From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Deathspider's crimson and black costume|
|Real Name:||Miguel Sanchez|
|Known Aliases:||Arana De Muerte|
|Hair Color:||Black (His powers formerly had a tendency to bleach his hair snow white)|
|Occupation:||Spanish Guitar player, Licensed Super Hero|
|Place of Birth:||Santa Monica, California|
|Base of Operations:||Paragon City, Rhode Island|
|Known Relatives:||Brenda Sanchez (Mother), Cherish Sanchez (Daughter)|
|Pheromone generation, superhuman reflexes, wall crawling, body transformation.|
|Leaping, Hasten, Conserve Power|
|Hourglass Blades, Stealth Suit|
|No additional information available.|
Deathspider is a Security Level 50 Dark Melee/Super Reflexes Scrapper in the City Of Heroes MMORPG, on the Virtue Server. Deathspider is a homage to a variety of influences, most notably the mid-1980’s Spider-Man, Peter David's Spider-Man 2099, and Robert Rodriguez’s film, El Mariachi.
- Warp Factor
- Kyou no oni
- Cherish Sanchez
- Terra Aureus
- Titanium Steele
- Guardian Angels
Deathspider is an aggressive, vicious, and brutal close combat fighter, and engages in fights with a singular thought process - I am the best. It is this confidence in his speed, strength, and skill that allows him to launch himself into fights with little regard for his own safety, much to the consternation of his teammates and friends.
Outside of combat, he is rather subdued and calm and he has even developed some leadership abilities, especially with his group, the Guardian Angels
Real Name: Michael Sanchez
Known Aliases: Arana De Muerte, Miguel Sanchez
Occupation: Spanish Guitar Player/Licensed Super-Hero
Citizenship: U.S. Citizen
Place of Birth: Santa Monica, California
Base of Operations: Peregrine Island, Paragon City, Rhode Island
Known Relatives: Brenda Sanchez (Mother), Cherish Sanchez (Daughter)
Group Affiliation: Guardian Angels
Former Affiliations: Hazard Guard, Dark Dominion, Alliance Of Friends
Deathspider began life as a homage to the Marvel Comics character, Spider-man, in 1993, and was created as a character in the TSR role playing game, Marvel Super Heroes. Since then, he has mutated and grown into more than an homage, with influences from R. Talsorian’s RPG Cyberpunk 188.8.131.52., Palladium’s Heroes Unlimited, John Carpenter’s They Live, El Mariachi, Batman Begins, and the Roger Stern/Tom DeFalco/Peter David written stories of Spider-man from 1984-1988. Nowhere else, however, has Deathspider been fully fleshed out and realized than in the City of Heroes online game, where interaction with other players was a growth catalyst for the character.
Like all incarnations of the character, Deathspider’s alter ego was a drug addict and a criminal, a member of the urban gang, the Skulls. Born to a single mother in Santa Monica, California, Michael (Miguel) Sanchez was essentially raised on the streets while his mother worked two jobs to support them. Falling into the omnipresent gang culture, Michael soon found himself addicted to heroin, and continually found creative ways of getting enough money to score a fix. This talent lent itself well in his new job in the gang – selling and smuggling drugs. The years passed and despite small stints in the county jail, Michael was successful in his job, running Superdine and other sundry drugs from Skyway City to King’s Row, where the drugs would be cut and diluted, and distributed to street dealers.
All this changed in the summer of 2000, when Michael and his partner were gunned down on a freeway in Skyway City, and his body thrown off the overpass, down to where 5th Column funded group of scientists were waiting. Michael was volunteered into a new project by the Column to replicate the Arachnoids, Lord Recluse’s half-man, half-spider monstrosities, yet have them retain their human appearance.
Project X-27, or the Shadow Spider project, as it was known, was the brainchild of Dr. David Stone (who later claimed to be Michael’s father – the veracity of this is debatable), a pioneer in reflex boosterware (reflex enhancing cybernetics or biotech implants, popularized in cyberpunk fiction). His team, led by Dr. Jennifer Kale, a disgraced researcher who could only find work with the 5th Column, sought to create human assassins with all the capabilities of the Arachnoids.
