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Spencer Smythe along with several of his Spider-Slayers.
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #25 (June 1965)|
|Created by||Stan Lee (script)
Steve Ditko (artist)
|Alter ego||Not applicable|
|Abilities||Varies according to model|
The Spider-Slayers are a series of fictional robots appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The robots are depicted as being specifically designed to hunt down, capture, or kill Spider-Man.
Fictional character biography
See List of Spider-Slayers for a full breakdown of all versions of the Spider-Slayer.
The first series of robots were originally designed and built by Dr. Spencer Smythe with the financial backing of J. Jonah Jameson who piloted them for the pleasure of personally hunting the superhero he hated for capture. However, Spider-Man always managed to defeat each robot in turn. Smythe's continual efforts to perfect his machines backfired on him, leading to himself being fatally contaminated by radiation poisoning from the building materials of his creations. Blaming both Jameson and Spider-Man for this, he attempted, as a final act, to murder them both, but died just before Spider-Man thwarted the attempt.[volume & issue needed]
Later, Jameson commissioned another scientist, Dr. Marla Madison, to create a new and improved Spider-Slayer.[volume & issue needed] While that attempt failed, he eventually fell in love with her and married her.
In Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19 (1985), Smythe's son, Alistair, emerged as the new builder of Spider-Slayers. He swore revenge on Spider-Man, repeatedly attacking the superhero with his own series of Slayers. Smythe later mutated into a humanoid Spider-Slayer, but remains a minor foe.[volume & issue needed]
The original Spider-Slayer was seen among the robots and machines in the Reanimator's collection. Wolverine later destroyed the Spider-Slayer when the Reanimator attempted to use it against him. It was later used by J. Jonah Jameson to attack the She-Hulk after she had married his son John, but it was destroyed.[volume & issue needed]
In Amazing Spider-Man #603, Jameson (now Mayor of New York) has some old Spider-Slayers sent to him from storage, to better equip his "Anti-Spider Squad" to take down Spider-Man. The Spider-Slayer technology is combined with that of the Mandroid suits. However, the "Spider-Slayer Squad" wearing the suits quit their jobs after Spider-Man saves them and New York from a dirty bomb.[volume & issue needed]
Despite not being technically related to the Smythe's and Madison's creations, when Spider-Man refits all the Octobots confiscated from Doctor Octopus and kept in the New York Police Precinct to carry an antidote able to reverse the mutations turning all the New York population into Man-Spiders, he humorously renames them his own Spider-Slayers.
When the Goblin King and his Goblin Underground group cause havoc in Manhattan, Mayor J. Johan Jameson unveils the Goblin-Slayers which he plans to use against the Goblin-related threats. Mary Jane Watson voices her concern that the Goblin-Slayers used to be former Spider-Slayers. Mayor J. Jonah Jameson orders Chief Pratchett to send one of the Goblin Slayers to the robbery location and then head to chase the Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Peter Parker's body). After Don Lamaze sacrifices his life to get out of the Goblin King's trap, the Superior Spider-Man confronted by a legion of Spider-Slayers with Mayor J. Jonah Jameson's face projected on the front faceplate. Mayor J. Jonah Jameson replies that he's done with being blackmailed by him and he doesn't care if he loses everything as long as he can finally bring down Spider-Man. The Superior Spider-Man tries to fight the Spider-Slayers, but discovers that they're far stronger than all the previous ones. Suddenly, the Spider-Slayers are deactivated remotely by Spider-Man 2099, who confronts the Superior Spider-Man about who he really is and the reasons behind his actions of late. Suddenly, the Spider-Slayers are reactivated to Spider-Man 2099's shock. The Goblin King's voice rings out declaring that he has taken control of the Spider-Slayers as well which grab both Spider-Men by their heads as the Goblin King comments that Norman Osborn now runs this city.
In a Spider-Man 2099 storyline following Smythe's death, dealers illegally sell Spider-Slayers to foreign nations. However, after Miguel accompanies Tiberus Stone on one such deal, he ends up fighting the Scorpion (who was hired by Alchemax to further test the Spider-Slayers) as Stone is captured by the local rebels, Miguel defeating the Scorpion by tricking the Spider-Slayers into attacking him, while Stone's encounter with the rebels prompts him to change his mind about the original deal.
List of Spider-Slayers
In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Spider-Slayers were built by the Tinkerer under the order of General Nick Fury, to be used in case Spider-Man ever went rogue. When clones of Spider-Man begin running rampant Nick Fury and a battalion of Spider-Slayers travel to the Parker residence to arrest Peter, only to encounter the Fantastic Four and Carnage, the latter which the Slayers take down (reverting it to Gwen Stacy). The Slayers later kill a disfigured clone of Spider-Man. and imprisoned another unstable clone of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in SHIELD.
