WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
Real Name: Edgar Crossart
Occupation: Professional criminal
First Appearance (Golden Age):Adventure Comics #40 (Jun3y 1939)
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): All-Star Squadron Annual #3 (September 1984)
Nothing is known of the life of Edgar Crossart prior to his
adoption of the identity of the Tarantula in 1939. His first describe case occurred when he
caused the disappearance of heiress Vivian Dale from her home outside of New
York City. The police were stumped by the
case, thus drawing the interest of the Sandman, a new vigilante operating in
the city. After reading about the case
in the day’s news, he slipped onto the ground of the Dale estate to
Hiding in the shadows, he witnessed the police round up the
staff and guests and tell them that the Tarantula was expected to make another
visit and leave them a message related to the Dale case. Crossart is a guest in the house and objects
to being retained but the police insist. Quietly exploring the house, the
Sandman witnessed the Tarantula make an appearance, leaving a note and
departing the way he came. Inspecting
the room, the Sandman finds a mirror that hides a secret passage through which
the Tarantula has entered. As he probes
deeper, he finds the house catacombed with such spaces and that Dale has in
fact been kidnapped in her own home. The Sandman uses his sleeping gas to
sedate Dale and her guard, leaving them
for the Tarantula to find.
When the Tarantula returns, he notices sand scattered on the floor among the unconscious bodies and realizes the Sandman is in pursuit. Meanwhile, The Sandman has found Crossart’s empty room and suspecting the Tarantula’s true identity, leaves his hat and cloak on a chair to fool the villain. The Tarantula falls for the plot, shooting the figure but exposing himself to the Sandman’s gas, rendering him unconscious. The Sandman unmasks Crossart and leaves he and his lackey bound to the foot of a bed where Vivian Dale rests peacefully for the police to arrive. The motives of the Tarantula or his relationship with Dale have never been revealed.
The following year, Crossart is freed from prison by Ian
Karkull as a paid assassin. Karkull had deduced the identities of the next
several Presidents of the United States and the Tarantula was tasked with
murder of John F. Kennedy, then recently graduated from Harvard and enlisted in
the U.S. Navy. He was thwarted by the timely
arrival of the Sandman and the Atom, who returned him to prison (All-Star
Squadron Annual #3).
The later activities and final fate of the Tarantula are unknown
Powers and Abilities
The Tarantula was a middle-aged man with little physical accumen. He has some basic level of criminal cunning but was little matched for heroic adventurer that thwarted his crimes.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Crossart was an ordinary middle-aged human and captured easily as such.
Whether the Crossart version of the Tarantula existed in this world is unclear. The name is associated with a pair of demented neglected heirs of Albert Goldman who use the name to cover the kidnappings and murderous intentions. Whether they were using the name of a known criminal (i.e. Crossart) or simply creating a fable is unclear (Sandman Mystery Theatre #1-4).
Adventure Comics #40
First Appearance , vs. the Sandman
All-Star Squadron Annual #3
As an agent of Ian Karkull