Spider-Woman (TV series)


Genre Animation
Created by Stan Lee (Created for Television)
Voices of Joan Van Ark
Bruce Miller
Bryan Scott
Composer(s) Eric Rogers
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 16
Executive producer(s) David H. DePatie
Friz Freleng
Producer(s) Lee Gunther
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) DePatie-Freleng Enterprises
Marvel Comics Animation
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Original network ABC
Original release September 22, 1979 – January 5, 1980

Spider-Woman is an animated television series, based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Woman. The series was produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and Marvel Comics Animation (both owned by Marvel Entertainment), and aired on September 22, 1979, to January 5, 1980, one season of sixteen episodes, on the ABC-TV network. It was also DePatie-Freleng's final series before its reincorporation as Marvel Productions.



According to the title sequence, Jessica Drew (voiced by Joan Van Ark) was bitten by a poisonous spider as a child; her father saved her life by injecting her with an experimental "spider serum," which also granted her superhuman powers. As an adult, Jessica is editor of Justice Magazine, with two other employees featured; photographer Jeff Hunt (a cowardly braggart who nonetheless fancied himself as a quick-witted and resourceful crime-stopper) and Jessica's teenage nephew Billy. When trouble arises, Jessica slips away to change into her secret identity of Spider-Woman.

The Spider-Woman cartoon should not be confused with Web Woman, a Filmation superheroine cartoon launched at around the same time, which reportedly prompted Marvel Comics into creating a Spider-Woman character to secure the copyright.[1]

Differences between cartoon and comic book

The cartoon differs considerably from the comic book in its premise and supporting cast. Billy, Jeff, and Justice Magazine never appear in the comic book in any form. Nor do the darker elements of the comic book (the heavy use of Arthurian legend and the occult, Jessica's feelings of alienation) enter into the much brighter world of the cartoon. The origin of her powers is also altered somewhat; at the time of the series' production, the threat to her life in the comics was radiation poisoning (though her published origin has since been altered).

The animated Spider-Woman's powers are noticeably modified; her enhanced strength in particular seems entirely missing, as she is shown in several episodes being restrained by means (such as ordinary rope) that her super-strong comic-book counterpart could easily break. In addition to the ability to cling to walls:


Episode name Airdate Synopsis
Pyramids of Terror September 22, 1979 Guest stars Spider-Man. The Justice Magazine crew investigate an alien invasion in Egypt led by the Mummy Khufu.
Realm of Darkness September 29, 1979 The powerful demon Dormammu emerges on a Pacific island, threatening to enslave mankind.
The Amazon Adventure October 6, 1979 Stolen gold from Fort Knox leads the Justice Magazine team into the Amazon, where they uncover a plot by the Amazon leader Shanna to take over the world.
The Ghost Vikings October 13, 1979 A 'ghost' Viking ship emerges off the coast of Norway. The crew plan to steal the riches of the world, before returning to their own time. Spider-Woman travels back to 952 A.D. to defeat them.
The Kingpin Strikes Again October 20, 1979 Spider-woman confronts Kingpin and his henchmen as they rob a bank, but after taking out two of his men, one of Kingpin's minions manages to turn the tables and locked Spider-woman up, allowing Kingpin to get the loot. Humiliated, Spider-woman, as Jessica Drew tries to get back at the Kingpin by writing up a maligning news article about him Angered by her recent Justice Magazine article, the Kingpin steals an experimental invisibility ray and seeks revenge on its editor Jessica Drew. However, while invisible, he witnesses her transform into Spider-Woman, and opts for a blackmail plot instead.
The Lost Continent October 27, 1979 After US Air Force planes vanish in the Bermuda Triangle, the team from Justice Magazine investigate. They soon find themselves thrown into a hidden dimension, where dinosaurs roam the Earth.
The Kongo Spider November 3, 1979 Guest stars Spider-Man. While covering the filming of a movie, the Justice Magazine team encounter a giant spider (in a plot inspired by King Kong).
Games of Doom November 10, 1979 Athletes in the World Athletic Games in Moscow are being kidnapped and replaced by android doubles. Jessica Drew goes undercover as a Long Jumper to investigate.
Shuttle to Disaster November 17, 1979 The Justice Magazine team find themselves on a hijacked space shuttle, heading towards the moon, where the villain Steeljaw intends to enslave mankind and put it to work digging for valuable gems.
Dracula's Revenge November 24, 1979 The world's population are threatened with being turned into vampires, werewolves, and Frankenstein's Monster. Spider-Woman discovers that Dracula is behind this.
The Spider-Woman and the Fly December 1, 1979 Jessica confronts a former research assistant to her father, who has been mutated into a human fly after a lab accident. Deducing her secret identity, he creates a formula which will rob Jessica of her spider powers.
Invasion of the Black Hole December 8, 1979 A UFO attempts to swallow the Earth in a black hole, in readiness for an invasion by aliens from the planet Graviton.
The Great Magini December 15, 1979 Magician, the Great Magini, attempts to steal the World's most famous landmarks.
A Crime In Time December 22, 1979 An experimental time machine unleashes an invasion of Wookiee-like creatures. Jessica is forced to reveal her secret identity to her fellow magazine crew, in order to save mankind.
Return of the Spider-Queen December 29, 1979 Spider-Woman is brainwashed by an alien race of human spider creatures, who believe she is their long lost queen.
The Deadly Dream January 5, 1980 An alien threatens the World with her sleep inducing powers.


DVD releases

In 2008, this series was planned for release on Region 2 DVD in the UK in by Liberation Entertainment as part of a release schedule of Marvel Animated series. However, the release never came to be due to Liberation going bankrupt. The complete series of Spider Woman was finally released on Region 2 DVD format on 20 July 2009. The series is released in a 2-disc set from Clear Vision Ltd.


  1. Johnson, Dan (August 2006). "Marvel's Dark Angel: Back Issue Gets Caught in Spider-Woman's Web", Back Issue Magazine Vol. 1, No. 17, pages 57-63. TwoMorrows Publishing.
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