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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Spider-Woman Key Comics & Other Issues Part 3


Oh, do we have some more unknowns and "where are they now" or "where have they ever been files". I'm sure some out there remember these or at least read a few issues from whatever titled series.

Just a word of warning: We will be looking at quite a few over-looked alternate realities that deal with Spider-Woman or whoever from where ever that took the mantle.

I will be revealing a pretty important and not-so-talked-about first appearance that may have to do with all the Secret Invasion hype or talk running around out there currently. If you don't get it from reading the actual listing, I will give it a good last hammer in the outro as well.

Click this Part 2 if you missed, but if not, continue with these other Spider-Woman comics. 





SPIDER-GIRL #32
1st appearance of Gerry Drew (MC2)


Okay, now when it comes to this character, he is sort of important. Yes, I know this is an alternate reality, but here's how a lack of creativity permeates Marvel Comics nowadays. 

There is an Earth-616 mainstream version of Gerry Drew that came out in later comics, almost two decades later. However, the original Gerry Drew made his debut here in the pages of Spider-Girl and was created by none other than Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz.

He shows up in a full page cameo at the very end of the story and he is suited up as Spider-Man. Not revealed who the character is that's claiming to take up the mantle of the next Spider-Man for Earth-928 but we shall get to that later.


Yes, just like the mainstream version of this character, Gerry in MC2 universe is the son of Jessica Drew of that reality. Jessica Drew was or use to be Spider-Woman in this reality and Gerry did inherit his mamma's powers, just like the later mainstream version.

This Gerry Drew was also born with a blood disease as well, and we will get to the story behind that in a bit. Anyway, this Gerry wanted to be the next Spider-Man, which is why he is all suited up.



As mentioned before, I have included the mainstream Gerry Drew in Part 5 to the Spider-Woman Comics series. He is just a baby in recent continuity.

Gerry Drew debut in the MC2 and Spider-Girl #32 has the cover date of May, 2001. Do not think there are any different artwork variants for this issue, but issue #33 has a newsstand copy so I think this one might as well. 

Don't have an example though but issue #29 has a newsstand image out there.





SPIDER-GIRL #33
1st full appearance of Gerry Drew
1st cameo of Jessica Drew (MC2)



Speaking of Jessica Drew, this is the debut of the character in the MC2 universe, but she is only in a panel and in shadow. Not exactly a big deal but worth a mention since we have opened the can of what's called "Gerry Drew", and as mentioned before, the was recently introduced in the mainstream continuity of Earth-616.

Why do I keep mentioning the different Earths? Well, it's because it's important. Hmmmmm...the actual comics being important? Since when?

Recently, I just got a comment about Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0, attempting to correct or push that issue is the real debut of Spider-Gwen because it hit the stands earlier. Sure, it did but was that the actual character of Spider-Gwen or Gwen Stacy from Earth-65?

Get ready for a debunk concerning that issue, and I have been working on it. It is coming!

Anyway, Jessica Drew MC2 universe debuts here and we will get to the origin of both her and Gerry Drew of Earth-982. This is Gerry Drew's first full appearance, and he and Spider-Girl do have a dust up, a brawl, a match.

Although I could not find an example image for issue #32, I did find a newsstand image for this issue. I placed it here for reference. Chuck R. over at Mile High has newsstand distribution at only 5% during 2000. 

These may not be easy finds in high grade.
If you back tracked from Part 5 of this series and want to go back there, just click that blue Part 5 link above.

He is not revealed in this issue either, so the mystery of who this character is continues. Spider-Girl #33 has the cover date of June, 2001.






SPIDER-GIRL #39 & 40
Origin Jessica Drew (MC2)
Origin Gerry Drew (MC2)


Here we have the origin of both Jessica Drew and Gerry Drew. Actually, the origin story is told by the MC2 version of Julia Carpenter when she reaches out to Peter Parker in order to convince him to reach out to Gerry Drew.

This first happens in issue #39 and she tells a bit about what happened to Jessica Drew. Here's the panels below and how this bad boy plays out.







Seems like Jessica Drew of the MC2 married, had a kid, but her infected genetics gave him some kind of illness. So we get our first very brief origin of Jessica Drew Spider-Woman and her son Gerry Drew in issue #39 of the Spider-Girl series.

This, however, is not the end of that tale. In the next issue of #40, May finds out that Gerry Drew's illness also progresses the more he uses his powers. She seeks him out and Gerry as Spider-Man retells his origin to May "Mayday" Parker.







Looks like Jessica Drew of this reality married a jerk. So, May Parker as Spider-Girl finds out that the more Gerry uses his super powers, the more he speeds up his own illness.

