Origin (Zip Comics)
In his debut on Zip Comics #27, The Web was John Raymond, a criminology professor and mystery writer. A reason on why he was interested in criminology, was in part to watching his brother Tom, commit criminal deeds. With that curiosity alone, that propelled him into being the superhero known as The Web. During his adventures, he rescues a woman named Rose Wayne (not to be related with Bruce Wayne's family) from a Yakuza mobster named The Black Dragon of Death. Rose then, through sheer perseverance, was able to deduce that The Web was John Raymond, along with his motivations. This propelled her to marry him, which John happily accepted, and in the process, settled down from living a superhero life to living a life of a married man.
The Web came out of his self-imposed retirement in March 1966 through Fly-Man #36, to put a stop to the mischievous antics of a impostor claiming to be The Web. A month later, he appeared in Mighty Crusaders #4, and joined The Fox and Captain Flag, and thus create The Ultra-Men. Unfortunately for Raymond, not everything is all smiles in his life, as he soon notices that his wife, Rose is nagging him for going back into the fray of super heroics. Amidst the criticizing and constant scrutiny, he still did his job with the same enthusiasm as he did the first time around. Rose, figuring out that her hen-picking of John wasn't going to stop him, realized the old axiom of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.", and thus made her own crime-fighting identity of "Pow-Girl", fighting alongside her husband, without him realizing who she was.
John Raymond, Jr.
A new Web appeared in Archie's Red Circle Comics, who turns out to be the son of John Raymond and Rose Wayne, John Raymond, Jr. He recently appeared in Archie and Friends #101 and #107, as a small cameo appearance.
DC Comics Revival
In the DC Comics revival of The Red Circle, John Raymond is completely different from his previous renditions. No longer a criminology professor and mystery writer, he describes himself as a spoiled socialite and slacker leading a cushioned life of privileges who barely passed through college between parties and booze. On the contrary, his brother David chose to help the ones in need as a social worker, contrary to his previous rendition of being a criminal.
John always believed that his brother was, for their father, the better man an rightful heir, However, their father, while on his deathbed, made John the heir of the family fortune. He then explained to his son that his cold and privileged mindset would make him a better businessman than David. John, decided to balance business needs with humanitarian goals.
But it wasn't enough to be the equal of his brother. John maintained his profile as a spoiled socialite while using part of his five-billion dollar fortune to set up a super-powered persona as The Web. He relies on a technological suit, granting him several abilities, including flight, bullet-proof armor, HUD interface connected to a GPS tracker and enhanced strength. This new superhero would help people in need : people would send request on his website: summontheweb.com. John developed an advanced supercomputer to select the most urgent or worthy of numerous requests for help submitted. Those worthy request being at this time supermodels who lost their keys or protecting actresses from abusive boyfriends...
Later, The Web got a request coming from David, who was in debt to loan-sharks. They kidnapped David and asked John a ransom. John uses his very expensive suit to track down the signal and seems to save David. However, he was interrupted by the appearance of Dr. Archer, the man who called John, and his henchman Deadly Force. As The Web was fighting them, he noticed that David was dying because he was poisoned, ignoring the warning of the loan-sharks to not bring any external influence, and by Dr. Archer delivering the final blow. He explained to The Web with his last breath that he didn't want to ask John for help because he was too proud.
David's death caused John to reevaluate his activities as The Web, and decides that he will no longer aid those who have the resources to help themselves, or who have friends and family they can turn to. Instead, the Web will assist only those who have no one else to turn to. One of the first people who accepted Web's new deal was Lt. Joesph Higgins of the 2nd Battalion of the US Army, who in turn, experienced an ambush by Afghan insurgents that nearly took his life, which was saved by the efforts of General Latham, and the experimental prototype war-suit that rebuilt him as The Shield.