In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, the Spider-Slayers are tall (about eight feet) robots that balance on a large sphere, wield two arm-cannons, and have a sphere for their heads. They turned out in fact not to be manned but controlled remotely by the Tinkerer.
While trying to apprehend a dimension-hopping supervillain in the MC2 reality, Spider-Girl is accidentally sent into Earth-616's past, where she encounters the first Spider-Slayer. Mistaking her for its quarry, the Slayer attacks Spider-Girl, who manages to evade the machine due to Jameson and Smythe being distracted by how different "Spider-Man" looks. Spider-Girl later returns to her own universe and time, while Spider-Man defeats the Slayer in the same way he did in the original story.
House of M
In the House of M reality, J. Jonah Jameson (fearing Peter Parker would take revenge on him due to outing him as Spider-Man) has Alistair Smythe construct a Spider-Slayer to protect him. When Peter's family breaks into Jonah's home looking for Peter's journal (given to him by the Green Goblin) Jonah, using the Slayer, attacks. Hitting Peter's wife Gwen Stacy just as Peter arrives, Jonah's slayer is ripped to shreds by the hero.
The House of M Slayer resembled a humanoid robot with claws and a glowing core in the chest similar to Iron Man's armor. Like early models in the mainstream universe it had a view screen depicting the controller in place of a face.
After Aunt May and John Jameson are killed in a space shuttle crash caused by the Chameleon, J. Jonah Jameson adopts Peter Parker, and blames the deaths of their loved ones on Spider-Man. Obsessed with taking Spider-Man down, Jameson commissions the creation of the Spider-Slayer and the Scorpion formula, the latter of which is ingested by Flash Thompson. The serum warps Flash's mind and causes him to go on a rampage, which ends when he is subdued by Spider-Man (who reveals he is Peter Parker to Jameson) and the Spider-Slayer, controlled by Jameson. Jameson realizes how irrational his hatred of Spider-Man is, and decides to help his adopted son fight crime using the Spider-Slayer.
In other media
- The first Spider-Slayer appeared in the Spider-Man episode "Captured by J. Jonah Jameson." This version was built by a man named Henry Smythe. In this adaptation instead of steel coils that shoot out of the robots body, it only has two metallic tentacle-like arms. It also possesses a periscope. It pursued Spider-Man all over the city. After Spider-Man tricked the Spider-Slayer with a dummy of himself, Henry Smythe takes the Spider-Slayer back to his house to work on it.
- The Spider-Slayers appear in the 1994 Spider-Man TV series. They appear as the main antagonists in the second and third episodes. In "The Spider Slayer," the Spider-Slayers being commissioned by Norman Osborn for hunting Spider-Man with Spencer Smythe at the controls. The "Black Widow" Spider-Slayer was finally destroyed and the factory exploded with Spencer Smythe still in it. This culminated in Alistair Smythe working for the Kingpin when his father was presumed dead. In "Return of the Spider-Slayers," Alistair would go on to not only recreate the "Black Widow" Spider-Slayer, but also at the same time to unleash the "Tarantula" and "Scorpion" Spider-Slayers. In this depiction, the three Spider-Slayers could join together as a massive engine of destruction. In "Tablet of Time," Alistair would build another Slayer called the "Mega Slayer," a heavily armed humanoid robot operated by remote. As punishment for repeated failures and being partially responsible for Richard Fisk's arrest in "The Man Without Fear," the Kingpin's new chief scientist Herbert Landon genetically mutated Alistair into the "Ultimate Spider-Slayer" as seen in "The Ultimate Slayer." In this form, Alistair was capable of walking again and was incredibly strong and resilient. He also had twin horns growing from his shoulders, both of which were organic laser guns. Though Alistair broke free from Kingpin's controls when Spider-Man revealed what really happened to Spencer Smythe. In "The Wedding," Kingpin used Smythe's duplicate of the "Mega Slayer" to stop Goblin Glider-riding Robots sent by Smythe and Harry Osborn to crash Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's wedding. It was destroyed while helping Spider-Man and Black Cat. The Alien Spider Slayer (Mark X) was removed from the 1994 Spider-Man TV series but the design was featured in both the Animated Series Toy Line by Toy Biz and the Sega Genesis Spider-Man video game released in 1995.
