Spider-Man: I didn't say you could lend [the name] out. There's, like, ten of you now.
Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew): There's three, and they are ripping me off.Spider-Man was a huge success to the Marvel comics, so obviously, later on a Distaff Counterpart would be inevitable. No, we're not talking about his daughter from the Clone Saga, Spider-Girl. We're talking about the one Distaff Counterpart conceived way before the Clone Saga. These are what we'd like to call... The Spider Women.Compared to other Distaff Counterpart, Spider Women are rarely an accurate one for Spidey. Most of the time, they possess a set of unique ability on their own, instead of web-shooters. They also form a small form of Legacy Character pool (while not exactly a big one like Venom or Robin), and occasionally, each form possesses different names, including even Spider-Girl. Although the Spider-Girl in question is NEVER the Alternate Universe version of the original Spider Man's daughter.
— New Avengers
Jessica DrewThe first and probably most known is Jessica Drew (Pictured on the 6 o'clock direction). She was created at the last minute when Marvel found out that Filmation animation studios was going to create their own super heroine by the name of Spider-Woman; since the comic version managed to come out first, Filmation was forced to change their character's name to "Web Woman". The character first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #32 (February, 1977), created by Archie Goodwin, Sal Buscema, and Jim Mooney. Jessica was the star of Spider-Woman vol. 1, which lasted for 50 issues (April, 1978-June, 1983).When Jessica was little, she was infected with uranium radiation and was in danger of dying. Her father used an experimental spider serum to save her, and put her in a tube to accelerate the serum's growth, saving her life but aging her rather rapidly to the point that she looks, and acts, much younger than she is. She was raised in Wundagore by the cow-woman Lady Bova, eventually left to make her way in the human world, fell in love... then accidentally killed her first love with her latent superpower: bio-electric blasts. Accused of being a witch, Jessica fled Wundagore and was taken in to HYDRA, tricked into thinking that it was a good place for refugees, even though it's actually a terrorist group. She was trained in martial arts and learned to harness her powers more effectively. These include the discovery of her other powers such as Wall Climbing and Pheromones, which attract men and women. Oh, and she was given her codename, first Arachne, but quickly changed to Spider-Woman. (It should be noted that the preceding paragraph is the result of decades of Retconning with at least two complete origin changes, including one where she was a hyper-evolved spider. Jessica rivals Hawkman in the Continuity Snarl category.)On her first mission to assassinate Nick Fury, Jessica came to realize that HYDRA was wrong, so she rebelled and was left on her own to cope with her power and with her daily life. It was tough, but eventually she managed to overcome her problems, especially after the Cross Over with Spider-Man, who advised her to use her power for good; she later became a bounty hunter and a private detective. She also gained a Rogues Gallery, the most notorious being Morgan le Fay, whom she eventually finished in her book's finale, at the cost of her soul being separated from her body, and she requested her magician friend cast a spell that would erase her from the memories of everyone that ever knew her.However, the spell was faulty and eventually her body was found by The Avengers, which led to a story arc where they tried to get her soul back to her body. They succeeded, but with a cost: Spider-Woman's powers are gone. Jessica later led a normal life with her friend Lindsay McCabe, moving to Madripoor and briefly getting involved with the adventures of Wolverine. Of course, her powers slowly started to come back, but they tended to be fluctuous and unstable. She was also attacked by Charlotte Witter, a supervillain taking the same code name, and for a time, along with the 2nd Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter, mentored the third Spider-Woman Mattie Franklin.Over time, however, Nick Fury once again contacted Jessica in order to stabilize her power as Spider Woman by infiltrating the HYDRA. Unfortunately, that turns out to be a trap by the Skrulls, who ambush and capture her. The Skrull Queen Veranke chose to replicate Jessica to kickstart her eventual invasion, while Jessica is held prisoner in the Skrull ship. Veranke joins the New Avengers, participates through House of M, Civil War and even World War Hulk, until it's time for the invasion of Skrulls. The Avengers defeat Veranke and she is killed by Norman Osborn, and the ship carrying Jessica and the other Skrull prisoners crashed on Earth. While there were few who welcomed her back (such as Ms. Marvel and in a way, Wolverine), the rest of the world's heroes look at her funny, the image of her face seemingly becoming synonymous with Veranke, and she ends up being villified by the world.On Wolverine's suggestion, Jessica joined the New Avengers, despite some members still being highly suspicious of her. While she did her job as an Avenger well enough, she was still haunted with her time of capture and villification by the world, causing her to take on jobs offered by SWORD in order to hunt down any remaining Skrulls, whom she now hated. An encounter with a particularly strong Skrull eventually overpowered her and revealed the reason why Veranke chose her as the person to impersonate: because she was completely alone and thought to be insignificant, so the rest of Earth's wouldn't care about what would happen to her. Just in time for the New Avengers, even those who were formerly suspicious at her, to come to her rescue and remind her that people care about her, that she's got friends, and that she's not alone. With this, Jessica defeated that particular Skrull and resumed being a full time New Avenger, declining further jobs by SWORD.She participated in the Siege of Asgard and her efforts eventually cleaned her image of 'having Veranke's face'. Despite her doubts, she's handpicked as one of the members of the mainline Avengers, and has fought on their side ever since.Jessica has appeared in these other medias aside of the Marvel comics:Video Games