Following the momentum of undertaking his new deal, John attended the last will and testament of his brother David, whom through his will, giving their mother his collection of photos, his uncle a car which he taught David how to drive, his beloved April Martinez the deed to his Safe Harbor home, and to John, he gave a note, imploring him to protect April and a pair of dice, to which John finds out that they're drugs.He decided to pose as a buyer to find out who they're from, by putting a tracer in the money, then finding the source of the manufacturers, which directly dovetails him into conflict with Deadly Force. After a vicious battle, Deadly Force gives up the location of Dr. Archer, who was in Bellevue Hospital. After dropping him off to the NYPD, he engages in conflict with Dr. Archer, who reveals that April is involved in this.
As deep as he was in gaining revenge, he completely forgot that his website has overloaded on requests to being helped by The Web. He then has the idea of expanding his resources, by letting regular civilians don his suit as Web Hosts. He worked on that after promptly having a coffee from a Sundollars. He then gambles at one of Dr. Archer's casinos, in which he finds April. He proceeds to ask her about Archer, and explaining that The Web was involved in this as well. April's reaction was irate upon hearing of The Web, blaming him for David's death, and chastises John as a bad brother who can only drink and count money. John, however, bugged April with a camera that recorded her conversation with Dr. Archer, who in turn, references Deuces Wilde, also known as Milton Kroft. Web ambushes them, and in the midst of chasing Dr. Archer, he calls April out, who quickly realizes that The Web is indeed John. As soon as he was able to catch Dr. Archer, his prior idea of expansion blew up in his face, when two of his Web-Hosts inadvertently prevented him from catching Dr. Archer while saving him from being hit with an RPG. As the idea quickly went sour, the controversies of the Web-Hosts' use of the suit mounted up, which led to the very unorthodox introduction of Batgirl, via a right hook to the face.
Batgirl then introduces The Web to Oracle, who alerts him of the grand mistake he made in handing these suits without proper thinking. After litigation from both Web and Oracle, the two parties mutually agreed to help each other out. The Web thins out the ranks of his Web-Hosts and work under the Justice League of America, and Oracle improves The Web's lair and helping him find Dr. Archer. Needless to say, Web's part of the deal was more rambunctious than Oracle's. Oracle's deal, on her end, was of improving summontheweb.com with a Twitterati-embedded program that lets the Web-Hosts and himself be aware of crimes commited, and thus giving him vital clues to find Dr. Archer. The confrontation of The Web and Dr. Archer finally culminated with The Web leaving him unconscious in the front door of the NYPD. After that, he was eternally grateful to his new network via a video message. When he returned home, he finds April, who came to grips that John is The Web, and telling him that Dr. Archer was a foot soldier. The real killer turned out to be Deuces Wilde, on the simple premise that he wanted April for himself, to use her for laundering money and to safeguard the Vyce drug. She constantly refused, and Wilde kept threatening to kill David, in which David stood up to him for his actions. He then comforted April, and then decided to confront Deuces Wilde, but first he had to take care of the defecting Web-Hosts who left after he "sold out". They were hired by Wilde and attacked Web, who through much conflict, beat all three hosts, and handed over to NYPD for copyright infringement and for conspiracy to commit murder. When he confronted Wilde, Wilde revealed to him that he can see the future, and if he continues his actions, he'll have April arrested for being an accomplice, and her kids under state custody. Because John cared so much for April, he relented and left him alone. This sentiment wasn't met with approval from April, unequivocally. But it didn't stop him from continuing his own path of being a super-hero, of being the man whose greatest weapon is the internet, the techno-savvy protector... The Web.
