Antón Miguel Rodríguez was a member of a small revolutionary band that opposed the dictatorship of an unidentified South American country. Rodríguez and his associates were terrorists who blew supply trains, kidnapped politicians and held them for ransom, and then killed them if the ransom was not paid. Rodriguez was particularly bloodthirsty, however, and his fellow revolutionaries expelled him from their organization shortly after he murdered a guard without cause during a robbery.
Rodríguez then went over to the other side and joined the army of the repressive dictatorship. The government created the costumed identity of the Tarantula for Rodríguez, intending him to serve as their country's counterpart to the United States' Captain America. The Tarantula was sent to hunt down his former revolutionary comrades, a mission that gave him the pleasure.
But the Tarantula could still not restrain his love of violence and killing. During the interrogation of a captured revolutionary, the Tarantula murdered a guard who would not let him beat the prisoner as much as he wanted. As a result, the Tarantula was forced to flee the country.
After a series of unrevealed exploits, the Tarantula arrived in New York City and began familiarizing himself with the city's criminal underworld. He hired accomplices and afterwards hijacked a Hudson River dayliner, a boat that went on tours up the Hudson River, in order to rob the passengers and hold them for ransom. The costumed crimefighters known as Spider-Man and the Punisher disrupted the Tarantula's plan, and the Tarantula and his accomplices escaped. Subsequently, the Punisher defeated the Tarantula's accomplices, and Spider-Man captured the Tarantula himself.
The Brand Corporation mutated the Tarantula into a Spider-like creature with eight legs and an arachnid face with mandibles. Enraged, Tarantula sought his revenge against the Corporation. Spider-Man and the Will O' The Wisp prevented him from murdering a Brand executive. Seeing that he had mutated even further into a giant spider, Tarantula dove from a building into a hail of gunfire from NYPD officers. Tarantula died quickly on the street below.
* Lower intelligence, heightened strength, durability in mutated form
In his human form the Tarantula had no superhuman powers. In his mutated spider form, Tarantula had superhuman strength and durability. He also had the power to spin vast webs.
In human form the Tarantula was a brilliant athlete with great agility, especially in leaping. He was a superb hand-to-hand combatant.
In human form the Tarantula possessed the normal human strength of a male of his age, height, and build who engaged with intensive regular exercise. As a giant spider the Tarantula had superhuman strength and could lift (press) 10 tons (were his limbs capable of lifting objects).
Tarantula wore gloves that contained retractable razor blades and boots with retractable razor sharp points, the blades were anointed with drugs that could render his victim unconscious.