- You don't yell Avengers Assemble every time we leave the house. ... Save it for when we need it.
- -- Spider-Woman src
When Jessica Drew was about a year old, her parents moved from England to a small enclave in the outskirts of Wundagore Mountain. Her father, Jonathan Drew, geneticist and research partner to the man who would later become the High Evolutionary, found large amounts of uranium in their property, which gave them the financial resources to build a research facility to keep working on their controversial studies of evolution, genetics and cell regeneration.
In the course of the next three years, life was good, until little Jessica became ill, poisoned by her long-time exposure to the Uranium that was so prevalent in their land. Jonathan, being an expert on the regenerative and immunological properties of arachnids' blood, injected Jessica with an untested serum made with the blood of several uncommon species of spiders, in the hopes of stopping the tissue damage and immunizing the girl from the Uranium radiation in her blood.
Then, he sealed her in a genetic accelerator created by Herbert Wyndham (aka the High Evolutionary) to speed the process, but it only seemed to work at a very slow rate. In stasis for decades, her aging greatly slowed, she awoke with no memories of her past, to a world in which both her parents had disappeared mysteriously, and possessing powers that made everyone around her scared and resentful. Jessica lived in the Wundagore citadel until the High Evolutionary left Earth.
Remaining behind in the area, Jessica eventually found work as a barmaid in a nearby village. She also experienced her first romance, which tragically ended when an innocent prank panicked the young woman and accidentally triggered a bioelectric blast that killed her boyfriend. Accused of witchcraft and murder, Jessica fled from an enraged mob into the clutches of Otto Vermis. The wealthy Vermis offered sanctuary to Jessica, who didn't know about his double-life as a high-ranking leader in Hydra, an international terrorist movement.
Vermis trained Jessica in the use of her powers and taught her espionage, martial arts, and various killing techniques. Hydra wanted to mold Jessica into the perfect assassin. However, she rebelled on a basic level against them, going so far as to deviate from their conformity by making her first costume red instead of green. In her first and only field assignment for Hydra, Jessica refused to assassinate S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury. Rebelling against Hydra, Jessica defeated Vermis in a battle to the death. Before he died, Vermis tricked Jessica into believing that she was originally an artificially evolved spider instead of a mutated human.
Distraught by what she learned, Jessica wandered Europe until a clash with Hydra in London brought her into contact with the Thing and Modred the Magician. Modred magically revealed the truth of Jessica's true origins, and she lived briefly in London. Meeting a mysterious sorcerer named Magnus, Jessica traveled to the United States to learn the truth about her father's fate. She and Magnus met up with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jerry Hunt, and the trio settled down in Los Angeles. During her first few months in L.A., Jessica ran afoul of immortal sorceress Morgan le Fay in her Spider-Woman guise and foiled her plans to acquire the Darkhold (a tome of dark magic).
Eventually, she parted ways with both Jerry and Magnus, and struggled for a long time to find a sense of belonging and purpose in the world. Jessica met her first female friend, actress Lindsay McCabe, at a pop-psychologist's therapy group. The two became fast friends over their defiant departure from the group. While she looked for a steady job, Jessica began working as a bounty hunter as Spider-Woman. She worked alongside attorney Scotty McDowell until they parted ways over their different goals and methods.
Jessica accepted Lindsay's offer to be her roommate in San Francisco, and the two women started over in the City by the Bay. A period of personal success began in this time, beginning with Jessica's establishment as a private investigator. She quickly built a successful business and also fell in love with her landlord, David Ishima. Spider-Woman gained a reputation as the "Dark Angel of San Francisco", and even established ties with SFPD via Lieutenant Sabrina "Bree" Morrel.
However, Jessica's pattern of bad luck struck again when Ishima broke up with her after discovering the truth about her super heroics. Not long afterward, Magnus recruited Jessica to travel back in time for a final strike against Morgan Le Fey. Jessica succeeded in destroying her archenemy, but not before Morgan cast a spell that separated her time-traveling soul from her body. Jessica falsely believed that she had died and asked Magnus to cast a spell which made everyone who ever met her forget about her.
Lucky for Jessica, the spell was broken when her friends Tigra and the Shroud discovered her body. The two performed CPR and revived her, although Jessica remained comatose. Tigra called her associates in the Avengers, who in turn called Dr. Strange. These heroes worked together to save Jessica from Morgan's act of vengeance. However, the process of Dr. Strange's spells and Jessica's physical ordeal temporarily left her powerless.
Abandoning her costumed identity, Jessica still worked with Lindsay at their private investigator's agency. She even helped the X-Men by providing them a temporary home after an encounter with the Beyonder. Eventually, the two women traveled to Madripoor on a case that brought them into contact with Wolverine when he was using the alias of Patch. Remaining in the island nation for about two years, Jessica eventually returned to the States following an encounter with the criminal Charlotte Witter, who briefly stole her powers and used the alias Spider-Woman.
Jessica helped renowned psychic Madame Web mentor a teenage heir to the Spider-Woman title named Mattie Franklin. Over time, Jessica slowly regained her powers, although they were unstable. A case in New York involving a missing Mattie led Jessica to cross paths with another detective named Jessica Jones. After a brief misunderstanding wherein Drew repeatedly zapped Jones and Jones put her through a kitchen table, the two former super-heroines teamed up to save Mattie from Denny Hayes, a drug dealer who was using her to manufacture a super-drug derived from "Mutant Growth Hormone" (as well as from a misguided Speedball, who was attempting a sting operation against Hayes and who panicked when Drew and Jones barged in, releasing a barrage of kinetic energy that temporarily incapacitated Jones). Ultimately, Franklin was rescued, and with Drew's help, got cleaned up.
Later, Jessica sought a permanent solution to her fluctuating powers and thus accepted a deal with Hydra. In exchange, Jessica joined S.H.I.E.L.D. to spy on the counter-terrorist organization for Hydra. However, Nick Fury discovered this and thus used her to spread false intelligence. What neither Jessica or Fury knew, was that an enormous alien Skrull cell was in charge of the process to revive and stabilize her powers. After reviving her powers, Queen Veranke used her DNA to enable her to perfectly impersonate Jessica for at least a year before she and her vast Skrull army fell in the final stages of their preplanned invasion of Earth. After an undefined, extended period of time (potentially two years at the most), Jessica, along with numerous other individuals, were rescued by Iron Man after being held captive in a Skrull spaceship which was orbiting the Earth with the rest of the Skrull fleet.
Her return to Earth however, was not as well received opposed to others such as Mockingbird. A number of superhuman heroes and criminals were easily reminded of the Skrull queen Veranke, who had orchestrated the entire invasion against Earth. Their negative aspects on Jessica were immediately clear and threatening to her. Wolverine soon recruited her into the latest incarnation of New Avengers. Jessica was again, not well received by a few of her new teammates (Clint Barton (Ronin) in particular). She immediately began working to prove her worth to the group assisting Luke Cage and Jessica Jones in search for their newborn daughter Danielle. When Norman Osborn constructed his own "Avengers", the New Avengers arranged to trap, weaken, and duel Osborn and his "Dark" Avengers in order to expose the identities of his members. Jessica was to deceive Osborn and his government sponsored Avengers to a remote location in New York to ambush. Norman however, deduced her deception after his "broken" deal with her fellow Avenger Cage and instead sent the Hood and his gang which engaged Jessica and the New Avengers. Escaping from the fight, the New Avengers regrouped back at Captain America's safe-house angered and confused with Jessica feeling responsible for the setup and failing to deceive Norman Osborn.
Agent of S.W.O.R.D.
Feeling like the most screwed over person on Earth due to Veranke's actions, Jessica was approached with an offer to join S.W.O.R.D. by Abigail Brand, which she accepted. Her first mission took her to Madripoor where she took on a Skrull posing as Spider-Man. After run-ins with Hyrda, another Skrull, and the new Thunderbolts, Jessica eventually found a wayward Skrull and she took it down with the help of her teammates in the New Avengers. After the mission was over, Brand offered her different, new opportunities for jobs to do with S.W.O.R.D.
After the Siege on Asgard and the fall of Osborn, Steve Rogers took the place of Norman as USA's top cop. Jessica joined the Avengers. During the first day of this Avengers team's establishment they came under attack by two foes. The first was the rogue Wonder Man, who was convinced the Avengers were detrimental to the world. The second was longtime Avengers foe Kang the Conqueror. After the situation with Kang was resolved, the Avengers fought against the Hood, who was attempting to retrieve the Infinity Gems.
During the Serpent's invasion of Midgard, Jessica realized her feelings for her fellow Avenger Hawkeye, with who she started a relationship. This blossoming romance came under some stress when a returned Norman Osborn and a resurgent H.A.M.M.E.R. attacked the Avengers. H.A.M.M.E.R. now included Hydra, and Jessica attempted to fool some agents by claiming to still be part of the organization, but she failed.
When the coming of the Phoenix Force led the Avengers into conflict with the X-Men of Utopia, Spider-Woman was there to invade the island.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Spider-Woman possesses several superhuman powers derived from the genetic experiment that granted her spider-like abilities:
- Superhuman Strength: Spider-Woman's muscular density and strength have been extraordinarily enhanced and enable her to lift about 7 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Spider-Woman is capable of running and moving at speeds much greater than even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Spider-Woman's musculature generates less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human. She can exert herself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to impair her.
- Superhuman Durability: Spider-Woman's body is somewhat tougher and more resistant to injury than an ordinary human's, although she is far from invulnerable. She is capable of withstanding impact forces that would severely injure or kill an ordinary human with only mild to moderate discomfort.
- Superhuman Agility: Spider-Woman's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Spider-Woman's natural reaction time and reflexes are enhanced to levels beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Superhuman Flexibility: Spider-Woman's body is extraordinarily limber and her tendons and connective tissues are twice as flexible as the average human being's, despite the augmented musculature and its enhanced strength.
- Superhuman Hearing: Spider-Woman's hearing is superhumanly acute and enables her to detect sound at virtually any frequency, and she's been known to detect, sort out, and correctly identify sounds through thick steel doors, and across considerable distances.
