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Jessica Drew Classic Costume Redesign (Earth-616)

Full Name: Jessica Miriam Drew
First Appearance: Marvel Spotlight Vol. 1 #32
Created by: Archie Goodwin
Jim Mooney
Home Universe: Earth-616
Alignment: Good
Status: Deceased
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
Powers/Abilities: Wall crawling, enhanced strength, speed, agility, and stamina, as well as "venom blasts" that can paralyze or even kill a normal sized human.
Height: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
Weight: 130 lbs (59 kg)
Hair Color: Auburn, Dyed Black
(Formerly Blonde)
Eye Color: Green
Unique Features: None

"How many times can you answer the same question before people stop asking? I quit the Avengers five weeks ago today. And everyone I've ever meet is dying to know why. I'm beginning to think it's not much curiosity as it is... that nobody likes my answer. Tell your dentist you've just willingly given up your rent-free apartment in Avengers Tower -- and turned in your S.H.I.E.L.D. international super-spy expense account -- because you want to try living a normal life -- she will tilt her head at you like a confused terrier. I get it. Sounds weird. But Look, my parents were mad scientists who pumped me full of spider-juice just to see what would happen. I went to Hail Hydra high school and Nick Fury university. Everyone I've ever dated has super powers. (Except Hawkeye.) I've been extraordinary my entire life. After all these years of insanity... a little ordinary sounds pretty #$%^ great. What? This doesn't look very normal to you? Am I caught in the web of an apocalyptic Multiversal Spider-Orgy? Or fighting off a cosmic-level extinction event? No. I don't hear Maria Hill chirping need-to-know double talk into my ear. And as far as I can tell, I haven't been abducted and replaced by any Skrull Queens. You have your normal... and I have mine. This is what I wanted. Old school. Street level. Helping the innocent by hospitalizing the guilty."
— Spider-Woman

Jessica Miriam 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

Jessica used her new identity, Spider-Woman to track down her father's killer,she first started her search in London, where Jessica was recaptured by HYDRA and brainwashed into working for them again. This brought her into conflict with the Thing. After HYDRA's brainwashing was reversed, she battled magical entities alongside the Thing and Modred the Mystic.

Jessica battled Excalibur, agent of Morgan Le Fay, and then came into contact with Morgan's arch nemesis, the sorcerer Magnus. he would become one of her strongest allies and provided information that would lead Jessica to relocate to Los Angeles where she began her career as a costumed crime fighter. She encountered Morgan Le Fey's ghost and it led Jessica also tracked down her father's murderers.

Jessica was pursued at this time by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jerry Hunt, who followed her to Los Angeles to begin a romantic relationship.

In her early days as Spider-Woman, Jessica chose to keep her presence in Los Angeles a secret. She met super-powered foes such as Brothers Grimm, Hangman, the Enforcer, the Needle, Hammer and Anvil, Nekra, the Silver Samurai, Viper, Gypsy Moth, and the Waxman, as well as making allies such as Jacob Russoff, Werewolf by Night and the Shroud.

Jessica also sought to discover the true nature of her pheromones, which appeared to produce a strong sexual attraction from men and repulsion from women. Her search led her to the Hatros Institute and her first job, working as a secretary, she was able to gain free medical treatment to suppress her pheromones so that she could move effectively among people without producing any unwanted side effects. Alongside the Shroud, she battled the above mentioned Nekra and the Cult of Kali, and learned her pheromone secretions. The culmination of her time at the Hatros Institute led Jessica to encounter with Nekra and the loss of her job.

Spider-Woman & Spider-Man

Spider-Woman & Spider-Man

Unemployed, Jessica briefly considered stealing, but at the last moment she decided against it. She came into contact with Spider-Man, who advised her to use her talents to help others in need. Jessica chose to heed his advice and become a bounty hunter. She worked closely with former FBI specialist, Scotty McDowell, who later became the Hornet. When their working relationship failed, Jessica moved with her best friend Lindsay McCabe to San Francisco where she practiced as a licensed private investigator. On her first assignment, she battled Siryn, Black Tom Cassidy, and the Juggernaut alongside the X-Men. She also battled Morgan Le Fey once again.

