Tarantula (Luis Alvarez) (Spider-Man enemy) (Marvel Comics)


(Luis Alvarez)


La Tarantula is a recurrent if C-List Spider-Man (Peter Parker) opponent. The Tarantula’s main weapon is poisoned foot blades.

Several men have worn the Tarantula costume. This specific one, Luis Alvarez, appeared from 1988 to 1995.



  • Real Name: Luis “el Arana” Alvarez.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 190 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black

Powers and Abilities

La Tarantula is strong and agile. When faced against Spider-Man he seemed nearly superhuman in terms of speed and mobility, doing impressive acrobatics and incredible jumps. Subsequent writers have tended to just write him up as a goon in a costume, but our game statistics still have him at a borderline superhuman level.

While he prefers to fight solely with his skills and the Tarantula costume, Alvarez has no problem with changing his approach. If necessary he’ll pick a gun on the ground and return fire on distant opponents. Against strong opposition, he’ll come with a team of gunmen and/or carry martial arts weapons such as a steel nunchaku and razor-sharp shuriken.

Alvarez is a formidable martial artist. His style is a mix of Japanese styles and a local form of kickboxing.



Like the second Tarantula, Luis Alvarez hails from the small, turbulent and fictional South American dictatorship of Delvadia. Unlike his predecessor, he never switched sides. He always was known as a brutal killer and officer for the right-wing regime – a death squad commander. His ruthless efficiency and loyalty were noticed, and he was selected for a scheme by the junta.

One problem for the Delvadian military was the money funneled into the communist guerilla. Much of it came from expatriate Delvadians, most of whom were living in the US. This issue could only be solved through intimidating the expatriates. For this, they had their pet scientist, Dr. Mendoza, develop a treatment that could enhanced the physical power of a man.

They also decided to re-use the costume of their “national hero”, the Tarantula, which had been worn years before by the now deceased Anton Rodriguez.

Harder better faster stronger

Alvarez was subjected to Mendoza’s treatment. However Mendoza, who had studied as part of the Red Skull’s staff in past decades, didn’t mind about the treatment being terribly painful. Alvarez did – and swore to kill Mendoza when it would be over. Alvarez survived the treatment, and was good to his word.

He was then sent to the US with a list of refugees to kill. One additional order was to avenge Rodriguez by killing Spider-Man.

The new Tarantula killed many targets on his list. However his first attempt to kill Spider-Man failed. The hero’s spider-sense warned him just as Tarantula’s men opened fire from ambush. Tarantula moved on to the rest of his list, catching several of them in a church.

Spider-Man intervened, and the church was soon besieged. Spider-Man eventually defeated Tarantula, but government contacts led to his liberation.

Tarantula (Alvarez) vs Spider-Man (Marvel Comics)

Tarantula free to walk away in the name of the fight against communism in America’s backyard. Furthermore, the government ordered Captain America to help the Tarantula apprehend Spider-Man. Cap strongly distrusted Tarantula but they accomplished their mission, with Tarantula nearly maiming Spider-Man.

Cap eventually decided he couldn’t be a part of this and walked away. Spider-Man managed a Desperation Recovery and knocked Tarantula out ; this time he was arrested.

Mercenary man

It is unclear what happened next to La Tarantula. When he resurfaced he was working as a mercenary of a major Spanish crimelord, Carlos Cardenas.

Cardenas was on a list of European crimelords the Kingpin had ordered the death. A hit team led by the assassin Snakebite (and including French musclemen Batroc and Rapido) was sent to Europe to kill them, but the Punisher was after them.

The Punisher, Tarantula and Cardenas’ nephew, a young woman named Sinclair, defeated the Kingpin’s strike team. They then counterattacked, along with an Englishman calling himself Outlaw. La Tarantula and company then beat Snakebite’s team to a tower the London where a conclave of English criminals was taking place.

During that operation, Batroc engaged Tarantula in single combat, as he wanted to see how formidable was Tarantula’s martial style. After a long, brutal fight, Batroc eventually defeated Tarantula – only to discover he also had been defeated, as Tarantula had managed one hit with his envenomed spikes.

Back to Delvadia

In unclear circumstances, Tarantula resumed working for the Delvadia government. The anti-terrorist vigilante Solo, trying to kill him for his numerous murders of Delvadian political opponents in exile, teleported in Tarantula’s gymnasium. Solo eventually defeated Alvarez. However, the locals wouldn’t let him coldly murder even La Tarantula.

Solo and Tarantula later clashed as Tarantula staged a fake hijacking in order to draw Solo in a trap. Using people dragged from Delvadian prisons as “hostages” and executing some, they managed to lure Solo into intervening then took him down. However Solo had his doubts, and had taken an antidote allowing him to survive Tarantula’s venom.

Tarantula bailed out of the plane before it crashed. Solo managed to save the hostages and survive the trap.

Tarantula was apparently killed by the Jury in some Venom miniseries or the other.


See illustrations.


Like Rodriguez, Alvarez is a stone cold killer and something of a sadist. He’s devious, proud, macho and vain, and feels he’s the champion of a perfectly legitimate government who should not be denied. He’s actually quite competent, if a bit bull-headed.

Tarantula is very, very big on revenge.


Puerco. Death to all traitors !”

“You are quick, American ! So am I. Dr. Mendoza’s drugs made me quick. Strong. Deadly.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Tarantula III

Dex: 08 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Government agent
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 021 HP: 030

Jumping: 01

Acrobatics*: 08, Charisma*: 05, Martial artist*: 08, Military science: 05, Vehicles (Land): 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 05, Weaponry (Martial arts weapons)*: 08

Credentials (Delvadian gov’t, Low), Language (Spanish), Lightning Reflexes, Military Rank (Captain, Delvadian military).

None demonstrated.

Minor Rage.

BOOT AND GLOVES SPIKES [BODY 08, EV 04 (06 w/STR, 08 w/Martial artist), Cling: 02, Poison touch: 08, Bonus : Poison touch and EV can be Combined, Limitation : Cling doesn’t work on surfaces with a BODY above the maximal EV of the Spikes – in Tarantula III’s case, a 09].

Back up death squad

When he is on a government op, Alvarez often operates with an elite death squad. This highly disciplined unit is 4-man strong. Each member has the following stats :

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Government agent
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 010 HP: 010

Military science: 03, Vehicles (land): 03, Weaponry (firearms): 04

Military Rank (Sergeant, Delvadian military).

Minor Rage.

AKM assault rifle [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 06, Ammo: 08, R#03, Advantage : Autofire].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Spider-Man books / Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): Nick Yankovec.