Many people love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has taken so many of our beloved characters and brought them to life right before our eyes. There are many things about what they have done that audiences and fans everywhere absolutely love. However, it has also had its fair share of criticism. One of its biggest criticisms has been its lack of diversity, both racial and gender.
That said, they have made strides in improving this. Moving forward from Age of Ultron, the Avengers roster is now set with Falcon, War Machine, Vision, and Scarlet Witch joining up with Captain America and Black Widow. We also have Black Panther and Captain Marvel coming in the next couple of years, as well. Thus we can see that Marvel is definitely making its way towards a more diverse roster.
However, I feel that there is one more female hero who needs her opportunity to really stand out.
Jessica Drew aka Spider Woman
The daughter of a talented British geneticist, Drew became sick at a young age causing her father, with the aid of a colleague, to experiment on her. Hoping to help her with the regenerative and immunological properties of arachnids' blood, her father injected her with a serum made from the blood of several uncommon species of spiders. She was then placed inside a genetic accelerator. Initially, Drew was found by HYDRA leader Otto Vermis, who trained her in the use of her powers, espionage, martial arts, and various killing techniques. However, she rebelled against them early on. When she was sent to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. she ultimately deviated from her mission by refusing to kill Nick Fury. She eventually defeated Vermis and in time became an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Over the years Drew also worked as a private investigator and became the superhero known as Spider Woman. She has been a member of the Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, and is also an Agent of S.W.O.R.D.
She has played roles in several big storylines over the years, but none bigger than during the Secret Invasion. The alien race known as the Skrulls chose Drew as the superhuman that their Queen, Veranke, would impersonate. At the end of the conflict, Drew found great difficulty having anyone be able to trust her, but eventually her teammates came around.
Drew has connections to many heroes, but her most notable, and one of the biggest reasons why I think she should and WILL come to the MCU, is her close friendship with Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel). She has also worked with Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, both coming up on Netflix beginning later this year.
She possesses the usual list of superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, stamina, durability, flexibility, and hearing. She also has the ability to glide on air currents, is immune to toxins, poisons, drugs, and radiation, and can wall-crawl. She secretes pheromones that create fear, and elicit attraction and/or repulsion on others, depending on unknown factors which might include gender and mood. Also, she can generate bio-electric "venom" blasts from her hands.
Having only been around since the late 70's, Spider Woman does not have a large rouges gallery, but she does have a select few to work with.
Obviously she carries a strong enmity toward the Skrulls, but any potential usage of them would not come until a ways down the line.
Aside from Otto Vermis, Drew's other primary nemesis is Sybil Dvorak, a gypsy with the ability to telekinetically manipulate and control materials with her mind. She also can levitate and fly. She has fought Drew over the years, but became a bigger nemesis to her more recently under the name Skeine, thanks to the Spider Woman motion-comic a few years ago. Drew has also had several run-ins with Morgan Le Fay and her son, Mordred, during her time in Europe, which could also play into the MCU nicely now that magic is being brought in with Doctor Strange.
Drew also has a challenger to the title of Spider Woman in Charlotte Witter, who is the granddaughter of Madame Web. Getting her powers through experiments by Doctor Otto Octavious, Witter would be a possible foe once Spider Man's universe is established in the MCU, unless Marvel chooses to retcon her origin a bit.
A fan casting favorite for this role, I like Ryan here myself. Most known for her role on NBC's Bionic Woman, she has also appeared in Doctor Who, BBC's Merlin, USA's Covert Affairs, and the hilarious Cockneys vs Zombies, which I recommend to any horror comedy fan. She has plenty of action experience and all the talent needed to handle this role. As Spider Woman isn't a high profile character, Marvel could easily pull in an actress like Ryan for a decent deal and help raise her profile as well.
My other top choice for Jessica Drew is the beautiful Katie McGrath, whom I feel is a very underrated actress. Most known for her role on Merlin as Morgana, she was also in NBC's Dracula, and appeared this year in Jurassic World. It would be humorous to see her go from playing Morgana to fighting her. She would also easily fit into Marvel's pattern of utilizing actors/actresses who don't require high payouts, and it would be another big step in her career.
I find Jessica Drew's story compelling, with a great depth to it. She could easily carry her own show if Marvel wanted to go that route. I really think a modern Agent Carter style show would be fantastic. I would like to think that they could see the potential in her character. Here's hoping they do, and let me know what you think below.