- The Spider-Slayers appear in Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6 episode called "The Spider-Slayers." In a similarity to the Clone Saga, this version of the Spider-Slayers are part of Arnim Zola's Weapon S which Doctor Octopus helped to improve where they combined the DNA of Spider-Man with the Synthezoids which resulted in the Delta-Nine Synthezoids with Scarlet Spider being created to lead them. The Delta-Nine Synthezoids consist of Goliath Spider, Ghost Spider, and Bone Spider. Arnim Zola later gets control of the Delta-Nine Synthezoids and uses them to attack Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus, and Scarlet Spider until the Web Warriors get rid of Zola. After a match between Bone Spider and Scarlet Spider, the Spider-Slayers accepts Scarlet Spider as their leader once Scarlet Spider won. When they start to melt, the Spider-Slayers are put in their stasis pods at Bone Spider's suggestion and are carried by the Web Warriors to the Triskelion.
- A Viral Marketing for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 shows a reference of Spider-Slayers as significant advancements in robotics and its creator Spencer Smythe, but has been taken over by his son.
- The Spider Slayers were to be featured in future follow ups to The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
- The Spider-Slayers appeared in both the SNES and Sega Genesis versions of the Spider-Man Animated Series video game. In the SNES version, the Spider-Slayer Mark X appears as a mini-boss in the construction zone level, while the Spider-Slayer Mark XIV was the boss of that same level. The Mark XVI and Mark XVII also appear as regular enemies in the same level with the Mark XV joining them in Spectacular mode. The Mark X, XIV, XVI, and XVII also reappear in the final level Ravencroft Prison. The Mark X also appears in the secret room in the sewer in Spectacular mode. In the Genesis version, the Mark XV appears in the "Deconstruction Zone" level while the Mark X was the boss of the "Mean Streets of the City" level.
- In the Super Famicom game The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes, both Mark X and XI Spider-Slayers appear as regular enemies in the game.
- The Spider-Slayers appeared in the Game Boy game Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers.
- The Spider-Slayers appeared in the video game adaptation of Spider-Man where they had been created by Oscorp to hunt down Spider-Man but they wound up hunting the Scorpion instead. They resembled mechanical spiders.
- Humanoid Spider-Slayers armed with flame throwers appear as enemies in the final Ultimate segment in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. In-game, it is stated that these Slayers were built with the intention of handling Venom and Carnage. When Carnage escapes and begins wreaking havoc throughout the Triskelion, S.H.I.E.L.D. releases them to handle the situation, but they also end up attacking Spider-Man as well due to his black suit. During the final battle, a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative named Welling reprograms a group of Slayers to recognize Spider-Man as an ally and help him defeat Carnage.
- Four Spider-Slayer models called the S-Bots series appears in The Amazing Spider-Man. The S-Bots consisted of Sentries (consisting of Medical Sentries, Combat Sentries, and Advanced Combat Sentries), Seekers (which were used to seek out Cross-Species), and Hunters (which terminate Cross-Species upon being called in by the Seekers). There were also four larger robots were created by Oscorp R&D head Alistair Smythe. The first is the S-01 (a massive arachnid-like machine that is a larger version of the Hunters) which was released into Central Park after the outbreak of the Cross-Species outbreak where Spider-Man defeats it by getting it fire one of its own missiles into its mouth. The second is the S-02 (a giant tentacled snake-like burrowing machine) released to kill Spider-Man after Smythe injected himself with the failed cure which Spider Man defeated by getting it to suck up a radio antenna. The third and final is the S-03 which can be best described as a Colosseum with legs that Spider Man and the Lizard were able to defeat via taking out its legs.
- Amazing Spider-Man #167-168
- The Amazing Spider-Man #672
- The Superior Spider-Man #28
- The Superior Spider-Man #29
- Spider-Man 2099 vol. 2 #3
- Spider-Man 2099 vol. 2 #4
- Ultimate Spider-Man #99
- Ultimate Spider-Man #100
- Ultimate Spider-Man #101
- Ultimate Spider-Man #102
- Ultimate Spider-Man #103
- Ultimate Spider-Man #104
- Tom DeFalco (w), Pat Olliffe (p), Al Williamson (i). "Father's Day/Slayers, Spiders, and Torches, Oh My" Spider-Girl #10-11 (July 1999 - August 1999), United States: Marvel Comics
- House of M: Spider-Man #3
- House of M: Spider-Man #4
- W.M. Messner-Loebs (w), Anthony Williams (p), Andy Lanning (i). "The Man in the Million-Dollar Mask: What if J. Jonah Jameson adopted Spider-Man?" What If v2, #82 (February 1996), United States: Marvel Comics
- ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Viral Marketing Teases More Villains
- "Spider Slayers and Black Cat set for future Spider-Man films". Den of Geek. April 16, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
- The Spider-Slayers at Marvel Appendix