Spider-Verse 2 brought a brand-new version of Spider-Woman to life alongside Hailee Steinfeld's Gwen Stacy, this time in the form of Issa Rae's Jessica Drew, one of the most unique Variants of the web-slinger seen on the big screen.
Blasting into the movie with webs shooting straight from her fingers while also being the first prominent pregnant Spider-Woman, Rae brought her own flair to the role as her character took her place in the vast Spider-Verse.
Why Spider-Verse 2's Spider-Woman Doesn't Wear a Mask
Speaking with ComicBook.com, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse star Issa Rae shared her thoughts on why her version of Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman goes into battle without a mask.
Rae loved the way that the filmmakers incorporated "their nerdy knowledge of the Spider-Man canon" to bring this specific version of Jessica Drew to life for the sequel:
"You know, I’m so excited that the filmmakers chose to use their nerdy knowledge of the Spider-Man canon to incorporate this specific art for Jessica Drew where she happens to be pregnant, kicking ass on a motorcycle. Which I am terrified of."
She also highlighted just how special Jessica Drew is as the only web-slinger who goes maskless, the reason for which being that she "doesn’t have anything to hide:"
"I just think it’s just, so special. She’s also like the only Spider-Person who doesn’t wear a mask she she’s out here saving the world because she doesn’t have anything to hide. She’s like, 'You can get this work any time.'”
Co-director Kemp Powers discussed the same concept with Yahoo, highlighting her experience with motherhood and noting how cool it was to see a Spidey that didn't care who knew her identity:
"Just the idea of Spider-Woman going through motherhood [was cool]. And while Spider-Man is so much about secrecy, and hiding your secret identity, there was something really exciting about the idea of a Spider-Woman who doesn’t have a secret identity, who she is. She doesn’t even wear a mask. She just has on glasses. Everyone knows she’s Spider-Woman And it doesn’t matter."
Spider-Woman comics editor Nick Lowe also explained the reasoning behind her not wearing a mask with USA Today, pointing out Jessica Drew as a character that could "move away" from spandex for a time:
"As much as I’m a fan of spandex and it has its time and place, I felt Jess as a character could move away from that for a good long while."
Series writer Dennis Hopeless added that she takes her place as "an old-school hero" rather than one of the Avengers or something similar:
"You’ve seen her as a superspy and Avenger and soldier. Now let’s see this person as an old-school hero."
Lowe wanted to make a costume for Spider-Woman that, "for the most part," was seen as "clothes to kick ass in."
The lack of spandex helps Drew do her job better as a detective figuring out solutions to problems, whereas Spider-Man is more of somebody that just jumps into action "looking for trouble:"
"Spider-Man isn’t really a detective — he swings around looking for trouble, whereas Jess needs to go and figure stuff out and dig things up, and you can’t really do that head to toe in spandex very well."
In order to work the way that she works, the suit needed to be something that could "pass for semi-normal" and evolve into something more if needed:
"To operate on the level she wants to, she needs something that can pass for semi-normal and she can turn it on to crazy if she needs to."
How Will Pregnant Spider-Women Return in Spider-Verse 3?
Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilrs for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Now, the big question is how she'll take her expertise, and her costume, and make an impact when she undoubtedly returns to action in 2024's Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.
As The Spot expands his power over the Multiverse, Jessica Drew and her team of Spider-People are set on finding Gwen Stacy as Gwen heads to Earth-42 to help Miles Morales in his fight against his Multiversal self.
And with the producers on that new threequel saying "the sky really is the limit" for what could go down in the plot, Spider-Woman will be a key figure to watch out for as she takes out her enemies with no mask shielding her identity.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is now playing in theaters worldwide.