For two years, Norvell Page and his understudy, Wayne Rogers, alternated on writing the Spider novels. This was after Page came back from a hiatus in the middle of 1937.
During this time, Page turned out some astonishing stories, including the infamous Black Police trilogy, while Wayne Rogers did his best to emulate the kind of fiction that appeared in Terror Tales with overheated novels like The City that Dared Not Eat and When Thousands Slept in Hell.
Then, evidently rested up enough to take full control the series for a while, Norvell Page and his new editor, Loring Dowst, inaugurated a multipart epic that began with Rule of the Monster Men, in which Nita van Sloan ended up a helpless cripple.
Nothing is forever in the Spider series––not even death and disfigurement––so before long Nita was back on her feet, while Richard Wentworth, who became a hunted man as a result of the events of The Spider and the Slaves of Hell, fought valiantly to clear his name, issue after thriiling issue. We’ve been releasing this exciting sequence every month since January.
During this five-month ordeal, Wayne Rogers largely sat on the sidelines. But he did return for one last story, The Corpse Broker! Rogers was simultaneously writing the adventures of James Christopher in Operator #5 magazine, as well as sundry Weird Menace stories and the Brother Henry series then running in the back of The Spider. His real name was Archibald Bittner, but he took the pseudonym Wayne Rogers in the early 1930s, after transitioning from being a pulp editor to a full-time fictioneer.
In this novel, victims are struck down by the mysterious malady the newspapers dub the Green Death. This is only the beginning of a daring criminal campaign to take over New York City and turn it into the national capital of crime. Taking on a new identity, Dick Wentworth rises from his secret slum hideout to take on this titanic threat to law and order.
Even at the conclusion of this story, all is not resolved. Resolution will take place in our next exciting Spider audiobook, The Spider and in the Eyeless Legion.
The Corpse Broker proved to be Wayne Rogers’ final Spider novel. It was also one of his best. Listen to it now. Nick Santa Maria brings all the Spidery thrills to life, while Roy Worley reads the short story, Arthur Leo Zagat’s Doc Turner tale, “In This Corner––Kid Death.”