So, gonna spoil this whole thing here, because that's what I do best. Peter Parker and Spider-Girl end up finding a cure for Gerry and he abandons his quest to be the next Spider-Man in turn for the life of a normal kid.

That's not to be said of the Earth-616 Gerry Drew, as it appears that the baby was born with his special abilities. I do think that makes him a mutant, no?

Since there are example covers above this paragraph, those are newsstand images. I was able to find newsstand examples for both issue #39 and #40.

As always, you can click on the images to enlarge them and get a better view. Newsstands was greatly dying out by then and around 5% according to Chuck R. over at Mile High. 

So, if you're worried about rarity and actually like this comic series, may want to gun after newsstand edition of these issues. If you're not into Spider-Girl or newsstands...well, at least, you know they're out there for this issue.

Okay, end of that! If you back tracked from Part 5 of this series and want to go back there, just click that blue Part 5 link above. Spider-Girl #39 and Spider-Girl #40 have the cover dates of December, 2001 and January, 2002.






EXILES #20
1st Earth-8545 M.J. as Spider-Woman

I think one of them variants got super hyped up because it had Mary Jane on the cover as Spider-Woman or something. I dunno, I am admittedly not that in tune with the Modern comic gimmicks that see heat for whatever reason.

Hey, if you like those, I'm surely not the one to tell you not to collect something. Comic collecting and buying is partly cover-driven anyhow. Cooler the art, the more it might be picked up.

Anyway, Mary Jane actually did become Spider-Woman in an alternate universe. Much like Spider-Gwen, Mary Jane was the one who was bit by the radioactive spider.

Unlike Spider-Gwen, this version of Mary Jane and Spider-Woman is a lesbian or gay. She had a relationship with that universe's Sunfire, who was Mariko Yashida instead of Shiro Yoshida.

No, I will not be featuring the debut of every single different reality Spider-Woman, but thought this was an interesting one to bring up for those who like them hard comic speculations.

Exiles #20 has the cover date of February, 2003.








ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #98
1st appearance Ultimate Spider-Woman


I personally think these Ultimate Spider-Man comics are over-looked for the most part. I know that they seem a misconception is that they are everywhere or easily found, but if you actually look for some issues, they are more than meets the eye when it comes to the hunt.

The Jessica Drew Ultimate Spider-Woman version is very much a different spin on the character. Unlike the mainstream version, the Ultimate version of Spider-Woman is actually part of the clone saga and a clone of Peter Parker.

Yep, kinda like a switch-a-roo deal with Ben Reilly, except the clone is a female and called Jessica Drew. Actually, that's some X-23 shit right there. Might want to start a conspiracy and have it that Brian Michael Bendis stole that idea from Craig Kyle.

I smell a Ultimate Spider-Woman and X-23 connection there. I am kidding, of course, but, yeah, debut of Ultimate Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, female Peter Parker clone, and it's good stuff. Remember, some peeps were introduced to this version of Spider-Man before ever touching the other Spider-Man comics.

Why was the series so great and well-received then? Well, ask yourself this: What is part of the reason why Spider-Gwen is well-received by fans?

The answer for both is actually the same, and it's the same reason why Peter Parker as Spider-Man was originally so well-received by comic fans as well. Come to think about it: Spider-Man had a clone saga way before Wolverine.

I actually like the cover to this one. Pretty cool and the cover date to Ultimate Spider-Man #98 is October, 2006.







ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #102
Origin of Ultimate Spider-Woman


Since I opened up the box, I may as well mention this comic here as well. This is the origin of Ultimate Spider-Woman, and even though movie hype or movie speculation for this one is a stretch, I think it's more plausible that the folks over at SONY do a clone thing if they want a Spider-Woman spin-off.

That is, of course, if they decide not to have Tiffany Espensen actually be the Cindy Moon and have her become Silk. I think that route is perfect, and I mean perfect in redoing the origin but have it at a different viewpoint so it's different.

That different viewpoint of the origin would be from Cindy, of course. Tom Holland could cameo in that spin-off flick. Well, just saying it's a simple way to throw in the Spidey origin and have it different with a fresh spin.

Well, if they don't go that route, they can always go the Ultimate Spider-Woman route, in which Jessica is a clone of Peter Parker. I actually do love the origin to this version of Jessica Drew.








Technically it's a spin on Ben Reilly but whatever. Would be a a cool way to have some elements of the clone saga in a future Spidey flick.

There is a bit more to the origin in the issue, but that's the main jist of it. Just like that scene, and to be honest, I like this version of the Clone Saga better than the original. Just my opinion there.