Shortly after relishing in that small victory, he got a notice from one of his sources in Detroit, Michigan, regarding helping Mateo Burland, who wanted Web to help him get out of the drug-dealing life that threatened his sister as well as himself. His source, unfortunately, was held hostage by Mateo's boss, Amado Santana, who wouldn't let Mateo go, much less if a Web-Host was going to step in. John left the situation to be taken care of by his Detroit host, but after feebly negotiating for his life, he was killed by Santana. Shortly after that, Santana's henchmen attempted to kill Burland after obtaining the location of his whereabouts, but ended up killing his sister, Nina. Web soon realizes his Detroit host died and decides to investigate himself the situation. He helps up Mateo after handling the crooks with ease, but realizes that Nina was caught in the crossfire. After Mateo passed out, The Web took him to the defunct headquarters of Justice League Detroit. Mateo then armed himself with guns and armor raided by the Justice League, and proceeded to pistol-whip him for failing him to get him out of the drug game, and for the loss of his sister. After advising him that to do a job right, he had to do it himself, Mateo purposely missed the kill shot meant for Web, and stormed off to find Santana. 30 minutes later, he beats Amado within an inch of his life. Santana tried to negotiate with him with money in exchange for his safety, but he wouldn't have it. The Web then comes and tries to talk him out of it by relating his loss of his brother with Mateo. Mateo wouldn't budge at this appeal to reason, so Web just simply lets Mateo do his job. Outraged, Amado claims that if he's a hero, he wouldn't let Mateo kill him, but Web retorts that he thought so, too, but he got in over his head when he let another person die for his responsibility. Mateo then executed Amado with a gun for killing his sister. The Web then notices Mateo wearing the do-rag that Santana had on, in which Mateo explains that ever since Web enlightened him on passing responsibility to others, that there'll always be more problems than the people who can solve them. Web tried to argue of Mateo becoming the possibility of becoming a hero and a murderer, but Burland details that this wasn't his original plan, and that even if it was, justice is justice, no matter the outcome. The Web unwittingly and unwillingly created the Black Hood.
After taking care of an regular day of crime-fighting, Web checks his emails, to which is by now, constantly filling with requests. One of these requests stood out to John, a plea from Patricia Fletcher, asking him to investigate into her grandmother's sudden murder, because the police doesn't believe her pleas. Another reason this plea stood out, is because Trish was one of John's ex-girlfriends. Later, at the place where Web beat criminals, to which they worked for Deuces Wilde, his assistant, Swien, explains that this was Web's doing. This causes Wilde to take Web more seriously. Coincidentally, a man by the name of Rudolph Harbinger, who works for a Global Concern, first offers Wilde membership into his group. Wilde refuses, then disposes of Harbinger, in order to prepare for Web more efficiently. Web then meets with Trish, who weren't really in love prior to being The Web. She then explains to him that her grandmother was fine the night she died, but after she stepped out for a minute, she saw her being killed by a tall woman, dressed in dark, while acting strange. Web then assures her that he believes her, despite her excusing herself for being extremely hammered, and proceeds to put a pair of electrodes on the back of her neck that reads facial recognition neurons in the visual association cortex, to which he remembered that she loved it when he kissed her there. A picture of a woman appears, and Web proceeds to run the picture through his databases. Before that, she remarked that The Web reminded her of John.
Further facial recognition of the woman he saw through Trish lists her as being Cybele Sahin, the woman who killed Trish's grandmother. After mentioning the name of Eugenia Fletcher to Sahin, she quickly admits responsibility for her crime, but then to proceeds to attack him, and wants her to be referred by her nom de guerre, The Stunner. Stunner easily dominates Web throughout the fight, whilst explaining that the reasons for her name are to pay homage to her beauty, and for her power of electricity, which hurts Web, but gives him time to punch her off of him and retreat to his Web-Lair. Surprisingly, she follows him right to his base of operations, despite the security placed by Oracle beforehand, quickly realizing that this is under the Raymond Estate, pondering on the possibility that The Web is John Raymond. After getting a good couple of punches in Stunner, she continues to beat on him, while confessing that she would've loved to work with him under different circumstances. Sensing imminent defeat, The Web charges head-on with his after-burners at maximum to make a kamikaze attack to Stunner. The resulting velocity mixed with the torque of the gut punch Web gave to Stunner, made her relent her attack, then suddenly, she falls to the floor. Web initially discards this as playing possum, but quickly sees and realizes that he killed her.
