DC Database

Jonathan Law, the Tarantula, was a crime writer and superhero who was a member of the All-Star Squadron.

Inspired by the super-heroes about which he wrote, Law decided to don a costume of his own. Inspired by a sketch from Dian Belmont and his pet tarantula, he became the Tarantula, and developed equipment based on that theme. He entrusted his secret to his housekeeper, Olga, who created his blue and yellow costume for him. His first foray into heroics was stopping a Nazi spy ring, with help from the Sandman.

He made his public debut a little later, when he stopped a robbery at a Broadway theater. He joined the All-Star Squadron in 1942 and adopted a new costume, because he felt his original was intended to be Sandman's. Out of admiration, he researched most of his teammates, but as a hero, dropped out of the public picture after the war.

He had a best selling book, Altered Egos: The Mystery Men of World War II, published in the 1960s. Altered Egos was partially a memoir of Law's time as the Tarantula, and partially a reference work covering all of the super-heroes active during World War II.[3]

In his later years, Law lived in the city of Blüdhaven, in the same apartment building as Richard Grayson (Nightwing). At one point, the building was burned down by the villain Blockbuster in an attempt to ruin Nightwing's life. Law's successor as Tarantula, who tried to save him, arrived too late and John Law died in the blast, along with 21 other residents. However, his body was never recovered.

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  • Suction cups: The Tarantula used suction cups attached to the soles on his boots to allow him to walk up walls and hang from ceilings.


  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
  • Tarantula was actually called "Spider Man" a couple of times in his first outing, though it was never his official name. An editor's note in All-Star Squadron #18 remarks on the amusing coincidence of DC having a wall-crawling, web-slinging superhero named Spider Man (no hyphen) more than 20 years before Peter Parker debuted at Marvel.
  • In the early 1940s, Jonathan Law employed a housekeeper named Olga, who knew the secret of his double identity.



The Squadron in a V shape over the Pacific Ocean
All-Star Squadron member
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This character is or was a member of the All-Star Squadron in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "All-Star Squadron members" category.