The Spider first appeared in Lion in 1965. He was originally a master criminal, the "King of Crooks", based in a Scottish castle transplanted to New York, using an array of gadgets including a web gun, a jetpack and a gas gun. He later became a crime-fighter. He was created by writer Ted Cowan and artist Reg Bunn, and most of his adventures were written by Jerry Siegel, with some by Donne Avenell. The strip originally ran in Lion from 26 June 1965 and 26 April 1969, and also appeared in Lion annuals from 1967 to 1971 and Super Stupendous Library from 1967 to 1968. It was reprinted in Vulcan (1975-76). The first three storylines from Lion, plus a story from a Lion annual, were collected as King of Crooks from Titan Books in 2005.
Mark Millar wrote a Spider strip in the 2000 AD Action Special in 1992, reinterpreting him as a Hannibal Lecter-like serial killer. Since 2000 an unofficial version of the character in retirement, named Alfred Chinard (A. Chinard being an anagram of Arachnid) has appeared in Paul Grist's series Jack Staff. He officially appeared, alongside other IPC characters, in DC/Wildstorm's Albion miniseries in 2005-2006.