Warning: This article contains spoilers for Madame Web.


Summary

  • Madame Web
    introduces four new Spider-Man heroes to Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.
  • These new heroes have spider-based abilities and could have a major role in the franchise’s future.
  • The lack of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man remains a criticism, but upcoming projects may set the stage for his introduction.


Madame Web premiered on February 14, 2024, as part of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, and introduced four new Spider-Man heroes to the franchise. Thus far, Sony’s Spider-Man Universe has consisted of 2018’s Venom, 2021’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage and 2022’s Morbius, though the lack of the franchise’s own version of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man has been a constant criticism. Madame Web may have changed this slightly, but Sony’s Spider-Man Universe will still continue to develop without Spider-Man for the time being, as Venom 3 and Kraven the Hunter are still set to release in 2024.


While Peter Parker’s Spider-Man may not yet be slinging his webs in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, 2024’s Madame Web did introduce several new Spider-Man-related heroes into live-action. Not only did Madame Web debut the Spider-Man-esque villain Ezekiel Sims, who had become empowered by spider venom, but the project also introduced four new heroes with spider-based abilities. Madame Web’s new Spider-Man-related heroes could have a major role in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe’s future, and may even set the stage for Peter Parker’s own introduction in upcoming projects.


Madame Web Movie Poster Featuring Sydney Sweeney as Julia Carpenter, Isabela Merced as Anya Corazon, Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, Celeste O'Connor as Mattie Franklin, and Tahar Rahim as Ezekiel Sims

Madame Web

Madame Web is a superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Taking place in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, the movie revolves around a clairvoyant woman who can look into different dimensions. Dakota Johnson stars in the lead role, with Sydney Sweeney, Adam Scott, Isabela Merced, and Celeste O’Connor comprising the rest of the cast.

Release Date
February 14, 2024

Director
S.J. Clarkson


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Who Is Madame Web?

Dakota Johnson and Madame Web in Marvel Comics


Dakota Johnson debuts as Cassandra “Cassie” Webb in Madame Web. Cassie is introduced as a paramedic working in New York City alongside Adam Scott’s Ben Parker, though she realizes her precognitive ability following a traumatic event that causes her to die for three minutes. Cassie’s mother researched spiders in the Amazon Rainforest while searching for a cure for the as-yet-unborn Cassie’s diagnosed myasthenia gravis, with Ezekiel Sims acting as her protection, though he leaves her for dead to steal the spider for himself. Cassie’s powers stem from a spider bite during her mother’s labor, connecting her to the “spider-world”.

Madame Web’s Marvel Comics Origin Explained


In Marvel Comics, Madame Web is depicted as an elderly blind woman with myasthenia gravis, so Madame Web revealed her origin story as this version of the character. In the comics, however, Cassandra Webb is a precognitive mutant who aids Spider-Man on several occasions, but this origin story was changed drastically for her live-action debut. Instead, Cassie’s abilities stem from a spider bite, and instead of being born blind, Madame Web’s version of the character is blinded by a stray firework in the film’s finale.


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Madame Web’s Powers Explained

Cassandra Webb as Madame Web in the Marvel Comics


When concerning Madame Web’s powers, they are fairly self-explanatory. Madame Web’s primary abilities are clairvoyance and precognition, which allow her to perceive future events before they take place. In Marvel Comics, she also possesses a level of telepathy, mind-reading, astral projection, psychic surgery and mind alteration. Some of these abilities were witnessed in Madame Web, as Cassie was able to project herself into multiple places at once, while using her precognitive ability to routinely save her three new wards from Ezekiel Sims’ rampage.

Who Is Julia Cornwall, A.K.A. Spider-Woman?

Sydney Sweeney as Julia Carpenter/Spider-Woman in Madame Web


Over the course of Madame Web, Cassie comes into contact with three young women who are destined to gain spider-like abilities. Sydney Sweeney’s Julia Cornwall is one of this group, seen killing Ezekiel Sims in his visions, though she hasn’t yet gained her powers in 2003. In Madame Web, Julia Cornwall lives with her father, step-mother and brother, but doesn’t feel loved in her family. This means she forms a fast connection to Cassie after being saved from Ezekiel Sims, but her origin story has been drastically changed from the Marvel Comics source material to make this connection.

Julia Carpenter/Spider-Woman’s Marvel Comics Origin Explained

Spider Woman Julia Carpenter uses her powers in Marvel Comics.


Madame Web’s Julia Cornwall is based on Marvel Comics’ Julia Carpenter, a woman who was recruited by an organization known as the Commission, who wished to create their own spider-based superhero. Carpenter agreed to take part in their experiment, believing it to be an athletic study, before unwittingly becoming one of the Commission’s test subjects. Injected with spider venom and other plant extracts, Julia Carpenter developed abilities almost identical to Spider-Man’s, though her abilities are arguably far more powerful than Peter Parker’s.

