Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at the Argentinian villain whose identity is a family heirloom: Black Tarantula
Appearances in Heroclix: Incredible Hulk
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #419
Team Affiliations: The Hand
Powers/Abilities: Skilled martial artist; Superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability and reflexes/reactions; Genius-level intelligence; Energy beam projection through eyes; Healing factor
Created By: Tom DeFalco and Steve Skroce
The legend of the Black Tarantula goes that a European explorer travels to Japan several centuries ago and is trained by the Hand. At the end of the training, he is awarded with a special potion that gives him superhuman powers and immortality. This legend, however, is a mere use for a much simpler legacy: the title is passed from father to son with the great powers he exhibits being handed down through DNA.
The current man using the Black Tarantula identity moves his base of operations from Argentina to New York in order to expand his enterprise. Soon after arriving, he comes into conflict with the Rose and battles the Rose’s enforcer, Delilah, healing her injuries after the battle is complete. The Black Tarantula is able to push the Rose back and exert control over a large part of New York City after hiring Roughouse and Bloodscream. Black Tarantula thwarts the Rose again by allying himself with the more powerful crime lord, Don Fortunato, who the Rose had hoped to gain help from. The cost of the alliance is that Black Tarantula must defeat Spider-Man and bringing back his mask. Black Tarantula completes this feat but has no interest in Spider-Man’s civilian identity and lets the hero live when he learns that Spider-Man was trying to save a small child before their battle.
When Spider-Man is forced to create new heroic identities to clear the hero’s name of false murder and assault charges, he uses the Ricochet identity to infiltrate the Rose’s organization and learn more about the Black Tarantula. He discovers that one of Mary Jane’s friends, Marina, is the Black Tarantula’s ex-wife who fled the country to try and save her son from having to take on the Black Tarantula mantle. This leads to a showdown where the Black Tarantula is able to defeat Spider-Man again as well as many of Don Fortuna’s men. Black Tarantula relents, however, when his ex-wife confronts him and forces him to see how he is scaring their son. Faced with the truth of the burden of the mantle, Black Tarantula leaves but promises to return for his son one day.
Through unknown means, Black Tarantula is imprisoned on Ryker’s Island and is taking drugs to suppress his powers. Tarantula is released early due to good behavior and seeks out Matt Murdock, hoping to get a job working in the side of the angels. Murdock puts Carlos (Black Tarantula) with Dakota North as an investigator for the firm. Carlos soon grows restless, however, desiring a return to more physical action. Carlos and Murdock, as Black Tarantula and Daredevil, begin to fight local gangs. Tarantula faces a local gang that had been paid to kill an old woman and finds himself face to face with an old soldier of Tarantula’s. Black Tarantula defeats the man and force feeds him the money paid for the murder, choking the gang leader to death. Daredevil arrives and tries to talk Tarantula down, who intended to steal the remaining money. Tarantula knocks Daredevil out and as he is about to leave drops the money by Daredevil before writing a note. “Help people with this.”
Black Tarantula is later attacked by a number of Hand ninjas in some bizarre testing ritual. While trying to discover the nature of this test, Black Tarantula sees White Tiger being attacked by Hand ninjas. Without hesitation he attempts to help her only to be killed by her and resurrected as a Hand assassin. Tarantula, along with White Tiger, Lady Bullseye and Lord Hirochi attack Daredevil; Iron Fist and Master Izo arrive to help the hero. Tarantula defeats Iron Fist but stops White Tiger from killing him, claiming that he does not want the competition. When White Tiger attempts to kill Foggy Nelson, Black Tarantula stops her and tries to heal her of the Hand’s brainwashing as Black Tarantula himself somehow did.
Murdock takes over the Hand and recruits Black Tarantula and White Tiger as his lieutenants. Black Tarantula is in charge of North America operations and oversees the construction of Shadowland. He seems content with this until White Tiger orders him to begin killing looters during a crisis in the city. Before he can do much more, White Tiger stabs him in the back and throws him over the edge of Shadowland. Black Tarantula is rescued and healed by Night Nurse.