One of the more obscure superheroes to come out of the ‘bronze age’ of Marvel Comics is Spider-Woman. Despite that, the character has made a rather impressive return to the limelight thanks to her inclusion in the New Avengers and the large role she played in last year’s Secret Skrull Invasion.
Created by Archie Goodwin, Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney back in 1977, it may surprise readers to learn that Spider-Woman has no relation to Peter Parker at all. In fact she has no real similarities to Spider-Man as her powers involve flight and venom blasts shot from her finger tips.
One of the most convoluted origin stories in comics has young Jessica Drew as the daughter of a gifted British geneticist experimenting on insect/human DNA. After being bitten by a lethal spider, her life is saved with an injection of irradiated spider’s blood and then placed in a genetic accelerator that slowed her age. Her father’s partner went on to become the High Evolutionary and hatched Drew from her coccoon decades later to join a world that would never accept her. Inducted into the villainous world-wide terrorist organization known as Hydra, Drew became Spider-Woman. Her first mission pitted her against Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., an organiztion she eventually ended up working for. In time she would become a deeply embedded double agent, posing as an agent of Hydra but reporting only to Nick Fury.
To add to the confusion, a mini-series retelling the character’s origin changed many of these details.
Spider-Woman has had ties to the super-natural as well as the super-heroic over the course of her comic book lifespan, and even starred in an animated series in the 1970′s. All things considered, it’s rather shocking that she has not been more of a hit before now.
The addition of Spider-Woman to the New Avengers was later revealed to be a hoax as that Jessica Drew was actually a Skrull Queen in disguise. With the ‘real’ Jessica Drew back in action, she has a lot to sort out which of course can mean only one thing in comics; a new ongoing monthly series. The new Spider-Woman series will reunite the crack team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, famous for their work together on Daredevil.
The new series debuts in September.
Attendees of this year’s San Diego Comic Convention will get to see the exclusive trailer, but Marvel was nice enough to upload it to their site for those who are not lucky enough to attend!