Julia Carpenter


Julia Carpenter

Superherobox|

caption=Arachne.
Art by Marc Silvestri.
character_name=Arachne
alter_ego=Julia Carpenter
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="Secret Wars" vol. 1 #6 (October, 1984, in the shadows)
"Secret Wars" vol. 1 #7 (November, 1984, full appearance)
creators=Jim Shooter
Mike Zeck
alliances=Omega Flight West Coast Avengers Force Works Freedom Force Secret Defenders CSA
aliases=Spider-Woman
powers=Superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, and durability
Healing factor,
Wall-crawling,
Ability to create webs out of psychokinetic energy.|

Arachne (Julia Carpenter, née Cornwall), formerly known as Spider-Woman, is a fictional character and a superheroine in the Marvel Comics universe. The character first appeared in "Secret Wars" vol. 1 #6 (in the shadows).

Publication history

As Spider-Woman, Carpenter has appeared as a supporting character in "Avengers West Coast" and "Force Works" as well as the second "Spider-Woman" series, whose main character was Mattie Franklin. While she frequently appears as as a member of a team, such as the "Avengers West Coast" and "Force Works", Julia starred in her own 4-part "Spider-Woman" miniseries which explained her origin and the origin of her enemies, Death Web.

Carpenter is a member of the new Omega Flight.

Fictional character biography

A secretive government group called The Commission decided to create their own superhero. Val Cooper met college friend Julia Carpenter in Denver, and convinced her to be part of an "athletic study". She was unknowingly a test subject in their experiments. During the experiment, they "accidentally" injected Julia with a mix of spider venom and exotic plant extracts, which gave Julia powers very similar to those of Spider-Man. Not long after she was given the identity of Spider-Woman, she was drawn into the first Secret Wars. After returning to Earth, Julia joined Freedom Force but, much like her predecessor, found herself on the wrong side of the law. She teamed up with Spider-Man occasionally, but eventually found herself as a freelance hero. When one of her assignments led her to California looking for a team of Asian supervillains, she met and assisted the West Coast Avengers several times.

She then found her place with the West Coast Avengers and once they disbanded, joined their spin-off team Force Works. Julia's main enemies were the arachnid-based team called Death Web, which consisted of three supervillains who were created by The Commission, using a variation of the same serum which transformed Julia. When Mike Clemson, founder of Death Web, captured Spider-Woman's daughter Rachel, he blackmailed her into fighting Spider-Man. Even though she nearly killed Spider-Man, she would not commit an act of murder, and Spider-Man helped her rescue Rachel. Eventually, Julia walked away from the superhero business to concentrate on raising her daughter. Like Jessica Drew (the original Spider-Woman), Julia was also attacked by Charlotte Witter and had her powers stolen. After the loss of her superpowers, JuliaLatinx| returned to the life of a normal mother.

Civil War

Julia has recently reappeared in a story arc of the current "Ms. Marvel" series, using the codename "Arachne" (which she originally intended to use). Her powers have clearly been restored. During "Civil War", Julia registers under the Superhuman Registration Act, and she and Wonder Man aid Ms. Marvel in the training of novice superheroes.

However, Julia is shown to be a double agent; when she first responded to Iron Man's request, she thought it would be an opportunity to help people "escape" registration; she is shown to have tipped off Hobie Brown, the Prowler, moments before a SHIELD capekiller squadron arrived at his home to arrest him, and is thought to have warned many more heroes of impending arrests. [Ms Marvel vol. 2 #6] It is also revealed that she is romantically involved with the Shroud, an opponent of the Superhuman Registration Act.

Julia is found out when a captured Prowler reveals under interrogation that she tipped him off. The Shroud, who had been captured by Ms. Marvel, [Ms Marvel vol. 2 #8] reveals that Julia was paralyzed for several months after she lost her powers, even though all of her other injuries had healed. The Shroud's company had synthesized a duplicate of the serum that originally provided Julia with her powers, and these returned several days after it was administered to her. With the Shroud's help, Julia underwent intense physical therapy and was soon able to walk again. It was during this time that she and the Shroud fell in love.