While working as a P.I, Jessica encountered Viper and the Silver Samurai in a battle. Two main revelations came out of it. The first was that Lindsay McCabe finally learned that Spider-Woman is Jessica (although Lindsay claimed that she had known all along). The other was Viper's claim to be Jessica's real mother in which she tried to convince Jessica. Whether this meant she was actually Miriam Drew remains unknown, but the resemblance between the two was uncanny and even fooled HYDRA agents. The Viper was shown to be a pawn of Chthon however, she ultimately betrayed Chthon rather than hurt Jessica. Jessica later encountered and battle the Viper again, although now the Viper believes Jessica had brainwashed her into believing that she was her mother. Not long after that, Jessica gave up the immunity of her powers to save Giant-Man.

Jessica traveled in the astral plane with Magnus to Sixth Century in England to free her friends' souls in a showdown with Morgan le Fey in the 6th century. She managed to vanquish Morgan, but Jessica's human body died while her spirit was gone. Jessica was believed to be dead and the sorcerer, Magnus placed a spell over humanity to remove all traces of Jessica's existence. However, this spell was proven faulty and Tigra and the Shroud discovered Jessica's dead body and contacted the Avengers and Doctor Strange. It turned out that Jessica was in fact trapped on the astral field and was attempting to make contact with her body again. The Avengers and Strange traveled to the astral plane to battle Morgan Le Fay, who was also trapped on the astral plane. Morgan attempted to foil the Avengers' attempts to revive Jessica and bringing Morgan in direct conflict with both the Avengers and Dr. Strange. Eventually, Doctor Strange was able to reunite Jessica spirit with her human body and trap Morgan, but it was not without a cost: Jessica's bio-electric powers were eliminated and Magnus sacrificed his astral form to help restore her to life. Jessica was nevertheless grateful for returning to the land of the living, and abandoned her Spider-Woman identity. Jessica continued her life simply as a private investigator in San Francisco, assisted by Lindsay McCabe and occasionally by Tigra, The Shroud and during their brief time in the city with the X-Men.

Jessica Drew frequented Madripoor as a private investigator, partnered with Lindsay McCabe. During this time she had lost her ability to discharge bio-electricity, but found that her super powers were slowly returning. She still possesses superhuman strength and agility, and the ability to cling to walls. At one point, she became in controlled by the Black Blade and battled Wolverine. However, she became an ally and confidante of Patch (an alter-ego of Wolverine), and developed a friendship with pilot Archie Corrigan, who helped her return to San Francisco, where Jessica worked at some point of her life.

Jessica Drew's life settled down until Charlotte Witter, a villain who is going by the name of Spider-Woman, stole her powers. Jessica returned to her life as a private investigator and served as a teacher and mentor to Mattie Franklin, a young woman who had take on the Spider-Woman identity. Jessica began to regain her powers at this time; while investigating two cases with Mattie, she made use of her restored superhuman strength and agility. Although she regained the bulk of her spider-powers but were unstable. For example, her "venom blasts" worked efficiently in one fight and would fail her unexpectedly on another occasion.

When Mattie Franklin was drawn into a highly abusive and parasitic relationship with a New York based drug dealer who cannibalized her tissue to make a Mutant Growth Hormone (which is commonly known as "MGH"), Jessica did not hesitate to investigate (despite the instability of her powers). A initial misunderstanding with local P.I. Jessica Jones, who shared many surprising similarities to Drew, turned into an alliance when the women teamed up to rescue Mattie from her kidnappers.

Civil War

During Civil War, Jessica was arrested and interrogated by S.H.I.E.L.D. director Maria Hill and Iron Man, who still question her loyalties, using one of the robotic copies of Nick Fury to try to trick her into giving herself up. However, the interrogation is interrupted by agents of HYDRA, who make a daring raid on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier using an EMP weapons, temporarily paralyzing Iron Man and almost crashing the Helicarrier into Rhode Island. When she comes to on Hydra Island she is offered the position of "Madame Hydra", the head of the organization, she declines and proceeds to burn HYDRA's facilities down as she leaves the island to meet up with and join Captain America and his Secret Avengers.

Secret Invasion

Jessica as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Jessica, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

One day, a HYDRA agent known as Connely attacked Jessica and offered her powers back if she would rejoin S.H.I.E.L.D. as a double agent. Knowing Connely would kill her if she said no, Jessica agreed and contacted Nick Fury, who confronted her securely and urged her to accept the offer. He told Jessica that he would feed her limited info until S.H.I.E.L.D could analyze HYDRA's cell and use the info to take it down.

