Agent of Hydra. Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent of S.W.O.R.D. Bounty hunter. Private eye. Super powered. De-powered. Jessica Drew has been all of these things, but it seems no matter where her life takes her, it is her destiny to be the high-flying Super Hero known to the world as Spider-Woman.
A Childhood Lost
Born in 1924, Jessica Drew traveled with her parents, Jonathan and Miriam, to Mount Wundagore, in the small Balkan nation of Transia. There, Jonathan conducted genetics research with Dr. Herbert Wyndham, who would later become the armored man-god known as the High Evolutionary. At seven years old, Jessica contracted uranium poisoning from her father’s work, but Jonathan and Wyndham saved her life through a spider-derived serum and years of hibernation in a genetic accelerator. Jessica spent decades in stasis, receiving subliminal education via special tapes. When she was finally awakened, she was cured, and had aged only to her early teens. She also discovered that she now possessed super human powers—a result of the combination of the radiation exposure and the spider-serum.
Jessica eventually left Wundagore to start a new life and met a man with whom she fell in love. But by accident, she apparently killed him with her powers. In the aftermath, Jessica was chased by an angry mob before being rescued by Count Otto Vermis, a high-ranking member of Hydra, the worldwide subversive organization devoted to achieving global domination. Hydra trained Jessica as a field agent, and to control her more fully, Vermis subjected her to memory suppression. He also manipulated Jessica into believing herself to be a spider evolved into human form by the High Evolutionary, which devastated her psyche. Further, Vermis gave Hydra agent Jared Kurtz the task of becoming Jessica’s lover. Outfitted with a special gliding uniform and given the codename Arachne, Jessica was assigned to kill S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury. But, during the mission, Jessica learned from Fury the true nature of Hydra and Kurtz, which led her to abandon the organization.