I dunno, could be a cool way to merge what's going on in the Venom movie with the Spider-Man stuff going on. Ultimate Spider-Man #102 has the cover date of January, 2007





NEW AVENGERS #1
1st Veranke (as Spider-Woman)

What? Why am I putting this one up on here? Oh, my, God! I'm "talking up comics that aren't worth shit" again!!!

Like something actually happening in a comic book hasn't flown below the radar before? So, just when you thought that Jessica Drew as Spider-Woman was making a come back, we again have this issue.

Okay, despite the fact that it was revealed that Veranke was in disguise as Jessica Drew Spider-Woman all along in the later Secret Invasion event, this quasi or fake "return" of Jessica Drew as Spider-Woman did garner renewed interest in the character. Not the real return of the character as mentioned before, but still worth mentioning for the Jessica Drew character.

Don't worry because we'll get to when she is really reintroduced. Before this issue, Jessica Drew lost her powers and then started up a private investigation company based in San Francisco with her best-friend Lindsay McCabe. 

She ends up helping Wolverine in Madripoor and both her and Lindsay became supporting characters in the first Wolverine on-going series for a time. Jessica then became a supporting character for Mattie Franklin in her comic series as Spider-Woman and also guest-starred in Alias.

During several phases, she would regain and lose her powers a few times prior to this issue. So it winds up that Queen Veranke of the Skrulls impersonates her for quite a while.

If your wondering why some sources say this is the first appearance of Jessica Drew Spider-Woman, it's really Veranke as Jessica Drew Spider-Woman. So here's a freeze-dried version of what goes down in order for Jessica Drew to take up the mantle of Spider-Woman again.

She is contacted by HYDRA to take up her Spider-Woman identity again, and Drew takes this information to Nick Fury. Fury tells her to accept so she can be a double agent for SHIELD. 

Regains her powers, abducted by Skrulls, impersonated by Veranke! Boom! There it is. 

Oh, yes, I might as well drop this info if I had already not: Veranke's debut is in this one but as Spider-Woman. Her first full reveal in true form is in New Avengers #40.

If they do have a Secret Invasion thing for the big screen, I do not think rights for Veranke would be with FOX since this character was created quite a bit after FOX bought movie rights to Fantastic Four and the X-Men. Anyway, here are the variants to this cover that I know about.





McNiven variant

2nd Print Quesada

2nd Print Finch


There are Dynamic Forces versions that are signed by Finch and Bendis. I believe the Finch version is limited to 499 copies while the Bendis version is limited to 999 copies. During this time, a Director's Cut was a big thing as well, and this issue does have that as well.

I do have a copy and it is an interesting look at some behind the scenes. Has a special look at Bendis' scripts for this issue.

So, first Veranke and she is Jessica Drew Spider-Woman as it is revealed later in comics. New Avengers #1 has the cover date of January, 2005.







NEW AVENGERS #40
1st full or true appearance Veranke
Origin of Queen Veranke


Okay, whatever! I decided to feature this one.

When it comes to shape shifting characters that debut as someone else and are later revealed to be so-and-so and really, reveal themselves, I tired of twisting my brain in what to note that as...first "full" or first "true" or first "real" or first...

This is the issue that sees Queen Veranke in her true form. Well, she's actually a princess in the beginning of this comic as well, and this issue also tells the origin of Veranke and how she rises to power. Here's how she first debuts in this comic.


Once again, another worthless comic I'm talking up but may have a character that Disney/Marvel still owns the rights to and could possibly use if they are heading towards a "Secret Invasion" event for the MCU. Gasp!

The end of this comic also hints that Veranke has chosen Jessica Drew Spider-Woman to become and infiltrate Earth as. Here's how that looks in this comic:



I am not going to feature these separately, but New Avengers #42 actually reveals that Queen Veranke and her followers have captured and detained Jessica Drew. The issue then shows that Veranke then takes Spider-Woman's form. Cover images will most likely be in the below outro to this Part 3 Spider-Woman Comics series.

I think Secret Invasion #8 is the real return of Jessica Drew Spider-Woman. I think it's the death of Veranke also.

So there we are with this one. New Avengers #40 has the cover date of June, 2008.






EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #2
1st appearance of Spider-Gwen
1st appearance of the Mary Janes
1st Captain George Stacy of Earth-65
1st appearance of Earth-65


Oh, wow! Do I dare even venture here? Bringing up this character does entice to actually dig further and possibly bring up some over-looked sleepers involving Spider-Gwen.

Hmmm...why not? Right?

