Obviously Spider-Man is getting all the coverage right now thanks to Spider-Man: Homecoming coming out, plus the news that Spidey will be in the next Avengers movie. Peter is the star of the franchise, so we’re certainly not too surprised to see him getting so much attention, but there are a lot of cool characters from the Spider-Man stories — especially female characters — so we’re ready to start seeing a few of the other big names show up.
Venom is going to be getting his own film, and Miles Morales will be getting an animated movie, so things are off to a good start. But the world of Spider-Man’s female characters is really what we’re looking out for. So far in the movies we haven’t had any of the female heroes or villains make an appearance, but we’re hoping to see that change soon with some of the names and titles being bandied about for new movie releases. In case you think there’s a lack of women who could fight alongside or against Spidey, here are the 15 Most Dangerous Women in Spider-Man’s Life.
15. BLACK CAT
Even if you couldn’t think of many women who would fill out this topic, you no doubt knew Black Cat would feature in it. Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy might be Peter’s more iconic love interests, but both of them frequently wind up playing the damsel in distress. However, Felicia Hardy is Peter’s most well-known love interest who’s actually capable of defending herself.
Though Black Cat is known for the romantic tension she brings, she can handle herself in a fight too. She’s played both a villain and a hero to Spider-Man, depending on what suits her. Felicia doesn’t bring the power that other characters might, but you know she’ll make up for it with her cunning, speed, and athleticism. We’re supposed to be getting a movie starring Black Cat and Silver Sable down the road, so hopefully it’ll do one of Spidey’s most well-known allies/adversaries justice.
We mentioned earlier how Gwen Stacy is one of Peter’s love interests who can’t defend herself against villains, but that really depends on which version of Gwen we’re talking about. The classic Gwen Stacy is the one we all know who was killed by the Green Goblin when he threw her off a bridge, but that isn’t the only possible fate she is capable of. An alternate look at the character gave us the version of Spider-Woman who has now become known as Spider-Gwen, a hero in her own right.
Spider-Gwen could have easily been some one-off storyline that never went any further than a what-if look at Gwen being a superhero. But this iteration of the character became popular to the point that she got her own comic series, and she’s now one of the biggest heroes of the Spider-Man universe. It`s not hard to see why. Being a hero is certainly a better legacy than just being someone for Peter to eventually grieve over.
Shriek’s claim to fame is not as big as some of the other women in this topic, but she still made a memorable impact in the short amount of time she has been a presence in the comics. Shriek’s big storyline was in the Maximum Carnage arc in the Spider-Man comics, wherein she became one of Carnage’s followers as he went on a killing spree around the city. It’s not a story that’s fondly remembered thanks to how repetitive the constant fights got, but it was an interesting premise.
Carnage’s groups included the likes of Doppelganger, the Demogoblin, and Carrion, but Shriek viewed herself as the mother of the family. Each of the villains was demented in their own way, but Shriek had a special place in Carnage’s heart. She was the first to join his cause, and the one who best kept up with his twisted world view.
12. SILVER SABLE
Silver Sable might look like a military-themed version of Storm from the X-Men, but she has actually carved out a name for herself as an effective mercenary. Silver is the type of character who is a match for other comic book characters not because she has an abundance of super powers, but because she is heavily armed. Silver is usually toting a gun into battle, but even unarmed she can still hold her own with martial arts.
If you haven’t been that familiar with Silver Sable in the past, it looks like that will soon change. It was recently announced that she and Black Cat will be getting their own live-action movie courtesy of Sony’s Spider-Man universe. The film’s title right now is Silver and Black, and will feature the two pale-haired heroines in starring roles.
Obviously Venom and Carnage are the two most well-known alien symbiotes in the Spider-verse, but they certainly have not been the only ones. There have been plenty of other male symbiotes, but not so many women have come into contact with the aliens. There was a female Venom for a brief period of time, but the first truly unique female symbiote was a yellow and red villain known as Scream.
