Writer: Archie Goodwin
Illustrators: Sal Buscema, Jim Mooney
Letterer: Irv Watanabe
Colorist: Janice Cohen
Originally published: February 1977
This is a Spider-Woman story, but it may actually be in the correct spot in my chronology! Amazing! I’m so confused about where I should be…the last in-order thing I read was the Wraith stuff in Team-Up…
Anyway, here Spider-Woman is an adult and going by the Hydra codename Arachne. She can apparently fly, or at least glide. She also “has few memories”, which maybe I can use to help reconcile inconsistencies with her origin. She can shoot “venom bolts” from her hands, which seem to be some kind of energy burst.
Ok, there’s something really interesting in here. There are flashbacks to when Jessica Drew is recruited by Hydra. The commander that finds her is one Count Otto Vermis, who looks exactly like General Wyndham does in Spider-Woman: Origin (which is nothing like what Wyndham looks like in the High Evolutionary stuff). Furthermore, the narration says that “She knew her name. Her memories could be counted in days. All else was void. A void about to be filled…with lies.” An example of this lying is Vermis telling Arachne that she was a spider that was evolved using the High Evolutionary’s genetic accelerator.
What I’m going to do is assume that Jessica Drew’s memory is fuxxd and that anything that doesn’t make sense in Spider-Woman: Origin is some sort of false, implanted memory. I just checked some archives of the Marvel Chronology Project board, and they assume something similar. Hopefully carrying on this way will help me make sense of things.
I much preferred this origin story to the one in S-W: O.