The subject’s nervous systems were overhauled, their endocrine system drastically altered, and their digestive systems simplified to the point where they could only ingest blood and blood plasma – now, their bodies could process visual, tactile, and audible stimuli almost instantaneously, and their muscle, bone, and connective tissues were strengthened and improved so their bodies could take advantage of their blinding speed. In addition, their bodies not only were altered to produce more adrenaline and hormones to increase their nervous system’s capabilities, they could produce pheromones from their skin that could debilitate and weaken their targets, the chemicals blocking vital neurotransmitters in their foes’ bodies causing their vision to blur, their reaction times to slow to a crawl, or even make them relive their worse nightmare. They were psychologically encouraged, as well as biologically, to hunt and kill – after all, if they killed their target, they could eat. As the 5th Column was overthrown by the Council, the program survived, but funding was cut to produce the legions of Nictus enhanced Galaxy soldiers. Still, as Dr. Stone left to pursue other projects, Dr. Kale, with nowhere else to go, continued with the project, even as her Shadow Spiders began to die off, from starvation, graft rejection (their bodies failing from the new glands and organs being attacked by their own immune systems), or madness. Soon, she was left with three of the original 12 Shadow Spiders, and when one of the Spiders attacked her, nearly eviscerating her, the Council shut down the project. The offending Shadow Spider was destroyed, and the two remaining were to be disposed of. Fortunately for Michael, a Hero attack on Striga Isle destroyed the lab, and he escaped in the confusion. (See Origin of The Feces for further information)
Alone, scared, and frightened by his new powers, he returned home to King’s Row, where he eventually learned that Marrowsnap, one of the leaders of the Skulls, had been paid by Dr. Stone to dispose of him. Inevitably, this led to a battle between the two. Marrowsnap, while not as physically powerful as Michael, soon had the upper hand, and was ready to slit his throat. Facing death, Michael’s body shifted and mutated into his hybrid spider form, nearly killing Marrowsnap and mortally wounding several of his lieutenants. (A very graphic telling of this incident is found in Part 3 of the Land of Sunshine story arc, Caffeine)
Following this harrowing encounter, Michael made the decision to register and become a Hero before he was hunted down and either killed or imprisoned. He fashioned himself a makeshift costume and began the long journey as a Hero.
DS first fell in with the Alliance of Friends, and then, in the Fall of 2005, he met the artifical being named Battle Girl Mio (Mio Matsuda). Miguel was instantly smitten, but before thier relationship could blossom, he was seduced to the Rogue Isles by the villainess, Karnal Sin, and joined the Dark Dominion. Given his personality and his love for Mio, his time with the Dominion was short, and soon found himself at odds with the group. Returning home to Paragon (after rescuing Statesman from one of the Hero's arch-villains alongside Mio), he found that Karnal Sin had put a bounty on the heads of the members of Mio's team, the Hazard Guard. Soon, he was apparently assassinated by Chimera II, who mortally wounded the Hero. His life saved by a Kheldian, Miguel returned to the land of the living 28 days later, a different man. He briefly dated a psionic heroine named Redeemed, but that was short lived, and he returned to the Hazard Guard and he and Mio began thier ill-fated romance.
Stories that take place during this time frame are found in: Dark Days - which details his time in the Dark Dominion, and Machina Shard Battles, which tells some of the more vicious encounters he had with Machina Shard. Finally, his battles with Chimera II can be found in Rejection, Revenge, Repercussion.
In September of 2006, the couple was shocked to find out that they would be parents in the future, as Cherish Sanchez arrived in this timeline, from a world where the Hamidon had destroyed civilization. This added strain on thier already teneous relationship, and the couple parted ways shortly after Christmas. He took this rather hard, as told in The Mio Breakup.
