The Newest Spider-Verse Spin-Off Is Stealing a Trick From the Best Spider-Man Movie
Let’s dive deep into Sony’s Spider-Verse.
It took five long years, but Sony’s Spider-Verse finally has the one thing it really needed: some Spider-People.
Sony’s latest Spidey-related off-shoot, Madame Web, just got a baffling trailer. It’s a total mess of plot, precognition, and girl power, but in a roundabout way, it does seem like it’ll be a lot of fun. It helps that, along with Dakota Johnson’s title character, Madame Web is introducing a handful of Spider-People. Not only is its villain dressed in a spider-suit, but he’s apparently working to hunt down three girls destined to gain spider-like powers.
Madame Web is tasked with protecting her reluctant charges from the danger to come, and she’ll be using her newfound clairvoyance to do so. Check out the trailer below.
The Madame Web trailer is trying to cram a lot into a short window. Clearly, Sony is working hard to get fans excited about the prospect of their own live-action Spider-Verse. At the very least, the addition of three obscure Spider-Women brings the franchise closer to something the Spider-Man films usually lack. From Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy to Spidey’s tenure in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, each friendly neighborhood webhead typically swings solo. Team-ups are rare in the comics, too: until Marvel’s massive Spider-Verse event series, the Spider-People usually worked alone. When they do team up, like in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the result is a big hit.
Madame Web may be setting the scene for a live-action adaptation of that comic event, which will wrangle in heroes from all over the multiverse. Again, that’s a lot to introduce in one film, especially one that looks like it’s been sitting in Sony’s archives since 2005, but the introduction of some Spidey-adjacent heroes is still exciting. Let’s take a look at the heroes (and villain) set to appear in Madame Web, and what they may bring to the Spider-Verse.
Cassandra Webb / Madame Web
Dakota Johnson stars as Cassandra “Cassie” Webb, an EMT who gains mysterious precognitive abilities after a near-fatal incident. In the comics, Webb is better known as Madame Web, a blind, paralyzed mutant who develops clairvoyance and later becomes a sort of medium for superheroes. Her ability to see into the future has helped Spider-Man save lives, and Madame Web seems to be translating that rapport to its three Spider-Women.
Ezekiel “Zeke” Sims
In Madame Web, Cassandra’s newfound powers connect her with a mysterious man from her past, Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim). Cassandra recognizes him from a photo that once belonged to her mother: Ezekiel was assisting her in the Amazon while she researched spiders, whatever that entails. Cassie’s mother lost her life during her expedition, but Ezekiel survived, and he might have gained some spider-like powers in the process.
In the comics, Ezekiel “Zeke” Sims comes into contact with a Spider-Totem, an entity linked to something called the Web of Life and Destiny. That supernatural force grants him powers very similar to Spider-Man’s, and he uses them to amass incredible wealth. When he eventually runs into Peter Parker, he finds that their precognitive abilities cancel each other out. He may face a similar challenge with Cassie in Madame Web.
Julia Carpenter / Arachne
Sydney Sweeney stars as Julia Carpenter, a hero with a handful of comic book identities who gains her powers after unwittingly volunteering for a superhero development program. Julia becomes a test subject in experiments conducted by the mysterous Commission, who inject her with spider venom. She soon accepts her newfound powers and all the responsibilities that come with it, taking on the mantle of Spider-Woman.
Like most of Madame Web’s characters, her abilities are nearly identical to Spider-Man’s, though instead of organic webs, she uses psionic beams to capture enemies and swing from buildings. Her psychic abilities make her an ideal successor, and she later inherits Cassandra’s precognition, telepathy, and mantle. Julia is also known as Arachne, and which name she’ll use in Madame Web remains to be seen. However, it would make sense to go with Arachne, since she won’t be the only Spider-Woman in the film.
Mattie Franklin / Spider-Woman
Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor) had a connection to the Spidey world long before inheriting her powers. In the comics, Mattie is J. Jonah Jameson’s niece, and she gains superhuman abilities after her father submits to a ritual named the Gathering of Five. After inheriting more powers from Spider-Woman Charlotte Witter, Mattie gains abilities more akin to a Spider-Person, including psionic spider legs that grow out of her back. She begins fighting crime after Spider-Man mysteriously disappears, and later becomes one of many Spider-Women that defend New York City.
Anya Corazon / Araña
Rounding out the cast of Spider-People in Madame Web is Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced), who’s also juggled a few monikers in the comics. While she initially goes by Araña after gaining spider powers from a sorcerer, Miguel Legar, she’s later known as Spider-Girl. Anya is introduced in comics as an initiate of the Spider Society, a centuries-old collective that worshipped Spider-Totems. Ezekiel is also a member of the society, which gives these two characters an interesting connection. Whether Madame Web will capitalize on their comics history remains a mystery, but the film could be the first to take the Spider-Verse in a truly mystical direction.