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Spider-Woman is the code name of several fictional characters in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first and original Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, had her own animated television series, and the second Spider-Woman, Julia Carpenter, was a regular in the 1990s TV series Iron Man, part of The Marvel Action Hour.

Spider-Women (Spiderverse).jpg
Three of the Spider-Women from Marvel's Multiverse; from left to right: Silk (Cindy Moon), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), and Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacy). Artwork for the cover of Spider-Women Alpha vol. 1, 1 (April 2016 Marvel Comics
Art by Yasmine Putri
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceJessica Drew:
Marvel Spotlight #32 (Feb. 1977)
Julia Carpenter:
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 (Oct. 1984)
Mattie Franklin:
The Spectacular Spider-Man #236 (July 1996)
Charlotte Witter:
The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2, #5 (May 1999)
New Avengers #1 (Jan. 2005)
Created byArchie Goodwin, Marie Severin[1]
CharactersJessica Drew
Mary Jane Watson
Julia Carpenter
Mattie Franklin
Charlotte Witter
Spider-Woman #1 (April 1978)
Featuring the Jessica Drew version of the character.
Art by Joe Sinnott.
Series publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
Format(vols. 1, 3 & 5)
Ongoing series
(vols. 2 & 4)
Limited series
Publication date(vol 1)
April 1978 – June 1983
(vol 2)
November 1993 – February 1994
(vol 3)
July 1999 – December 2000
(vol 4)
November 2009 – May 2010
(vol 5)
November 2014 – November 2015
(vol 6)
November 2015
Number of issues(vol. 1)
(vol. 2)
(vol. 3)
(vol. 4)
(vol. 5)
(vol. 6)

Main character(s)(vols. 1, 4, 5, & 6)
Jessica Drew
(vol. 2)
Julia Carpenter
(vol. 3)
Mattie Franklin


Publication historyEdit

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.[2]

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."[citation needed] 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.


  • Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman, who left the role in the early 1980s. By the late 2000s, she returned to it. This version of the character 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).[3]
  • Julia Carpenter, a former member of the superhero teams the Avengers and Omega Flight, who becomes Arachne and the second Madame Web.
  • 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.
  • Charlotte Witter, a supervillain who used the name.
  • Veranke, queen of the shape-shifting extraterrestrial race the Skrulls, who impersonated Jessica Drew over a long period of time and was a founding member of the superhero team the New Avengers. Currently deceased.

Other versionsEdit

Helen GoddardEdit

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.[4]

Spider Super StoriesEdit

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 WatsonEdit

There are two 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 the other version is featured in the Exiles series.

Ashley BartonEdit

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.[5] Hawkeye breaks his daughter out of her cell. Hawkeye and Ashley confront Kingpin, and Ashley kills him and takes over Hammer Falls.[6] Old Man Logan rescues Hawkeye as Ashley sends her men after them.[7]

Ashley appears the "Spider-Verse" storyline, now called Spider-Woman, and is among the spider-powered characters that are recruited by Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Peter Parker's body) to help fight the Inheritors.[8] The name change was to make her more family-friendly.[9]

Gwen StacyEdit

In the 2014 series "Spider-Verse," the Gwen Stacy of Earth-65 is bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker, becoming her universe's version of Spider-Woman. She is featured in her own solo series Spider-Gwen.

Ultimate MarvelEdit

An Ultimate Marvel version of Spider-Woman is featured with the Ultimate continuity. This version of Jessica Drew is a gender-swapped clone of the Peter Parker of the Ultimate Universe.

Mayday ParkerEdit

Peter and MJ's daughter from the alternate future MC2, commonly known as Spider-Girl, began calling herself Spider-Woman after her father's death.[10]

In other mediaEdit


Video gamesEdit



  • 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.[17]

See alsoEdit

Marvel characters utilizing the Spider-Woman identity
Other female spider-themed Marvel characters


  1. ^ Johnson, Dan (August 2006). "Marvel's Dark Angel: Back Issue Gets Caught in Spider-Woman's Web", Back Issue Magazine Vol. 1, No. 17, pages 57–63. TwoMorrows Publishing.
  2. ^ "Hello, Culture Lovers: Stan the Map Raps with Marvel Maniacs at James Madison University", The Comics Journal #42, October 1978, p. 55
  3. ^ "Web Woman". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  4. ^ Major Victory #1 (Dynamic Publications [1940s] [Chesler], 1944 Series at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ Wolverine Vol. 3 #67. Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ Wolverine Vol. 3 #69. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ Wolverine Vol. 3 #70. Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ Superior Spider-Man #32. Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #10. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #15
  11. ^ "Comics : Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends #1". Spider Fans. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  12. ^ "I Want Candy: Spidey Super Stories #56". Tastes Like Comics. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  13. ^ Schedeen, Jesse. "Touring the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 Universe". IGN. Archived from the original on 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
  14. ^[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Nyrem, Erin (June 6, 2018). "'Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse' Casts Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali and Lily Tomlin". Variety. Archived from the original on 2018-06-06. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  16. ^ Robinson, Joanna (December 14, 2018). "Sony Finally Untangles Its Spider Web". VanityFair. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  17. ^ "USPS Stamp News: Spider-Man and Nine Other Marvel Super Heroes to Deliver for Postal Service". Archived from the original on 2009-05-09.

External linksEdit