Depressed and wanted to make a change in his life, he began dating the heroine Belle, a friend he met in October of 2006, and thier relationship began to blossom, eventually marrying in March of 2007.
Recently, DS was inexplicably shunted off to an alternate dimension where, apparently, all of his inner fantasies came true - he was a successful, famous guitar player and had traveled to America to record an album. However, the dark side of DS's wishes also formed the basis for the world - the Shadow Spiders were government terrorists, killing dissidents to the regime. Through a series of dreams, DS experience his old life, and realized that this was a fantasy world. He was rescued by the Guardian Angels after encountering that world's version of Manticore and the 'Alpha Male' Shadow Spider. A brutal battle ensued and DS emerged victorious. He returned to this reality, changed - faster and stronger, and his body had none of the crippling scars and aches he had racked up during his Hero career.
His marriage to Belle ended in late 2007, and he is quietly settling down out of his licensed Hero career, preferring to take a more administrative function in the Guardian Angels, overseeing the operations of thier base, the Aerie.
Deathspider can cling to most surfaces by his fingertips and toes, via small talons. He has shown in the past that he can use his adhesion ability not only to cling to vertical and horizontal surfaces, but actually use it in combat to grapple with opponents, and possibly use the ability to cause massive tissue damage by clinging to the opponent’s skin and pulling away, ripping away the surface he was adhering to.
Super Human Strength
- Deathspider has higher than average strength – his strength level is estimated to be in the 1-2 ton range(bench/press up to 4000lbs)
- Deathspider has exhibited excellent extrasensory powers. He is sensitive to vibrations in the air and on any surface he is in contact with, which aids in combat awareness, as well as enhanced vision and olfactory senses.
- Deathspider possesses superhuman reflexes and reaction times, powerful leg muscles which aid in leaping (his primary mode of travel), coupled with his enhanced senses, enable him to anticipate the trajectory of gunfire and energy weapons, as well as dodge oncoming melee attacks.
After his time in an alternate dimension, where he experienced a twisted version of his fantasy world, Deathspider's reaction times have increased dramatically, his reflexes are enhanced further, and he experiences less fatigue in battle. His reaction times are rated at roughly 75 times that of a normal human's.
- Deathspider, thanks to his transformations into his Hybrid Spider form, has developed an intriguing form of spinnerettes on the tips of each of his fingers. Through an unknown mutation (Deathspider believes it's either having to muck around with magic or running around like an idiot in the Terra Volta Reactor Core), he can generate semi-sentient webbing that can lash out and constrict an opponent. The strands are tough and are controlled through neural impulses from Deathspider's brain, but do not have enough tensile strength to manipulate fine objects, like a pen, or even aiming and operating a weapon. They have been known to act in concert with each other while entrapping an opponent, squeezing the life out of them, making it much easier for Deathspider to feed off of them. The webbing is generated from the middle of the tips of his fingers, and can be quickly jettisoned, a muscle contraction shearing off the webbing, cutting off it's blood supply (cursory examination of the webbing shows that it essentially is a rapidly formed extension of his body, a sheath of very fine adhesive 'skin' sheathing strands of muscle tissue, surrounding a core of nerve fibers and a blood vessel - and the thickness of each strand of webbing is .05mm), and the webbing, once abandoned from the body, shrivels and dies, disintegrating over time.
While the webbing is tough and resilient, it is not capable of suspending a great amount of weight (ala Spider-man swinging around on strands of webbing), nor is it particularly sticky, and it can't be 'fired' from his body. It would be safe to say that the webbing snags itself on an opponent in hand to hand combat, then unspools itself from Deathspider's fingers, of it's own accord, spinning out from his fingertips to strangle and trap an opponent.
In January of 2007, Deathspider developed an intriguing (and macabre) tactic - by using his webbing on a dead Malta Operative, and using the webbing like the strings of a puppeteer, he managed to raise the body off of the floor and literally 'walked' it out into the hallway, terrorizing the corpse's still living comrades, and enabling Deathspider to use the distraction to slaughter them. He has since developed non-combat uses for the webbing, and greater control over the strands.
