The Spider Returns (1941)

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The sequel to Columbia's 1938 hit The Spider's Web, this typical war-time serial again starred the stalwart Warren Hull as the crime-fighting Richard Wentworth alias The Spider and Blinky McQuade, and Kenne Duncan as Ram Singh, the hero's turban clad gentleman's gentleman. This time, the masked crusader takes on a gang of saboteurs led by The Gargoyle (Corbet Harris. Former slapstick expert James W. Horne had fun with his rather clicheed characters, creating a somewhat lighter serial atmosphere than usual. On the deficit side: The Spider's Web's irrepressible heroine Iris Meredith was replaced with the less stellar Mary Ainslee, a refugee from the studio's short subject department. Created by the fertile mind of war correspondent Norvell Page, writing under the pen-name of "Grant Stockbridge," "The Spider" had first appeared in the pages of pulp magazines back in 1933 and was commonly considered an imitation of Walter P. Gibson's famous radio character "The Shadow."