Who Are the Spider-Women in Marvel Comics?


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  • Spider-Girl has a sophisticated and evolving historical past, with Jessica Drew being the unique and most well-known model of the character.
  • Julia Carpenter was the primary Spider-Girl to affix the Avengers and had a fancy journey, together with being brainwashed and becoming a member of Freedom Power.
  • Spider-Gwen, a variant of Gwen Stacy from Earth-65, has change into a fan-favorite and has led her personal comedian guide sequence and appeared in animated tasks, together with the Spider-Verse films.


Spider-Man has by no means had many long-term sidekicks, however he does have companions and associates with related powers, talents, and or histories who combat crime underneath related monikers. Whereas some have extra distinctive secret identities, a lot of his feminine companions have used the identify “Spider-Girl” for varied lengths of time. Whereas each Spider-Girl has their very own distinctive qualities, a couple of stand out as extra important and distinctive in Marvel historical past. With two of them set to make their dwell motion debuts in Madame Web, now could be the time to untangle Spider-Girl’s difficult historical past.


Madame Web

Cassandra Webb is a New York Metropolis paramedic who begins to point out indicators of clairvoyance. Pressured to confront revelations about her previous, she should shield three younger girls from a mysterious adversary who needs them lifeless.

Launch Date
February 14, 2024

Writers
Kerem Sanga , Matt Sazama , Burk Sharpless


Jessica Drew Is the Unique Spider-Girl

Created by Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin, the unique Spider-Girl, who was later given the civilian identify Jessica Drew, first appeared in Marvel Highlight #32 in 1977, earlier than headlining her personal sequence. Goodwin portrayed Jessica as a spider that had advanced right into a human being, however Marv Wolfman, who served because the preliminary author of the Spider-Girl solo comedian, retconned this. Wolfman’s model of Jessica’s origin introduced her as a human lady who grew to become sick attributable to publicity to uranium. Her father, a scientist related to the High Evolutionary, handled her with a serum derived from the blood of an irradiated spider, which additionally gave her superhuman talents.


Jessica was subsequently kidnapped and brainwashed by Hydra to function a super-powered murderer. Hydra’s psychological manipulations resulted in her having recollections of being an advanced spider to account for Goodwin’s origin. Her backstory was rewritten once more when the character had a resurgence in recognition attributable to Brian Michael Bendis’ use of her within the Avengers franchise. Bendis co-wrote the aptly titled Spider-Girl: Origin miniseries which established that Jessica’s powers resulted from her mom being affected by a specialised laser she and Jessica’s father have been engaged on whereas the previous was pregnant. Origin additionally simplified Jessica’s connection to Hydra by having her dad and mom work straight for the group.

Spider-Girl Led to Jessica Jones

Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones in Jessica Jones
Picture through Netflix


After breaking free from Hydra’s affect, Jessica remains in the Spider-Woman identity however makes use of it to combat crime. She has typically labored as a non-public investigator, each along with and typically instead of being a superhero. Due to this, Bendis initially deliberate to make use of Jessica because the protagonist of his comedian guide sequence Alias, which advised noir detective tales within the Marvel Universe, earlier than finally creating the character of Jessica Jones as an alternative. Nonetheless, Jessica Drew did visitor star in Alias, encountering Jones. Though she fought alongside him on varied events, Jessica was not intently associated to Peter Parker/Spider-Man till they have been each recruited onto the preliminary roster of the New Avengers. The Secret Invasion occasion revealed that, beginning a while previous to the formation of the crew, Jessica had been changed by an impostor, Veranke, queen of the shape-shifting aliens the Skrulls. After Earth’s heroes repelled the Skrull invasion, the true Jessica, who had been held captive, was discovered together with different abductees. She subsequently maintained Veranke’s place on the New Avengers however confronted suspicion from varied members of the superhero neighborhood.


