How fight a menace which strikes without warning—which disintegrates flesh and blood and stone to mere chemical atoms! Men fled in blind panic from the merest rumor of a new attack, and even the Spider—dodging the death blasts—can find at first no weapon with which to combat this new and devastating evil which obliterates its victims in the fraction of time between two heart-beats!
“Satan’s Death Blast” is the ninth Spider novel and was published in June 1934. While some of the earlier novel names were colorful, Novell Page appears to go into a new gear for astonishing names starting with this story.
In this one, the bad guy is actually named the Devil, although he turns out to be quite human by the end of the story. He is able to direct explosions (or blasts), starting with one man, a senator, and eventually escalating to large portions of cities first blasted and then looted, such as Buffalo, Schenectady, and Albany. Thousands are killed. Wounded, the Spider takes on this organization, even hindered by Ram Singh and Nita who are drugged, hypnotized, and sent to kill him. Finally with the death toll already in the tens of thousands, NY City is threatened to be wiped mostly “off the map” unless a large sum is paid.
Perhaps not as good as the best stories from Norvell Page, this one, nevertheless, has all the great traits of an exciting Spider novel… well worth the reading for Spider fans! For me, the only downer was the original cover artwork. As in “Satan’s Death Blast,” hypnosis is a tool to bend wills to do the bad guy’s will.