- Deathspider’s body has been surgically and chemically altered to sustain itself off of his opponent’s blood and bodily fluids. He can either feed directly (i.e. feeding orally, the most efficient method) or he can actually draw fluids from his opponents on contact or in close proximity (up to 3 feet), pulling the nutrients and fluids through their skin and into his own. It is not known exactly how this is accomplished.
Deathspider also naturally produces a variety of pheromones that change function and effects depending on the situation and mood. Normally, in combat, Deathspider produces a debilitating chemical that can produce blurred vision and cause significant neural dysfunctions that can severely hamper his opponent’s accuracy in melee combat. Prolonged exposure to the scent can result in ocular hemorrhages, nerve damage, and psychosomatic effects of various sorts, usually related to the scent the target perceives. He has also produced an attraction pheromone which usually affects the opposite sex. Instead of an ‘objective’ scent, the actual scent is dependent on the target, since the neurotransmitters Deathspider produces are subjectively experienced, and will manifest themselves depending on what the target associates the situation with, then a particular scent will become evident. For example, in combat, the target might experience the scent as the smell of gunpowder, blood, sweat and adrenaline, burning ozone, and the like. Likewise, in social, friendly, or romantic situations, people in the vicinity may detect a pleasing scent that they associate with such events.
Hybrid Spider Form
During times of starvation or severe emotional distress, Deathspider has been known to transform into a human-arachnid hybrid. He exhibits the following traits when transforming - growing fangs and elongation of the fingers into spider-like talons, production of a numbing venom from his saliva glands, growth of coarse black hair on his body (similar to bristles on a tarantula), ocular deformation and incandescent irises. Reported mental anomalies included a severe degradation of cognitive reasoning, including speech and decision making processes, reverting to a feral, savage nature. This has lessened dramatically in recent months, and with the development of a serum controlling the change, spontaneous transformation is highly unlikely.
As of June 2007, while in an alternate dimension, Deathspider developed a new mutation, namely, the growth of four spider-like limbs that burst from his back. Each limb was approximately 12 feet long, and tipped with a long, scythe-like claw. The limbs appeared while fighting other Shadow Spiders that apparently ruled that dimension, so it is unknown what triggered the mutation. They appear to operate under the same sub-sentient intellect that controls his webbing generation, though with concentration, he can direct them.
The Hybrid form appears to be an 'evolutionary Plan B', a biological failsafe to ensure the Shadow Spider's survival under heavy combat conditions. In the hybrid form, the Shadow Spider's reflexes are increased dramatically, enabling the Spider to evade nearly any attack (increased vision, hearing, tactile sensations are enhanced to the point of being able to determine which direction an attack is coming from the movement of air particles on thier skin), and thier cognitive abilities are not so much reduced as they are simplified (i.e. higher thinking, morality, personality traits are ignored), and only the Shadow Spider's continued existence and the fulfillment of thier hunger matter. The Shadow Spider will attempt to destroy it's opponent and feed off of it, or disengage combat as soon as possible, and of course, subsequently feeding at the earliest opportunity.
Reversion back to thier human form varies - Deathspider has been known to revert back while unconscious, through psychic manipulation (calming techniques and telepathy), feeding, and mentally usurping control. Transformation into the Hybrid Form requires little to no energy to perform, while reverting back is quite arduous and stressful to the Shadow Spider's body, and consequently, the Shadow Spider will 'crash', thier body drained and exhausted, leaving them somewhat vulnerable for several hours until they are properly rested.
In Game Explanations of Powers
Shadow Punch, Smite, & Shadow Maul are straightforward punches, however, the –Acc DeBuff is explained by his pheromones debilitating his opponent’s accuracy.
