This is why Spider-Woman is my favorite superhero.
For those unaware, Jessica Drew, the first Spider-Woman, is my favorite superhero/Marvel character/whatever other classification she falls under. I get a lot of questions as to why this is along with people just assuming that it’s because she’s “hot” or that I have a crush on her or something. I guess they’re confused as to why a guy is so infatuated with a female character for any other reason? Who knows, that’s a totally different article. Anyway, there are three main reasons for why Jess is my favorite; her origin, her history, and her character.
Jessica Drew ≠ Peter Parker
Believe it or not, Spider-Woman has pretty much no relation to Spider-Man, besides the interactions that they’ve had over the years seeing as they both work in the superhero business. They’ve even spent some time together as Avengers, but that’s beside the point.
Jessica Drew’s REAL origin, the reason she was created outside the context of the Marvel universe, does, however, have heavy ties to the wonderful web-slinger we all know and love. The short of it is that back before Jess’ creation, Stan Lee was worried that someone else would steal the name “Spider-Woman,” because of the increasing popularity of their character, Spider-Man. Because of this, he commissioned the creation of the character so they could protect the name and for the first time ever, in Marvel Spotlight #32, Spider-Woman appeared!
When I was first getting into comics (and even more so now), stories like this, “REAL Origins,” were super fascinating to me. Jess’ was one of the first I read about and it immediately made me more interested in the character. If I’m being honest, I can’t remember what I was reading at the time that included her, as this was before Dennis Hopeless started his incredible work on the character, but I started to fall in love.
Spider-Woman: Agent of Life Sucking
From Skrull kidnappings to being hated by an entire town because of her powers, Jessica Drew has not had an easy life. Wherever she goes, her problems follow her and they never stop.
This is something I can heavily relate to. Without getting into too much detail, my childhood was not the walk in the park that everyone wishes for. There were points where I wanted out, but because I was a minor with no income or life experience, I had no option but to rough the bad days, enjoy the good ones, and wait. Yes, I considered the easy way out, which Jess has as well, but the good days that I did have gave me hope, a glimpse into the future that I’m currently living.
“I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory;” this keeps Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer and star of Hamilton, going and I can’t say it doesn’t inspire me to keep going myself. Sometimes you need to confront your demons to eradicate them. Spider-Woman’s past was hard, but it made her the hero that she is today. I like to believe that my past has done the same, leading me down the road of becoming who I am.
“I once lost a week of my life shame-Googling ‘Spider-Woman butt’”
That is a direct quote from the first run of Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez’s amazing Spider-Woman series, said by Jess herself! This was partially in response to the whole “Spider-Woman butt fiasco” that happened because of the infamous Milo Manara cover, but it’s also a perfect example of Spider-Woman’s character. She’s hilarious, down-to-earth, and a great mentor/mother/friend/etc.
This is probably the most trivial of the three reasons. I just like her for who she is and how she’s written. It’s like having a best friend that you unquestionably love with all your heart. If someone came up to you and asked, “Hey, why is <name> your best friend?,” you’d probably come up with something like, “Because they’re <name>!” You can’t really explain emotions to other people, because they can’t feel them the same way you can.
If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would say that I love Spider-Woman because she’s a tortured character who, despite all odds, continues to thrive as a superhero in the crazy, big Marvel universe. Well, at least when publication remembers she exists.
Not really sure how to end this thing, so I’ll just say this: take a look at your favorite character and really examine why you love them so much. I promise, it’ll give you a great appreciation for the character and it properly equips you for anytime someone asks you the very same question!