Still panicking, but under a cool head, he drags Stunner back to the place where the fight started, and alerts the NYPD that she died fighting him, without exposing the whole story. The cops don't arrest him, but strongly suggest him that he will a need a really good lawyer. Back at the morgue, a couple of forensic workers want to examine Sahin more closely, but come to the realization that Stunner didn't really die. She played possum, but then rebooted, and kills everyone in sight. Web comes back to his estate to quickly being introduced to Elizabeth Catherine Fleischmann, better known as Kitcat. Web wanted to kick her out, but Oracle quickly interjects, and reminds Web that he's playing in her turf, and also points out how feeble it would be to hire someone to fix his place on his own. Kitcat quickly fixes Web's computers, impressing Web in the process. He then notices an alarm going off, and quickly speeds off to the scene of the calamity, to which he sees Stunner, alive, and pretty much killing everyone in sight. He notices that she's not the same as before, and comes charging at him with an unexplored ferocity and rage towards him. Web wins the short fight, but is quickly interrupted by a group of special ops soldiers wanting to retrieve Stunner. Web fights them off, but all the Spec-Ops needed was a smoke bomb and they take her away, right from under Web's nose. He then busts out of the building to find the same detectives who interrogated him earlier, one of them being Detective Tsujimura. They interrogate him again, but Web quickly dismisses them and tries to chase the spec-ops. One problem, the smoke bomb wasn't as simple as he perceived, it had contained neurotoxins which paralyzed his body, making sure he couldn't give chase to them and Stunner. After an hour of clearing the toxin off his system, he investigate a number of suspicious deaths in other hospitals.
They all had the same insurer, Advantage Health Insurance, which covers 40% of Americans. It sticks out for John, but he wanted to find out more. He saw Trish again after doing his investigation to give her an update on his findings. She quickly consoles him, but then she suddenly realizes that Web IS John Raymond...
John then flees to his estate and into his lair, in order to get his suit fixed and added some new features by Kitcat, to which it actually includes, a Pez dispenser. Grateful, but annoyed, he then leaves to meet up a friend of his father, Martin Scott, who happens to be the Chief Financial Officer of Advantage Health. Through playing a game of Racquetball, he asked if Scott knew anything about these disappearances, though Scott was quick to dismiss it, and agreed to help him out if he finds anything in particular. He then has lunch with Trish, who confesses to John that she figured out that John was The Web by looking at his lips. She remarked that she would've thought that David would've been The Web, but given that he died, she never think it'd be John. After some flirting, John sees a black van, the same kind that the spec-ops got away in. He tells Trish to follow him away from them, but they corner him quickly. After instructing Trish to leave, John then fights off most of the spec-ops, runs to an alley, to try and fight one of the spec-ops with a stick. The soldier then punches and stomps him good, about to kill him, until Trish makes the save. While recovering at the hospital, Kitcat drops by to let him know that she implanted him with a bone-mending agent that she made, and informs him that its healing his ribs. Just then he receives a text, with an ominous message... WE KNOW YOUR IDENTITY. $5 BILLION OR WE TELL THE WORLD WHO YOU REALLY ARE. This spurned him on to get out of the hospital and get back into battle to confront the group responsible for his woes. He goes to Scott's mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, to find Scott, along with Deuces Wilde and Stunner as well. After strangely eating a Pez, he's quickly restrained by some bodyguards, and is being seeped of his life by Stunner...
