|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #25 (June 1965)|
|Created by||Stan Lee (script)|
Steve Ditko (artist)
|Alter ego||Not applicable|
|Abilities||Varies according to model|
The Spider-Slayers are a series of fictional robots appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Spencer Smythe, they were designed specifically to hunt down, capture, or kill Spider-Man. A new generation of Spider-Slayers was later created by Spencer's son, Alistair.
The Spider-Slayers have been featured in a number of Spider-Man adaptations outside of comics, including animated series and video games.
The Spider-Slayers first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #25 (June 1965) and were created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
The first series of robots were originally designed and built by Prof. Spencer Smythe with the financial backing of J. Jonah Jameson, who piloted them for the pleasure of personally hunting the superhero he hated for capture and public unmasking. However, Spider-Man always managed to defeat each robot in turn. Smythe's continual efforts to perfect his machines backfired on him, leading to himself being fatally contaminated by radiation poisoning from the building materials of his creations. Blaming both Jameson and Spider-Man for this, he attempted, as a final act, to murder them both, but died just before Spider-Man thwarted the attempt.
At one point, Jameson commissioned another scientist, Dr. Marla Madison, to create a new and improved Spider-Slayer.[volume & issue needed] While that attempt failed, he eventually fell in love with her and married her.
In The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19 (1985), Smythe's son, Alistair, emerged as the new builder of the Spider-Slayers. He swore revenge on Spider-Man, repeatedly attacking the superhero with his own series of Slayers. Smythe later mutated into a humanoid Spider-Slayer, but remains a minor foe.[volume & issue needed]
The original Spider-Slayer was seen among the robots and machines in the Reanimator's collection. Wolverine later destroyed the Spider-Slayer when the Reanimator attempted to use it against him. It was later used by J. Jonah Jameson to attack the She-Hulk after she had married his son John, but it was destroyed again.[volume & issue needed]
In The Amazing Spider-Man #603, Jameson (now Mayor of New York) has some old Spider-Slayers sent to him from storage to better equip his "Anti-Spider Squad" to take down Spider-Man. The Spider-Slayer technology is combined with that of the Mandroid suits. However, the "Spider-Slayer Squad" wearing the suits quit their jobs after Spider-Man saves them and New York from a dirty bomb.[volume & issue needed]
Despite not being technically related to the Smythes' and Madison's creations, when Spider-Man refits all the Octobots confiscated from Doctor Octopus and kept in the New York Police Precinct to carry an antidote able to reverse the mutations turning all the New York population into Man-Spiders, he humorously renames them his own Spider-Slayers.
When the Goblin King and his Goblin Underground group cause havoc in Manhattan, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson unveils the Goblin-Slayers which he plans to use against the Goblin-related threats. Mary Jane Watson voices her concern that the Goblin-Slayers used to be former Spider-Slayers. Mayor J. Jonah Jameson orders Chief Pratchett to send one of the Goblin Slayers to the robbery location and then head to chase the Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Peter Parker's body). After Don Lamaze sacrifices his life to get out of the Goblin King's trap, the Superior Spider-Man confronted by a legion of Spider-Slayers with Mayor J. Jonah Jameson's face projected on the front faceplate. Mayor J. Jonah Jameson replies that he is done with being blackmailed by him and he does not care if he loses everything as long as he can finally bring down Spider-Man. The Superior Spider-Man tries to fight the Spider-Slayers, but discovers that they are far stronger than all the previous ones. Suddenly, the Spider-Slayers are deactivated remotely by Spider-Man 2099, who confronts the Superior Spider-Man about who he really is and the reasons behind his actions of late. Suddenly, the Spider-Slayers are reactivated, to Spider-Man 2099's shock. The Goblin King's voice rings out, declaring that he has taken control of the Spider-Slayers as well, which grab both Spider-Men by their heads as the Goblin King comments that Norman Osborn now runs this city.
In a Spider-Man 2099 storyline following Smythe's death, dealers illegally sell Spider-Slayers to foreign nations. However, after Miguel accompanies Tiberus Stone on one such deal, he ends up fighting the Scorpion (who was hired by Alchemax to further test the Spider-Slayers) as Stone is captured by the local rebels, Miguel defeating the Scorpion by tricking the Spider-Slayers into attacking him, while Stone's encounter with the rebels prompts him to change his mind about the original deal.
Main article: List of Spider-Slayers
The Ultimate Marvel version of Spider-Slayers are eight foot robots that balance on a large sphere, wield two arm-cannons and have a sphere for a head, and built and controlled remotely by the Tinkerer. Created in the event Spider-Man ever went rogue, the Spider-Slayers are deployed by Nick Fury to Peter Parker's residence when clones of Spider-Man begin running rampant, with the Slayers' objective being to arrest Peter Parker. The Slayers encounter the Fantastic Four and Carnage which reverts to Gwen Stacy after the Spider-Slayers take her down. The Spider-Slayers later kill a disfigured clone and imprison another unstable clone in S.H.I.E.L.D.
While trying to apprehend a dimension-hopping supervillain in the MC2 reality, Spider-Girl is accidentally sent into Earth-616's past, where she encounters the first Spider-Slayer. Mistaking her for its quarry, the Spider-Slayer attacks Spider-Girl who manages to evade the machine due to being distracted by how different "Spider-Man" looks. Spider-Girl later returns to her own universe and time, while Spider-Man defeats the Spider-Slayer in the same way he did in the original story.
In the House of M reality, J. Jonah Jameson (fearing Peter Parker would take revenge due to outing as Spider-Man) has Alistair Smythe construct a Spider-Slayer as protection. When Peter's family breaks into Jonah's home looking for Peter's journal (given by the Green Goblin) Jonah, using the Spider-Slayer, attacks. Hitting Gwen Stacy just as Peter arrives, Jonah's Spider-Slayer is ripped to shreds by the hero.
After May Parker and John Jameson are killed in a space shuttle crash caused by the Chameleon, J. Jonah Jameson adopts Peter Parker, and blames the deaths of their loved ones on Spider-Man. Obsessed with taking Spider-Man down, Jameson commissions the creation of the Spider-Slayer and the Scorpion formula, the latter of which is ingested by Flash Thompson. The serum warps Flash's mind and causes Flash to go on a rampage, which ends when subdued by Spider-Man (who reveals being Peter Parker to Jameson) and the Spider-Slayer, controlled by Jameson. Jameson realizes how irrational his hatred of Spider-Man is, and decides to help his adopted son fight crime using the Spider-Slayer.