Although the Jessica who appeared in a good portion of Bendis’ Avengers tales wasn’t actually her, they nonetheless led to elevated recognition for the character, who has since been featured in varied solo titles, maintained ties with the Avengers, and change into a extra central a part of the Spider-Man comedian guide franchise. A very widespread arc in Spider-Girl noticed her persevering with to combat crime whereas pregnant, earlier than she gave delivery to her son, Gerry. Joan Van Ark voiced Jessica in a short-lived animated Spider-Girl sequence that premiered in 1979 and a pregnant model of the character known as “Jess Drew” appeared within the 2023 movie Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, voiced by Issa Rae. Within the movie, Jess serves because the second-in-command of Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099’s (Oscar Isaac) Spider-Society crew that protects the multiverse. Actress and director Olivia Wilde was attached to develop a film many suspected can be a Spider-Girl dwell motion movie, however the present standing of the challenge is unsure.

Julia Carpenter Was the First Spider-Girl To Be part of the Avengers

Julia Carpenter's Spider-Woman in Marvel Comics
Picture through Marvel Comics


The second main Spider-Girl, Julia Carpenter, was created by Jim Shooter and Mike Zeck and first appeared in Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars #6 in 1984. She was concerned within the battle between armies of superheroes and supervillains the Beyonder organized on Battleworld. Later appearances revealed the character’s origin story. Julia was tricked into collaborating in an experiment meant to create a super-soldier by her school pal Valerie “Val” Cooper, who labored as a authorities agent. After being injected with spider venom and extracts from a number of unique vegetation, Julia gained superhuman powers just like Spider-Man’s.


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Early in her superhero profession, she joined Freedom Power, a government-sponsored crew overseen by Val, that usually acted as rivals to the X-Males. Working alongside her teammates, most of whom have been nominally reformed members of the supervillain crew referred to as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, leads Julia to query her choice and after Freedom Power comes into battle with the Avengers, she aids the latter crew, although doing so makes her a fugitive from the federal government. After subsequently teaming up with Iron Man, Julia receives a pardon that the armored hero helps prepare. She finally joins the West Coast Avengers. The character has sometimes taken on different costumed identities, notably changing Cassandra Webb as Madame Net for a time.


Julia appeared as a most important character within the 1994 Iron Man animated sequence, voiced by Casey DeFranco and Jennifer Hale. As Spider-Girl, she serves as a member of the superhero crew Power Works, additionally changing into romantically concerned with Tony Stark (Robert Hays). As Madame Net, the character additionally appeared in Final Spider-Man. A personality that’s presumably Julia and wears one in every of her distinctive costumes might be seen among the many Spider-Society in Throughout the Spider-Verse. Sydney Sweeney performs the primary dwell motion model of the character in Madame Net.

Mattie Franklin Positive aspects Madame Net’s Powers

Celeste O'Connor as Mattie Franklin in her Spider-Woman costume in 'Madame Web'
Picture through Sony Footage


Created by John Byrne and Rafael Kayanan, the third heroic Spider-Girl, Mattie Franklin, had a reasonably darkish historical past. When she is a teen, Mattie overhears her father, Jerry, planning to participate in The Gathering of 5, a cultish ritual whose contributors, together with Norman Osborn, hope to achieve mysterious powers. Mattie replaces her father within the ritual and positive factors superhuman bodily talents in addition to the ability of flight. Throughout a interval when Peter Parker had retired from being Spider-Man, Mattie, a giant fan of the hero’s, dons the same costume to his and replaces him. When Peter turns into Spider-Man once more, she takes on the Spider-Girl identification. Throughout a battle with Charlotte Witter, a supervillain who additionally makes use of the identify Spider-Girl, Mattie quickly loses her powers. When she regains them, she additionally receives the mixed talents of Witter, the 2 earlier Spider-Ladies, and Madame Net. Annoyed at her relationship together with her father, Mattie finally strikes in together with her aunt Marla, who’s married to Every day Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson.


