America faces certain doom as its thousands of citizens fall, screaming before the noxious death vapors loosed upon them by the Green Hand. How can the Spider, harried and threatened by 100 new and deadly perils, check the rising power of the next dictator - and lay bare the scheming, criminal mind that seeks to enslave the nation?
More just than the law...more dangerous than the underworld. Hated, wanted, feared by both! Alone and desperate, the Spider wages a deadly, one-man war against the supercriminal whose long-planned crime coup will snuff 1,000 lives! Can the Spider prevent this slaughter of innocents?
In "Empire of Doom", Richard Wentworth, still early in his 10-year career as the arachnid-inspired defender of humanity, takes on the gravest challenge he has yet faced. A faceless terrorist calling himself the Green Hand has unleashed a corrosive gas on the lumber town of Elkhorn, Michigan, killing its inhabitants - by stripping the living meat from their bones! His next victim will be another Michigan hamlet. And this unknown monster vows to keep snuffing out entire cities until Washington pays him a $5 billion ransom.
But the Green Hand has reckoned without another powerful force: the Spider! Rising to the challenge, the master of men rushes to prevent a wave of tragedy unrivaled in American history. It does not go well. When Richard Wentworth is captured by the authorities, and both his fiancée and his mentor, Nita van Sloan and Professor Brownlee, are captured as well, who will protect the people then?
A new savior rises in the form of powerful industrialist Jonathan Love, inventor of the only known counteragent to the flesh-dissolving vapor. America hails him as its latest champion. Is he the anointed leader who will save the beleaguered nation - or does Love actually want to rule it?
Nick Santa Maria provides the stupefying answers through his thrilling narration. Originally published in The Spider magazine, February 1934.