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Jessica Drew (Earth-616)

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Giant-Size Spider-Woman Vol 1 1 page 00 Jessica Drew (Earth-616)
Real name: Jessica Miriam Drew
First Appearance: Marvel Spotlight #32
Created by: Archie Goodwin and Jim Mooney
Universe: Earth-616
Alignment: Good
Status: Alive
Place of Birth: London, England
Citizenship: British
Base: New York City, New York; formerly San Francisco, California, Los Angeles, California, Madripoor, London, England
Affiliations: Avengers, S.W.O.R.D.; formerly unofficial member of Heroes for Hire, HYDRA, Spider Society, Drew And McCabe Private Investigations, S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Man, New Avengers, Lady Liberators
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 130 lbs (59 kg)
Hair Color: Auburn, dyed black; formerly blonde
Eye Color: Green
Unique Features: None

"You don't yell Avengers Assemble every time we leave the house. ... Save it for when we need it. "
— Spider-Woman

Jessica Drew (of Earth-616), also known as her alter-ego Spider-Woman, is a fictional character, a superheroine in the Marvel Comics Universe.


Early life

Jessica Miriam Drew, daughter of Jonathan and Merriam Drew, was born in London, England. At a young age, Jessica was lethally poisoned by radiation while living near Mount Wundagore in Transia. In an attempt to save her life, her father injected her with an experimental serum based on irradiated spiders' blood. Because the serum did not have any apparent effect on her, the man who would come to be known as the High Evolutionary placed her in a genetic accelerator. While in the accelerator, she aged at a decelerated rate.

When she was finally released, decades later, Drew was only seventeen years old. Jessica grew up on Mount Wundagore under the care of Lady Bova, one of the High Evolutionary's New Men. She was cared for and received the equivalent of a high school education. She eventually left when she did not appear to fit in. Her first few years were confusing as she adjusted to life among other humans. Eventually, HYDRA, under the control of Count Otto Vermis, found and recruited her as a HYDRA agent. Through brainwashing and manipulation, she was convinced she was not human but actually an evolved spider. During this time, she went by the alias of Arachne. As a HYDRA agent, she battled Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., until Jessica learned HYDRA's true nature. She quit HYDRA and turned on them, and was responsible for the fatal crash of HYDRA head Otto Vermis.

Spider-Woman: Origin

Origin does away with the spider-blood serum and genetic accelerator elements of the character's previous origin story. Instead, Jessica's powers derive from her mother's womb being hit by a laser beam containing the DNA traits of several different species of spiders while she was carrying Jessica (the Drews were trying to splice and harness spiders' environmental adaptive capabilities, in order to graft them into the human genome).

After Jessica's parents disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Jessica was recruited into HYDRA (under false pretenses), where she was made into a formidable fighter/assassin. She was trained and mentored by Taskmaster, who schooled her in many martial disciplines and more than seven different fighting styles out of his own "arsenal".

In this re-telling, Otto Vermis, who had originally recruited her into HYDRA, is rather an old, retired HYDRA agent who Jessica seduces in order to gain information that will lead her to her mother.

In addition, Origin made the following modifications:

  • Merriem Drew was now Miriam Drew.
  • The Drews moved to Wundagore Mountain prior to Jessica's conception, establishing without a doubt that she was born on the European landmark. Afterwards, she was raised by her nanny Bova (who was human in appearance), as well as her mother.
  • Jessica's father, Jonathan, never found uranium on their land. Instead, their research was funded by HYDRA, and their direct liaison/financier from the group was General Wyndham. It is not clear what connection, if any, he had with Edgar Wyndham (who in the original Spider-Woman books was Jonathan's best friend and research partner), nor with the High Evolutionary.
  • Jessica's father was never possessed by the spirit of the Sixth Century magician Magnus; no reason exists for Magnus, decades later, to help Jessica in many of her adventures.

As Spider-Woman

Civil War

Secret Invasion

Dark Reign

Agent of Sword


Joining the Avengers

Powers and Abilities


Main article: Spider Powers

Spider-Woman possesses several superhuman powers derived from the genetic experiment that granted her spider-like abilities:

  • Superhuman Strength:
  • Superhuman Speed:
  • Superhuman Stamina:
  • Superhuman Durability:
  • Superhuman Agility:
  • Superhuman Reflexes:
  • Superhuman Flexibility:
  • Superhuman Hearing:
  • Immunity to Toxins, Poisons, Drugs, and Radiation:
  • Wall-Crawling:
  • Jessica's Venom Blasts

    Jessica's Venom Blasts

    Venom Blasts:
  • Pheromone Secretion:
  • Self-Propelled Flight:


  • Skilled Martial Artist:
  • Skilled Spy:
  • Skilled Acrobat:
  • Multilingual:


  • Jessica was involved in a brief relationship with Spider-Man once.
  • Jessica's S.H.I.E.L.D e-mail address is
  • Jessica's New Avenger's e-mail address is


  • Spider-Woman was created in response to the Filmation's proposal to create a Spider-Woman character for their Tarzan/Batman Adventure Hour cartoon. 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.

See Also


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