Bill Black; Chris Allen; Frank Turner (pp.8-15); Ben Brown (reprinted panel)
Chris Dreier; Mark Heike; Frank Turner (pp.8-15); David Gantz (reprinted panel)
Dr. Jonathan Weir; The Purple Claw; Countess Arachni (death); High Lama of Khun Lann; Rocketman; Jet Girl; Green Lama; Catman; Kitten; Avenger; Microman; Captain Flash; Miss Masque
Dr. Weir has tracked down Countess Arachni who he fought in 1953 and thought he had killed. Black widow spiders fused with her body and brought her back to life, now more in appearance as a spider (specifically eight eyes). She gets away from Dr. Weir and he follows her to New York, where her spider cult is. As he is following her there his mind goes back to how he originally was given the Purple Claw and how he was given a second one when he had to use the first one to confine the Black Shroud. When he arrives at the Countess' building in New York he could tell that all of the workers in the building were cultists. He went to an upper floor after Countess Arachni and found that millions of baby spiders had consumed her body from the inside. Dr. Weir used the Purple Claw to burn all of the spiders up, but unknown to him, a few escaped through the air conditioning vents.
Dr. Jonathan Weir; The Purple Claw; Dr. Italo Schiasi (death); Enzo (death); Baron Latro (death); Countess Arachni (first appearance)
Dr. Jonathan Weir, the possessor of the Purple Claw, travels to the Valley of Horror in answer to a request from his friend Dr. Italo Schiasi. Unfortunately, Dr. Schiasi is already dead at the hands of a giant spider. Dr. Weir is also caught in a giant spider's web but he escapes with the aid of the Purple Claw. He is determined to avenge his friend's death and accuses Baron Latro of killing him. The Countess Arachni stops Baron Latro from stabbing Dr. Weir because she finds him attractive. When mountain birds distract Dr. Weir (they seem to think that the Countess is their natural prey) the Countess manages to steal the Purple Claw from him. Later when he travels to her castle he is caught in a web and unable to defend himself. He passes out but Countess Arachni rescues him by killing Baron Latro in his spider form and taking Dr. Weir to her castle. When he wakes up he tries to get the Purple Claw back but the Countess throws it into the moat. She spins a web around him but he manages to fall out a window and recover the Purple Claw floating in the water. He uses it to defeat the spiders and Countess Arachni.