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Every Episode Of Spider-Woman Ranked

Jessica Drew, better known as Spider-Woman, has been fighting crime in the Marvel Universe since making her debut in 1977's "Marvel Spotlight" #32. Created by Archie Goodwin, Marie Severin, Sal Buscema, and Jim Mooney, Spider-Woman has a long and fascinating history. She has been many things over the years: Avenger, private detective, and — in the Ultimate Universe, at least — a clone of Spider-Man. She is also an unlikely TV star.

The animated "Spider-Woman" series ran for a single season on ABC between 1979 and 1980, with Jessica voiced by "Knots Landing" star Joan Van Ark. In the show's reimagining of Spider-Woman's origin, she got bitten by a deadly spider as a child but was then cured by her scientist father's experimental spider-serum. Now a jet-setting journalist for Justice Magazine, Spider-Woman uses her powers — which include flight, venom blasts, and spider-sense — to battle evildoers, all while trying to keep her secret identity hidden from her precocious nephew Billy and her photographer friend Jeff.

With Issa Rae portraying a new version of Jessica Drew in "Across the Spider-Verse," and with "Spider-Woman" streaming on Disney+, there is no better time to explore the animated series. Fortunately, as "Spider-Woman" consists of sixteen stand-alone episodes, viewers are free to jump in wherever they like. If you want to know which episodes are sensational, here is a list of every "Spider-Woman" episode ranked from worst to best.

16. Games of Doom (Episode 8)

"Games of Doom" sends Justice Magazine reporter Jessica Drew, her nephew Billy (Bryan Scott), and photographer Jeff Hunt (Bruce Millar) to Moscow to cover the World Athletic Games. Noticing that the competing athletes can suddenly perform superhuman feats, Jessica goes undercover as a long jumper to uncover the truth behind their strange behavior. To her shock, Jessica is captured and replaced by an android double as part of an elaborate scheme to mind control Earth's population via hypnotic gold medals that will be distributed at the Games.

Of all the episodes of "Spider-Woman," "Games of Doom" ranks last due to an overly complicated and unfocused plot. Every episode runs at a tight 21 minutes, and "Games of Doom" crumples under the weight of too many subplots. The third-act villain reveal makes for a mildly amusing gag, but — compared to the other villains of the series, including Kingpin, Dormammu, and Dracula — the bad guy behind the androids is not that compelling. Every superhero needs a good villain to bounce off, and "Games of Doom" sorely lacks one.

15. The Ghost Vikings (Episode 4)

After a mysterious whirlpool off the coast of Norway threatens a cruise liner, Spider-Woman discovers a Viking ship at the bottom of the ocean. The ship is raised to the surface, and a treasure chest quickly sets off Jessica's spider-sense. Ignoring her warnings, Jeff opens the chest and unleashes the titular characters of Episode 4, "The Ghost Vikings." The episode title is, unfortunately, a red herring. Despite their seemingly supernatural appearance, the Vikings are actually living warriors who have traveled several hundred years into the future via a magic mirror.

Spider-Woman learns the truth about the mysterious Norsemen when she tumbles through the mirror into the Vikings' ancient castle, angering their leader. If it sounds kind of goofy, that's because it is: "The Ghost Vikings" feels more like a forgotten episode of "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" than "Spider-Woman." One of the weakest episodes in the series, "The Ghost Vikings" may have audiences scrolling through Disney+ to watch "Thor" instead.

14. Shuttle to Disaster (Episode 9)

You've heard of the Man in the Moon, now get ready for the Spider-Woman in the Moon. "Shuttle to Disaster" begins with Spider-Woman stopping the robbery of priceless moon rocks from the Smithsonian Institution. However, the attempted theft was merely a distraction by the supervillain Steel Jaw, whose true objective is a map identifying precious gems and minerals on the moon.

Steel Jaw hijacks a space shuttle, intending to force a landing on the moon and use the crew to plunder its riches. Jessica Drew boards the shuttle as a civilian passenger, but before the meddling superhero can say "spiraling space spiders," Steel Jaw ejects Spider-Woman into the cold vacuum of space. Despite a memorable villain in the teeth-gnashing Steel Jaw, "Shuttle to Disaster" never reaches the highs of the show's best episodes and can be considered a failure to launch. Luckily, this isn't Spider-Woman's only space adventure on the list.

