Tuesday, August 21, 2007

1970's Flashback: Spider-Woman

Today I'm beginning a flashback series of profiles featuring some groovy characters from the late, lamented era of the 1970's. Many people consider the output of both DC Comics and Marvel Comics in somewhat of a less-than-favorable- light. I however have a fond regard for many of the heroes who appeared from the "big two" during those bronze age years. I'll alternate occasionally between the two top publishers, but first up is a hottie who is enjoying a popular revival at the moment.

Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #32 (February 1977), and was soon launched into her own self-titled series. After it's cancellation (with issue #50) Spider-Woman fell into disuse, and was ultimately supplanted by a succession of other Spider-Women ( a common practice at Marvel has been to discard an established character that’s not currently in favor; only to turn out faux replicas, using the same name & powers, and based solely upon the whims of different creators).

In her youth, Jessica Drew was injected with an experimental serum based on irradiated spiders' blood by her father in an attempt to save her life from radiation poisoning. She was raised on Wundagore Mountain, lair of the High Evolutionary’s evolved beast-men, under the care of the cow-woman Bova. Still later, Jessica was brainwashed by evil Hydra agents, who convinced her that she was an evolved spider known as Arachne. While on a mission involving the secret American spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D., she learned the true nature of the criminal Hydra organization and turned on them. She subsequently moved to Los Angeles where she began her career as a costumed crime fighter.

Her powers include: Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, heightened senses and durability, flight, pheromone generation , the ability to adhere to walls through bio-electrical attraction, the ability to shoot beams of bio-electric energy from her hands, and an immunity to all poisons and radiations.
The original Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew has recently been revived to wide acclaim and is even a prominent member of the New Avengers.

No comments: