Based on
Voices ofJoan Van Ark
Bruce Miller
Bryan Scott
Narrated byDick Tufeld
ComposerEric Rogers
Country of originUnited States India
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes16
Executive producersDavid H. DePatie
Friz Freleng
ProducerLee Gunther
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesDePatie–Freleng Enterprises
Marvel Comics Animation
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 22, 1979 (1979-09-22) –
January 5, 1980 (1980-01-05)

Spider-Woman is an animated television series, based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Woman.[1] The series was produced by DePatie–Freleng Enterprises and Marvel Comics Animation (both owned by Marvel Entertainment), and aired from September 22, 1979 to January 5, 1980 on ABC.[2] It was 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 venomous spider as a child; Jessica's father, Dr. Alex Drew, saved her life by injecting the girl 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 whom nobody else mistakes for the quick-witted and resourceful crime-stopper he fancies himself as; Jessica's teenage nephew Billy. (No other members of the Drew family were ever seen or mentioned.) When trouble arises, Jessica slips away to change into her secret identity of Spider-Woman.[3]

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.[4]

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:



No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Pyramids of Terror"September 22, 1979 (1979-09-22)
Guest-stars Spider-Man. The Justice Magazine crew investigate an alien invasion in Egypt led by the mummy Khufu.
2"Realm of Darkness"September 29, 1979 (1979-09-29)
The powerful demon Dormammu emerges on a Pacific island, threatening to enslave mankind.
3"The Amazon Adventure"October 6, 1979 (1979-10-06)
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.
4"The Ghost Vikings"October 13, 1979 (1979-10-13)
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 AD 952 to defeat them.
5"The Kingpin Strikes Again"October 20, 1979 (1979-10-20)
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 lock 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 transforming into Spider-Woman and opts for a blackmail plot instead.
6"The Lost Continent"October 27, 1979 (1979-10-27)
After United States 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.
7"The Kongo Spider"November 3, 1979 (1979-11-03)
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).
8"Games of Doom"November 10, 1979 (1979-11-10)
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.
9"Shuttle to Disaster"November 17, 1979 (1979-11-17)
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.
10"Dracula's Revenge"November 24, 1979 (1979-11-24)
The world's population are threatened with being turned into vampires, werewolves, and Frankenstein's Monsters. Spider-Woman discovers that Dracula is behind this.
11"The Spider-Woman and the Fly"December 1, 1979 (1979-12-01)
Jessica confronts a former research assistant to her father named Dr. Hagel who has been mutated into the Fly after a lab accident. Deducing her secret identity, he creates a formula which will rob Jessica of her spider powers.
12"Invasion of the Black Hole"December 8, 1979 (1979-12-08)
A UFO attempts to swallow the Earth in a black hole in readiness for an invasion by aliens from the planet Graviton.
13"The Great Magini"December 15, 1979 (1979-12-15)
A magician called The Great Magini attempts to steal the world's most famous landmarks.
14"A Crime in Time"December 22, 1979 (1979-12-22)
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.
15"Return of the Spider-Queen"December 29, 1979 (1979-12-29)
Spider-Woman is brainwashed by an alien race of human spider creatures, who believe she is their long-lost queen.
16"The Deadly Dream"January 5, 1980 (1980-01-05)
An alien threatens the world with her sleep-inducing powers.

Home media

In 1982, a 100 minute Spider-Woman VHS tape was released, containing several episodes. Three episodes of Spider-Woman were originally released as part of the Marvel Comics Video Library VHS series in the mid 1980s. Volumes 6, 13, and 23 contain the Spider-Woman episodes The Spider-Woman and the Fly, Games of Doom and Pyramids of Terror, respectively. Volume 6 was re-released in 1991, minus the bonus Spider-Man episodes. In 2008, volume 6 was released on DVD as Spider-Woman vs. the Fly.

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.[1] However, the release never came to be due to Liberation going bankrupt. The complete series of Spider-Woman was eventually released on Region 2 DVD format on 20 July 2009. The series was released in a 2-disc set from Clear Vision Ltd. [2]

Spider-Woman was made available on the Disney+ streaming service at its U.S. launch on November 12, 2019.[5]


Critical reception

Chris Sims of Looper stated, "Spider-Woman has the distinction of being the oldest Marvel cartoon currently available on Disney+, and for those of you planning on watching your way through the entire Marvel catalog in chronological order, there are worse places to start. It's definitely every bit as clunky as you'd expect from the late '70s, but it also might be the single most buck wild superhero cartoon ever made. [...] There are definitely better shows to watch on Disney+, but if you're into the goofy stuff, or just want to see how the unfathomable weirdness of the Bronze Age Marvel Universe was translated directly to television, there aren't many that are going to be more fun than this one."[6] David Chapman of Common Sense Media rated the series 3 out of 5 stars, praised the presence of positive role models, stating Jessica Drew is portrayed as a strong and independent female character, and complimented the presence of positive messages, saying the series depicts benevolence and resourcefulness.[7]


  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 580. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part 1: Animated Cartoon Series. Scarecrow Press. pp. 268–269. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 782–783. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Disney (October 14, 2019). Basically Everything Coming to Disney+ in the U.S. | Start Streaming November 12. Event occurs at 28:14. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Sims, Chris (2019-12-06). "Every Marvel Cartoon On Disney+ Ranked Worst To Best". Looper.com. Retrieved 2022-09-07.
  7. ^ "Spider-Woman TV Review | Common Sense Media". www.commonsensemedia.org. Retrieved 2022-09-07.