|Created by||Archie Goodwin, Marie Severin|
Mary Jane Watson
|Spider-Woman #1 (April 1978)|
Featuring the Jessica Drew version.
Art by Joe Sinnott.
|Series publication information|
|Format||(vols. 1, 3 & 5)|
(vols. 2 & 4)
|Publication date||(vol 1)|
April 1978 – June 1983
November 1993 – February 1994
July 1999 – December 2000
November 2009 – May 2010
November 2014 – November 2015
November 2015 – March 2017
March 2020 – Present
|Number of issues||(vol. 1)|
12 (as of May 2021)
|Main character(s)||(vols. 1, 4, 5, & 6)|
Marvel Comics' then-publisher Stan Lee said in 1978, shortly after Spider-Woman's debut in Marvel Spotlight #32 (Feb. 1977) and the start of the character's 50-issue self-titled series (cover-dated April 1978 – June 1983), the character originated because,
"I suddenly realized that some other company may quickly put out a book like that and claim they have the right to use the name, and I thought we'd better do it real fast to copyright the name. So we just batted one quickly, and that's exactly what happened. I wanted to protect the name, because it's the type of thing [where] someone else might say, 'Hey, why don't we put out a Spider-Woman; they can't stop us.' ... You know, years ago we brought out Wonder Man, and [DC Comics] sued us because they had Wonder Woman, and ... I said okay, I'll discontinue Wonder Man. And all of a sudden they've got Power Girl [after Marvel had introduced Power Man]. Oh, boy. How unfair."
Following that initial Spider-Woman series, more followed. Volume two was a miniseries published from November 1993 through February 1994; volume three was published from July 1999 through December 2000; and volume four, featuring Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman, was published from November 2009 through May 2010.
Volume Five ran from November 2014 through the fall of 2015, featuring Jessica Drew as Spider-Woman. In the March 2015 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #13, Jessica boasts "I have never needed rescuing. Ever. See my wiki entry." In November 2015, Spider-Woman Vol. 6 launched as part of Marvel's All-New, All-Different event with the same creative team as Volume 5. This volume saw her wearing the same costume as in Volume 5, but now she was pregnant and working as a private investigator. In October 2020, Spider-Woman #5, the 5th issue of Volume 7, being written by Karla Pacheco, marked the 100th issue of the title and Marvel celebrated the occasion with a special giant-sized issue.
Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman who left the role in the early 1980s and returned to her mantle by the late 2000s. This version starred in her own animated TV series in 1979 (which is not to be confused with the similarly named Web Woman animated series of the same time period).
Mattie Franklin, who briefly impersonated the then-retired Spider-Man before receiving her own short-lived comics series. Mattie also appeared in Alias #16–21, before going on to appear in the 2007–2008 Loners miniseries. Currently deceased.
An Ultimate Marvel version of Spider-Woman is featured with the Ultimate continuity. This version, known by various names, is a gender-swapped clone of the Peter Parker of the Ultimate Universe. She joins the Avengers and takes on the mantle of Black Widow, before returning to the Spider-Woman name.
In the 2014 series "Spider-Verse", Gwen Stacy of Earth-65 is bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker, being her universe's version of Spider-Woman. She is featured in her own solo series Spider-Gwen.
An unrelated earlier "Spider-Woman" was published by Harry "A" Chesler's Dynamic Comics in 1944. She was a non-superpowered crime-fighter named Helen Goddard and made her first and only appearance in the Golden Age comic book Major Victory #1.
Spider Super Stories
A character called "Spider-Woman" (Valerie the Librarian) appears in the recurring live-action skit "Spidey Super Stories" on the 1970s PBS children's television series The Electric Company. She also appears as Spider-Woman in the spin-off comic book series Spidey Super Stories #11 (August 1975). She has no superpowers.
Mary Jane Watson
There are several alternate versions of Mary Jane Watson known as Spider-Woman. The first version is a ninja of the Spider-clan in the Marvel Mangaverse, and another version is featured in the Exiles series.
In the pages of Old Man Logan, Ashley Barton is the daughter of Tonya Parker and Hawkeye who did not like the way that Kingpin was running Hammer Falls. She becomes "Spider-B****", allying herself with a new Punisher and Daredevil, and plans to take back Hammer Falls, only for the group to be captured and Daredevil and Punisher to be fed to the carnivorous dinosaurs. Hawkeye breaks his daughter out of her cell. Hawkeye and Ashley confront Kingpin, and Ashley kills him and takes over Hammer Falls. Old Man Logan rescues Hawkeye as Ashley sends her men after them.
Ashley appears in the "Spider-Verse" storyline, now called Spider-Woman, and is among the spider-powered characters who are recruited by Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus's mind in Peter Parker's body) to help fight the Inheritors. The purpose of the name change from "Spider-B****" to "Spider-Woman" was to make the story more family-friendly.
On Earth X, a character named Spidra appears. She was one of the last survivors of the Microverse following Psycho-Man's attempt to drive the entire realm mad. Escaping with the rest of the Ant Men, who were formerly known as the Microns, Spidra and the rest of the Ant Men would be charged with watching Immortus, and would later be present at the wedding of King Britain and Medusa.
In the Squadron Supreme series, Nell Ruggles was a young troubled girl, who upon gaining her powers killed her classmates, who had bullied her in the past. However, her superhuman powers allowed her to be traced back to a device which the Icarus One astronauts brought back from the Moon. Running away from home, she was captured by the Blur and turned over to Nick Fury's S.H.I.E.L.D.. Thanks to an electroshock collar, she has been prevented from leaving, though she appears to be making the best of the situation, having made friends and eventually falling in love with Tucker Ford, Biogeneral.
In other media
- The Jessica Drew version of Spider-Woman is featured in the 1979 Spider-Woman cartoon, voiced by Joan Van Ark.
- In the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends animated series episode "The Triumph of the Green Goblin", Firestar dresses as the Jessica Drew version of Spider-Woman at a costume party. The episode was adapted into the comic book Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends #1 (December 1981).
- The Julia Carpenter version of Spider-Woman appeared regularly in the 1994 Iron Man animated series, voiced by Casey DeFranco in season one and Jennifer Hale in season two.
- The Mary Jane Watson version of Spider-Woman, also referenced as Spider-MJ, appears in the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six, voiced by Tara Strong. This incarnation becomes Spider-Woman after she gains control of a small fragment of the Carnage symbiote with help from Dr. Curt Connors.
- The Gwen Stacy version of Spider-Woman appears in the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, voiced by Hailee Steinfeld.
- Jessica Drew and Gwen Stacy will appear in a female-centered spin-off to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse alongside Cindy Moon / Silk.
- Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) appears as a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Tasia Valenza. She possesses her comic book counterpart's powers except super-strength. Julia Carpenter's Arachne costume and Mayday Parker's Spider-Girl costume also appear as alternate skins for Drew. Originally, Mattie Franklin's costume was intended to be one of the alternate costumes, but was replaced by Spider-Girl's.
- Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) appears in the PS2 and PSP versions of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn.
- Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) appears in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 voiced by Elizabeth Daily.
- Both Jessica Drew / Spider-Woman and Julia Carpenter / Arachne appear as playable characters in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
- Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) appears as a playable character in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) appears as a playable character in the video game Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Kari Wahlgren.
- Gwen Stacy, Mayday Parker, Julia Carpenter, Charlotte Witter, Mattie Franklin, Ashley Barton, and both the mainstream and Ultimate versions of Jessica Drew all appear as playable characters in Spider-Man Unlimited, with Jessica Drew is voiced by Laura Bailey.
- Jessica Drew and Gwen Stacy appear as playable characters in Marvel Heroes, voiced by Ashley Johnson.
- Jessica Drew and Gwen Stacy appear as playable characters in the match-three mobile game Marvel Puzzle Quest.
- The Ultimate version of Jessica Drew appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers as part of the Spider-Man DLC pack, though she is referred to as Spider-Girl for unknown reasons.
- Gwen Stacy's Spider-Woman appears as a playable character in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.
- Spidey Super Stories #56 (January 1982) features Mary Jane Watson dressed as the Jessica Drew version of Spider-Woman at a costume party.
- Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) was among the ten Marvel characters on a set of Marvel Comics Super Heroes commemorative postage stamps that were issued in 2007.
- An English version of Jessica Drew / Spider-Woman appears in the Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. motion comic, as part of the Marvel Knights Animated line, voiced by actress Nicolette Reed.
- Marvel characters utilizing the Spider-Woman identity
- Spider-Girl (Mayday Parker), daughter of Spider-Man / Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in an possible future who starts calling herself Spider-Woman after the events of "Spider-Verse".
- Spider-Woman (Gwen Stacy), commonly referred to as "Spider-Gwen" and "Ghost Spider".
- Other female spider-themed Marvel characters
- Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon), previously Araña
- Madame Web (Cassandra Webb), grandmother of Charlotte Witter
- Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff)
- Black Widow (Yelena Belova)
- She-Venom (Anne Weying)
- Tarantula (Maria Vasquez)
- Silk (Cindy Moon)
- SP//dr (Peni Parker)
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