Tuesday, March 22, 2016
RAR #9: CHIEF COBWEB
I'll probably forswear devoting any more posts to the DC title TOMAHAWK for the next month or so, but I had to include what may be the silliest Real American villain conceived in comics' Silver Age.
For several pages, Tomahawk's Rangers find themselves bedeviled by an Indian who controls three gigantic arthropods: a hornet, a firefly (able to blind people with his dazzling posterior) and a spider. In addition, Chief Cobweb-- called "King Cobweb" only on the cover, which was probably his name before someone remembered that Native Americans didn't have kings-- bites Spider-Man's style by devising a gun that can shoot spider-webs, as shown on the cover. I suppose he didn't just allow his big spider to do the same thing because then the artist would've had to show the giant bug spinning webs from its butt.
When Tomahawk and his buddies finally corner the Chief in his cave-hideout, they see lots of glass cases full of normal-sized bugs. The Chief tells the heroes how he trained himself to "talk to the animals" with various devices, though he never explains how he manages to make his really big bugs. The Chief also reveals that he's been conspiring with a British agent, and that he planned to use more giant insects to take over the country, with Cobweb ruling all Indians and the agent becoming king of the white men. The agent shows up and tries to betray his partner, which helps provide a distraction so that the Rangers can overcome the two villains.
The story is a pretty oddball take on the familiar trope of Native Americans being able to commune with nature, but on the scale of disposable fun-reading, it's probably a five out of ten.