I admit that I was not a fan of all these piggy back, spin off, rehashes of the Spider-Man character that really just seem like lazy creativity. During this time, it seemed Marvel's answer to diversity was not creating a completely original character like Storm or Black Panther or Luke Cage, but it was twisting an already existing character to take up the mantle of an iconic character.

For instance, Amadeus Cho as Totally Awesome Hulk. Then, we have Gwen Stacy of an alternate universe who was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker and became Spider-Woman. As I have pointed out, this is not an original concept in the least and has already been done with gay Mary Jane of the Exiles.

The concept even somewhat extended to Silk prior, except both her and Peter Parker were bitten by the same spider. Either way, it's just lazy creativity to me.

Despite what I think, this character's popularity is becoming something else, and I do like seeing that. I see this character cosplayed almost all the time at conventions now. I at least see one person cosplaying as this character and I dig it. 

What do I like about this Gwen Stacy? Well, what did we like about Peter Parker originally?

Both were misfits who didn't really fit in and were introverts. I like that Gwen is a drummer in a rock band as I'm a drummer as well and often remember the days of retreating from even my own thoughts to bang those mofos.

This issue has more than just the debut of Gwen Stacy as the Spider-Woman of Earth-65. Well, I just gave that away and this issue does debut the alternate universe of Earth-65. Not sure if it's named in this issue or not.

Along with this alternate universe comes the universe's counterparts of Mary Jane Watson, Betty Brant, and Glory Grant. They are Gwen's friends and band members in a band called The Mary Janes.

There is, of course, Gwen's dad - Police Captain George Stacy who does end up finding out that his daughter is the very Spider-Woman he was ordered to hunt down. J. Jonah Jameson is actually the mayor in this alternate universe. Yikes! 

Like X-23, this character is being cosplayed quite a lot. I am thinking that this will be a debut to have and maybe even for the long-term.

A whole generation are becoming fans of this character and without any movie or TV show hype, much like X-23 before she was confirmed to appear in Logan. 

Right now the Greg Land variant seems to be the one to have. Prices are uber ridiculous for those and I think they are a 1:25 retailer deal.

Not sure why that one is so crazy out there expensive as I'm not a big fan of the cover. Actually think the original cover or the Siya Oum variant has better cover art, but that's just my opinion.

Is it the 1:25 deal? Some estimate that to be more than 5,000 copies or so. Then again, the regular cover CGC Census pins 9.8s already at a whopping 1,677 and only five 9.9s so far.

NYX #3 is currently at 1,429 for 9.8s in the ole CGC Census at the time of this writing. I do believe the Siya Oum variant is actually rarer than the Land variant. November, 2014 is the cover date to Edge of Spider-Verse #2.



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I think this concerns some comic fans out there, but Marvel is doing the exact same thing that brought upon Ultimate Spider-Man. Yes, I did bring up the Ultimate universe for a reason, and that came about to essentially bring Peter Parker Spider-Man back to what originally made him so popular in the first place - having teens relate to him.

You know, teen problems and teen angst that the original Amazing Spider-Man series got further away from as Peter Parker grew up and had "adult" problems. Sure, I am all for the darker more adult material in some comics. Don't get me wrong about that.

However, I started collecting and reading comics as a kid. I latched onto a few characters because I could grossly relate to them and, most likely, in a major way.

I think Spider-Gwen is so popular because she is a teen and teens and young adults can relate to her a lot more than some other characters. Also, and I am going to say it and put it out there, her character is already an iconic Spider-Man character no matter any which way you slice it.

I'm not talking about Earth-65 Gwen Stacy per say. I'm just talking about Gwen Stacy as a Spidey character period. Anyway, I think demand for Edge of Spider-Verse #2 is going to increase more and more over time.

Once again, my opinion on the Greg Land variant cover for that issue as being quite bland is just my opinion. That is all, but if news that this character is going to hit the big screen or even a TV show, I believe that comic, even the regular and reprint covers, will blow up.

Veranke? If we are talking about a Skrull that was a major villain in the Secret Invasion event and was created prior to Marvel selling off their movie rights to FOX, I think the character has a good chance of getting live-action time in the MCU. That's if Disney and Marvel are indeed heading towards a Secret Invasion event, and if so, New Avengers #40 might heat up slightly.

On that note and since I've been asked about this several times: I do think Silk will be in the MCU. Yes, there is a Part 4, but a few brief intermissions before we resume this regularly scheduled programming.



2 comments:

  1. Edge of Spider-Verse #2 shipped after Deadpool vs Hawkeye.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, but that is not Earth-65 Gwen Stacy. Deadpool vs. Hawkeye #0 occurs in Earth-616 mainstream universe.

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