Artwork by Glenn Cravath
The Spider Returns © Columbia Pictures Corp.
The Spider TM & © Argosy Communications, Inc.
Spider Returns Synopsis

THE FAMOUS CRIME-SMASHER OF "THE SPIDER" MAGAZINE WARS ON SECRET FOREIGN AGENTS! A thrill-filled Chapter-Play that rips the mask off sabotage plots!

The following capsule synopses for each episode were included in the Spider Returns Pressbook. They were also reprinted, along with a variety of other pressbook material, in Alan Barbour's Serial Quarterly number 3 (July-September 1966), which was my source. The Returns screenplay is credited to Jesse A. Duffy and George Plympton.

1. The Stolen Plans
When a gang of saboteurs, led by the Gargoyle, a mysterious and powerful foreign agent, threaten National Defense projects, socialite Richard Wentworth (Warren Hull), alias the Spider, returns to his wars with the underworld. Disguising himself as Blinky McQuade, shuffling, one-eyed underworld habitue, he meets one of the Gargoyle's men. Convinced by the man's boasting that the very security of the nation is threatened by fifth columnists, Wentworth calls a meeting of the country's biggest business men. The Gargoyle's gang disrupts it with a tear-gas bomb! Racing after the criminals, Wentworth's car is shot from under him. He keeps on, however, trailing the men to an airport, but in a fierce fist-fight is knocked unconscious. The gunmen dump him into an airplane and take him up to an altitude of 10,000 feet. After setting the plane afire, the pilot bails out and leaves Wentworth prisoner in the diving ship!

2. The Fatal Time-Bomb
Wentworth recovers in time to grab a parachute and float to safety. Returning to the airport, he overhears a conversation that leads him to one of the Gargoyle's hideouts. Dressed as the Spider, he charges the house, but the fiend and his men get away after a desperate struggle. That same day, the Gargoyle plans to destroy an explosive gas plant and Wentworth overhears the details of the plot. Donning the mask and cape of the Spider, he hurries to the plant in an attempt to foil the saboteurs, but they get the better of him after a furious battle. Knocked unconscious, he is left inside the plant that blows up with a terrific blast!

3. The Secret Meeting
Miraculously, the Spider is unhurt in the explosion, but is seen by the police when he makes his getaway and is thought responsible for the crime. Wentworth then calls a meeting of Holden, Gaylord, McLeod and other executives engaged in defense work. They decide to put some valuable plans in Gaylord's bank vault. The papers are immediately dispatched in an armored car, closely followed by Wentworth. En route, the Gargoyle's men attack the car and overpower the guards. Wentworth, however, takes the wheel and races away, along a narrow mountain road. The criminals, though, have prepared a second trap for their nemesis. Realizing that Wentworth must ride long the narrow road, they send a heavy truck rolling down from above. Unable to avoid a crash, he steers the armored car off the road and it topples over, plunging to the valley below!

4. The Smoke Dream
Wentworth is only bruised as the armored car rolls down the embankment. Dressing as Blinky, he goes to the Gargoyle's headquarters and listens in on their plans to do a job that night. They intend to destroy the new Van Sloan plane motor by having the engine explode gas bombs during a demonstration. Watching his chance, Blinly slips away, gets into the Spider's disguise and rushes to the demonstration. When he starts fighting with the saboteurs, who are already there, he is knocked out. The motor, rising to an ominous roar, sets off the gas bombs and the plant explodes with the helpless Spider inside!

5. The Gargoyle's Trail
Luckily, the Spider is unhurt. Hurrying home, he learns that Van Sloan has disappeared. Coming upon kidnap evidence, Wentworth trails the kidnappers to the Gargoyle's hideout. His friend, Jackson, goes into the house first and is immediately captured, but during the struggle, Wentworth slips inside through a side door. He speedily routs the criminals and orders Jackson to take Van Sloan to a hospital while he, himself, investigates the hideout. Suddenly, the floor gives way and Wentworth drops into a pit. The floor of the pit begins to sink at one end and he sees that below the rapidly tilting floor is a bed of red hot coals!

6. The X-Ray Eye
Gripping the vertical floor with one hand, Wentworth loops his Spider cape over a hook above and draws himself to safety. Dressed as Blinky, he goes back to his underworld haunts and accompanies the Gargoyle's gang that night in an attack on a defense plant. When the saboteurs load a shipment of new bombsights onto their truck, Blinky quickly changes to the Spider and cuts the lights! The gangsters are thrown into a panic and the Spider is able to escape with the loaded truck. Speeding along a country road, he suddenly sees a bridge washed out ahead of him! Too late to stop, the truck swerves and tumbles crazily down a deep ravine!

