SPIDER-WOMAN #2-6 (1978)

Spider-Woman is a former SHIELD spy with super powers and an origin that ties her to Wundagore Mountain. These early issues have Chris Claremont and Marv Wolfman trying to figure out what to do with a character who really was created just so that no other publisher could take her name. And what’s interesting is that, as random as these issues seem to be, the disparate themes will continue to be a part of her mythology for all 50 issues of this series.

First, magic.

In issue #2, Spider-Woman happens to get involved with Morgan Le Fay and the sword Excalibur, and a wizard named Magnus who will become a series regular.

He looks and dresses like a wizard.  I truly hate stories like this. 

Magnus offers to help Spider-Woman figure out who killed her father (she didn’t even know he was dead until Magnus told her). So we have an ongoing plotline.

Note: This is the first time Morgan Le Fey, from the legend of King Arthur, is brought into the Marvel world, but we don’t see her in issue #2. She possesses the body of someone else in this story. But we do see her in #5:

In issue #3, we get the first appearance of D-list villain Brother Grimm. He dehydrates people at an opera before stealing their stuff.


The use of freaky, weird, little-known (or new) villains will also be a theme for Jessica Drew.

The Brother Grimm is working with an even D-listier villain, Hangman.  They capture Spider-Woman and we get a quite a bit of bondage.  She is tied up and dragged around for several pages, like this:

And this:

Very detailed images of Hangman re-tying her to that chair, and she’s got the pointed toes as well. We last saw Hangman in Werewolf by Night so…

And that’s the third element of the Spider-Woman comic: Horror.

There’s some nonsense about her being destined to meet Jack Russell, but it’s best to ignore it.

Meanwhile, SHIELD agent Jerry Hunt, who literally was knocked over by Spider-Woman in issue #1, appears to be in love with her and is using his authority to launch an investigation. That’s one way to get a girl’s phone number.  Of course, it’s also illegal stalking.  But this was in 1978, so I guess he’ll argue he didn’t know better.

But by the end of this story, she’ll kiss him deeply. 


Because a gal can’t resist when law enforcement tracks them under false pretenses.

That’s Magnus, with a haircut, heckling them.

I don’t usually like Carmine Infantino, but his art here is pretty good. The story is messy and jumbled, but there’s definitely enough here to make it interesting.

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