A government strike team led by Ms. Marvel, including Wonder Man and Araña, attacks Julia at her home just as she was about to flee the country with her daughter. Julia is captured and summarily incarcerated. However, it is revealed in "Ms. Marvel" #13 that Julia escaped captivity during the Negative Zone prison break, and returned to Colorado in search of Rachel. A S.H.I.E.L.D. Psy Ops team telepathically traces her to Brooklyn, where she furiously confronts Araña, demanding to know where her daughter has been taken.

Omega Flight

Arachne is now a member of the new Canada-based team "Omega Flight". [http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=82888] She was given the option of having outstanding charges dropped in exchange for her participation on the team. After a battle against the Wrecking Crew, Julia decided to stay on the team.

Powers and abilities

Arachne possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, and reflexes, and the ability to cling to vertical surfaces. Her abilities are psionically based.

Arachne has the ability to utilize psionic-based webbing (psi-webs), although this originally required considerable concentration for her to manifest it. By using psychokinetic energy, Arachne can bind ambient free-floating molecules into strands of solid force. Her psi-webs can be used to wrap enemies, or focused into narrow web-lines that she can swing from. Due to their psychic nature, her psi-webs can form from a distance, and she can mentally control the movement of her webbing.

She has heightened senses, and feels vibrations as does a spider in its web. Her senses allow her to detect a hollow area under a solid steel floor by walking over it.

In addition to her natural superhuman advantages, she has been extensively trained by the Commission on Superhuman Activities in espionage and hand-to-hand combat.

Although she lost her powers at one time, she regained them through a duplicate serum.

Costume

* When, in the Secret Wars storyline, Spider-Man first laid eyes on the psychic black costume that would eventually become the symbiote-charged villain known as Venom, he surmised that he had subconsciously redesigned his costume to look more like Julia's.
* The Ultimate Marvel universe Spider-Woman wears a costume that is similar to Spider-Man's black costume (which later became the Ultimate Marvel universe version of Venom). However, the costume she wears has white fingers. Unlike Julia, the Ultimate version of Spider-Woman wears a mask that covers all of her face.

In other media

Television

Julia Carpenter appeared regularly as Spider-Woman, both in and out of costume, in the 1994 "Iron Man animated series" voiced by Casey DeFranco in Season One and Jennifer Hale in Season Two. She is part of the team loosely based on the comic and super team, Force Works. In the cartoon, Julia Carpenter eventually married Tony Stark. However, this turns out to simply be a ploy by Tony to draw out the Mandarin and convince him he is not Iron Man. The Tony that Julia married was a Life Model Decoy, while the real Tony showed up dressed as Iron Man, thus leading Mandarin to conclude that the two men were different people.

In the first season, Julia had few action sequences; she primarily used her powers to fire blasts of energy, which formed what appeared to be rope nets that would fall on her enemies. In the second season she became more aggressive, actively fighting her foes. Her powers also became more like Spider-Man, as she fired organic webbing from her wrists (even using his trademark hand gesture when firing her webs) to swing from web-lines and trap enemies with sticky webs. In this continuity, she competes with the Scarlet Witch over Stark's affection. In the first season, Stark does not appear to reciprocate the feelings of either woman, but in the second season it becomes apparent that he harbors some feelings for Julia, only to have his "lone wolf" attitude complicate their chances of a relationship. When Stark's counter plan against Justin Hammer, which includes faking his death without the knowledge of his teammates, leads to a disbanding of Force Works, Julia and James Rhodes, AKA: War Machine, are the only ones who continue to work with Stark.

Rachel Carpenter also appears in the series but she's bigger compared to comic's one and with a more "rebellious" posture. In episode #3 she is shown as a lover of dance music -and arcades- disdaining classical composers (specifically Van Cliburn) but after a piece of Rachmaninov played by Cliburn contained into a cassette of Rachel manages to recharge Iron Man's armor, she changes her moods and appreciates the classical music.

Video games

* Arachne is a playable character in the video game ""; she is a variant skin for Spider-Woman, called "Secret Wars". She is equipped with Jessica Drew's glider webs and can fly and fire venom blasts, but she does seem to possess her own powers, such as an ability to fire psychic web traps.

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.marvel.com/universe/Arachne_(Julia_Carpenter) Arachne's profile at Marvel.com]
* [http://www.spiderfan.org/characters/spiderwoman2.html Arachne's profile at Spiderfan.org]
* [http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix4/carpenterjuliamc2.htm Profile of the MC2 version of the character in the Appendix to the Marvel Handbook]


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