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Tarantula (Catalina Flores) (Nightwing character) (DC Comics)

Tarantula

(Catalina Flores)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Tarantula is a minor Nightwing character, who appeared in 2002. She’s a less-than-principled street vigilante, and soon became an outright criminal.

This profile was written early in Tarantula’s career, before she shot Blockbuster dead. We’ll have to rewrite and extend it at some point.


Background

  • Real Name: Catalina Flores
  • Marital Status: Apparently single
  • Known Relatives: Mateo (brother, Blüdhaven’s D.A.)
  • Group Affiliation: Associate of Blockbuster
  • Base Of Operations: Blüdhaven
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 122 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Tarantula is a well-trained martial artist. She’s about on par with Nite-Wing, but without a chance against a top-notch fighter like Nightwing. She is also an excellent acrobat, able to perform some impressive stunts (especially with a swingline) and is proficient in the use of her arsenal.

Tarantula mostly uses her web-gun as a swingline. She prefers to use her small blowgun and martial arts as her main weapons. If she loses the blowgun she is likely to wield a poison dart as a tiny knife, to scratch her opponent and have the poison knock them out.


History

Catalina Flores was a social worker in the numerous projects of Blüdhaven. She worked long hours to improve bleak conditions and bring some social justice. This is apparently something of a family calling – her brother, a successful lawyer, became the city’s D.A..

Catalina herself tried to be a cop for a time. But the corruption within the BPD was so appalling that she went back to social work.

Still, the desire to take some action to make Blüdhaven stronger and wealthier gnawed at her. She upheld a workout and martial arts regimen to become an excellent fighter and acrobat – presumably, she intended to become a vigilante for years.

Things gelled for her when she met long-time personal idol John Law, who had been the Tarantula during the Golden Age.

Flores was extremely interested in the web gun and suction cups boots Law used in his youth. She eventually designed a Tarantula costume incorporating those gadgets, as well as some non-lethal weaponry of her own. Law was uneasy at Flores’ interest in his stuff, but didn’t think she’d go so far as to become a cape.

Justice not law

Tarantula III made her debut shortly after the BPD had been purged, when a pair of renegade cops fortified themselves in to escape arrest. She came to apprehend them at the same moment Nightwing did. This proved a lucky break for her, as she certainly wasn’t ready to confront one of the men, who was wearing a Metropolis SCU power armour suit.

Tarantula (Catalina Flores) on a white background

Nightwing didn’t take kindly to her presence. He made it clear he didn’t approve of vigilantes and told her to join the police instead if she wanted to fight crime.

Who you gonna call ?

Under unclear circumstances, Tarantula came to ally with criminal kingpin Blockbuster. She considered him to be a strong leader for Blüdhaven, as Flores’ interest in the city’s well-being was above her moral considerations.

Her first big job for Blockbuster was to assassinating Chief Redhorn. Redhorn was the former chief of police – formerly Blockbuster’s biggest asset, but now a potential threat. Catalina was also to plant evidence framing the vigilante Nite-Wing for the murder.

Nightwing reenacted the Redhorn murder for forensics, and determined it had been committed by Tarantula. He quickly managed to find her. Flores barely escaped from that confrontation.

As she told about the fight to Blockbuster she mentioned that she escaped thanks to Nightwing being slowed down by a wounded shoulder. This clue proved critical for Blockbuster to deduce Nightwing’s secret identity.

Meanwhile, Nightwing struck a deal with Nite-Wing to help clear him in the Redhorn murder. He had Nite-Wing wired and sent him to Flores’ place to confront her, where he was to have himself and Tarantula arrested. Nite-Wing did the job, but the case against Tarantula doesn’t seem to be ironclad – and she could be released somewhat quickly.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

Flores is proud and driven. She has a definite amoral “the ends justify the means” attitude. Tarantula is very direct and honest, seeing herself as a hard woman doing the hard jobs. However, she also learned indirect tactics from her brother, and has a vicious girl-bully streak.

For instance, when her flat was invaded by Nite-Wing, she stunned him then started screaming to give the impression it was a rape attempt so she would be legally justified in knifing him. Once, when attacking Grayson, she sensed the tension between him and Barbara Gordon. Flores manoeuvred to force Nightwing to cramp Barbara’s fighting style, so she would resent him and be more likely to dump him.

Catalina also seemed very confident in the protection afforded by having her brother be the D.A.. She didn’t make much efforts to conceal her identity.


Quotes

Nite-Wing (rudely) : “Why don’tcha just go back to Cuba ?”
Tarantula : “Because I was born here in the ’haven. And my father was Mexican, you moron.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Tarantula (Catalina Flores)

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Uphold Blüdhaven
Int: 05 Wil: 07 Min: 04 Occupation: Vigilante
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 016 HP: 030

Skills:
Acrobatics (athletics, climbing, dodging): 07, Martial artist*: 05, Weaponry (exotic): 05

Advantages:
Expertise (Social worker), Familiarity (Tarantula comic books and fiction)

Connections:
Blockbuster (Low), Blüdhaven District Attorney (High), Street (Low)

Drawbacks:
None

Equipment:

  • Web gun [BODY 04, Glue: 06, Stretching: 05, Limitation : Stretching has No Fine Manipulation (-2), Note : Usually used as a swing-line]
  • FLARE [BODY 01, Flash: 04, Range: 06, limitation : Must be shot from the web gun. This is an ordinary signal flare]
  • BOOTS AND GLOVES [BODY 05, Cling: 04]
  • Mini-blowgun [BODY 01, Range: 03]
  • Knockout darts (x4) [BODY 01, Poison touch (Bashing): 05, Can be shot with the blowgun, Limitations: Poison touch cannot affect a target with a physical RV above 05]

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Nightwing (DCU)

Helper(s): Danielle Mendus

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