7. The Radio Boomerang
The Spider leaps just before the truck crashes and escapes unharmed. Returning home, he learns that the police commissioner is going to round up all known members of the sabotage ring. Dressed as Blinly, he rushes to the Gargoyle's hideout and warns the men. As a reward, he then demands to be taken to see the Gargoyle. The request is refused, but in leaving, he steals a secret radio. However, when he, as Wentworth, attempts to communicate with the Gargoyle via the radio, the master saboteur orders his men to attack the socialite at home. In the melee, Nita, his fiancee, is kidnapped. Following her, Wentworth is knocked unconscious and bound to the railroad tracks in the path of an onrushing train.

8. The Mysterious Message
With an heroic effort, Wentworth wrenches his way clear of the oncoming train. In the meantime, the Gargoyle attempts to get plans of the Van Sloan motor by threatening to harm Nita, who is the inventor's niece. The inventor arrives at the designated rendezvous with the plans, but Blinky picks his pocket. Unable to explain their disappearance, the inventor is imprisoned with Nita. Dressed as the Spider, Wentworth attacks the place, but is captured himself. He is placed on a small boat and Van Sloan and Nita are tied to a movable dolly. A huge crane is then swung in the direction of the boat and the dolly is pushed to the water's edge!

9. The Cup of Doom
Diving to safety, the Spider heroically rescues Nita and Van Sloan. Certain that one of the defense executives is the mysterious Gargoyle, Wentworth tells two of them that the Van Sloan motor is being shipped for flying tests. The train is attacked, as Wentworth hoped, but he is on hand in the garb of the Spider and foils the robbers. With the airport thronged with celebrities waiting to see the test, Wentworth recognizes the pilot as a Gargoyle henchman. He takes the plane up himself, but at 10,000 feet, the craft explodes. Without a parachute, Wentworth is helpless in the falling airplane!

10.The X-Ray Belt
Miraculously surviving the crash, Wentworth learns that Gaylord, the banker, has disappeared. Dressed as Blinky, he joins the Gargoyle's gang in a midnight attack on Gaylord's bank. During the robbery, Blinky purposely sets off the burglar alarm and, with the other members of the gang, flees to the Gargoyle's secret headquarters. Dressed as the Spider, he rushes into the Gargoyle's private chamber with guns blazing! After a tense struggle, the floor suddenly opens up and the Spider finds himself on a conveyor belt. It swiftly takes him to the end of the corridor and there, yawning cavernously, are the jaws of a whitehot furnace!

11. Lips Sealed By Murder
In the melee, Gaylord, who is the Gargoyle's prisoner, fires. His bullet shatters a switchboard, stopping the conveyor belt and the Spider is able to escape during the general confusion. Suspicious of Blinky, the Gargoyle inserts a newspaper ad asking him to get in touch with Trigger, one of the Gargoyle's assistants. Trigger and his aides try to kill him when he arrives, but Blinky escapes and hides in the trunk of the crooks' car. However, the Gargoyle sees him through a television device and warns his men by radio. They stop the car, overpower Binky, put him in the machine, and then send it hurtling over a cliff!

12. A Money Bomb
Luckily, Wentworth is thrown clear of the tumbling car and is rescued by Jackson. However, in the meantime, the Gargoyle kidnaps Police Commissioner Kirk and sends a ransom demand to Wentworth. Deviating only slightly from the demand, Wentworth takes fake currency in his plane and drops the would-be money where ordered. He then rushes to the waterfront hide-out, where Kirk is being held prisoner, and bursts into the room disguised as the Spider! When the gangsters flee in a boat, the Spider follows in one with gasoline drums aboard. A bullet punctures one of the drums and the motorboat carrying the Spider goes up in splinters!

13. Almost A Confession
The Spider jumps overboard just before the boat explodes and swims to safety. Returning home, he learns that Trigger has been captured, but also discovers that the Gargoyle has kidnapped Nita, planning to use her as an exchange prisoner for his lieutenant. Dressed as Blinky, Wentworth leads Trigger to the Gargoyle's headquarters where he exchanges him for Nita. However, before the two can leave the room, three walls of knives and one of flames drop down. The lovers crouch in the center of the room as the walls slowly start to close in around them!

14. Suspicious Telegrams
Police arrive in time to save the doomed pair. Wentworth then decides to question one of the Gargoyle's men, who had been captured, in the presence of many prominent industrialists, one of whom he believes is the Gargoyle. Just when they're all assembled, the lights go off and when they go on again, the witness is found dead, a gun at his side. That night, the industrialists are attending another meeting when they are suddenly trapped by the Gargoyle. His henchmen bar all exits and ignite large drums of liquid gas. The Spider suddenly bursts into the room, but is quickly felled. The gangsters flee and the plant explodes, dooming the Spider and the industrialists!

15. The Payoff
The Spider saves himself by diving into an empty oil drum, and the committee escapes by following Cartwright out a window. That afternoon, the Gargoyle succeeds in kidnapping Holden, Westfall, Van Sloan and Nita. Just when the master saboteur is ready to gas Nita and the industrialists, the Spider smashes into the room and routs the Gargoyle's henchmen after furious struggle. He then overpowers the Gargoyle, himself, and the fiend is revealed as McLeod, one of the industrialists.