Thousand (comics)

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The Thousand
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Tangled Web of Spider-Man #1
Created by Garth Ennis, John McCrea and James Hodgkins
In-story information
Full name Carl King
Team affiliations None
Notable aliases Jess Patton
Abilities Body is composed of one-thousand spiders capable of devouring the innards of humans and using their leftover skin like a suit
Super strength
Venomous bite
Capable of adhering to surfaces

The Thousand is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain and enemy of Spider-Man in the Marvel Comics Universe. Created in combination by Garth Ennis, John McCrea and James Hodgkins, the character first appears in Tangled Web of Spider-Man #1.

Publication History[edit]

Originally a man known as Carl King, King became the Thousand when he consumed the radioactive spider that gave Spider-Man his powers, which resulted in his transformation from a human being into a hive-minded swarm of a thousand spiders.[1]

Fictional character biography[edit]

A bully as a child, King's favorite target of abuse was classmate Peter Parker, who he continually torments in both grade and high school, extorting money from him, forcing him to do his homework and physically beating him. While attending a science exhibit depicting the effects of radiation, King witnesses Peter being bitten by an irradiated spider and gaining superpowers. Stalking Peter, King also witnesses his becoming of the hero Spider-Man.[2]

Wanting to gain superpowers like Peter, King returns to the science exhibit and, finding the now dead irradiated spider, kept for study, eats it. For several days, King shows no sign of mutation, until one morning he discovers his body is composed of spiders. Discovering his power to consume the innards of other human beings and use their skin like a suit after accidentally doing so to his mother, King proceeds to do the same to his father and, wanting to gain mastery of his new abilities, begins to consume and take over the bodies of various people, including his girlfriend, most of them homeless vagrants and children.[1]

Years later, King, jealous of the fame and glory Peter Parker has as Spider-Man, decides to kill him.[3] Murdering and assuming the identity of Daily Bugle employee Jess Patton, King finds Peter and, pretending to be Patton, spins a lie about being broke, alcoholic and homeless after being rejected by a boyfriend. Managing to gain Peter's pity, King is taken to his apartment by him, where he reveals his true identity and attacks, managing to beat Peter in seconds after he changes into his Spider-Man outfit, paralyzing him with his venomous bite and, putting him in restraints, takes him back to his apartment where he plans to devour him.[2]

Before King manages to eat Peter, the latter's landlord Mr. Ambrose, enters the room. Not wanting to have a witness to his existence, King swarms over Ambrose and kills him. After taking over Ambrose's body, King reveals his full origin to Spider-Man, in a lengthy speech. As King rants, the venom that had paralyzed him wears off and Spider-Man attacks him. Trading insults as they fight, King calls Spider-Man the same spineless worm he knew as a child, while Spider-Man calls King a friendless bully afraid of women. Gaining to the upperhand in the fight, King knocks Spider-Man to the floor and prepares to deliver the killing blow to him. Ignoring the warnings given to him by Spider-Man, King attempts to strike, but instead hits a high-voltage electrical generator, which incinerates practically all of the spiders composing him.[1]

Believing King to be dead, Spider-Man leaves the scene, not noticing that one of the spiders that composed his enemy survived electrocution. Seconds after vowing vengeance on Spider-Man, the last piece of King is stepped on by an oblivious passerby.[1]

Powers and Abilities[edit]

The Thousand was actually 1000 spiders that made up Carl King's consciousness. They can enter the mouth of their host consuming their innards (usually by liquifying and drinking the brain, then devouring the organs and skeleton of the person) leaving the skin intact so that the Thousand can appear as a normal human being. With each host that has been consumed, the Thousand became stronger even to the point where it was as strong as Spider-Man. In addition, the Thousand's host can cling to walls, paralyze a victim with its bite, and hideously contort its body. In the event that the host was destroyed, the Thousand can find a new host.


  1. ^ a b c d Garth Ennis (w), John McCrea (p), James Hodgkins (i). "The Coming Of The Thousand (Part 3)" Tangled Web of Spider-Man 3 (August 2001), Marvel Comics
  2. ^ a b Garth Ennis (w), John McCrea (p), James Hodgkins (i). "The Coming Of The Thousand (Part 2)" Tangled Web of Spider-Man 2 (July 2001), Marvel Comics
  3. ^ Garth Ennis (w), John McCrea (p), James Hodgkins (i). "The Coming Of The Thousand (Part 1)" Tangled Web of Spider-Man 1 (June 2001), Marvel Comics

External links[edit]

  • Thousand at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe