The perfect Madame Web is Julia Carpenter


Cassandra Webb may not be the biggest character in a movie, but the Julia Carpenter version of Madame Web could work.

The most popular of the ’80s comics and ’90s cartoons, Madame Web isn’t exactly the biggest supporting cast member of Spider-Man right now. Dormant in mythology for years, Cassandra Webb is the latest character many would expect to headline an upcoming big-budget movie from Sony and Marvel. Due to his motor limitations, even a aunt may movie would apparently be a better bet than one for Madame Web. Nevertheless, there is a version of the character that a movie could work for.

Julia Carpenter is best known for her role as the second Spider-Woman, but she’s also reprized the role of Madame Web a number of times. It could happen in Sony’s Spider-Man universe, if only to make a Madame Web film work. Here’s a look at the somewhat tangled web that Julia has woven throughout her publishing history and how it led to her replacing Cassandra Webb.

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Who is Julia Carpenter, the second Spider-Woman and Madame Web?

Created by former Marvel editor Jim Shooter and artist Mike Zeck, Julia Carpenter got her start in the Secret Wars series in 1984. Julia’s story revealed that she was an ordinary former college friend of Val Cooper who was subjected to a mysterious experiment involving spider and plant DNA. This gave her powers very similar to Spider-Man, and after taking the title of Spider-Woman, she later joined him and the other heroes during the Secret Wars.

As a solo hero, she would primarily fight the Death Web, a group of arachnid supervillains with powers like hers. This led to her once again fighting against and alongside Spider-Man when those enemies kidnapped her daughter. Shortly after, his powers were stripped, allowing him to be a normal day-to-day parent. Inexplicably, her powers would later return, with Julia taking the name Arachne. It wouldn’t be his last name change, though. When various spider-related characters were hunted down by Kraven the Hunter’s family, Cassandra Webb, aka Madame Web, was fatally injured. Not wanting his helper to die with her, Webb transferred his powers and blindness to Julia Carpenter. This allowed Julia to prevent a dark future from unfolding by convincing Spider-Man not to kill the resurrected Kraven.

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Why Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web Should Be Julia Carpenter

Julia Carpenter appeared as Madame Web in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, and maybe this version of the character should point out how she’s handled in the next Madame Web movie. It’s already known that Dakota Johnson will be playing Madame Web in the film, but given her age, it’s highly unlikely that she’ll be the classic version of old Web woman. This only reinforces the need to make this version of the character the Julia Carpenter Madame Web.

Cassandra Web is a mutant in the comics, which means Sony is already crippled to explain her telepathic powers. Along with these powers also come immobilizing physical disabilities, which leaves Cassandra locked into a kind of throne-like survival system. That already doesn’t sound like a very interesting character to follow for an action movie, and given that his powers are purely mental in nature, it’s hard for even the most ardent fans to get excited.

The Julia Carpenter version of the character, however, had all of her Spider-Man level physical attributes as well as those mental powers. It makes a potential movie about her that much more interesting. On top of that, with the next spider woman movie probably starring Jessica Drew, it’s good to go ahead and “get rid of” Julia Carpenter by having her take on the title of Madame Web instead. Another idea could be for Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Kraven the Hunter to kill Cassandra Webb early in the movie, making way for Johnson’s Julia Carpenter to take her powers. Dakota Johnson may not be a redhead like Carpenter usually is, but she looks a lot more like Julia than shrunken Cassandra Webb. Hopefully Sony gets the hint and makes Johnson the most stunning and spectacular version of Madame Web yet.

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