Even Misty Knight, her team leader knows nothing about her history. Tarantula has a bad attitude. She indicates that she enjoys inflicting pain. If instructed not to kill, she will seriously injure an opponent, to the chagrin of her teammates. She has been observed licking her bloody blade after slicing through an enemy. Maria has also been shown to be highly intelligent with knowledge of biology and engineering. She states that she decided to become a hero to avenge her sister, who had been killed in the Stamford Incident. This is against the wishes of her father, who would have preferred that she found a safer profession (such as a doctor or a lawyer) and where she could put her intelligence to good use. Shortly after this revelation, her father is killed by ninjas, though she had been the one marked for death by Ricadonna (along with the rest of the Heroes For Hire). After they murdered her father, Tarantula kills the entire team of ninjas herself. She recently had a very passionate kiss with fellow teammate, Shang-Chi.