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Tarantula (DC)(02 - Jonathan Law)
Real Name: Jonathan Law
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Like Spider-Man, he has the power to walk on walls and shoot out web strands. Unlike the Marvel character, however, his powers are entirely derived from devices he's made. He has no innate meta-human powers.

He's an utterly normal mortal with some toys. Also, he's probably handicapped from becoming a truly great hero because he's not obsessed with it. He would almost certainly consider his "real" job to be writing, and the "Tarantula" to be his way of helping those around him.

A moderately successful mystery novelist, John Law has fashioned a number of devices to allow him to mimic the powers of a spider. It's hard to believe that Marvel's later Spider-Man wasn't, in some way, influenced by this character. At one point, he's even called "Spider Man" by a member of the press, but he rejects the name for the one of his own choosing, "Tarantula". Unusually for DC, the character's base of operation is a real US city: New York, the same city that Spider-Man calls home.

That the character derives his powers from technology, however, gives him a kinship with Batman, but it's only superficial. As John Law, he's quite similar to Peter Parker, in that he's not wealthy and that he's trying to balance his super hero life against his "real" life that he passionately cares about. He often expresses fatigue and disappointment when he has to "suit up" after a hard day's work as a writer.

His career in the Golden Age was fairly brief, but he would make a 1980s return in the pages of All-Star Squadron. Roy Thomas, caretaker and usual writer of the series, continued writing the Law side of the persona strongly--perhaps because Law has so much in common with comic book writers. (It seems almost certain that his creator, Mort Weisinger--a man who had made his living in the publishing industry before entering comics--wrote Law as a semi-autobiographical figure.)

It became apparent in the 80s version that Law was interested in being with other super heroes more to document them for later use in his writing, than he was to become a great crime fighter.

It is in the pages of Squadron #18 that we discover Law's inner intelligence. He ditches his Golden Age costume in favor of a new one because he frustratingly gets his cape caught in a door. (One wonders immediately if the writers of the film, The Incredibles followed the new adventures of the Tarantula as a kid.)

Not to be confused with Marvel's Tarantula or either of DC's other Johnny Laws.


First Appearance: Star Spangled Comics (1941) #1

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Tarantula (DC)(02 - Jonathan Law) is a favorite character of 4 users

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
All-Star Squadron (1981)
Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985)
DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection [GER] (2015)
DCU: Legacies (2010)
History of the DC Universe (1986)
Infinity, Inc. (1984)
Manhunter (2004)
Nightwing (1996)
Nightwing Secret Files (1999)
Nightwing: The Target (2001)
Secret Origins (1986)
Star Spangled Comics (1941)
The Golden Age (1993)
The Titans (1999)
Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (1985)
Who's Who: Update '87 (1987)
World's Finest Comics (1941)
Young All-Stars (1987)

Group Affiliation(s):
All-Star Squadron (DC)(Earth-2 - Pre Crisis)
All-Star Squadron (DC)(Post Crisis)

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