Jessica Drew, the original Spider Woman, unlike many of her famous Marvel colleagues, does not have an origin narrative that can be summarized in a few phrases. To put it politely, her past is a tad convoluted. And it’ll be intriguing to watch if any of her planned big-screen adaptations—both animated and live-action—stray from the source material to create something more palatable.
While we wait for Jessica Drew to make her big screen debut, let’s look at her strange backstory. It all started for Jessica in 1977 with Marvel Spotlight #32, which revealed Spider-Woman’s origin story.
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She was birthed in 1924 to Jonathan Drew, a scientist, and his wife Miriam. Jessica Drew visited Mount Wundagore, in the tiny Balkan republic of Transia, with her parents when she was a small child. This location was also significant in the origins of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in comic books. Dr. Herbert Wyndham, who would eventually become the wicked High Evolutionary, worked with her father on genetic studies at Mount Wundagore.
Jessica contracted uranium poisoning at the age of seven after being exposed to her father’s experimental tests. Her father and Dr. Wyndham injected her with an innovative spider-derived serum to save her life, but it would only function after years of slumber in a molecular accelerator. She acquired subliminal schooling through specially prepared recordings. She awoke decades later, completely healed but physically an adolescent. Because of the spider-serum and the consequences of her stasis, she also possessed superpowers.
- Former Spy and Villain – Jessica was seduced into Hydra’s arms after killing her fiancé by accident. She was trained in espionage there, and Mentallo indoctrinated her into believing she was opposing corporations’ growing power and influence.
- Single Mom – Jessica seemed to understand there was more to life than being a super badass after dying in a catastrophic space-ship collision at the start of Secret Wars  and then being restored to life. She had a kid through artificial insemination the next year and maintained her career as a private investigator, enlisting the services of Roger Gocking (the Porcupine) and Ben Urich at the conclusion of her pregnancy. Drew later went to the Alpha Flight space station’s maternity ward and fought off a Skrull attack after giving birth through cesarean section.
- Bioelectric “Venom Blasts” – The first, but not the last, spider-hero to use bioelectricity in her abilities. While comparable to Miles Morales’ “venom sting,” Jessica Drew can project bioelectric force from her hands and impact a person’s nervous system in the same manner a lightning strike can.
- Radiation And Contaminant Immunity – Jessica Drew is immune to most of the Marvel multiverse’s pollutants, if not all of them. Jessica Drew can get into places that would kill other heroes. In a universe where cosmic radiation, gamma radiation, and various other types of radioactive waste exposure are terrifyingly common occurrences, Jessica Drew’s ability to get into places that would kill other heroes is one of the most valuable powers.
- Trained By Taskmaster – There are only a few people you’d want to teach you close-quarters defense and strategic infiltration, but Taskmaster is at the forefront. Taskmaster has the capacity to pick up any fighting technique simply by watching, which is why he’d be ideal for training Hydra spy agents in hand-to-hand battle.
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For years, Spider Woman travels the planet. She begins her career in London, where she collaborates with Jerry Hunt, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Scotland Yard detective. She relocates to Los Angeles when her romantic and working relationship ends. She transforms into a super-powered bounty hunter there. She afterwards decided to relocate to San Francisco and began working as a private investigator. Jessica loses her powers after a struggle with the old witch Morgan le Fay. She is still a private eye, but this time in the deadly island nation of Madripoor.
Jessica’s life begins to become more complex at this juncture. Hydra agents approach her and offer her the chance to reclaim her powers. But only if she rejoins them and becomes a double agent in S.H.I.E.L.D. She approaches Nick Fury and informs him that she will accept the offer but would remain secretly devoted to him. These Hydra agents are actually Skrulls, which neither of them realizes. Jessica is then placed in hibernation by the alien shapeshifters, and the Skrull Queen Veranke is introduced to the rest of the universe as Jessica’s replacement. She joins the Avengers and works her way up through the ranks of the superhuman world.
People ask how she compares to Spider-Man. Well Spider Woman is Stronger.
Jessica Drew possesses all of the characteristics of a spider-hero, including increased strength, endurance, speed, reflexes, muscle density, and the remarkable ability to cling to any surface. She’s also an expert at bioelectric generation, which means she can unleash strong bursts of energy. Not to mention the creation of pheromones via her “Spider-Aura,” which can have both positive and unpleasant consequences. Her time working for several intelligence services has given her the skills of a perceptive private investigator, a proficient hand-to-hand combatant, bounty hunter, excellent marksman, and super-agent.
If the Olivia Wilde-directed Spider Woman picture is situated in the MCU, as reports suggest, the Hydra-Nick Fury connection will be explored further. With Disney+’s upcoming Secret Invasion, we might even see her ties to the Skrulls. When it comes to Spider-Woman, her various ties to the MCU are all set to give years of cinematic material.
Featured Image By – Danil Moiseenko