Read Spider-Woman’s Latest Solo Series
Get up to speed with Jessica Drew: Spider-Woman with these recommended Marvel Unlimited runs.
This week, Marvel Unlimited adds SPIDER-WOMAN (2020) #1 to its ever-growing library, the first issue of a new ongoing series by Karla Pacheco and artist Pere Pérez. It’s the latest chapter of Jessica Drew’s heroic life, but far from the beginning. Spider-Woman’s adventures have unfolded across decades of stories, the majority of which are also available on MU.
In this latest series, Spider-Woman is pulling no punches. When an angry, irritable, and unwell Jessica takes a security gig to get back on her feet, she finds herself besieged by unknown forces out to destroy everything around her. What’s wrong with Jessica? Just how did she get this job? And who are these violent maniacs who keep trying to blow her up?
To bring fans up to speed for SPIDER-WOMAN #1’s debut, we’ve pulled together an essential reading list that covers pivotal moments in Jessica’s expansive (and complex) comic book history.
[RELATED: 7 Things to Know About Spider-Woman]
New readers: start here!
Writers Brian Michael Bendis and Brian Reed teamed with artists Jonathan and Joshua Luna for SPIDER-WOMAN: ORIGIN (2005), a limited series that streamlined and modernized Drew’s history, including her tragic childhood. It also revealed how she was briefly recruited to be an agent of Hydra before breaking away from their influence. Jessica’s story is a victor’s tale, and this is where her journey truly began.
Spider-Woman’s first solo series carved out Jessica’s life on the West Coast, wholly separate and far away from Spider-Man, whom she barely knew at that point. This series also established Jessica’s first recurring nemesis, sorceress Morgan le Fay. In issue #50, Morgan was defeated, but she dropped a nasty surprise for Jessica by leaving her body in a death-like state. That cliffhanger ending was resolved in AVENGERS (1963) #240-241, but it left Jessica nearly powerless for years.
For over two years, Jessica, and her friend Lindsay McCabe, were supporting characters in Wolverine’s first ongoing series. Jessica had already met Wolverine before the X-Men allowed the world to believe they were dead following the THE FALL OF THE MUTANTS event. Let’s just say that Wolverine’s “Patch” disguise was less than convincing to anyone who actually knew him.
Jessica occasionally showed glimpses of her former powers in this arc, but she largely relied on her intelligence and fighting skills to survive Madripoor’s criminal underbelly.
It should be noted that Jessica seemingly regained her lost powers in NEW AVENGERS (2004), but this was actually the Skrull Queen Veranke in disguise. The real Jessica didn’t return to Earth until SECRET INVASION, which led directly to her next solo series. The aftermath to “Skrull Jessica’s” deception, particularly to close Avengers compatriots, would leave longstanding emotional scars.
Spider-Woman was feeling a bit lost and vengeful following her ordeal as a Skrull prisoner. Fortunately, intergalactic Defense Director Abigail Brand was able to give Jessica a new motivation as an Agent of S.W.O.R.D.. This new gig allowed Jess to chase down alien threats on Earth while getting payback on the Skrull fugitives who had been in hiding since the end of SECRET INVASION.
Superstar artist Alex Maleev offers his sensational painterly vision to Brian Michael Bendis’ script.
The early issues of this series brought Jessica deeper into the SPIDER-VERSE alongside several incarnations of Spider-Man as they took on the Inheritors. This was also the run where Jessica befriended the Daily Bugle’s Ben Urich, and gained a new Spider-Woman costume. More importantly, Jessica also met Roger Gocking, the second Porcupine, and helped him go on the straight and narrow. Jessica’s own reformation from being a dark agent and spy allowed Roger to reinvent himself as a hero… although he still has a long way to go in the skill department.
During the break between her last series and this monumental run, Jessica decided that she wanted to be a mother. When issue #1 picked up, Spider-Woman was several months pregnant with her son, Gerry. Soon after his birth in issue #4, Gerry began demonstrating spider-powers of his own. Fortunately, Roger’s, AKA Porcupine’s, experience as a father and reformed Super Villain made him an ideal babysitter.
Being a mother and a Super Hero is a tough balancing act for anyone. But Jessica pulled it off with style, and she even helped Roger escape a threat against his life. She also guided Roger, formally introducing him to her heroic circle of friends.
What does the future hold for Jessica Drew? Find out in ongoing issues of SPIDER-WOMAN (2020)!
See the rest of this week's Marvel Unlimited additions here!
NEW ON SEPTEMBER 21
- AERO #9
- AMAZING MARY JANE #6
- ATLANTIS ATTACKS #3
- CAPTAIN AMERICA #20
- CAPTAIN MARVEL #16
- DEADPOOL #4
- EXCALIBUR #9
- FANTASTIC FOUR #20
- GHOST-SPIDER #8
- GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3
- MARVEL'S AVENGERS: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1
- MARVELS X #3
- MORBIUS #5
- OUTLAWED #1
- RUNAWAYS #31
- SPIDER-WOMAN #1 MAJOR DEBUT!
- STAR WARS #4
- VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #9
- X-FORCE #9
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