This baddie was one of six symbiotes that spawned off of Venom and became like children to him. Donna Diego was the lone woman among the group to wind up bonded to one of the aliens, and her powers were quite similar to her father’s, though she could also use her hair like the rest of her symbiote body to ensnare people. With Venom getting his own movie now, and Carnage already confirmed, it’s certainly not hard to imagine Scream and her siblings possibly showing up too.
One of the more recent women to join the Spider-verse is a character by the name of Silk. This warrior with the ninja-like costume first appeared in 2014 with an origin that Peter actually shares with her. Silk was initially a girl named Cindy Moon, but adopted her super-powered persona after being bitten by the same radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his amazing powers. Just moments after Peter was irradiated, Cindy herself got bitten, and was destined for adventures of her own.
Since Cindy was changed by the same spider as Peter, their powers logically aren’t very different. She can shoot webbing (though in her case, from her fingertips), but otherwise she’s not that different in terms of abilities — though she has been shown to be faster. You might think the odds of someone so similar showing up in the MCU are slim, but Cindy Moon is actually already confirmed for Homecoming. We doubt she’ll become Silk too early and steal Peter’s spotlight, but it definitely seems like a seed planted for down the road.
9. MADAME WEB
Since we are talking about dangerous women in the Spider-verse, an old woman might not immediately leap out to you as a candidate for the topic. Is her elderly appearance just a trick? Can she actually give super powerful villains a beat down? The answer to both those questions is no. Madame Web really is as frail as she looks, but there is more to being a dangerous person than just being strong and tough. Madame Web is a woman with a dangerous mind.
Despite being old, blind, and paralyzed, Madame Web is still a legitimate psychic. And fortunately for Spider-Man, she has elected to use her powers to help him. She can even use her mind to alter people physically. If Professor X has taught Marvel fans anything, it is not to underestimate psychics just because of their physical limitations.
8. SPIDER-WOMAN (MATTIE FANKLIN)
Mattie Franklin is the third iteration of Spider-Woman, and she isn’t even the last person to have taken up the title. There are so many different people who have been Spider-Man, though, so Marvel fans should be used to heroic identities getting a lot of usage. Like the other spider-themed heroes, Mattie gained enhanced physical abilities from her transformation, such as super strength and increased speed. Part of what differentiated her was that Mattie also had extra spider legs at her disposal, kind of like Peter when he became the Iron Spider in Civil War.
Mattie might be the least remembered of the three heroic versions of Spider-Woman, though, since she wasn’t very good at finding an iconic look. Despite sticking with the Spider-Woman name, Mattie went through a number of different costume changes in a ver short period of time. So, if she ever is brought to the MCU, there’s no excuse to get her costume wrong because the designers will have ample designs to choose from.
We all know the Green Goblin is Spider-Man’s equivalent to Batman’s Joker, but that doesn’t mean the writers need to be so reliant on the villain. We’ve had the original Green Goblin in Norman Osborn, then the successor in Harry Osborn. Plus there is the Hobgoblin, as well as the Demogoblin. All these guys have very similar fighting styles, so surely we wouldn’t need another goblin right? Well now you have to make room for the Gray Goblin, AKA Menace.
The only thing setting Menace apart from the other goblins is her gender, as she is on-par with the original Green Goblin in terms of abilities and evil intent. Plus rather than a costume, her look is the result of a mutation that she can choose to tap into at will, or remain in her human form. So Menace is certainly a worthy challenger, but maybe Marvel can cool it on the goblins… for now.
Shathra is not a villain who has been utilized as heavily as some of the other women we have talked about, but she does outclass some of them in terms of power. For starters, Shathra is able to shapeshift and make herself appear in the form of allies to the heroes. But as you can see from her picture, she definitely isn’t human, and is able to put up quite a fight when she’s in her true form.
Shathra was introduced as an opposite to Spider-Man because her true form is that of a spider wasp, a species of bug that kills and eats spiders. And that’s exactly what Shathra wanted to do to Spider-Man, making for a pretty creepy villain. Aside from Venom, not many other Spider-Man villains are likely to try and devour him upon being victorious.