13. The Amazon Adventure (Episode 3)

Eagle-eyed viewers may sense the influence of the live-action "Wonder Woman" television series on "Spider-Woman," particularly in the way the raven-haired hero spins around in a circle to transform into her alter-ego, just like Lynda Carter's Diana Prince. In fact, "Spider-Woman" premiered in September 1979, the same month that "Wonder Woman" ended its three-season run. With that in mind, it's no wonder that Spider-Woman ended up tussling with some Amazon warriors. Unfortunately, "The Amazon Adventure" doesn't fully live up to its name.

The episode begins with super-strong Amazons attacking Fort Knox and carrying away armfuls of gold bars. The warriors are acting on behalf of Queen Shanna (not to be confused with the Marvel Comics character Shanna the She-Devil), who rules a mysterious city near the Amazon River. Shanna commands Spider-Woman to lead her next raid for gold, or else she will feed the captive Jeff to her pet crocodiles. "The Amazon Adventure" is not particularly memorable, and trying to jump on the "Wonder Woman" bandwagon certainly doesn't do this "Spider-Woman" episode any favors.

12. A Deadly Dream (Episode 16)

The "Spider-Woman" series finale, "A Deadly Dream" turns Jessica Drew's life into a nightmare. An arctic expedition discovers a spaceship buried under centuries of polar ice, and the U.S. army accidentally defrosts the alien prisoner frozen inside. The intergalactic criminal Namarra — who looks like a chrome-plated cousin of Darth Vader — induces sleep in her victims and traps their minds in a malicious dreamworld. Spider-Woman willingly falls asleep to save Jeff and Billy from their shared nightmare, but the secret to defeating Namarra can only be found in the waking world.

With a plot that feels like a precursor to 80s horror classics "The Thing" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "A Deadly Dream" is an entertaining episode held back by its villain. After the alien adversaries in "A Crime in Time" and "Invasion of the Black Hole," Namarra is the third (and thankfully the final) villain visually inspired by "Star Wars," which feels more than a little derivative at this point. The similarities are distracting, and the final battle between hero and villain isn't one for the ages.

11. The Great Magini (Episode 13)

The titular illusionist in "The Great Magini" may look like the Joker had a makeover at a Kiss concert, but he has more up his sleeve than a magic wand. Jessica's spider-sense alerts her when the Great Magini uses his tricks to make a priceless painting disappear, but he soon escapes from jail with a promise to steal the world's most famous landmarks. After stopping George Washington's broken nose from falling off Mount Rushmore and crushing the police officers below, Spider-Woman realizes that Magini's tricks aren't magic, but elaborate holographic projections.

Pursuing Magini to his "haunted" hideaway, Spider-Woman stares down even more startling illusions, including one where she is reduced to the size of an insect and attacked by a cat. "The Great Magini" is perhaps the most openly cartoony episode of "Spider-Woman" with its array of surrealist sight gags. That's fine up to a certain point, but by the time Magini the magician evades the police by hiding under a giant nutshell, it's all a little too wacky, even for younger viewers.

10. The Kongo Spider (Episode 7)

Taking inspiration from the classic film "King Kong" (which, in what is almost certainly not a coincidence, had a high-profile remake only three years before this episode aired), "The Kongo Spider" turns Spider-Woman into an unlikely movie star. It all starts when Jessica's spider-sense alerts her to a giant spider terrorizing an African village. She comes to the rescue, unaware that the giant spider attack was set up by a man called C.B., a megalomaniacal movie director.

C.B. believes that the Kongo Spider killing real superheroes will be better than any special effect and captures Spider-Man (in his second guest appearance) to lure Spider-Woman to her doom. When Spider-Woman's spider-telepathy neutralizes the Kongo Spider as a threat, C.B. unleashes a mechanical spider in Paris instead. There's a memorable moment in which a robot spider carries Spider-Woman up the Eiffel Tower, an homage to Kong taking Ann Darrow to the top of the Empire State Building in "King Kong." However, Spider-Man superfans may be disappointed, as he's uncharacteristically rude and condescending towards Spider-Woman for some reason.

9. Return of the Spider-Queen (Episode 15)

While a battle against the legendary Loch Ness Monster would be enough for most superhero cartoons, in "Return of the Spider-Queen," Nessie is part of a much bigger adventure, one that takes Jessica Drew deep inside Earth. Investigating the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, the Justice Magazine crew is pulled underwater by the beast. Below the Earth's surface, they encounter a hidden kingdom of human-sized, super-intelligent spiders ruled by the evil Spider-King.

