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Spider-Woman (III)

REAL NAME: Martha "Mattie" Franklin
ALIASES: Spider-Man, "Matt"
IDENTITY: Secret
OCCUPATION: Student; former superhero
CITIZENSHIP: U.S.A.
PLACE OF BIRTH: Rochester, New York
KNOWN RELATIVES: Jeremy & Bernice Franklin (parents, deceased), Marla Madison ("aunt", foster mother), J. Jonah Jameson ("uncle", foster father)
GROUP AFFILIATION: None
EDUCATION: High school student
FIRST APPEARANCE: (Cameo) Spectacular Spider-Man #263 (1998); (fully) Amazing Spider-Man #441 (1998)

HISTORY: When Jeremy Franklin declined an invitation from former business associate Norman Osborn to participate in the arcane ritual called the Gathering of the Five, his precocious 15-year old daughter, Mattie, took his place. The mystical Gathering required five participants: three were granted power, knowledge or immortality, while two were cursed with insanity or death. Mattie received the gift most coveted by Osborn, power, while Osborn was driven more deeply insane. During a time when Peter Parker (alias Spider-Man) had resigned from superheroics, Mattie disguised herself as her role model, Spider- Man, in a padded costume. After she was injured fighting the fiery Shadrac, recipient of a living death from the Gathering, Spider-Man came out of retirement to assist her. Mattie continued crime-fighting, now calling herself Spider-Woman. Charlotte Witter, granddaughter of Madame Web, was genetically manipulated by Doctor Octopus and sought to claim the Spider-Woman name, siphoning the powers from former Spider-Women Jessica Drew and Julia Carpenter before confronting Matte. Despite Spider-Man's interference, Witter absorbed Mattie's powers. Guided by Madame Web, Drew, Carpenter,and Matte located Charlotte. By force of will, Matte reabsorbed her powers, as well as the other powers Charlotte owned or stole.

Moving in with the Jamesons, Mattie stayed in New York to pursue her role as the sole Spider-Woman. Aided by Madame Web and Drew, she had several adventures battling the grotesque Flesh and Bones sisters, their parents Miss Itch and Mr. Scratch, the ancient Egyptian magician Shadow Caster, the Cluster (aliens in Death Valley testing if Earth was conquerable), the psionic exomorphic projections of Brian Leighton (creating a Rhino/Dr. Octopus/Venom amalgam), and a cloistered werewolf-nun. With each adventure, Spider-Woman experimented with her costume's appearance. The Jamesons sent her to attend a private high school where she encountered vicious bullies and befriended meek Cheryl Lansing. Gradually, Spider-Woman's borrowed powers returned to their owners, reawakening Witter. After another defeat by Spider-Woman (with help from Spider-Man), Witter was once again rendered unconscious, allowing Mattie's continued retention of her powers.

Mattie's father died, leaving her an orphan since her mother had died of an illness when Mattie was very young. The Jamesons accepted the role of Maddie's foster parents, with Jonah honored and humbled by the opportunity. She was later seduced into a dark world of drugs by boyfriend Dennis "Denny" Haynes, who used Matte's own flesh to produce the drug called MGH or Mutant Growth Hormone, temporarily granting the user superhuman powers. With Madame Web's aid, she was rescued by Jessica Drew and Jessica Jones, and her abilities revealed to Jonah. Mattie has been in counseling, and has not pursued super-heroic activities since this tragedy.

HEIGHT: 5 ft. 8 in.
WEIGHT: 123 lbs.
HAIR: Brown
EYES: Brown

ABILITIES: Mattie's powers include flight, invulnerability and superhuman strength (pressing up to 10 tons), reflexes, stamina and agility. The extent of her "ultimate power" may not have been reached. Mattie temporarily absorbed the other Spider-Women's abilities including psionic webbing, bioelectrical "venom-blasts," psionic spider legs and mild telepathy. She could fold her psionic legs into her back, and mentally control their aesthetics. Drew and Carpenter have since regained their powers from Mattie. Her retention of Witter's psionic legs may be lost if Witter awakens from dormancy. The shard used in the Gathering of the Five is the source of Mattie's power. Proximity to other shards may cause Mattie to faint.

NOTE: The above information was updated from “All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #10”

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