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Madame Web: All the Spider-Women explained

Spider-Women can do anything a spider can, but what about explaining Madame Web's Marvel characters? Don't worry, we've read a comic or two.

Sydney Sweeney and Dakota Johnson as Spider-Woman and Cassandra Webb in Madame Web

We won’t lie; when Madame Web was announced, we were dubious it would ever crawl out of the development drain and onto our screens, but a shiny new trailer on November 15 proved us wrong. The only thing left to figure out, then, is who all these Spider-Women are.

Spider-Man‘s corner of the Marvel universe is expanding, and Madame Web has multiple new Marvel characters with different origins. Let’s go over their roles, which Spider-Man actors they could share continuity with, and more.

All the Spider-Women in Madame Web:

  • Madame Web/Cassandra Webb
  • Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter
  • Spider-Girl/Anya Corazon
  • Spider-Woman/Mattie Franklin

Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb in Madame Web

Madame Web/Cassandra Webb

Dakota Johnson stars as the titular character, real name Cassandra Webb. In the comics, Madame Web is a clairvoyant Spidey supporting character who helps Peter out on a number of occasions. A disease, myasthenia gravis, led her husband to connect her to a life support system that included a series of tubes, giving the illusion of a spider web.

Also a mutant, she has psychic abilities that include telepathy, the ability to see the future, and astral projection. She’s much older on the page, a wheelchair user, and blind, which indicates this movie is set before that time in the comics.

Indeed, Madame Web’s plot synopsis lets us know the film’s Cassandra is a paramedic in Manhattan who discovers she might have clairvoyant powers. When she sees a future where three connected young women are hunted by what looks like an evil Spider-Man (Ezekiel Sims), she tries to protect them.

Sydney Sweeney as Julia Carpenter in Madame Web

Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter

Sydney Sweeney plays Julia Carpenter, who is a Spider-Woman connected to Madame Web in the comics. Julia was the second Spider-Woman and was created by a secret government group called The Commission, who wanted to make their own superhero.

A friend of Julia’s convinced her to take part in an “athletic study,” where she unknowingly became a test subject. The Commission injected her with a mix of spider venom and exotic plants, which gave Julia similar powers to Spider-Man.

Eagle-eyed fans might have spotted her in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, where she was a member of Miguel O’Hara’s Spider-Society. But in Madame Web, she’s one of the teenagers Cassandra is trying to lead away from danger.

At one point, a dying Madame Web transferred her mutation to Julia Carpenter, allowing Julia to use her powers and use the Madame Web mantle. This could mean Johnson is one-and-done in Marvel if the film goes in a pass-the-torch direction for new movies.

Isabela Merced as Spider-Girl in Madame Web

Spider-Girl/Anya Corazon

Isabela Merced stars as Anya Corazon, known as Spider-Girl/Araña in the Marvel Comics. A newer character debuting in 2004, she’s been increasingly present in different Spider-Man projects, including Disney Plus’ Spider-Man animated Marvel series. Anya wears a very cool black suit, usually.

Backstory time! Anya, who had lived in Mexico before moving to the States with her father, got her abilities from Miguel Legar, and the sorcerer of the Spider Society. He transferred some power to Anya after she almost died in a fight, recognizing her potential.

No origin is needed here, though. In the Madame Web trailer, Anya is already in a costume and presumably kicking some ass.

Celeste O’Connor as Mattie Franklin in Madame Web

Spider-Woman/Mattie Franklin

In comic canon, Martha “Mattie” Franklin is J. Jonah Jameson’s niece! Awkward. Celeste O’Connor is bringing her to screen in Madame Web, and she’s one of the main trio Cassandra sees being hunted.

Mattie got her powers in an arcane ritual, where participants are either gifted with immense power or die. Unlike the others on this list, Mattie can fly (at least, on the page she can).

An admirer of Spider-Man, she took to fighting crime in his name when he disappeared for a short time and then was given Jessica Drew’s (OG Spider-Woman) blessing to use the Spider-Woman name.

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You might be wondering about Emma Roberts’ Mary Parker, Jessica Drew, and Zosia Mamet’s character.

Well, Roberts is on record saying she’s not paying a superhero, so Mary, who is Peter Parker’s mother, won’t be donning a costume. As for Jessica, we imagine she wasn’t included because of that Olivia Wilde Spider-Woman movie that was announced years ago. Mamet wasn’t seen in the trailer, and there have been no murmurs about her playing a Spider-Woman or the like.

Chances are, though, there will be a couple of surprises in this movie. It seems to be set in a different reality from Tom Holland’s Spidey, Tom Hardy’s Venom, etc, so it can afford to go wild.

If you’re in the mood to rewatch the Spider-Man movies in order, take a look at our list of the best Spider-Man movies to prioritize what comes first!

And aside from Madame Web’s glorious weirdness, we’ve got Spider-Man 4 and Venom 3 to look forward to. You can also pivot to watching all the Marvel movies in order again, check out all the upcoming Marvel movies, and read our list of the best movies of all time.