As a young man, Eric Needham became addicted to drugs and turned to crime to fuel his addiction. As a result, he robbed his own father's liquor store, killing him in the process. After being arrested, he kicked the habit out of remorse and began a war on the drug trade in Gotham City. Donning a costume, he became a self-styled vigilante and began killing those suspected of dealing drugs. This soon brought him into conflict with Batman. Needham believed that the two should be allies, as he saw common purpose in their war against criminals. His murderous methods however continually put him at odds with the Dark Knight, who stopped him during his first criminal strike.
It was revealed that Needham's paraphernalia and missions as the Black Spider were bankrolled by a man who, it turned out, was actually secretly involved with narcotics and wanted to take out the competition. Turning against his former sponsor, Black Spider ended up captured by Batman.
Much later, Black Spider changed his main objective and started working with costumed villains. Ostensibly, Black Spider's goal in this was to seek revenge against Batman, or at least, this is how he attempted to justify his actions in his own mind. Needham also faced King Faraday and Nightshade in a brief encounter.
During his crusade, Needham's wife and son were killed by a drug lord who had discovered the Black Spider's identity. In rage, the Spider prepared for one final assault. After being shot multiple times, Needham invaded the drug lord's headquarters and detonated explosives strapped to his back, killing the drug dealers in the process.
Eric Needham later turned up dating Lyta Hall. No explanation was given for his resurrection. Whatever the case, Needham's survival has since been confirmed and he has made subsequent appearances as the Black Spider. Needham later became an ally of Deadshot, Monocle, and Merlyn during the Identity Crisis.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- 38 Appearances of Eric Needham (New Earth)
- 5 Images featuring Eric Needham (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Eric Needham (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Eric Needham (New Earth)