The only comics I owned that survived three decades and dozens of moves over seven states (and one overseas) where a dozen or so issues of Spider-Woman. Unfortunately, Howard the Duck had found his way onto to E-bay. It was essentially pulling these Spider Woman’s out of a storage box that led to this web-site.
Marvel Comics’ then-publisher Stan Lee said in 1978, shortly after Spider-Woman’s debut in Marvel Spotlight #32 (Feb. 1977) the character originated because:
“I suddenly realized that some other company may quickly put out a book like that and claim they have the right to use the name, and I thought we’d better do it real fast to copyright the name. So we just batted one quickly, and that’s exactly what happened. I wanted to protect the name, because it’s the type of thing [where] someone else might say, ‘Hey, why don’t we put out a Spider-Woman; they can’t stop us.’ … You know, years ago we brought out Wonder Man, and [DC Comics] sued us because they had Wonder Woman, and … I said okay, I’ll discontinue Wonder Man. And all of a sudden they’ve got Power Girl [after Marvel had introduced Power Man]. Oh, boy. How unfair.”
Despite the less than glamorous birth, she had a brief run of popularity in the 1970s, including her own regular comics-series Spider-Woman that lasted 50 issues. Created by Archie Goodwin, Sal Buscema and Jim Mooney, “Jessica Miriam Drew” (aka Spider-Woman) was the fictional daughter of a scientist couple whose life’s work was dedicated to harnessing the environmental adaptive abilities of spiders by grafting elements of their DNA onto the human genome. Prior to Jessica’s birth, the pair moved to Wundagore Mountain to conduct their research with funding from HYDRA. While working on these experiments Jessica’s mother was hit by a laser beam containing the DNA, and subsequent physical traits, of several species of spiders. The unborn Jessica took on these traits giving her a variety of spider powers. Jessica’s parents disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving her to be raised on Mount Wundagore by a woman named Bova. Jessica was later recruited by HYDRA under the false pretense of HYDRA being a force for good in the world. There she was trained by Taskmaster in martial arts and the effective use of her powers to become a deadly assassin. The rest, as they say, is history.