Brainwashing Jessica Drew into becoming his Spider-Queen, the Spider-King plans to conquer the upper world with an ancient battle tank. Jessica overcomes the Spider-King's mental conditioning, but she needs the help of the Loch Ness Monster to stop the Spider Kingdom's invasion in its tracks. Though the bug-eyed Spider-King looks like an escapee from "Space Ghost," "Return of the Spider-Queen" is an example of the outrageous and inventive plotting that makes "Spider-Woman" a delight to watch at times.

8. Invasion of the Black Hole (Episode 12)

A peaceful trip to the country leads to an intergalactic adventure for Spider-Woman in "Invasion of the Black Hole." On the road with Jeff and Billy, Jessica witnesses the sudden appearance of flying saucers that begin converting all matter in their path into black energy. After saving a family from their disintegrating house, Spider-Woman confronts the alien warlord Graviton, who wants to destroy the planet and convert it into a black hole.

"Invasion of the Black Hole" is a testament to just how quickly and deeply 1977's "Star Wars" changed popular culture. The evil space invader Graviton, with his black armor, long cape, and robotic face mask, is a dead ringer for Darth Vader. His duel with Spider-Woman — who somehow forms a lightsaber-type weapon out of her venom blasts — is quite clearly inspired by George Lucas' smash hit. However, despite being a Vader ripoff, Graviton manages to be a fairly compelling villain.

7. The Spider-Woman and the Fly (Episode 11)

Spider-Man has faced supervillains from all corners of the animal kingdom, from Doctor Octopus and the Vulture to the Scorpion and the Kangaroo. Jessica Drew has faced a few herself over the years, and she almost meets her match when a disgraced scientist steals her father's research notes and transforms himself into a deadly human fly in "The Spider-Woman and the Fly."

Doctor Victor Haggle and his bionic henchman land on Spider-Woman's radar when they attack her father's laboratory and steal rare specimens of cloned flies. She is in more danger than she initially realizes, because her father's journal not only has the secret formula for a super transformation, it also reveals that Jessica is Spider-Woman. Flashbacks reveal Spider-Woman's origin for the first time outside the opening credits, making "The Spider-Woman and the Fly" a great entry point for new viewers.

With his connection to Jessica Drew's past and his knowledge of her secret identity, the Human Fly is one of the toughest enemies the animated Spider-Woman ever faced. He's able to use the stolen notebook to produce a serum that nullifies Jessica's powers, which puts the titular hero on the backfoot for a while. It's not the greatest episode of "Spider-Woman," but it's definitely worth your time.

6. The Lost Continent (Episode 6)

Spider-Woman takes an unscheduled vacation to a prehistoric paradise in the episode "The Lost Continent." While investigating the disappearance of several U.S. fighter jets over the Bermuda Triangle, Jessica, Jeff, and Billy are pulled through a strange force field to the land that time forgot. Populated by dinosaurs and cavemen, the island is under the control of Dr. Morrison, the mad scientist responsible for the missing jets.

The familiar plot of intrepid heroes stumbling on a lost world crawling with dinosaurs is a fixture of pulp novels and science fiction, with Spider-Woman herself, Joan Van Ark, starring in the 1977 film "The Last Dinosaur." What makes "The Lost Continent" special is what happens when the dinosaurs and cavemen leave the lost world: The cavemen pilot jets that can turn other planes to stone, and the dinosaurs (mind-controlled by Dr. Morrison) invade New York City. This kind of outrageous, unpredictable mayhem is part of what puts "Spider-Woman" a world — or rather, a lost continent — apart from other superhero cartoons.

5. The Kingpin Strikes Again (Episode 5)

In the wake of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its massive impact on film and television, it is difficult to imagine an adaptation of a Marvel comic book series that isn't packed with Easter eggs and surprise cameos. However, "Spider-Woman" predates the MCU by a few decades, so that isn't really the case here. First-time viewers may be surprised to learn that it features a mostly original cast of supporting characters and villains. The upside of this is that it feels like an event when a major comic book villain does make an appearance — and few villains are bigger than the towering Kingpin.

