playboy" by day. By night he turns into the mysterious "Spider, Master of Men". Similar to the Shadow and even more ruthless. These Pulp adventure heroes didn't mind taking the law into their own hands and killing the Villains (unlike Doc Savage who became more of a progenitor for the Super heroes).
It's obvious here that the Spider (as well as the Shadow) influenced the creation of Batman.
Highly recommended to all pulp adventure readers.
John
Oct 15, 2014 John rated it really liked it
Page's stories of The Spider are exactly what you expect crazy old pulp action to be. Lots of excessive violence(bodycounts in the 1000s), insane logic and motives and overuse of exclamation points. I can't wait to read more!
D.F. Monk
Jan 20, 2016 D.F. Monk rated it liked it
Reading the Robot Titans of Gotham is exhausting. Trying to keep up with the Spider will wear you out. Norvell Page's pulp craft is at it's peak in the first two stories. The Octopus is incredibly entertaining, but a bit more disjointed than the Spider stories. If you enjoy old-fashioned, two fisted pulp vigilantism, like I do, then you'll enjoy reading this collection.
Jason Hyde
Mar 04, 2010 Jason Hyde rated it liked it
I nearly had a heart attack reading this thing. It's that exciting. Not really great literature but definitely great trash. Norvell Page wrote with the fevered intensity and lack of coherence of a man who's afraid someone's going to take away his typewriter. Also, this man has been poisoned and only has a few hours to live.
Paul McNamee
Mar 15, 2012 Paul McNamee rated it did not like it
Ugh. Crazy ideas with awful presentation. Plotting is haywire. If I can say one good thing, it seemed Page was inventing super-villain nefarious plans before super-heroes and super-spies were the rage. But then shoehorning them into criminal thriller plots that barely hold together.
Martin
Jun 10, 2008 Martin is currently reading it
actually 3 books in one
Satan's Murder Machines (title story really)
Death Reign of the Vampire King
The Octopus
always remember the Spider is the master of men.
don't be misled by Steranko's cover, The Spider dresses up as a hunched grotesque figure.
oh, now you want to read it.
Nick D.
Jan 21, 2013 Nick D. rated it it was amazing
If you're in dire need for some old school adventure noir, here you go!
Non-stop action & cliff hangers- it's like watching an detective/sci-fi serial from way back in the day. Mr. Page is an excellent story writer, knowing just what it took to keep a reader captivated!!!!
Charles
Dec 24, 2008 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
This is a collection containing two Spider Novels, "Satan's Murder Machine," and "Death Reign of the Vampire King," and a third book, "The Octopus." The first two are pretty good. The third one is from an aborted series, I guess, about Dr. Skull, and isn't very good.
Jeff
Mar 13, 2010 Jeff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. A trio of pulp tales of action from the 30's, but honestly it was terrible. The hero was uninspiring and one-dimensional. The villains were laughable. It was written in a style that almost made it unreadable.

Not my cup of joe.
Randy
Aug 03, 2008 Randy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: pulp fans
A compilation of three novels by Norvell Page, the chief writer of the Spider pulp novels of the Depression. Two Spider novels and a one-off character called The Octopus. It's a good place to start for a new Spider fan.
Robert
Jul 18, 2011 Robert rated it liked it
Hilarious pulp from the transitional period. If you've never read something like this, batman will make tons more sense after you have! Tightly written. Expect Exclaimation points!
Duffy Laudick
Nov 23, 2012 Duffy Laudick rated it really liked it
Excellent Adventures. I didn't have a chance to read the last story, The Octopus, but I did find out it is not a Spider adventure. The main character is called Dr. Skull.
Elijah Kinch Spector
A present from Comic Con, and I got to meet the legendary Jim Steranko, who painted the cover, and signed my copy for me. I love being a geek.
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Apr 10, 2016
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