US animated TV series (1978-1979). DePatie-Freleng Enterprises/Marvel Comics Animation for ABC-TV. Created for television by Stan Lee based on a character created by Archie Goodwin. Produced by Lee Gunther. Directed by Bob Richardson. Writers included Jeffrey Scott and Tom Swale. Cast includes Bruce Miller, Bryan Scott and Joan Van Ark. Sixteen 30-minute episodes. Colour.
When young, Jessica Drew (Van Ark) was bitten by a poisonous spider; her father injected her with an experimental, radiation-treated "spider serum" that saved her life and gave her spider-like Superpowers. In adulthood, Jessica becomes the costumed Superhero Spider-Woman while working for Justice Magazine; fellow-journalists include Jeff Hunt (Miller), who fancies himself as a crime-fighter but is actually cowardly and inept, and Jessica's teenage nephew Billy Drew (Scott). As Spider-Woman, Jessica faces invading Aliens, a Lost Race of Amazons plotting world conquest, Time Travel through the Bermuda Triangle to a land of Dinosaurs, Supernatural Creatures such as demons and the Vampire Dracula, and other routine Monsters including the Frankenstein Monster and Werewolves. The most familiar Marvel Comics Villain to appear is the Kingpin. Spider-Man assists her on two occasions.
The animated character differs considerably from her Comics incarnation; she lacks the latter's superhuman strength but has acquired new powers: Spider-Man's traditional ESP "spider sense" and ability to project webbing and web-lines, plus an incapacitating sonic scream or "spider shriek". Justice Magazine, Jeff Hunt and Jessica's nephew are also new creations for this Television version. Her origin story has since undergone several revisions. Marvel used the name Spider-Woman for at least three other characters, all inferior to the Jessica Drew version. [GFi]
see also: Spider-Man.
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