"The Kingpin Strikes Again" features a showdown between criminal mastermind Wilson Fisk and Jessica Drew. After clashing with Fisk's henchmen during a robbery, Jessica uses the power of the press to write about Fisk's underworld activities for Justice Magazine. The vengeful Kingpin discovers Jessica's secret identity and outs her as Spider-Woman to the world. "The Kingpin Strikes Again" ends with an ingenious solution to Spider-Woman's identity crisis and a wink to the audience that broke the fourth wall years before She-Hulk and Deadpool started doing it.

4. Dracula's Revenge (Episode 10)

"Dracula's Revenge" deserves a spot in the top half of this list on the strength of its incredible title alone. Fortunately, the episode also boasts some of the biggest thrills and chills of the entire series, pitting Spider-Woman against not only the ancient vampire Dracula but also his evil allies, the Wolfman and Frankenstein's Monster. It's a real monster mash, and Jessica finds herself right in the middle of it.

When two grave robbers uncover Dracula's tomb, they disturb the vampire's 500-year slumber and awaken his thirst for revenge. Dracula and the Wolfman use their supernatural powers (which take the form of kid-friendly laser beams) to turn Spider-Woman into a werewolf/vampire hybrid. Jessica must overcome her newfound evil urges if she is to cure herself and stop Dracula's threat, or else the entire world will be transformed into monsters. With its colorful, B-movie energy, "Dracula's Revenge" is an overlooked gem, perfect for family Halloween viewing.

3. Realm of Darkness (Episode 2)

The second episode of the one and only season of "Spider-Woman," "Realm of Darkness" goes big with its villain — quite literally. In a treat for Marvel Comics superfans, this episode features the very first on-screen appearance of Dormammu. Best known for being Doctor Strange's archenemy in the comics, Dormammu (also known as the Dread One, the Lord of Chaos, and the Great Enigma) is a surprising but exciting foe for Jessica Drew.

The mystical menace plots to cross over to the human world from his dimension during an eclipse, but first he has to get through Spider-Woman. With the help of his evil worshippers, Dormammu strikes at Jessica's heart by abducting Jeff and pulling him into his realm of darkness. If saving Jeff from a gigantic glass spider isn't impressive enough, the episode ends with Spider-Woman facing down a kaiju-sized Dormammu for the fate of the world. It's quite the spectacle, and it's definitely among the top "Spider-Woman" moments.

2. A Crime in Time (Episode 14)

One of the wildest and wooliest episodes of the entire series, "A Crime in Time" is a space-bending journey across the cosmos, stretching from the beginning of time to 3000 AD. Justice Magazine is invited to cover the unveiling of the government's new time machine, but the journalists are unaware that the sinister Dr. T is following them. Dr. T steals the plans for the time machine and builds a duplicate for his own evil ends, which include stealing gold from Jesse James in the Wild West and winning over an army of hairy alien invaders from the year 3000.

With its wide array of settings and time periods, "A Crime in Time" is the show's most visually striking episode. It also features one of the most mind-blowing third acts in any Marvel animated TV show, with an army of laser gun-wielding Chewbacca lookalikes storming Washington D.C. at the behest of Dr. T. But what about Spider-Woman? This brilliant episode has major ramifications for her, as she is finally forced to reveal her true identity to Jeff and Billy.

1. Pyramids of Terror (Episode 1)

Rarely does a television series come roaring out of the gate with a perfect episode. Yet, the "Spider-Woman" pilot episode "Pyramids of Terror" embodies everything that makes this underseen gem of a series so entertaining and exhilarating. A strange purple pyramid appears in Egypt, and mummies all over the world suddenly reanimate and attack the living. Infiltrating the pyramid, Spider-Woman discovers that it is a spaceship piloted by the mummy Khufu — who is actually an alien newly awakened from suspended animation. With his legions of unearthed pyramid ships, he plans to conquer Earth. Oh, and Spider-Man is there, too.

"Pyramids of Terror" has it all: Mummies, aliens, mummy aliens, improbable spider-powers, a team-up with Spider-Man, and Jessica Drew jumping out of a helicopter to keep her secret identity hidden. It efficiently establishes the central dynamics between Jessica, her adoring nephew Billy, and Jeff, an irrepressible braggart who also may be in love with Jessica. But above all, it introduces Spider-Woman as a capable, self-assured, and witty superhero. Watch "Pyramids of Terror" and follow Jessica as she weaves her web of justice across the television screen.