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Western Animation / Spider-Woman

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Spider-Woman received her own short-lived cartoon series in 1979, created by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.

Jessica Drew was bitten by a spider when she was a young girl. To save her life, her father gave her a serum that also ended up giving her special powers. As an adult, Jessica fights crime as Spider-Woman, working as the editor of Justice Magazine in her civilian identity.


  • Adaptational Heroism: Jessica's father was a HYDRA agent in the comics. In here, he was apparently just a kind scientist.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Comic Jessica has a pretty well defined powerset in that she has the same "proportional Spider Abilities" as Spider-man but trades his Spider-Sense for the ability to glide/fly a bit, shoot Venom Blasts and seduce men with pheromones. Cartoon Jessica has most of these but also: a Spider-Sense that's downright clairvoyance sometimes, web lines from her fingers, a Wonder Woman-esque costume change power, Spider Telepathy, a protective Spider-Bubble and even a Spider Super Shriek. Too bad she forgets to use most of those a lot of times where they would be convenient.
  • Amazon Brigade: A tribe of Amazon women were the antagonists in "The Amazon Adventure".
  • Animated Adaptation: A cartoon loosely based on comic book heroine Spider-Woman.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After demonstrating how Robot Me helped preserve her secret identity, Jessica looks at the viewers and says her secret is just between her and them.
  • Depending on the Artist: Jessica's build changes, not just in different episodes, but in different scenes in the same episode. Sometimes she has an average and slender build, other times she has muscles that could give Wonder Woman a run for her money.
  • Distressed Dude: Jessica's love interest, her nephew, and Spider-Man all become the victims so Spider-Woman has to save them in many episodes.
  • Expy: Graviton, the villain of "Invasion of the Black Hole", is clearly based on Darth Vader from Star Wars (the series premiered two years after the release of A New Hope). He wears black armor, his face is obscured by a similarly-shaped helmet, and he even fights Spider-Woman with a lightsaber-like weapon.
  • Fight Dracula: Spider-Woman faces Dracula in the episode "Dracula's Revenge" as well as the Wolfman and Frankenstein's Monster.
  • Film Felons: "The Kongo Spider" had a villainous director try to make a snuff film with Spider-Man and Spider-Woman as his victims.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Scene transitions often showed a spider web surrounding Spider-Woman's insignia before cutting to the next scene.
  • Lighter and Softer: Part of the course for the cartoons of the era. The original run of Spider-Woman was full of drama, with Jessica being an outcast for her strange powers and lack of identification, and she also had to deal with being a former HYDRA agent. Here, she is a stable reporter with a nephew and Love Interest unaware of her identity as a superheroine, and no mention is ever made of her background (so her father, by all intents, is a nice guy in this version)
  • Monster Mash: "Dracula's Revenge" had Spider-Woman fight Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein's Monster, who were all able to transform their victims into their own kind by firing energy blasts at them.
  • Mummy: The villains in the series' first episode were a race of alien mummies from the planet Hotep.
  • Nephewism: One of the main characters is Jessica's nephew Billy. He might have had parents at some point, but they're never mentioned.
  • Robot Me:
    • In "The Kingpin Strikes Again", Jessica Drew uses a robot Spider-Woman to convince the Kingpin that he made a mistake in assuming Jessica Drew was Spider-Woman's secret identity.
    • In "Games of Doom", the episode's villains replace Olympic athletes, Jessica included, with androids.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: The episode "Realm of Darkness" had Spider-Woman fight Dormammu, who is traditionally an enemy of Doctor Strange.
  • Rushmore Refacement: In "The Great Magini", the titular villain at one point uses illusions to make it seem like he's stolen the Presidents' heads from Mt. Rushmore and has large duplicates of his own head take their place to boast about his crime.
  • Stock Footage: Par for the course of the cartoons of the era.
  • Transformation Sequence: In a manner similar to the 1970's Wonder Woman television series, Jessica Drew changes into her alter ego and back by spinning around.
  • Villainous Glutton: The Kingpin is constantly seen eating something and is a cunning crime boss.