Apparently dead, Deuces Wilde suspects something's amiss, despite the assurance of Martin Scott and Stunner of Web's passing. According to Web, what Stunner did is strip the energy from the electrochemical H Gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane of her victim's cells. After Scott, who reveals that he's with the Global Concern as well, finds out that the Web is John Raymond, he's surprised, then orders his men to dispose of John's body. Unbeknownst to Web's opposition, while Wilde and Scott were arguing money, Kitcat remotely activated one of the recently installed countermeasures to take back the electrochemical H Gradient Stunner took, facilitated by the Pez Web took earlier, which takes Stunner down for the moment, and gives Web her abilities, demonstrated how Wilde foresaw and Web performed a slap to Swien that knocks him down quickly. After pressing Scott for killing his patients, which 1% takes responsibility for 15% of his costs, and concluding that the looming health care reform is putting the pressure on his company, Stunner absorbs the electrochemical H Gradient of Scott's lifeguards to counterattack Web. After some broken Etruscan sculpture went through Stunner's head, Swien jumps in by attacking Web from behind with the electric gauntlets. Wilde, seeing into the future thanks to his Vyce drug, deems the situation unfit for him to be with Scott at the same time, ditched Scott and Swien in order to avoid the coming storm. As Swien and Stunner continue their attack, Web asked her if she was going to drain his life again. She replied that it would overstimulate her, so she preferred to beat him to death. Using her words against her, Web instinctively grabs Stunner's hand and makes her drain Swien's energy, along with the electric gauntlets, resulting in a massive overload for Stunner, and knocking both of them out, leaving Web to chase Scott. Martin Scott then confesses to Web that his father and him were the ones that orchestrated this calamity, and that his father was part of the Global Concern as well, wanting John to succeed him in his place. Web linked him to the blackmailing attempts he had endured, but Martin tells him that he only sent the thugs to kill him because of the questions he asked him during the racquetball game, but someone else blackmailed him instead. After expressing sorrow for his actions, he activates C-4 in his basement, destroying the evidence that would compromise him and his company as a final act of fidelity to the Global Concern. Web survived the explosion for the timely activation of his suit's blast defenses, but left empty-handed. John then had dinner with Trish, and informed her of what had transpired. Trish expressed gratitude to John, but as soon as she said that, he pulled out an envelope with the money that Trish was supposed to get for revealing John's secret identity, for he figured out that since she knew that John was The Web, she told this to Scott prior to John being mugged at the alley. Staggered at realizing that he figured everything out, she confessed to why she did it, because she was desperate to have money and because her grandmother didn't leave her anything, also bringing up the point that she couldn't trust anyone with this, not even John. Understanding of her predicament, he leaves her to pay for the food, and orders her not to talk to him again. Despite the initial outrage of Kitcat from hearing this, she got over it, and gave Web her invoice, which proved very costly for John, financially, but she argues that her work is not cheap after kissing him. Web then realizes that while Kitcat worked hard for him and overcharged, and that Trish had her grandmother killed and tried to blackmail him for money, his whole efforts weren't meant to give him money, and despite his disbelief, he prefers it that way.
