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Just What Is Spider-Woman’s Origin?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Just What Is Spider-Woman’s Origin?

In Abandoned an’ Forsaked, we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent).

Reader Andre M. wrote in to ask what, exactly, was considered the current origin for Spider-Woman at Marvel.

Read on, Andre (and everyone else, of course, as well)!

As I detailed in one of the very first Abandoned an’ Forsaked columns, when Spider-Woman first showed up in “Marvel Spotlight” #32, she was an evolved spider…




Marv Wolfman quickly cast doubt about this origin in “Marvel Two-In-One” #33…



Then in “Spider-Woman” #1, Wolfman delivered her “real” origin. First we meet her father, who was colleagues with the High Evolutionary (before he went by that name) and worked on serums involving spiders…


Then Jessica got sick…


Then the High Evolutionary stepped in…



That’s roughly how her origin went for years (Chris Claremont slightly altered stuff, as well), until “Spider-Woman: Origin” #1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed and Jonathan and Joshua Luna.

In that issue, they completely removed the High Evolutionary from Jessica Drew’s origin, as now her mutated state is entirely the doing of her father, before she was even born…



And also, when she grew up and began to exhibit superpowers, we learned that not only was her dad a total jerk (not a selfless guy who saced her life), but he was working for Hydra this whole time…




In the second issue, it even had Mentallo plant false memories in her mind of the High Evolutionary and Bova, the talking animal nanny, to explain how Jessica might remember THAT as her origin…



So that is Jessica Drew’s current origin. Her jerk father experimented on her after she was even born, and turned her into a weapon, luckily a weapon that chose to betray the bad guys and become a superhero.

There really hasn’t been a whole lot of places to reference her origins since, but I believe Bendis once had her note to another Avengers that her father was a bad guy.

There you go, Andre!

If anyone else has a suggestion for a notable comic book retcon that they’d like to see featured, drop me a line at!

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