CTG Heroine Month: Debriefing Spider-Woman

by kanchilr1 on November 07, 2013

Spider-Woman has had a long and complicated history that is difficult to boil down into a few paragraphs. The character is one of the few that has a completely different history when comparing the ultimate universe to the regular one. She was born from the initial ideology of Stan Lee, who saw the success of Spider-Man in the late 70’s and wanted to capitalize on the character before somebody else did. This quote that Comics Journal acquired from Lee himself makes the idea more clear, “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.”
coipel spiderwoman

The original Spider-Woman’s real name is Jessica Miriam Drew. The character has a typical Marvel Universe origin of lab experiment gone wrong. The only thing that slightly differentiates her origin as compared to most other heroes, is the fact that the lab experiment was conducted on Jessica in the womb of her mother. The lab was also funded under research from Hydra, this puts the Drew family in a really strange position. Things start getting silly when the child is sent to Wundagore mountain to be trained by a human cow hybrid named Bova. Drew’s parents were research partners with Dr. Herbert Edgar Wyndham. Bova is an experiment of the doctor, who is formally known as the High Evolutionary. After assembling some of the pieces together the origin becomes slightly more clear to readers. This means that the parents of Spider-Woman are terrorists.

Which clarifies some of the different ties that Drew has to Hydra. After her experiences with Bova, she is formally recruited by Hydra, then sent to train with Taskmaster. This sets her backstory in place for her first appearance in Marvel Spotlight #32. Where her Hydra masters pits her against Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., Jessica believes that S.H.I.E.L.D. is the terrorist group and not Hydra. Fury sets her straight, then she seeks revenge on the persons that employed her on the mission. This status quota also launches the 50 issue series from the late 70’s. The character did not change very much from her first appearance to her second appearance except for the color of her hair and she lost the mask. She is technically created by Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin, even though Stan had the initial idea.
ultimate spiderwoman

Covering the full history of the character would take several of these articles, but since then she has led an alien invasion, joined a few new organizations, and worked with S.H.I.E.L.D. on and off. She has had a very close relationship with Nick Fury Sr. after their initial meeting. Many creators have spent a lot of time working with the female hero, like Brian Michael Bendis who has recently contributed much to her mythology. Most recently, Kelly Sue DeConnick has been working with character over in Avengers Assemble. In Jessica Drew we trust.



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