Julia Carpenter’s Spider-Woman previously made her theatrical debut in Sony’s animated
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
as a member of Spider-Man 2099’s Spider-Society.

Julia Carpenter/Spider-Woman’s Powers Explained

Julia Carpenter


In Marvel Comics, Julia Carpenter’s abilities are very similar to those of Spider-Man, as she has enhanced speed, strength, durability, stamina, reflexes and wall-crawling. In lieu of web-shooters, however, Carpenter is able to project psionic “webs”, replacing some of Spider-Man’s most iconic powers. These psionic beams can be manifested to emulate webbing, which Carpenter can use for swinging and trapping her enemies. These abilities were glimpsed in Madame Web’s future visions, proving Sony are staying fairly true to her Marvel Comics roots for her live-action adaptation.

Who Is Mattie Franklin, A.K.A. Spider-Woman?

Celeste O'Connor as Mattie Franklin/Spider-Woman in Madame Web


Celeste O’Connor’s Mattie Franklin is another version of Spider-Woman seen in Ezekiel Sims’ future visions, though she too hasn’t yet received her abilities. Mattie Franklin also feels abandoned by her family in Madame Web, as her parents are living in Beijing while she is left alone in New York. Franklin becomes connected to Cassie after the latter almost hits Franklin with her ambulance, though the connection between the pair is incredibly tenuous. Franklin is the most confident member of the team in Madame Web, though often makes risky and ill-advised choices.


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Mattie Franklin’s Marvel Comics Origin Explained

Mattie Franklin declares herself as Spider-Woman to a character off panel.


In Marvel Comics, Mattie Franklin obtained her powers via a ritual named the Gathering of Five. Her father, Norman Osborn, and a handful of other people – including Madame Web – used this ceremony to receive unknown powers. Mattie then received superhuman abilities also similar to those of Spider-Man and began to fight crime in his place after his mysterious disappearance. Eventually, with the blessing of Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman, and after the defeat of Charlotte Witter’s, Franklin gained even more abilities and quickly became known as the new Spider-Woman.

Mattie Franklin’s Powers Explained

Mattie Franklin as Spider-Man


Mattie Franklin obtained the same physical enhancements as Julia Carpenter, from enhanced durability, speed and agility, to superhuman strength and reflexes. After taking the mantle of Spider-Woman from Jessica Drew, Franklin also obtained the ability to wall-crawl, shoot venom blasts, and summon psychic spider legs. In order to differentiate her from other Spider-Women – and Spider-Man himself – Mattie possesses the power of self-propelled flight which was granted to her during the Gathering of Five. The latter wasn’t seen in Madame Web, but Franklin’s Spider-Woman did sport her iconic spider-like legs.

Who Is Anya Corazon, A.K.A. Araña?

Isabela Merced as Anya Corazon/Spider-Girl in Madame Web


Isabela Merced also appeared as a future Spider-Man-like hero in Madame Web, though instead of Spider-Woman, her Anya Corazon adopted the moniker of Araña. Corazon and Cassie lived in the same apartment building in New York, though Corazon lived alone after her father was deported, with the same fate perhaps facing her unless she kept her head down. Much like Julia Cornwall and Mattie Franklin, Anya Corazon becomes fully embroiled in Cassie’s battle with Ezekiel Sims in Madame Web, but has ties to another Sony franchise in Marvel Comics.

Anya Corazon/Spider-Girl’s Marvel Comics Origin Explained

Anya Corazon Spider-Girl


In Marvel Comics, Corazon is first known as the superhero Araña. Chosen as an initiate for the multiversal Spider Society by Miguel Legar, Corazon developed Spider-Man-like powers and became Araña. These powers initially came from Legar, who transferred some of his life force into Corazon. Later, Corazon was targeted by the Kravinoff family who wished to resurrect Kraven the Hunter, bringing her into contact with the wider world of Marvel Comics superheroes, which resulted in Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman dubbing her Spider-Girl to avoid any potential confusion with other Spider-related heroes.


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Anya Corazon/Spider-Girl’s Powers Explained

Anya Corazon swinging through NYC in the comics.


Anya Corazon’s abilities as Araña are identical to those of Spider-Man, matching her with the same enhanced strength, speed, agility and reflexes, as well as an ability to crawl on walls. However, Corazon is also able to camouflage herself in shadows, allowing her to stay invisible when the situation calls for it. Corazon’s webbing is also organic rather than synthetic, bringing her closer to Tobey Maguire’s iteration of Spider-Man, who produced the webbing in his own wrists. Corazon’s specific abilities weren’t explored fully in Madame Web, but future Sony Spider-Man Universe projects may change this.

Key Release Dates

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  • Kraven the Hunter Poster

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