Considered one of Mattie’s most notable appearances got here throughout a disturbing storyline in Alias. After going lacking, Mattie encounters Jessica Jones, who subsequently discovers that she was drugged and kidnapped by a person she had gone on a date with, who was now utilizing genetic materials from her to create Mutant Progress Hormone, a drug that grants customers short-term superpowers, in addition to utilizing Mattie herself as a prostitute. Working with Jessica Drew, Jones rescues Mattie and returns her to Jameson, after which Mattie enters counseling to cope with her ensuing dependence on medicine. Mattie follows in Jessica’s footsteps by beginning a profession as a non-public investigator, although she is later murdered by Anya Kravinoff, daughter of Kraven the Hunter. Like Julia, a personality that resembles Mattie seems in Throughout the Spider-Verse, and the character can also be being delivered to dwell motion in Madame Net, performed by Celeste O’Connor.

Spider-Gwen Is a Present Marvel Fan-Favourite


One of many more moderen additions to the plethora of Spider-Ladies has come to rival, if not outright surpass Jessica as essentially the most recognizable and widespread model of the character. Created by Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez, Spider-Gwen was launched in 2014 through the Spider-Verse comedian guide occasion. She is a variant of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s famously doomed love curiosity, from Earth-65, who was bitten by a radioactive spider like the primary universe Peter. Though most also known as “Spider-Gwen” by followers, inside the world of the story Gwen is named her universe’s Spider-Girl, although she has additionally used the code identify “Ghost-Spider.” Feeling powerless after a lifetime of being bullied, the Earth-65 Peter used his scientific experience to experiment on himself, turning himself right into a model of supervillain the Lizard. Of their ultimate battle, Gwen, who didn’t but know her pal Peter was the Lizard, is compelled to kill him to guard civilians. As he dies, Peter returns to his human kind and Gwen’s father, Police Captain George Stacy, begins searching Spider-Girl, hoping to apprehend her for homicide. However after Gwen reveals her identification to him, the pair finally start to fix their relationship.


The character’s recognition has led her to guide a number of comedian guide sequence that develop the world of Earth-65, although she additionally regularly seems in crossover tales involving the multiverse and different heroes. On account of arcs like these, she has developed shut relationships with different Spider-Man-related characters, particularly Jessica Drew, who serves as a mentor determine to her, and Miles Morales, with whom she briefly explored the potential of a romance. Spider-Gwen has appeared in an assortment of animated tasks, essentially the most distinguished of that are the Spider-Verse movies, wherein she is voiced byHailee Steinfeld. After a supporting function in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the character was made a co-lead of Throughout the Spider-Verse together with Miles (Shameik Moore). The movies observe Gwen’s comedian guide origin intently, adapting Peter’s (Jack Quaid) demise and the ensuing pressure with George (Shea Whigham). Gwen becoming a member of the Spider-Society as she does at first of Throughout the Spider-Verse units her on a considerably totally different trajectory from her comedian guide counterpart, though it additionally permits the mentor/scholar relationship with Jess to be tailored and for her relationship with Miles to proceed to be explored.


On the finish of the movie, a schism emerges between Gwen and Jess after the previous’s emotions for Miles lead her to defy orders, which in flip leads Miguel to kick her out of the Society, a choice Jess reluctantly helps. Gwen subsequently varieties her personal crew of heroes to rescue Miles, who’s stranded within the unsuitable universe, probably setting her and Jess up for additional battle within the upcoming third movie, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse. The industrial success and significant acclaim of the Spider-Verse movies has led to even higher recognition for Spider-Gwen, with many followers hoping that both Steinfeld or Emma Stone, who portrayed a non-powered Gwen in The Wonderful Spider-Man movies, will get to carry the character to dwell motion.

Spider-Girl Has an Spectacular Legacy


Along with Witter and the 4 heroic Spider-Ladies listed, there have been an assortment of extra obscure variations of the character all through Marvel historical past. The Final Marvel universe has its personal Jessica Drew, a feminine clone of Peter Parker, and variants of Mary Jane Watson have taken on the Spider-Girl mantle in a number of alternate universes, to call only a few examples. However with the Spider-Verse movies and Madame Net elevating the profiles of Jessica, Gwen, Julia, and Mattie, they’ll seemingly stay the 4 most distinguished iterations for a while.


Madame Net is in theaters February 14 within the U.S.


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