Alistair Smythe
Alistair Smythe as The Ultimate Spider-Slayer. Art by Mark Bagley.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAmazing Spider-Man Annual 19
Created byLouise Simonson, Mary Wilshire
In-story information
Alter egoAlistair Alphonso Smythe
  • Expert in robotics
  • Biorganic carapace grants superhuman physical attributes

Alistair Smythe is a comic book supervillain, owned by Marvel Comics and existing in that company's Marvel Universe. He was one of the main foes of Spider-Man. At one point Alistair was confined to a wheelchair, but he later gained the ability to walk after transforming himself into what he called the Ultimate Spider-Slayer.

Fictional character biography

The Spider Slayers

The Spider-Slayers were a series of robots that sought to destroy Spider-Man. The initial generation of spider-slayers were created by Alistair's father, Spencer Smythe and commissioned by J. Jonah Jameson. After Spencer failed to kill Spider-Man - and ended up dying as a result of prolonged exposure to the radioactive samples involved- Alistair inherited the legacy from his father and gained a new-found hatred toward Spider-Man. His initial attempt, however, failed when, in a rather humorous misunderstanding, he mistook Mary Jane Watson for Spider-Man (Playing along with it to give Peter time to come up with a plan, Mary Jane claimed she used a super-powered suit designed by aliens) until he was defeated by the real wall-crawler. He initially worked for the Kingpin but left in disagreement over how to deal with Spider-Man and went solo. After being confined in an asylum, Alistair released himself and took several other inmates with him in order to construct a new series of spider-slayers that tracked Spider-Man across the city. His plan of revenge forced the inmates to assist in the machines' construction. After sending a series of slayers after Spider-Man (and all of their inevitable destruction with assistance from others including Scorpion and the Black Cat), Alistair lured Spider-Man to his residence for one final battle.

The Ultimate Spider-Slayer

In order to defeat Spider-Man on his own, Alistair enhanced himself by encasing his entire body in a biorganic carapace that not only served as a full body armor, but increased his strength and gave him the ability to walk again by interconnecting with his spine.

The physical structure of the carapace gave Alistair bird-like talons for feet; a long, curved blade-like weapon jutting from each shoulder; a pair of smaller, jagged blade weapons on each forearm; and a specially made web-shooter that fires from the forearm area. Eventually, Spider-Man defeated Alistair and made sure he'd been taken to custody as well as the other asylum inmates who survived the ordeal.


During Scarlet Spider's brief stint as sole web-slinger in town, Smythe (still carapaced as the Ultimate Spider-Slayer) started a war with a new set of slayers he intended to sell on the black market. These Cyber-Slayers--which could be controlled remotely by turning one's thoughts into the slayers' actions--were probably named as such because the initial target was not Spider-Man nor Scarlet Spider, but Lady Octopus and her crew. However, as fate would have it, the Scarlet Spider ended up in the middle of things and temporarily allied with the Cyber-Slayers, a fact that did not go over well with Smythe.


Smythe, no longer in his carapace but somehow able to walk without it now, found his way outside prison and sought revenge on both Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson for the death of his father. He coerced Jameson to alter the stories in the Daily Bugle or else he'd kill JJJ's wife and son. Once Spider-Man caught on to Smythe's trail, he followed it back to the Bugle where Smythe assaulted him with recreated versions of every spider-slayer ever sent after Spider-Man in the past plus a pair of new creations--a miniature model designed to latch onto Spider-Man's face and penetrate his mind through use of radiation and a larger six-armed model arguably stronger than any other created. While attached to Spider-Man's head, the miniature spider-slayer psionically connected to Spidey's mind, copied thoughts of his loved ones, and broadcast that information to all the other mini-slayers. Smythe gave Spider-Man the choice of either stopping them or preventing the six-armed slayer from destroying Jameson. Spidey eventually shut down all the spider-slayers at the same time, but it was Jameson who beat Smythe to the verge of death with a baseball bat for threatening his family. Smythe recently made another return in which he used a poisonous spider he made and attacked John Jameson/Man-Wolf and caused him to end up in the hospital.

Alternate Versions

House of M

J. Jonah Jameson hired Alistair Smythe to build a Spider-Slayer to attack the Parkers.[1]

Other Media


Animated Alistair as the Ultimate Slayer, from Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Alistair Smythe was a recurring character in the 1990s Spider-Man animated series voiced by Maxwell Caulfield. In the series he witnessed his father's failure to destroy Spider-Man (which, as in the comics, caused his apparent death), and was convinced to create spider-slayers to later attack Spider-Man as part of a deal made with the Kingpin. Smythe became Kingpin's primary accomplice for some time, even after Smythe's slayer failed to kill Spider-Man. His association with Kingpin came to an end after the two-parter "Framed/The Man Without Fear", when Spider-Man and Daredevil teamed up to fight the Kingpin, resulting in the arrest of Richard Fisk. Angered at his son's arrest, Kingpin blamed the incident on Smythe's "incompetence" and turned him against his will into the Ultimate Spider Slayer Cyborg with the help of the Kingpin's current replacement partner, Herbert Landon. Breaking free of Kingpin's programming and recovering his father's body (which had been kept alive in stasis by the Kingpin unbeknownst to him initially), Alistair found another employer in Alisha Silver, who sought to restore her father to adulthood, in exchange for funds to revive Alistair's father. His father was never revived throughout the series. Smythe kidnapped the Black Cat for Silvermane to coerce Spider-Man into getting either Scorpion or Vulture, in order to have the de-aged Silvermane restored to an adult. Still under Silvermane's employment, he worked with Harry Osborn, the second Green Goblin, who had Smythe build an army of Goblin Warriors to attack Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's wedding, while Smythe also helped Scorpion with things. Harry's plan failed in the end thanks to Spider-Man, the Kingpin and the Black Cat. Alistair also ordered Professor Miles Warren to create genetic clones under Silvermane's orders in the two-part episode, The Return of Hydro-Man, and worked for the Red Skull in the three-part episode, Secret Wars. An alternate Smythe appeared in two-part series finale of the series, working for the Kingpin and Spider-Carnage in order to build a mind-control device to take over the world. However, Spider-Carnage's real intentions were to destroy all reality. After Spider-Man foiled his plans, Spider-Carnage fled to another reality, leaving a bomb in the Kingpin's building. Smythe and everyone else in the building were saved by Spider-Man and Madame Web. In the series he crushes Spider-Man in a bearhug with much ease.

  1. ^ Spider-Man: House of M #3