Spider Queen Does Whatever A Spider Can in The Eagle #2, at Auction
Chemist Shannon Kane aka the Spider Queen developed and used wrist-mounted web shooters to swing from buildings and entangle the bad guys.
Although Fox Feature Syndicate published its last comic book in 1951, several characters it published have had life after Fox. The Flame, Phantom Lady and Samson were later used by Ajax-Farrell for example, and more famously, Phantom Lady (who had started life at Quality Comics) and Blue Beetle ended up at DC Comics. The little-known character Spider Queen is a much more obscure example, with the character ending up at Marvel over fifty years after her last Fox Feature Syndicate appearance. But that's far from the most interesting thing about Spider Queen, who debuted her brief Fox Feature Syndicate career in the pages of The Eagle #2. An obscure Fox character deserving of far more collector attention than she gets, there's a copy of Spider Queen's first appearance in The Eagle #2 (Fox, 1941) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white to white pages up for auction in the 2023 September 28 The Fox Comics Showcase Auction #40239 at Heritage Auctions.
Spider Queen's brief Golden Age career in The Eagle #2-4 is credited in the comics themselves to Elsa Lisau (spelled "Lesau" in issue #2), who is generally believed to be a pseudonym for Louis and Arturo Cazaneuve. Additionally, GCD credits Pierce Rice on pencils. One of a seemingly countless number of obscure characters who appeared and disappeared in a relative instant during the Golden Age, Spider Queen's historical importance hinges on one small but fascinating detail: She developed and used wrist-mounted web shooters that function virtually identically to those developed and used by Spider-Man over 20 years later.
The Spider Queen, Shannon Kane, was married to a brilliant chemist working for the U.S. government and also serving as his assistant. After her husband's murder, she discovered a formula for what she calls "spider-web fluid" in his files. Investigating the formula, she discovers that upon contact with air, the substance becomes a thin adhesive filament that "sticks like glue" and is "strong enough to swing on." Kane proceeds to develop wrist-mounted shooters for the web fluid which can be used to shoot it from just below the heel of her palm. In practice, she uses her invention to swing from building to building and also entangle and restrain bad guys.
While she doesn't have super strength or the spider-like ability to stick to walls, her web-shooters and the way she uses them have a lot of similarities to those created by Steve Ditko for Spider-Man some two decades later. Spider Queen's obscurity, having appeared in only three issues in a short-lived title, makes a direct inspiration unlikely. But the similarity between the wrist web shooters would seem to open the possibility of some sort of connection just a tiny bit. Perhaps there's some common inspiration between the two of them. Or perhaps it's simply a more obvious idea for a spider-based superhero than it seems at first thought.
Interestingly, Shannon Kane and Spider Queen entered the Marvel Universe in 1993 with Invaders vol. 2 #1. along with other public domain Golden Age heroes revived for the occasion. After that mini-series, the character was also used in Avengers 1959 #5 in 2012. An obscure Fox character with a fascinating claim to fame, there's a copy of Spider Queen's first appearance in The Eagle #2 (Fox, 1941) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white to white pages up for auction in the 2023 September 28 The Fox Comics Showcase Auction #40239 at Heritage Auctions. If you've never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.