5. SPIDER-GIRL (ANYA CORAZON)
You’re probably more familiar with another Spider-Girl, who we’ll be discussing in a little bit, but in 2004 we got Anya Sofia Corazon as the new Spider-Girl (though she’s pretty commonly known as Spider-Anya as well). As is a common refrain when talking about the spider-themed heroes, Anya had powers like many of the other heroes to don a mask in the Spider-verse. Part of what sets Anya apart is that she can also create an exoskeleton around herself to help shield blows.
We all know the other Spider-Girl is highly implausible to show up in the MCU (what with her being Peter’s teenage daughter and all), so Anya seems like our best chance of seeing a Spider-Girl on the big screen right now. Spider-Anya has shown up in a few video games, but she’ll probably have to wait a while to start seeing more mainstream attention.
4. JULIA CARPENTER
Julia Carpenter is undeniably one of the most versatile women in the Spider-verse. We have talked about Spider-Woman already with Mattie Franklin, but Julia has also taken the superhero name and made it her own. We have talked about Madame Web and the power she weaves in orchestrating things behind the scenes, but Julia has held that role, too. Julia also has a third identity to her name that we haven’t touched on yet, this being the hero Arachne, which she was also the second iteration of.
With that many superhero personalities to her name, you really can’t find a good excuse not to include Julia in a story. Even if the original bearer of any of her identities shows up in the MCU, Julia still has two more personas she can show up as. Plus, in addition to the typical powers associated with the heroic characters to don a spider mask, she also has energy webs she can utilize as well.
Jackpot is an unusual case for a hero because the original bearer of the name was actually less influential than her successor. Sara Ehret was the first Jackpot, claiming the name after gaining superpowers. But she soon decided she did not want to live the life of a hero and agreed to let a woman named Alana Jacobson have the identity. Alana didn’t have innate superpowers, though, and could only gain enhanced attributes through medicating herself. This proved to not be enough, though, and Alana was eventually killed.
Spider-Man reprimanded Sara for giving up the role, citing his whole philosophy about power and responsibility. So Sara reclaimed her super name, but also changed her legal name to Alana Jacobson. The original Alana seemed to regard being a superhero as hitting the jackpot, so it seemed fitting for Sara to emulate her in treating being a hero like a privilege.
2. SPIDER-WOMAN (JESSICA DREW)
Though we have talked about numerous ladies who have been known as Spider-Woman over the years, it’s tough to beat the original. Just like Ben Reily or Miles Morales are never going to surpass the popularity of Peter Parker, it’s hard to think of Mattie Franklin or Julia Carpenter without bringing up what Jessica Drew accomplished first. It would only seem fair that if we got a live-action Spider-Woman that Drew get first crack at the identity she originated.
Jessica has many of the powers Spider-Man has, like super strength and the ability to crawl up walls, but she also has her own abilities like pheromones that can have extreme effects on people around her. She’s been welcomed as a member of the Avengers (when she wasn’t following in Peter’s footsteps in having a clone represent her), and she even helped train Miles Morales become the new Spider-Man.
1. SPIDER-GIRL (MAY PARKER)
Yes, we already talked about one iteration of Spider-Girl, but we’d be remiss if we ignored Peter and Mary Jane’s own daughter. Next generation storylines are a pretty natural part of comic books, so eventually Peter had to make way for a successor after he wound up losing a leg in the line of his heroic duties. Life was pretty normal for Peter as he focused on being a husband and a father. But then, when his daughter May was a teenager, it turned out she had inherited her dad’s abilities.
In a lot of ways, May’s story trajectory is similar to what it looks like we’ll be seeing in Spider-Man: Homecoming for Peter, with May determined to be a hero, but also still a naive kid in need of guidance from a seasoned hero. Her parents find out she’s taken up the heroic life and try to stop her, but then realize if she won’t listen then they may as well help her learn. And as we saw in the Civil War movie, even a young and naive web slinger can still make a big impact.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be in theaters July 7, 2017.
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