The second Tarantula is Catalina Flores, who first appeared in Nightwing #71 (September 2002), while waiting until issue #75 (January 2003) to appear as Tarantula; she was created by Devin Grayson.
Catalina Marie Flores grew up in Bludhaven and witnessed many of the injustices carried out throughout the city. This most likely prompted her to leave Bludhaven behind and go into the F.B.I. training academy at Quantico . It’s not clear how long she was an agent, but eventually she left the bureau altogether and returned home to Bludhaven. Once there, she learned her brother, Assistant D.A. Mateo Flores, could not turn the tide of corruption that engulfed the city. Catalina seemed to be working for the city herself when she encountered the first Tarantula, Jonathan Law, when he walked into her office to collect his SSI check. had previously read his book on the memoirs of the Tarantula and wanted him to sign her copy. She then wanted to know everything about his career as Tarantula.
(Note: One could almost assume read Law’s book about the memoires of Tarantula during her F.B.I. years and was inspired to quit the bureau in order to pursue a costume career in Bludhaven.)
Flores first garnered Dick Grayson’s (Nightwing) attention when she attended a self defense class taught by him and was able to connect a blow to his body. She came across as confident and uninhibited, eager to learn other various hand-to-hand defensive methods as well as wanting to get to know Grayson better on less formal terms. She next caught his eye on her first outings as the new Tarantula. Grayson (as Nightwing) was unimpressed with her extreme vigilante methods and forbade her to operate in Bludhaven. This angered her and she took off only to become more of a foil for Grayson down the road. During this time, Grayson was investigating the murder of Bludhaven’s corrupt Chief of Police, Delmore Redhorn and discovers evidence indicting the new Tarantula as his killer.
Nightwing succeeded in arresting Flores for Chief Redhorn’s murder with the help of Tad Ryerstad (Nite-wing), who himself was arrested for his crimes (the murders of Cisco Blaines and Dudley Soames). However, Mateo Flores was determined to get his sister released, furious she had been turned in with the help of a dubious vigilante. As Tarantula, she aids Blockbuster in his revenge campaign on Nightwing. She did this in order to gain training that Nighwing denied her. When ordered to kill Grayson’s girlfriend, Barbara Gordon (Oracle), Tarantula instead manipulated a dinner engagement between the two in such a way that she helped cause Gordon to break up with Grayson.
Things soon took a turn for the worse as Blockbuster hired other villains to help attack those people Grayson held close. Flores was devastated as she was unable to stop a bomb explosion on Grayson’s building complex that also was the home of John Law. Confronted by Lady Vic and warned not to go against Blockbuster’s wishes, shoots her in the chest. Seeking vengeance for the death of John Law, she helps Grayson record Blockbuster’s confession, but when she took the tape to her brother he crushes it due to the deal he made with Blockbuster to get her out of jail. Furious, Flores goes to the site of the battle between Blockbuster and Nightwing, who was driven to the edge of his sanity during the battle. Grayson could have saved Blockbuster, but due to his threats to continually kill every person Grayson comes in contact with, allows Flores to shoot him in the head.
Grayson becomes overwhelmed by his realization that he didn’t stop Tarantula from killing Blockbuster and is unable to resist her advances, Flores forces herself on Dick in the midst of his emotional breakdown. The two leave Bludhaven and Flores ends up confronting the villain Copperhead, who was killing local gang members. Grayson managed to pull it together long enough to save her from Copperhead. Flores has strong feelings for Grayson and she soon persuades him to apply for a marriage license. Before Grayson could sign anything the Batman summoned him to Gotham.
Flores followed Grayson to and helped Batman and his associates in the gang wars by taking a section of the Latin Unified under her wing in hopes they would get through the wars safely. She is able to follow Batman’s orders, like delivering a message to the Penguin, but with some difficulties along the way, such as refusing to unite her gang with the one lead by Orpheus. Batman ended up confronting in the end and let’s her know he doesn’t approve of her methods.
Grayson soon regains his senses and seeks out to persuade her to turn herself in for killing Blockbuster. They confront each other back in Bludhaven, in which became heart broken and confrontational. She has yet to realize she’s become part of the problem that she wanted to fix in Bludhaven. Grayson managed to bring her in and he was acquitted of any charges while she was imprisoned.
During the Crisis the Society (of Super-Villains) dropped Chemo, a gigantic semi-intelligent life form made of chemicals, on the city of Bludhaven. They city is destroyed by the toxic fallout and 100,068 casualties are reported. However she survived and was sent to prison, but despite a battle with Batman she was recently released by the Secret Six. While working with them, she sacrifices herself to kill Junior.
New 52: Green Arrow
Tarantula encounters Green Arrow during a mission in Star City, which leads them to Mexico. Tarantula allows Green Arrow to take on the head of the drug cartel alone before rescuing him and defeating the head of the cartel. They begin an early relationship soon after the mission ends.
Skills and Abilities
Flores is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and was in the process of learning to master several martial art forms. She’s an excellent marksman and swordsman. She also possesses limited knowledge of various poisonous substances.
In her arsenal carries various bladed weapons and a gun. She carries a Wirepoon (a miniature harpoon firing handgun used for scaling heights) and a Blowgun with darts containing low-levels of poison to paralyze victims temporarily. She also utilizes technology which enables her to stick to most surfaces.
Lego Batman Movie
Tarantula appears in the movie, with no speaking lines, as one of the Batman villains.