Spider-Woman #1 cover by Greg Land
Credit: Marvel
Credit: Marvel Comics

“Spider-Verse” is coming, and it’s all hands on deck for Marvel’s Spider-themed characters – and that means Spider-Woman.

Sunday at Comic-Con International: San Diego’s “Women of Marvel” panel, Marvel announced the launching of a new Spider-Woman series this November. Tying into the highly-promoted “Spider-Verse” event, Spider-Woman will be written by Avengers Arena’s Dennis Hopeless with art by Iron Man’s Greg Land.

After serving as a secret agent, alien hunter, Avenger and even an agent of Hydra for a time, Spider-Woman has now taken up with a “spider army” according to Hopeless in a war at the center of “Spider-Verse.” With her extensive background, Jessica Drew is considered an experienced leader in this army – and because of that, is tasked with their newest recruit: Silk. Both Hopeless and Land talked with Newsarama for more on the Spider-Woman ongoing series.

Newsarama: Dennis, what can you tell us about this new Spider-Woman series?

Dennis Hopeless: Well, this first arc is very much a “Spider-Verse” story. Jessica will be on the run across the multi-verse trying to stay alive and help win the war. Where the series goes from there all depends on who survives to the end of the war. We’ll be able to say a lot more about that once after “Spider-Verse.”

Spider-Woman #1 cover by Greg Land
Spider-Woman #1 cover by Greg Land
Credit: Marvel

Greg Land: I just received the first six pages of script and it has Spider-Woman off on a strange world with a couple of the other “Spider-Verse” characters. Within these pages we see a wondrous new environment and its inhabitants.

Nrama: What exactly is Spider-Woman’s role in “Spider-Verse”?

Hopeless: Jessica is the experienced soldier out on some of the spider army’s more dangerous missions, the success and failure of which will directly affect the outcome of the war. Spider-Woman #1 finds Jessica universe-hopping in an attempt to stay alive and one step ahead of the enemy. Then from issue #2 on, she’ll be deep undercover behind enemy lines trying to get hands on crucial intel.

It’s been a lot of fun writing these missions because they have big ramification within “Spider-Verse” but also stand on their own as cool character-driven war stories.

Nrama: Dennis, this is the first time you’ve written Jessica Drew. What’s your appraisal of her? What makes her interesting to you?

Hopeless: This is going to sound weird but writing Jessica is a lot like writing Cable. This is a woman with a lot of history behind her. Some of it is very dark and weird. But like Cable, she’s not the kind of person who wants to sit around and discuss her past. She throws it over her shoulder and carries it with her to whatever’s next. I like writing complicated characters with rough edges. They’re tough, they’re unpredictable and they provide all sorts of messy drama.

"Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Women of Marvel 2005" cover by Greg Land
"Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Women of Marvel 2005" cover by Greg Land

Nrama: Greg, for you this isn’t your first time at the dance with Spider-Woman. What’s your thoughts on her?

Land: She has a stunning look-strong graphic costume with long flowing hair. She will be a blast to draw and can't wait to see how the story unfolds. Our editor Nick Lowe told me there will be plenty of action so I look forward to the design challenge.

Nrama: Do you have any key texts you go to when building up who Spider-Woman is for you? Previous comics, or perhaps tangential stories of other characters who you see similarities to, in addition to Cable?

Hopeless: I’ve tracked down and read most of Jessica Drew’s appearances throughout the 70s and 80s for research but a lot of what I know about the character came from reading her more recent stuff. She’s been involved in some really interesting Avengers stories over the last few years and I loved her as the Skrull-hunting Agent of S.W.O.R.D.

Jessica has worn a lot of different hats over the years. She’s a super hero/spy/private eye/alien hunter. I like to think she keeps all of those hats in a closet somewhere and can throw any one on if the mood strikes. It all depends on what kind of trouble is currently staring her in the face.

"Avengers Assemble #10" cover by Greg Land
"Avengers Assemble #10" cover by Greg Land
Credit: Marvel

Nrama: Greg, as this ties in with the larger “Spider-Verse” event going on this fall – are there any other Spider-characters you’d love to draw as guest stars in this series?

Land: It is always a thrill to draw Spider-Man. I have not had the opportunity to draw Spider-Man 2099 but he has a cool look that would be fun.

Nrama: I’m also told this will involve the recently introduced Silk – in some ways, the retroactive first Spider-Woman in a sense. What’s her part in Spider-Woman?

Hopeless: In war story terms, Silk’s the new recruit to Jessica’s veteran. It’s Spider-Woman’s job to keep this girl alive and that’s no easy task. Silk is incredibly powerful and enthusiastic about being a hero, but from Jessica’s perspective she’s a dangerous liability. Silk’s inexperience makes her unpredictable and that scares the hell out of Jess. You can definitely expect these two to butt heads.

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