Following his victory, Web then goes to San Francisco in order to disrupt an auction held by The Auctioneer, in which he was auctioning an ancient safe box, which attracted several super-villains, in which Black Beetle, Gentleman Ghost, Doctor Sivana appeared, among others. Web is successful in obtaining the safe, which triggers the interference of the Global Concern's hidden agent, The Persian. A brief fight ensues, with Web still holding on to the safe, at the apparent risk of falling to his death. Web warns her that once he drops the box, he can fly towards it, and that she can't. As he drops the box, she leaps quickly in hopes to attain the safe, but Web speeds his way towards the box faster than she does and gains the box, forcing Persian to teleport right on her descent. He then had to encounter Inferno, who also wanted the safe, at the request of both Group Epsilon, and General Latham, who wanted Inferno to deliberately ruin the mission. After a brief verbal exchange between Web and Inferno, Web quickly disposed of Inferno, but had to contend with Inferno again after he began to manifest his fire powers. While he tried to condense the carbon dioxide around them to put out his flames, it didn't work immediately, and while they were fighting, The Buzzard swooped in and took the safe. Web immediately chased him, but ended up being rendered unconscious by Buzzard's electrical discharge, which led to Inferno saving him. Web then continued his pursuit of the safe, while catching up with Inferno, as well as The Comet and The Hangman who similarly looked for the safe that Hangman had at the time. Hangman explains amidst the collective disbelief of the others, that the safe is actually a portal that held inside unnatural creatures and objects, as well as the man who would soon become The Eraser. As soon as Hangman opened the safe, Eraser came out, imploring them to kill the looming threat, but it came out regardless, stabbing Eraser. As soon it was fully free, Hangman was rendered unable to fight, due to hearing "reality shrieking" for a hole in the universe was made thanks to the gargantuan spider that came out. The Web and company were clearly in disarray, until the timely arrival of The Shield helped turned the tide against the spider. Gentle prodding from Shield helped this team defeat the spider and save San Francisco in the process. After all had occurred, Latham briefs to Web, Hangman, Shield, and Inferno that the safe they recovered holds secrets to every organization within the US military. Web, quickly wanting to distance himself form the severity of the problem, wanted to disassociate from Latham, but Latham tells him that once he tried to get the box, he got pulled into the circle. Imploring the importance that individually, they are easily susceptible to being eliminated, he gave them secure comms, with an instruction to listen for the pass phrase " Crusader", for if they're to survive, they must stick together.
The Web then has a brief chat with Kitcat going over what is transpiring over a secret base in Colorado, where all of the Web's 98 Web Hosts are being remotely controlled by The Global Concern in order to discredit Web further, while preventing Web from regaining control through firmware updates due to the software declaring to be updated before. He noticed that there was one Web Host that wasn't affected by the override, for the fact that Host was nowhere near the others. He looks up her information, to find out that Kim Brand has not only the best effectiveness scores, but has also significantly modified her Web suit into a different outfit, and calls herself Fly Girl. Web goes to her place, first under threatening her to sue her for modifying her suit and breaching her contract. Unequivocally, she didn't budge, and dropped Web fast, forcing Web to compromise by canceling his lawsuit if she helps him. Fly Girl quickly agrees to this stipulation and joins Web in order to stop the Web Hosts from doing more damage. Unfortunately for both of them, Doctor Zadar had a mole amongst the Web Hosts, and used him to send an explosive payload to eliminate The Cell, who were located there. The mole had dropped the package onto The Cell, eliminating them in the process, and from there on, the Web Hosts are commanded to attack Web and Fly Girl. Web goes in headfirst by getting to each individual Web Host and using an external USB drive to plug into each host's suit so it can be given back control to the wearer. Web quickly makes progress, but is met with more remote resistance from the remaining Hosts, who drive Web underwater. Fly Girl comes to help him, followed by the Hosts who Web thought were still under the override The Global Concern has put. Thankfully, Fly Girl managed to fix the rest of the Hosts' suits, thus severing the grip of the Concern's control of the suits. Web was quick to congratulate himself and Fly Girl for saving the Hosts, but Kim was quick to point out that an explosion just happened, and that this would've been avoided if he were more cooperative with other people. To that suggestion, General Latham came out once again to show him that by working together with his new group of teammates, they can be Mighty.
Powers and Abilities
The Web doesn't have any inherent powers, save for the strength and stamina of a man his age who engages in constant exercise, an average deductive mind which led him to crack down on Martin Scott and Trish Fletcher, and mostly relies on his suit. His suit has the ability of flight, bullet-proof armor, an HUD interface connected to a GPS tracker, and enhances his regular strength. His biggest asset is his lair, to which it interconnects to him and his Web-Hosts, who can notify each other of any crimes being committed. John's suit, however, has the distinct advantage that he can shut down his hosts' suits if they become insubordinate. All Web-Hosts are connected to Interwebs, and as a side effect of the program, everything that John does when he has the suit on can be seen by the internet.