Black Spider I
A drug addict in his youth, Eric Needham turned to crime to support his habit. After numerous petty thefts and muggings, Needham attempted armed robbery, breaking into a liquor store and inadvertently killing a man who turned out to be Needham's own father.
Going almost insane with the remorse he felt, Needham kicked his drug habit and sought vengeance against dealers everywhere. Learning of Needham's obsession, a mysterious force supplied him with extensive training, a colorful costume and sophisticated weaponry. Since he intended to prey on criminal "flies" Needham took the name Black Spider.
It later emerged that the man funding the Black Spider was Hanniball Hardwicke - drug king of Gotham City - who was using Needham to eliminate his criminal rivals and Needham when the time was necessary. When Needham found out he tried to kill Hardwicke but was foiled by Batman. Over the years Needhams continued confrontations with Batman reached the stage where Needham went as far as allying himself with the costumed criminals Batman had put away in hopes of eliminating the Dark Knight, each attempt failed one after the other. Needham later found out he had fathered a son (Michael) from a junkie (Linda) whom he had been intimately involved with during his time as an addict, despite this he still persisted his war against the drug lords of Gotham (largely due to the fact that Linda was still hooked on heroin) . During one of the drug buys, he was able to obtain information from one of the buyers as to the whereabouts of one of the key suppliers and would have killed the buyer had Batman not intervened and barely avoiding capture by the Dark knight. Unfortunately as it turned the man Black Spider interrogated was Linda's supplier and word got back to the main distributor Bret Yale who had his men supply her with a fatal dose of heroin. When Needham returned home he found both Linda and Michael dead from heroin. It appeared that Michael had woken up to get a snack and found what he thought was sugar inside part of a serial packet (Linda's secret stash of heroin) and sprinkled it on his cereal unaware he had actually laced his cereal with heroin he died minutes later. Devastated that Linda and his son had died as a indirect result of his own actions Needham now felt he had nothing to loose and decided to target Yale's warehouse and finish the gangs operation once and for all but not before writing a note for Batman to read detailing the whereabouts of Yale's drug front in case Needham failed. Needham approached the warehouse and managed to kill many of Yale's men but was over powered by the remaining members and gunned down critically wounding him. There the gang took him into the warehouse and brought him before Yale himself who mocked Needham and prepared to kill Needham with the very thing he had overcome and sought to rid Gotham of (Heroin). As Yale prepared to adminster the lethal shot of heroin to Needham, Batman arrived preventing this and took down the gang member. As the Caped Crusader was in the process of apprehending Yale he was suddenly pushed through the window of the warehouse by Needham and only narrowly survived by grapling to a nerby flag pole. While Yale was somewhat surprised by this he took pleasure in taunting Needham gloating "Too bad you won't die stoned"! As it turned out it was Needham who had the last laugh as he lifted up the shirt of his costume revealing plastic explosives strapped to his back. Batman could only watch from the distance as the warehouse exploded killing Needham, Yale and the rest of the gang in the process effectively shutting them down for good. Needham was later seen in the comic book Sandman where his soul was sent to Hell however he eventually escaped from there when Lucifer abdicated his thrown. His appearance was confirmed during Underworld Unleashed.
Black Spider II
John LaMonica was an professional hit man and the second man who took the name Black Spider when he was sent to kill the crime lord named the Black Mask, but was stopped by the Batman and was sent to prison, he had sustained injuries during this incident which left his face a disfigured web of scars, giving his choice of codename an ironic touch.
He was later loaned out by the Penguin to the five families. Black Spider was in the building Detectives Montoya and Allen had entered when following a group of gang bangers, promptly arresting them before the Black Spider opened fire on Montoya all of which were caught by her vest, before being shot multiple times by detective Allen to save her from being shot in the head.
Derrick Coe, the Black Spider was hired by the Calculator to torture Savant, a member of the Birds of Prey. Savant thew off a roof when freed by the Birds. Black Spider survived, possibly due to meta-human powers. (As mentioned by one of the Birds). Black Spider was one of the villains sent to planet Salvation. He was one of the villains sent to retrieve the Get Out of Hell Free Card from the Secret Six. Black Spider was later seen in Battle for the Cowl: The Network, fighting, (and losing to), Huntress. Derrick Coe and Eric Needham are believed to have joined Alexander Luthor's Secret Society of Super Villains. It is not discernible, if one Black Spider was sent to Planet Salvation and the other sent to retrieve The Get Out of Hell Card.
DC's New 52 Relaunch
Black Spider was part of DC's New 52 relaunch. He appears in the ongoing series titled "Suicide Squad" along side of Harley Quinn, El Diablo, Deadshot, King Shark, and and two new characters Savant and Voltaic. The series is written by Adam Glass and first hit the shelf on September 14, 2011. In this series, Black Spider resents being called a criminal and working alongside those he feels are his enemies.
Powers and Abilities
The Black Spider is a skilled athlete and martial artist, as well as marksman. The third Black Spider may have meta-human endurance.
In Other Media
Black Spider appears in the episode "Infiltrator" voiced by Josh Keaton. He is a member of the League of Shadows working to kill Serling Roquette, until he is defeated by Kid Flash. His character design within the show bares a superficial similarity to Marvel Comics Spider-Man. They even share the same voice actor as Greg Weisman's previous work: Spectacular Spiderman.