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Real Name: Anton Miguel Rodriguez
Occupation: Revolutionary terrorist, later government operative, later professional criminal
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of an unidentified South American country with an international crime record
Other Aliases: Mr. Valdez
Place of Birth: An unidentified South American country
Place of Death: New York City
Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumed single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Former ally of Lightmaster, Kraven the Hunter, the Jackal, Senor Suerte II, and the Brand Corporation
Base of Operations: An unnamed South American country, later New York City and Miami Beach
First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDERMAN #134
Final Appearance: AMAZING SPIDERMAN #236

History: Anton Miguel Rodriguez was a member of a small revolutionary band that opposed the dictatorship of an unidentified South American country. Rodriguez and his associates were terrorists who blew up supply trains, kidnapped politicians and held them for ransom, and then killed them if the ransom was not paid. Rodriguez was particularly bloodthirsty, however, and his fellow revolutionaries expelled him from their organization shortly after he murdered a guard without cause during a robbery.

Rodriguez then went over to the other side and joined the army of the repressive dictatorship. The government created the costumed identity of the Tarantula for Rodriguez, intending him to serve as their country's counterpart to the United States' Captain America. The Tarantula was sent to hunt down his former revolutionary comrades, a mission that gave him great pleasure.

But the Tarantula could still not restrain his love of violence and killing. During the interrogation of a captured revolutionary, the Tarantula murdered a guard who would not let him beat the prisoner as much as he wanted. As a result, the Tarantula was forced to flee the country.

After a series of unrevealed exploits, the Tarantula arrived in New York City and began familiarizing himself with the city's criminal underworld. He hired accomplices and afterwards hijacked a Hudson River day liner, a boat that went on tours up the Hudson River, in order to rob the passengers and hold them for ransom. The costumed crimefighters known as Spider-Man and the Punisher disrupted the Tarantula's plan, and the Tarantula and his accomplices escaped. Subsequently, the Punisher defeated the Tarantula's accomplices, and Spider-Man captured the Tarantula himself.

Months later, the Tarantula escaped prison with the help of his new ally, the Jackal, who sought vengeance on Spider-Man. Spider-Man defeated the Tarantula in battle only to be captured by the Jackal. Presumably the Tarantula escaped capture on this occasion. The Jackal died shortly afterwards.

Later, the Tarantula was hired by Lightmaster to commit various kidnappings and murders; Lightmaster also hired Kraven the Hunter to assist the Tarantula. Again, the Tarantula ran afoul of Spider-Man, who thwarted Lightmaster's schemes.

Months later, the Tarantula and his new partner, the second Senor Suerte, tried to steal the powerful weapons called the "madbombs" and use them for the purpose of extortion, but were defeated by Captain America.

Somehow regaining his freedom once more, Rodriguez kept a low profile in the Miami Beach area and engaged in smuggling activities. He was finally hired by a representative of the Brand Corporation, a subsidiary of Roxxon Oil, to silence an informer known as "Nose" Norton. Again the Tarantula clashed with Spider-Man and failed in his assignment.

Then, however, Brand representatives offered to bestow superhuman powers similar to Spider-Man's upon the Tarantula if he would afterwards help them to kill Spider-Man. The Tarantula agreed, went to Brand's laboratories in Queens, New York, and there was injected with a mutagenic serum and placed within an electrolyte bath while wearing a life support harness.

But then the being known as Will o'the Wisp, who held Brand responsible for his own transformation into an inhuman creature, began wreaking havoc on the machinery in the laboratory, causing power discharges that radically affected the ongoing mutagenic process that the Tarantula was undergoing. As a result, the Tarantula transformed into an eight limbed being that resembled a humanoid spider, possessing superhuman strength. Spider-Man himself, who had arrived on the scene, and Will o'the Wisp both battled the transformed Tarantula, and the latter two fell into Jamaica bay.

But both the Tarantula and Will o'the Wisp survived this plunge, and the Tarantula continued to mutate. Finally, the Tarantula and Spider-Man met in battle atop a New York City building. By now the Tarantula looked like an enormous spider with no trace of human appearance at all. His mind was becoming increasingly primitive and he could only speak in broken phrases. Horrified at what he had become, and seeing policemen massed on the sidewalk and street below, the Tarantula committed suicide by hurling himself from the roof of the building. He was dead from police gunfire before he landed on the street below.

Note: The physical characteristics listed below apply to the Tarantula's human form.

Height: 6 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 185 lbs
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

Strength Level: In human form the Tarantula possessed the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engaged in intensive regular exercise. As a giant spider the Tarantula had superhuman strength and could lift (press) 10 tons (were his limbs capable of lifting objects).

Known Superhuman Powers: In human form the Tarantula had no superhuman powers. As a giant spider he possessed superhuman strength and could spin webbing as a real spider can.

Other Abilities: The Tarantula, in human form, was a brilliant athlete with great agility, especially in leaping. He was an excellent hand-to-hand combatant.

Weapons: The Tarantula wore gloves that contained retractable blades and boots that contained retractable, razor sharp points. These blades and points were anointed with drugs that rendered a victim whom the Tarantula stabbed with them unconscious.

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