After private detective Frank Lester lost his P.I. license under unrevealed circumstances, he decided to devote his time to destroying the Masher Mob, a criminal organization he considered to be the worst corrupting influence in Metropolis. As he planned to do this by killing most of the Mob's members, he decided he would need a disguise.

Frank's son Gerold was well-known to be one of the biggest fans of Tarantula, a canceled TV show about a costumed vigilante named Tarantula. Frank decided to dress as Tarantula during his war against the Masher Mob. Knowing suspicion would fall upon Gerold, Frank kidnapped his son and hid him away, so investigators would waste time looking for Gerold and not suspect Frank.

Frank (as Tarantula) then began his murderous rampage against the Masher Mob. After a week or so of killing lower-level mobsters, he was able to draw out and kill the Masher Mob's two leaders, despite Superman's attempts to stop him. Tarantula then considered his vendetta complete, and he planned to retire and send Gerold to Europe, outside the reach of investigators. However, before he could do so he was confronted by Lois Lane, who had found where he was hiding Gerold. Tarantula regrettably decided he must kill Lane, but she was rescued by Superman and the ghost of secret agent Simon Cross, and Tarantula was apprehended.


  • This version of Tarantula, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • The Tarantula TV show is based on the 1960's Batman series.



Superman Villain(s)
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This character is or was primarily an enemy of Superman in any of his various incarnations, or members of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Villains category."

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