Touch of Fear is DS giving his opponent an concentrated burst of pheromones to the opponent’s face, basically paralyzing his opponent with irrational, chemically-induced terror
Soul Drain, Dark Consumption, and Siphon Life are DS feeding off his opponent by drawing blood and bodily fluids through the air or on contact.
Midnight Grasp is DS actually generating webbing from his hands, the silken strands constricting and entrapping his opponent. This is a recent mutation thanks to his recent transformations into the Spider Form. Let's face it, spiders are defined as 'arachnids that spin webs', and while I didn't want him webslinging or shooting webs out of his wrists, this seemed like an intriguing method of RPing a power that really didn't fit the concept of the character, and actually fitting webs into the character.
Origin and the Dominion: While not strictly chronological, these are the order in which they were written. I first started writing DS stories while I was in the Dark Dominion. Good, bad, or indifferent, it did get me heavily into writing about Deathspider, and hopefully making him more than a cheap Spider-man Mary Sue ripoff. Origin of the Feces tells a little bit about where he came from, whereas Dark Days were the stories I wrote while in the Dominion proper. Still a little rough. Finally, RRR, the fight between Chimera II and DS, and my first widely read story by Virtue at large.
This period covers Feb 2006 to May 06.
- Origin of The Feces 2 stories.
- Dark Days Multiple stories.
- Rejection, Revenge, Repercussion 2 stories.
To Live and Die in Paragon City: Here's where I started getting a big head. Ripper was an abortive suspense story that never went anywhere, but gave me a taste for noir fiction. The Machina Shard Battles include Disasterpiece and Symphony of Destruction, which got me noticed by people, and pretty much displayed my knack for fight scenes, but not much else at this point. By December, depression and drug addiction had taken thier toll and it started to heavily affect my personality and on-line relationships (quite simply, I was being a dick)- hence the Mio stories (sorry for how it all turned out, Mio), and Demanufacture, which should have been a big Open RP about some big mystery involving cyborgs and there was even a cool Blue Steel story, but people on the boards just sorta shrugged or they were strident about a tangential reference to a pedophile, and the thread just went nowhere. It was too bad. I liked writing Blue Steel.
This time period covers June 2006 to December 2006.
- Machina Shard Battles Multiple stories.
- The Mio Breakup Multiple stories.
The Guardian Angels: This time period kicks off 2007 up to May. Deathspider (and myself)is getting his focus back, and embarks on two epic storylines, Hosannas and IHA, rather large and grandiose storylines involving many other players on Virtue. Also included is the Valentine's Day story 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy', which is strictly tongue-in-cheek, and the rather humorous 'Role Model' storyline. Finally, it caps off with the introduction of the Dragon. Personally, I feel this is where my writing diverged from simple fight scenes (which, if I may toot my own horn, I'm pretty damn good at), to thoughtful dissertations on poverty, mental illness, and a variety of other topics. Personally, I think it's some of my best.
- Hosannas From The Basements of Hell Multiple.
- Irresponsible Hate Anthem Multilple.
- Irresponsible Hate Anthem Continued Multiple.
- Role Model 4 stories, I think.
Land of Sunshine is a story arc where Deathspider is lost in a world where his dreams and nightmares are reality, and he must make his way back home. Very mature content (extreme violence and language, adult themes). Still not yet completed, this is from May 2007 on. These are all single stories in a large arc. This series explores racism, what it means to be a Hero in an ungrateful society, and there's a big focus on Deathspider's past and origin not detailed before. Also, did I mention violence? Caffeine is a very violent story, as is Suprise, You're Dead, and Pray For All. Land of Sunshine, Midlife Crisis, and War Pigs are a little more subdued.
Fang Bang is the latest storyline. I find that America is a land where people are constantly afraid and that's how corporations and the government can run roughshod all over us. In this story, a group of vampires are taking advantage of that fear, and forming an army. Also, taking the Guardian Angels on a different tack, inspired by Garth Ennis' The Boys.
In-game: @Deathspider Forums: Love_Spider
See the User:Deathspider page for the DM/SR build.