Black Tarantula is a fiction character that appears in comic book published by Marvel Comics. The character first appears as an unseen character in The Amazing Spider-Man #419 (January 1997), and makes his first full appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #432 (March 1998). Black Tarantula was created by writer Tom DeFalco and artist Steve Skroce.
The origin of the Black Tarantula is shrouded in mystery and misinformation. There is a legend that the Black Tarantula was a European explorer, who traveled to Japan several centuries ago and was trained by the ninja-clan the Hand. At the end of the training he was awarded with a special potion that gave him superhuman powers and immortality. In reality, the Black Tarantula's immortality has a more earthly origin: the title is inherited from father to son, all posing as the same person (reminiscent of the Phantom). Though not truly immortal, the Black Tarantula possesses a multitude of superhuman powers as a result of the potion his ancestor drank.
The current Black Tarantula moves his base of operations from Argentina to New York, claiming that he wants to expand his operation. He comes into conflict with the local crime lord The Rose (Jacob Conover), and defeats the Rose's enforcer, Delilah, though he heals her severe injuries afterwards. The Black Tarantula hires Roughouse and Bloodscream to do his dirty work and drives back the Rose, establishing control over a large part of New York City. When the Rose goes to Don Fortunato, a powerful crime lord ruling over New York City, for help, the Black Tarantula appears in person and offers Fortunato an alliance. Fortunato accepts, but the Black Tarantula has to prove his loyalty by defeating Spider-Man and bringing back his mask. Black Tarantula did as he was asked and defeated Spider-Man, but lets him live when he learns that Spider-Man was trying to rescue a small child.
Spider-Man takes on the identity of Ricochet during the "Identity Crisis" storyline to infiltrate the Rose's organization and find out more about Black Tarantula, fighting Bloodscream and Roughouse with his former enemy Delilah (although she is taken out by Bloodscream, forcing Spider-Man to use all four of his new identities against his foes). During this time, he finds a photo of his wife Mary Jane Watson and two of her friends. Spider-Man discovers that Marina, one of her friends, was in fact the Black Tarantula's ex-wife, who had fled the country with their son, disliking the changes that Carlos underwent when he took on the mantle of the Black Tarantula and did not want the same fate for her son. Furthermore, Marina had a friend, who was Don Fortunato's cousin. They ask Don Fortunato for protection and the Black Tarantula attacked Don Fortunato's mansion. Inside the mansion, Black Tarantula defeats Fortunato's guards including Spider-Man again, but loses his wife when she confronts him and points out that he is scaring his own son. She reminds him what a burden the Black Tarantula title had been on him and Carlos relented. He leaves, but tells her that he would one day come back to take his son.
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