Julia CarpenterThe second Spider-Woman is a Hot Mom named Julia Carpenter (10 o'clock on the picture). She first appeared in Secret Wars #6-7 (October-November, 1984), created by Jim Shooter and Mike Zeck. She mostly appeared in team books. But was the star of Spider-Woman vol. 2, a 4-issue mini-series (November, 1993-February, 1994).Carpenter got tricked into entering a program to create a superhero, under the guise of 'Athletic Study', and was accidentally injected with a different spider serum, granting her super strength, wall-climbing and psychic web. She was given the identity of Spider-Woman by the Commission on Superhuman Activities, although she preferred 'Arachne' (suggestion overruled). Her first major involvement was the Cross Over event Secret Wars, which eventually got her to meet Spider-Man and give him the inspiration of the design for his Alien Symbiote black suit (which would later become known as Venom). She was then roped into joining the newly-formed Freedom Force (Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, pardoned and given a government sanction, although other heroes would be added to the roster). Julia didn't make any friends on the team, however, when she helped free the Avengers from the Vault after the Force had arrested them on trumped-up charges. However, instead of locking her up, CSA director Valerie Cooper (Julia's college friend, who'd been responsible for turning her into Spider-Woman) gave her a second chance to serve her country, although she'd be officially classified as a rogue agent. Julia eventually got caught up with the West Coast Avengers, joining that team and severing her ties with the CSA. While with the Avengers, she was caught in a conflict with the criminal trio Deathweb, whose powers were derived from the same source as Julia, and whom she defeated when they threatened her daughter Rachel and her parents. Soon afterward, when the Avengers shut down the West Coast branch, she joined Iron Man's new team, Force Works, but after that team folded, she retired from superhero activity to continue raising Rachel.The retirement, however was cut short when she, along with Jessica, was attacked by Charlotte Witter, and she was wheelchair-bound. However, she still took a resistance and mentored the 3rd Spider-Woman, Mattie Franklin. Some time later, she was involved with the Civil War, taking on Iron Man's Pro-Registration side, and taking the name 'Arachne', but eventually she reveals that she was The Mole for the Anti-Registration side. Before she could change sides, however, she was beaten down by Ms. Marvel and was forcefully separated with Rachel as her punishment. The loss of Rachel got Julia nearly slip into insanity that she broke away from her prison in Negative Zone, and went into Colorado to search for Rachel. In a fit of rage, she attacked a superpowered girl named Arana, but her instability costed her victory and she was beaten, whereas she met Ms. Marvel again who apologized and promised to search for Rachel. But despite so, and even the success of reuniting with Rachel, it's clear that the relation between Julia and Carol was strained.Julia eventually moved to Canada and joined the Omega Flight. She would end up unused for a while, until the Spider Man story arc Grim Hunt whereas she was captured by Kraven the Hunter who wants to destroy every trace of Spider family. Julia ended up being picked as the successor of Madame Web and the process of the inheritance made her blind. She eventually passed on her Arachne costume and powers into Arana, as she becomes the next Madame Web as the original is dead.Julia has appeared in these other medias aside of the Marvel comics:Video Games
Martha "Mattie" Franklin and Charlotte WitterThe third Spider-Woman is less known and more into the mythos of Spider-Man. Martha 'Mattie' Franklin (2 o'clock on the picture, don't worry, she got her own distinctive costume later) is the niece of J. Jonah Jameson, who thinks Spider-Man is cool. Mattie first appeared in Spectacular Spider-Man #262 (November, 1998), created by John Byrne and Rafael Kayanan. She assumed the Spider-Woman identity in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #5 (May, 1999).Mattie attended a ceremony in place of her father, giving her the Spider Limbs. Later, Spider-Man had a 10-Minute Retirement, so Mattie donned a costume similar to his and called herself Spider-Woman, taking his place in crime-fighting. Spider-Man realized this and helped her a bit after he got out of retirement.Around this time, Doctor Octopus created a new villain named Spider-Woman (11 o'clock on the picture) using Madame Web's daughter Charlotte Witter; she attacked Jessica, Julia and Mattie and absorbed their powers. Both Jessica and Julia eventually guide Mattie to become the next Spider-Woman and defeat Charlotte, also getting parts of their Spider-Woman powers. Charlotte first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #5 (May, 1999), created by John Byrne and Howard Mackie.Mattie became the star of Spider-Woman vol. 3, which lasted for 18 issues (July, 1999-December, 2000). Charlotte made regular appearances as an opponent for Mattie.Unfortunately, the next time Mattie appeared was during the Grim Hunt arc and she's less lucky than the rest. She was one of the first characters sacrificed by Kraven and ended up dead. Charlotte was never heard again, on the other hand.
Anya Corazon/Arana/Spider GirlWhile not starting out as a member of the Spider-Family, Anya was a member of the mystical member of Spider Society and usually acts as their hunter. However, a crossover with Spider Man eventually made her renounce her allegiance and pursues her own path.She was amongst the Pro-Registration heroes in the Civil War, and acts as Ms. Marvel's Tagalong Kid, and while questioning her worst moments, she continued to be on Carol's side, continuing to grow up and they help out each other, despite her father's misgivings, and Carol once saved her from the mind control of Puppet Master, solidifying their relations.Like the rest of the Spider-Family, she wasn't heard anymore until Grim Hunt, whereas luckily for her, Arana managed to survive the events and helped Spider Man defeat Kraven. In the aftermath, she was handpicked by Julia Carpenter as the successor of the Arachne suit and becomes the Spider Girl as Julia succeeds the late Madame Web.
Tropes associated with the Spider Women: