Spider-Woman (1979– )

TV Series  -   -  Animation | Family | Fantasy
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The adventures of a female superhero with spider-like abilities.

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Title: Spider-Woman (1979– )

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1980   1979  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Jessica Drew / ... (16 episodes, 1979-1980)
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Storyline

As a child, Jessica Drew was bitten by a deadly spider. To save her life, her scientist father injects her with an experimental serum. The treatment is successful, but the side effects are extraordinary. Jessica develops the ability to fire concussive "venom blasts," shoot web from her body and her hearing is enhanced. Now as working as editor of Justice Magazine, Jessica Drew also battles crime as Spider-Woman. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@rogers.com>

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22 September 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donna Ragno  »

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Announcer: And this is Jessica Drew, who was a child while visiting her father's laboratory, was bitten by a poisonous spider. Forced to try an untested spider serum, Dr. Drew not only saved his daughter's life, but unknowingly gave her incredible spider-like powers. Dedicated to fighting evil, while weaving her web of justice, it's Spider-Woman!
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Connections

Version of Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice 1970s Adventure Show for Kids
9 August 2007 | by (detroit, MI) – See all my reviews

The Spider-Woman animated series (ABC) lasted from 1979 until 1980, with 13 episodes produced.

In the 1970s, Marvel Comics created a handful of female versions of some of Marvel's popular male characters (allegedly, just so no one else could lay claim to the names): Spider-Woman, the She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel. Of those three, Spider-Woman quickly became a prominent marketing co-mascot (along with Spider-Man, the Hulk, and Captain America), appearing on various Marvel-branded licensed merchandise, and serving as their de facto representative for lady superheroes (rival DC Comics owned longtime icon Wonder Woman).

Marvel's first animation production house (in cooperation with the DePatie/Freling, firm, who pioneered the "Pink Panther" toons) developed this show.

The show alters the backstory for Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman. The comics had an arguably complicated origin story, which posited her as being born in the 1920's, struck by radiation poisoning, then placed in suspended animation where she slowly grew to adulthood over several decades (while periodically being injected with life-preserving drugs based on spider-proteins)..

The producers wisely jettisoned this origin, and simply state that a pre-teen Jessica was bitten by a spider when fooling around in her father's research laboratory. A hasty antidote is created, based on the spider's venom, which ends up giving Jessica her trademark powers. As an adult, Spider-Woman can crawl on walls, has super-strength, can mentally communicate with spiders, has a spider-sense that borders on true clairvoyance, can cast webbing from her fingertips, and can glide on air currents with her web-wings (the webcasting, spider-sense and spider-telepathy were not from the comics). Curiously, she transforms into her Spider-Woman costume simply by spinning around in place (and weaving a thin web around herself)-- this was seemingly taken directly from the "Wonder Woman" TV show.

The adult Jessica is now a magazine publisher (Justice Magazine), though apparently she often serves as her own reporter, along with pilot/photographer Jeff (a dead ringer for Peter Parker) by her side, as well as her nephew Billy (Billy's parents, including a presumed Drew sibling, are never seen).

The Kingpin and Dormammu are among the Marvel comics villains used here, though the portrayals are not exactly as the comics origins.

Spider-Man is a guest in two episodes-- though in both, Spider-Woman is clearly the main star, and viewers never see Spider-Man out of costume.

The animation was about par for the time (late 70's). Not pioneering, but not "Rocky & Bullwinkle" cheap, either.

Joan Van Ark ("Falcon Crest") did the voice of Jessica/Spider-Woman.

It would be great to have this series on DVD. Disney acquired Marvel Comics in 2009, including the back catalog video rights to all animated TV shows based their characters. Spider-Woman has been released on DVD in Europe, but not the USA yet.


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