Real Name Tarantula
Powers and Abilities Flight
Knock Out Gas Missiles
Freeze Ray
Combines with Black Widow II and Scorpion
Team Affiliations Spider-Slayers
Family and Friends Alistair Smythe (Designer)
Kingpin (Commissioner)

The Tarantula was the third in a series of robots designed to hunt down and destroy the superhero known as Spider-Man.



The first Spider Slayer, called the Black Widow, was commissioned by Norman Osborn to be built by the robotics expert Spencer Smythe. Norman was forced to destroy Spider-Man at the command of the Kingpin, who he owed a great deal of money to. The wallcrawler had been interfering with Kingpin's operations and the crime lord wanted him out of the way. Norman stated his reasoning was that Spider-Man was a criminal.

Spencer only agreed to for his son, Alistair Smythe. Alistair had been paralyzed in an explosion at their old lab and Spencer felt guilty. Norman stated that if Spider-Man was destroyed he would build a hoverchair for Alistair.

Spencer and Alistair were brought to Oscorp Industries where they built the Black Widow and an army of Spider Seekers. The Spider Seekers were to search for the superhero while the Black Widow would capture and defeat him. Spencer used the Spider Seekers to see if Spider-Man could be tracked. Although easily defeated, they served their purpose.

Norman Not Judge or Jury

Spencer invited Eddie Brock of The Daily Bugle to witness the capture of Spider-Man so that the press' presence would keep the situation from being taken out of context. Eddie, meanwhile, merely wanted a major story.

The Spider Seekers spotted Spider-Man at a penthouse where a party was being held by J. Jonah Jameson and Felicia Hardy of the Hardy Foundation. The Black Widow attacked the party and captured Spider-Man.

Spider-Man was brought to Oscorp where he was unmasked on live television, revealing himself to be Empire State University football player Flash Thompson. Flash had donned a Spider-Man costume to intimidate Peter Parker, the real Spider-Man.

Black Widow Approaches Spider-Man

The real Spider-Man arrived and Spencer powered up the robot to fight the wallcrawler. Fearing the robot would not be enough, Norman activated a Spider Seeker that exploded and started a fire.

Spencer left the controls and tried to take his son out of the building. However, Norman stopped him and said that he would not build the hoverchair unless Spider-Man was defeated. Despite his son's protests Spencer went back to the controls to attack the wallcrawler.

While Black Widow was looking at Flash Spider-Man put some of his web cartridges into the Black Widow's jets clogging them. He then pushed it into a vat of acid where it was destroyed.

In the ensuing fire, an explosion apparently killed Spencer, forcing Alistair into a state of depression.


Alistair OsCorp Ruins

Kingpin took advantage of the young scientist's state and got him to build a series of Spider Slayers for him. Kingpin brought Alistair to his hideout inside the Chrysler Building, where he seemed to have unlimited resources. Kingpin made a deal with Alistair, once Alistair defeated Spider-Man the lab was his but until then he worked for the crime lord. Since Alistair had no where else to go and desired revenge, he accepted.

Alistair essentially used his father's same design for a second model of the Black Widow. At the same time Alistair began designing the Tarantula and Scorpion. He built into the design of all three the ability to combine into a single large robot. Tarantula was the middle piece that both Black Widow and Scorpion connected to.

Alistair designed the Spider Slayer after the tarantula, a large spider that is known to eat insects and spiders. This, like the Black Widow's inspiration, fits as its purpose is to destroy Spider-Man.

One change Alistair made from the first Spider Slayer was to make this version self-sufficient so that he did not have to constantly control it. This allow him to perform other tasks such as building the Scorpion.

Alistair programmed the three Spider Slayers to go after Spider-Man, Jameson, Thompson, Osborn, and Brock. Alistair felt each one was responsible for his father's death.


It is unknown exactly when the Tarantula was activated. It first appeared several months after the destruction of the first Black Widow and alongside the second.

While flying through the city, the Black Widow found Spider-Man after making a phone call on a pay phone to his Aunt May. During the subsequent battle, the hero deactivated Black Widow with a Microwave Relay Dish.

Tarantula landed on the rooftop and began shaking the tower Spider-Man was on. It fell over and Spider-Man fell off the side. He used a web line to land safely in the street below.

Spider-Man Swings Over Tarantula

Tarantula then landed on the street below to follow and targeted the hero. Spider-Man swung above the robot and dropped a Spider-Tracer on the Tarantula. When the hero landed, Tarantula fired a missile containing gas at him, but missed as the hero swung away.

After Alistair reassures Kingpin that everything is going according to plan, he reactivates Black Widow. Black Widow then flies down to the street to trap Spider-Man between it and Tarantula.

Spider-Man forms a plan to deal with the two Spider Slayers. He webs up Tarantula's head, but before he can attack Black Widow, a woman, her daughter, and their dog Trooper come out of a nearby building. The dog escapes the daughter's arms and begins barking at Black Widow. Black Widow targets the dog, but Spider-Man gets the three bystanders out of the area.

Spider-Man Defeated by Spider-Slayers

After Tarantula hits Spider-Man with a freeze ray, Black Widow grapples the hero. As he is being pulled back, the hero puts a Spider-Tracer on the Black Widow. Tarantula then knocked him out with a gas missile and Black Widow took the hero back to the hideout.

After putting Spider-Man on a stretcher Black Widow and Tarantula powered down. Alistair then called Jameson to have him present for the real unmasking of the hero. When Jameson arrived Black Widow powered on and grappled the editor before he could unmask Spider-Man. Black Widow puts Jameson on a stretcher just like Spider-Man's and a bomb with one hour's time is attached to the two. Tarantula fires another gas missile and the two are knocked out.

Tarantula flies Spider-Man and Jameson away and drops them off on a rooftop and then heads off towards Eddie. Meanwhile Black Widow headed off towards ESU's campus to find Flash. The two woke up and used the hero's Spider-Tracer to find the Black Widow first.

Spider-Man and Jameson woke up and found Black Widow. The hero used the Black Widow's laser to detach Jameson from the bomb. He then used a crane to knock out the Black Widow then go to find Tarantula.

Tarantula found Eddie at a newspaper where he was trying to get a job. Tarantula landed in the city and crashed through the front door. It targeted Eddie and the editor and fires a laser at them. However, the two jump out of the way.

Tarantula followed Eddie as he ran out of the building and down the street. They were both spotted by Spider-Man who swung down and saved Eddie. Tarantula raised one of its arms to crush the hero but missed and hit the building behind him. Tarantula tried again but this time Spider-Man caught it and managed to hold onto it.

Tarantula Electrocuted

Knowing that the Tarantula was stronger, Spider-Man moved the arm over to an electricity box and shoved it in. The rush of electricity shorted out the Tarantula and it shut down.

During the Scorpion's attack on Oscorp Alistair reactivated the Tarantula and knocked out Black Widow. This surprised all of the surrounding bystanders but it flew off towards the Scorpion.


At Oscorp Scorpion landed so that Tarantula and Black Widow could combine with it into a large Spider Slayer. Under their combined might the Oscorp Robot Tanks and Helidrones were easily destroyed. The three spotted Spider-Man and fired but he moved into Oscorps' interior. Inside he found Liquid Oxygen and broke off the bomb from his wrist.

Osborn realized he could not defeat the three Spider Slayers and attempted to flee, but the three followed him to the George Washington Bridge. They landed in front of Osborn forcing him to stop knocking him out. Spider-Man pulled Osborn from the car before the three crushed the vehicle.

Spider-Man took Osborn to the top of one of the towers and the three Spider Slayers followed. Spider-Man then dropped down off the side and the Spider Slayers dropped down the other side. When it came through the arch it did not find the hero.

Tri-Slayer Destroyed

Spider-Man used his wallcrawling ability to stay on the side. When the Spider Slayers moved underneath him he dropped down and attached the bomb to them. The bomb went off completely destroying Tarantula and Black Widow, while Scorpion managed to grab the side while falling.

However, the massive damage forced it to power down and crash into the Hudson River. Pieces of the Tarantula burned on the bridge while Spider-Man dropped Osborn off.


This Tarantula's destruction would be the first major blunder for Alistair. Over time more and more failures would cause Kingpin to lose faith in his protege and eventually turn him into a cyborg.

Because of Tarantula's destruction to the newspaper office, Eddie did not get the job. The editor had heard Eddie was bad luck and blamed him for bringing the Tarantula to the office. Eddie blamed Spider-Man was part of a series of events that led him to bond with the symbiote suit and become Venom.

This robot led to Alistair making a large number of robots for the Kingpin. One of which was a humanoid robot called the Mega Slayer.

The design of the robotic Spider Slayers were eventually used by Dr. Herbert Landon to make Alistair into the Ultimate Spider Slayer.


Unlike the first Black Widow, which was primarily controlled by Spencer Smythe, this robot was able to operate on its own using preset programming. This allowed the Tarantula to carry out its mission without the need of Alistair. This let the young genius to work on Scorpion while Tarantula was in battle.

Tarantula could fly. It's primary weapons were lasers, a freeze ray, and missiles containing knock out gas.

The Tarantula had the ability to combine with the other two Spider Slayers. Tarantula sat in the middle of the Scorpion and under the Black Widow. It could fire its weapons simultaneously with the other two. This made the three robots an extremely dangerous opponent. The robots together could use each separate head to scan for its opponents. It is unknown whether they became one robot or the three simply worked together.

The Tarantula was much larger than a human being. Like the first Black Widow, Tarantula was able to walk around inside a building without constantly damaging the ceiling. The actual height his variable based on its needs at the time. It was larger in size than the Black Widow, which was roughly eight to twelve feet tall. It was as long as a two-lane street.

It must have had a large fuel tank somewhere as the Tarantula could fly around the city for long periods of time without needing to refuel.


Tarantula and Scorpion are not named, only Black Widow. This article's title is based on the unmistakable likeness between this and the comic book's version.

In the Comics

Tarantula is the Mark XVI (16) model in a series. In the show it was the third of five robots and one cyborg.

Tarantula came after Alistair had become the Ultimate Slayer.

Tarantula was defeated by Spider-Man putting a live wire into the robot's circuitry. In the series he puts the robot's legs into the live wire.

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