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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

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.

Publication history[edit]

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 versions[edit]

Helen Goddard[edit]

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 Stories[edit]

Another "Spider-Woman" (who was non-canonical character, Valerie the Librarian) appeared in the live-action, recurring skit "Spidey Super Stories" on the 1970s PBS children's television series The Electric Company. She also appeared as Spider-Woman in the spin-off comic book series Spidey Super Stories #11 (August 1975). She had no superpowers.

Mary Jane Watson[edit]

There are two versions of Mary Jane Watson as Spider-Woman. The first version is a ninja of the Spider-clan in the Marvel Mangaverse reality, and the other version is featured in the Exiles series.

Ashley Barton[edit]

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. Together with a new Punisher and a new Daredevil, she became Spider-Woman (who was originally called "Spider-B****") and planned to take back Hammer Falls only for the group to be captured where Kingpin had Daredevil and Punisher fed to the carnivorous dinosaurs.[5] Hawkeye broke his daughter out of her cell. When Hawkeye and Ashley Barton confront Kingpin, Ashley kills him and takes over Hammer Falls.[6] Old Man Logan rescued Hawkeye as Ashley sent her men after them.[7]

During the "Spider-Verse" storyline, Ashley Barton is 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 so that she would be given a more family-friendly name.[9]

Gwen Stacy[edit]

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 Marvel[edit]

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.

In other media[edit]


Video games[edit]



  • 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.[14]

See also[edit]

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. ^ "Comics : Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends #1". Spider Fans. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  11. ^ "I Want Candy: Spidey Super Stories #56". Tastes Like Comics. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  12. ^ Schedeen, Jesse. "Touring the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 Universe". IGN. Archived from the original on 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2012-06-11.
  13. ^ http://marvel.com/news/video_games/26213/spider-man_swings_into_lego_marvels_avengers[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "USPS Stamp News: Spider-Man and Nine Other Marvel Super Heroes to Deliver for Postal Service". Usps.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-09.

External links[edit]