For its second-to-last issue, All-Star Squadron features the origin of the Tarantula. It is not as thrilling as the Liberty Belle or Johnny Quick issues, but just as intriguing with a fair amount of excitement as well. The story begins with Jonathan Law aka Tarantula, wanting to finish up his book and since he has talked to the rest of the Squadron already, all that remains is for him to recount his own origin story. It is a fairly standard tale as far as Golden-Age heroes go with Law being bored at his chosen profession, that of a writer, and wanting something more but not knowing what it is. One day Law runs into Sandman who is in the middle of stopping a gang of criminals and it is then that he knows what he wants to do. That association continues as he meets with Dian Belmont, girlfriend and confidant of said hero on not one, but two occasions. The first time is where he gets his idea for his costume and the second is at the moment of her death in the first team-up between Tarantula and Sandman. It is a shocking moment to say the least, watching one of comicdom’s most beloved supporting characters meet her end, but it furthers the plot and Law’s resolve to be the best hero that he can possibly be. Written by series scribe Roy Thomas and drawn by Alan Kupperberg, featuring Tarantula in a solo tale was nice to see as the man rarely ever got a moment to shine on his own. By the end of the story, we know more about the hero than we ever have before and it makes you care about the man which is more than could have been said before.
3.5 out of 5