Jessica's double agent status is a cause for a great deal of mistrust between herself and other people. After Nick Fury is ousted as head of S.H.I.E.L.D., Jessica is confronted by the new director, Maria Hill about her loyalties. Jessica remains loyal to Fury rather than carry the leadership role in S.H.I.E.L.D, Jessica also has conflicts with her teammates in the Avengers because of divided loyalties.

However, the Jessica who had joined the Avengers and was acting as a double-agent under the command of Nick Fury was not Jessica Drew at all, but instead a Skrull impostor. When she went undercover to regain her lost powers, she was ambushed by the Skrulls and replaced by their current Queen Veranke, who took her place in the New Avengers and assumed her role as Fury's spy, just in time for her preparation for the upcoming Invasion.

Jessica is revealed to be alive when Iron Man finds a Skrull ship in orbit with all the replaced heroes. Carol Danvers runs up to her and gives her a hug. Unaware of Queen Veranke's actions, Jessica asks why the other heroes have been giving her strange looks, Carol responds that "No one knows what to think".

Dark Reign

In the aftermath of Secret Invasion, Jessica is invited by Wolverine to join the New Avengers. She's the one who informs the other Avengers that S.H.I.E.L.D. no longer exists and later helps search for Luke and Jessica Jones' baby, Danielle Cage. Along with Iron Fist, they attack a HYDRA base to see if the Skrull Jarvis has contacted any villains seeking a way to leave New York including Earth. She also joins the Lady Liberators along with the Invisible Woman, Storm, Valkyrie, Thundra, Tigra, Black Widow, She-Hulk, and Hellcat who are trying to discover the identity of the Red Hulk. She attempts to bait the Dark Avengers into a fight with the New Avengers; however, Norman Osborn realizes it's a trick and sends the Hood's gang instead, leaving her feeling responsible. Along with the rest of the New Avengers, she helps Doctor Strange search for the next Sorcerer Supreme and fights Madame Masque, who is trying to keep the New Avengers busy for the Hood's gang. She is also one of the more vocal members about Ronin's media war with Norman Osborn. She is one of the last to fall when Chemistro draws them out into a trap that is meant for Osborn and his Dark Avengers, which drains them of their powers.

Agent of Sword

Jessica, agent of S.W.O.R.D.

Jessica, Agent of S.W.O.R.D.

Feeling like the most screwed over person on Earth due to Veranke's actions, Jessica is approached to join S.W.O.R.D by Abigail Brand. Her first mission takes her to Madripoor where she takes on a Skrull posing as Spider-Man. After run-ins with HYDRA, another Skrull, and the new Thunderbolts, Jessica eventually finds a wayward Skrull and takes it down with the help of her teammates in the New Avengers. After the mission is over, the Brand offers her different opportunities within S.W.O.R.D.


Before the Siege of Asgard, Ronin attempts to assassinate Norman Osborn but is captured by the Dark Avengers. Jessica teams up with Ms. Marvel, Mockingbird and Jessica Jones to rescue him. After he is saved, the New Avengers relocate to a safe house in Brooklyn where they meet up with Steve Rogers.

Jessica is then paired with Spider-Man to do submissions on Avengers Tower, where she reveals to him as a agent of S.W.O.R.D. The duo are then found by Mandrill and Griffin who proceed to attack them. During the fight, Mandrill gets close enough to Jessica and controls her into attacking Spider-Man. Spider-Man appears to be on the losing end of the fight but manages to lure Jessica away from Mandrill and the side effects of his control begins to fade. The duo trick Mandrill and Griffin into thinking Jessica has beaten Spider-Man and when they approach Spider-Woman to give her new commands, Jessica punches Mandrill in the face and shoves her hand into his mouth, firing off a venom blast that knocks him out. Jessica furiously wants to kill both villains for what they have done but is stopped by Spider-Man. The duo heads back to the safe house where they head off with the Avengers to help the Asgardians. Upon arriving in Asgard, Jessica and the rest of the heroes engage Norman Osborn's team and witness the defeat of the Sentry, who had turned insane.

Joining the Avengers

Jessica is asked by Steve Rogers to join his team of Avengers. During their first meeting, Jessica expresses her doubts to Wolverine being on the team, feeling she has not earned the role. Wolverine advises her if she feels that way, she then will have to work towards earning it. Suddenly Kang the Conqueror appears in the middle of the meeting with a dire warning about the future and all of reality, blaming the children of the Avengers. After recruiting the Protector and building a time machine, the time machine is destroyed by Wonder Man. Once the dust has settled, an alternate version of Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen appear. After Apocalypse's defeat, Jessica and a few of her teammates are sent into New York City to protect its citizens from the attacks coming from the time stream. While in Washington Square Park, they come across Killraven and join up to help the citizens. Once their mission is completed and all the attacks have stopped, Jessica is the first to realize Killraven has not been returned to his proper timeline.