- Immunity to Toxins, Poisons, Drugs, and Radiation: Spider-Woman's metabolism rapidly creates powerful immunities to all forms of toxins, poisons and drugs, after an initial exposure that usually makes her dizzy. Her body is totally immune to radiation.
- Wall-Crawling: Spider-Woman's limbs can adhere to surfaces via electrostatic attraction. Spider-Woman can hold and carry a considerable amount of extra weight while sticking to walls without falling off; it's safe to assume that the weight she can carry is dozens of times her own, and the limits of how long she can do this before fatigue sets in are still unknown.
- Venom Blasts: Her body possesses an inordinate amount of bio-electricity that she has learned to channel and discharge through her hands, in controlled bursts of what she calls "Venom Blasts". These energy projections vary in power; they mostly affect the nervous system in humans. Spider-Woman can regulate them from simply a stun to potent enough to kill an average-sized man in the same way that a lightning bolt could kill him.
- Pheromone Secretion: Her metabolism generates certain types of pheromones that can create fear, elicit attraction and/or repulsion on others, depending on unknown factors which might include gender and mood.
- Self-Propelled Flight: When the Skrull invaders redesigned the process which granted Jessica her powers, it enhanced her limited flight powers; she is now capable of full flight. It is unclear as to the range and extent of this power.
|Power Grid |
Skilled Martial Artist: Jessica is a highly experienced fighter trained in armed and unarmed combat under the Taskmaster through her affiliation with Hydra as an assassin. Although skilled as a martial artist, she was incapable of completely grasping various different principles of the formats she was intructed in; which infuriated the Taskmaster. Her tactics integrate different methods utilized in Karate, Boxing, Capoeira, Judo and swordfighting.
Skilled Spy: She is also extensively trained in espionage, covert operations and stealth.
Skilled Acrobat: She is a superb athlete and an Olympic-level gymnast.Multilingual: Due to her Hydra espionage training, she is fluent in several languages, including Russian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and German.
- Jessica was involved in a brief relationship with Spider-Man once.
- Jessica's S.H.I.E.L.D e-mail address is email@example.com
- Jessica's New Avenger's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
- Spider-Woman was created in response to the animation company Filmation's proposal to create a Spider-Woman character for their Tarzan/Batman Adventure Hour. Upon hearing about Filmation's plans, Marvel rushed the character into publication, forcing Filmation to rename their character as Web-Woman. Because of the rush, the creators used an origin that was originally developed for Wolverine, although this was later abandoned.
- Jessica Drew was born on December 7th, 30 years prior to publishing year.
- Her and Hawkeye have shown an attraction to each other.
Appearances in Other MediaEdit
A Spider-Woman cartoon, featuring Jessica Drew, launched on ABC's Saturday Morning Cartoon block in 1979 (produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and Marvel Comics Animation).
Jessica Drew, voiced by Joan Van Ark, is editor of Justice Magazine, a publication which had its own skyscraper and helicopter yet showed only two other employees - photographer 'Jeff' and Jessica's teenage nephew 'Billy'. When trouble reared its ugly head, Jessica would come up with an excuse to slip away and change into her Spider-Woman secret identity. Spider-Man also guest starred in the series.
The cartoon differs somewhat from the comic book and lasted for one season of sixteen episodes. The animated Spider-Woman retained the ability to fire bursts of energy from her hands called "venom blasts," but they are white instead of green and can apparently be used an unlimited number of times. And she had (like Spider-Man) a "spider-sense": a kind of clairvoyance that would allow her to see dangers as they happened, no matter where she was (she would close her eyes and see the event outlined by a spider-web). The animated Spider-Woman also had the ability to change into costume merely by spinning around, an idea borrowed from the Wonder Woman (TV series). (Not to be confused with the animated super-heroine Web Woman, a Filmation super-heroine cartoon launched at around the same time, which reportedly prompted Marvel into creating a Spider-Woman character to secure the copyright).
As of 2006, similar to the majority of the other Disney-acquired Marvel Comics animated series, there are no plans to release this series on DVD.
- Spider-Woman has made two live action appearances on TV:
- A cameo role on the short-lived TV series, Once A Hero, about a comic strip hero who leaves his "world" to find his creator. Near the end of one episode Captain Justice returns to the "Real Earth", and a crowd of comic book characters can be seen cheering him on, including Spider-Woman.
- The Saturday Night Live sketch, "Superhero Party", originally broadcast March 17, 1979. The sketch featured Hulk, The Thing, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Ant-Man, and Invisible Woman.
- Spider-Woman is a playable character in the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. She possesses all of the powers she has in the comic book except super-strength. She has a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent variant costume (a navy blue and black mask less version of her classic costume, with white glider webs and a silver belt).
- 402 Appearances of Jessica Drew (Earth-616)
- 196 Images featuring Jessica Drew (Earth-616)
- 7 Quotations by or about Jessica Drew (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Jessica Drew (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Jessica Drew (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Spider-Woman
- Marvel Directory
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #4
- Spider-woman's Profile at Spiderfan.org
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