WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains

The Tarantula

Personal information

Real Name: Edgar Crossart


Residence: Mobile 
Occupation: Professional criminal
First Appearance (Golden Age):Adventure Comics #40 (Jun3y 1939)
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): All-Star Squadron Annual #3 (September 1984)

Character History

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 investigate.

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

tarantula I inks resize

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.

Multiversity Villains



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).




Reprinted in

Adventure Comics #40

First Appearance , vs. the Sandman

Justice League of America #94, Sandman Archives Vol. 1

All-Star Squadron Annual #3

As an agent of Ian Karkull