Later Jessica is present when the Red Hulk comes to warn the Avengers that the Hood is seeking to collect the Infinity Gems. She is present along with the rest of the Avengers when they confront the Illuminati in Attilan about their existence and goes with a team of Avengers to the Xavier Institute to get to Professor Xavier's Infinity gem.

While on a mission for S.W.O.R.D., Jessica is sent to locate an unusual alien energy surge in Wakanda. Upon finding the remains of a Space knight, Jessica is ambushed by the Intelligentsia who take her as a prisoner. Abigail Brand approaches the Avengers for help and a team is put together to help locate Jessica. Jessica wakes up naked and interrogated by two members of the Intelligentsia. While the Intelligentsia study the Space knight, the Avengers interrupt their attempts and the body activates, revealing it was containing the conscious of Ultron. The new Ultron escapes and Jessica is reunited with the Avengers.

Jessica & Hawkeye

Hawkeye and Spider-Woman romantically embrace each other.

During the Serpents's invasion of Midgard, Jessica realized her feelings for her fellow Avenger Hawkeye, with who she started a relationship. This blossomed a romance caused 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 in Utopia, Spider-Woman was there to invade the island.


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: Spider-Woman's musculature physic has been extraordinarily enhanced, enabling her to lift about 9 tons. She is able to rip apart a metal door, and throw automobiles and most standard heavy objects, smash through brick walls, and break metal chains, cuffs and bars.
  • Superhuman Speed: Spider-Woman is capable of running and moving at speeds that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. she is able to catch up to and outrun speeding vehicles, She moves too fast for the eye to see, and she moves so fast that she appears, disappears, and reappears as a blur.
  • Superhuman Stamina: Spider-Woman generates less fatigue toxins during physical activity than an ordinary human. She can exert herself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue toxins begin to impair her.
  • Superhuman Durability: Spider-Woman's body is tougher and resistant to harm than an ordinary human's, although she's far from invulnerable. She is capable of withstanding impact forces that would severely injure or kill an ordinary human with no discomfort.
  • Superhuman Agility: Spider-Woman's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the natural limits of an ordinary gymnast.
  • Superhuman Reflexes: Spider-Woman's reaction time and reflexes are enhanced to levels beyond the human'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 due to her augmented musculature.
  • Superhuman Hearing: Spider-Woman's hearing is super-humanly acute, enabling her to detect sound at virtually any frequency and known to detect, sort out, and correctly identify sounds through thick steel doors and hear across distances.
  • Toxic Immunity: Spider-Woman's metabolism rapidly creates a powerful immunity to all forms of toxins, poisons and drugs, after an initial exposure that usually makes her dizzy. Jessica's body is completely immune to radiation.
  • Wall-Crawling: Spider-Woman's hands and 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 she can carry dozens of times of her own weight and the limits of how long she can do this before getting tired in are still unknown.
  • Venom Blasts: Spider-Woman's body possesses an inordinate amount of bio-electricity. She has learned to channel and discharge with her hands, in controlled bursts of what she calls "Venom Blasts".
  • Pheromone Secretion: Jessica's metabolism generates certain types of pheromones that can attract and/or repulse others, depending on unknown factors which might include gender and mood.


  • Skilled Martial Artist: Jessica is a highly trained fighter in armed and unarmed combat, under Taskmaster through her affiliation with HYDRA as an assassin. Her tactics integrate different methods utilized in Karate, Capoeira, Judo and Sword Fighting. Although she is skilled in martial arts, she was incapable of completely grasping various different principles of the formats she was instructed, such as infuriating Taskmaster.
  • Skilled Spy: Jessica is also extensively trained in espionage, operations, and stealth.
  • Skilled Acrobat: Jessica is a superb athlete and an Olympic-level gymnast.
  • Multilingual: Jessica is fluent in several languages due to her HYDRA espionage training, she can speak Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and German.


  • She was a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Level Seven.


  • Jessica's S.H.I.E.L.D e-mail address is jdrew@superop.shield.gov
  • Jessica's New Avenger's e-mail address was arachnophilia@newavengers.stark.net
  • 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.
  • Jessica said that she is afraid of rats.

See Also