Jessica Drew and the Launch of Spider-Woman #1, Up for Auction

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Despite being a character created for the most corporate of reasons (according to a 1978 Stan Lee interview, Marvel was essentially looking to defend their Spider-Turf) Jessica Drew is a character who has won people over.  Marvel writer Marv Wolfman, who initially assumed the idea was "one big joke" was so impressed after seeing the character's debut in Marvel Spotlight #32 that he asked to use Spider-Woman in Marvel Two-In-One, and would soon be writing the character's ongoing series.  Legendary artist Carmine Infantino joined Wolfman on art for the series, making Spider-Woman #1 one of the most important Marvel debuts of the 1970s.  There's a high-grade copy of the debut of this classic 1970s Marvel series with Spider-Woman #1 (Marvel, 1978) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages in this week's 2021 August 29-30 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122135 from Heritage Auctions.

The Spider-Woman #1 (Marvel, 1978)
The Spider-Woman #1 (Marvel, 1978)

In an editorial in Spider-Woman #1, Wolfman was surprisingly candid about the behind-the-scenes origins of the character.  After being told that the Spider-Woman character was being developed, his immediate reaction was that it couldn't be serious. "What's next? The Legion of Spidey Pets? How about Spider-Man's Pal, Harry Osborne?  This couldn't be happening. This is Marvel! We may be maniacal, but we're not mad."

But after being won over by her debut in Marvel Spotlight #32, Wolfman was determined to put his mark on the character. "I realized there would have to be some changes made," he recalled. "I loved the initial story, but at the time Archie wrote it, it was scheduled to be nothing more than a one-shot appearance. Therefore with Stan and Archie guiding me, we made a few minor alterations in her origin. Nothing presented in this or future issues negates anything from Webby's first appearance, we just used that initial story as a starting point."

Wolfman further explained why the series debut issue was such a creatively strong launch, by explaining that his handling of her Marvel Two-In-One appearances gave him time to work out what he wanted to do with the character's direction. He's wrong about Legion of Spidey Pets though.  That would totally work. A strong debut for an important Marvel character, there's a very nice copy of Spider-Woman #1 (Marvel, 1978) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages in this week's 2021 August 29-30 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122135 from Heritage Auctions.

The Spider-Woman #1 (Marvel, 1978) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages. New origin of Spider-Woman, whose mask is altered from her first appearance. Joe Sinnott cover. Carmine Infantino art. Overstreet 2021 NM- 9.2 value = $60. CGC census 8/21: 1291 in 9.8, none higher.

View the certification for CGC Certification ID 3718037012 and purchase grader's notes if available.

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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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