That is an amazingly sensitive portrait of Spiral by Kathryn Layno Lewis. She is usually seen flailing her six arms wildly in the service of the evil Mojo, unless she is being controlled by the thumbs of button smashers everywhere. Let’s look at a few more sketch cards before I explain.
Those spectacular small wonders were created by Benjamin Glendenning, Nar, Jack Redd, and Buddy Prince. They provide a whirlwind of visual vivisection that cuts straight to the thrilling heart of the character we are carousing today. Let’s turn to her biography for a bit of background.
Spiral’s real name is Rita Wayword, better known as ‘Ricochet Rita’, a professional stuntwoman who befriended Longshot when he first appeared on Earth. Rita was attacked by her evil, future self which led to her meeting Longshot and falling in love with him. When Longshot sought to return to his home dimension, the Mojoverse, the lovestruck Rita went with him, only to watch Longshot fail and be captured by the dimension’s evil overlord, Mojo. Longshot was promptly mindwiped to forget all about Rita, while a much worse fate was left for Rita.
After holding her prisoner for several years (at which point Rita was made to serve as guardian for Mojo’s army of “X-Babies“), Mojo forced his chief scientist, Arize, to perform extreme physical and mental body modifications onto Rita to recreate her into a loyal subordinate. These experiments left her with six arms (two of which are robotic), turned her hair grey, and drove the young woman insane through forcibly evolving Rita’s mind to the point that she could see into other dimensions that were used for time-travel/teleportation. He also trained her in the dark arts of magic and body modification, so that she could use these skills to alter others like Mojo had altered her. Finally, in a cruel act of manipulation, Mojo sent Spiral back in time to set into motion the events that led to her former self becoming Mojo’s prisoner and become Spiral by attacking her past self.
But what about the button smashing? Feast your eyes on this.
She started in the Arcade in 1994. X-Men: Children of the Atom allowed video game players around the globe to control Spiral in her quest to vanquish the mightest mutants every imagined.
Then it came home. The Playstation console lit up with a super move that has never been matched. When Spiral started glowing in the game, she transformed into each of the other characters as she pummelled her opponents. It was a beautiful thing.
Spiral eventually got an encore in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but her pixelated pandora’s box of joyous beatdown still resonates most intensely in the original. We still break out the old disc quite often, just to dance with the six-armed glory girl.
Whether you are a comic book connoisseur, a video game junkie, or a sketchcard collector, Spiral deserves another look. More than any other multiped we know, she brings joy through her very being. Two more magnificent miniatures, then we are out. Hanie Mohd and Mark Dos Santos in the house,
Spiral wants to dance.