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Black Spider (Johnny LaMonica)

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This article is about hitman Johnny LaMonica, not his successor Derrick Coe, or the vigilante Eric Needham (who also uses the name Black Spider).

Black Spider
Black Spider II
General Information
Real name: Johnny LaMonica
First Appearance: Batman #518
Created by: Doug Moench
Kelley Jones
Affiliations: None
Abilities: Master assassin, expert marksman
Portrayed by: None

Johnny LaMonica was a handsome, non-costumed hitman who took on the codename and costume of Black Spider to infiltrate Black Mask's gang. His face was injured during that mission, so he continued to wear the costume to hide his facial scars. He was later killed by police detective Crispus Allen during a gang shooting.


Johnny LaMonica first appeared in Batman #518 (May 1995). The professional hitman Johnny LaMonica was hired to kill the crime lord Black Mask, and donned an appropriately strange costume in order to join his gang, calling himself Black Spider (Coincidentally the name of another villain, Eric Needham, the original Black Spider). He was intercepted twice by Batman, once when he attempted to kill a guest at a costumed ball at Wayne Manor, and once when he tried to kill Black Mask. Infiltrating the False Facers to murder Black Mask, the assassination attempt failed terribly and LaMonica sustained injuries from a shattering mirror during this incident which left his face in a disfigured web of ugly scars, giving his choice of codename an ironic touch, and he was incarcerated.

LaMonica eventually escaped prison and resumed his criminal career, still using the codename Black Spider, despite the fact that the original villain, presumed dead, had returned.

In the midst of the recent gang war in Gotham City, LaMonica was killed in self-defense by Detective Crispus Allen during a gang shooting in the midst of a massive Gotham gang war when he ambushed Allen and Detective Renee Montoya. Black Spider had opened fire on Montoya, and was preparing to kill her, when Allen unloaded his clip on the villain, a case that almost led to the detective's suspension from the police force.

A corrupt crime scene investigator named Jim Corrigan stole and sold the bullet that killed Johnny LaMonica on the Internet. To prove that Allen killed in self-defense, the GCPD needed to recover the bullet. In her pursuit of the bullet, Montoya clashed with Corrigan, eventually beating the name of the buyer out of him, and Allen was cleared.

After LaMonica's death, the criminal Derrick Coe assumed LaMonica's Black Spider name and costume.

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