What if there were an alternate universe were Spider-Man was a woman?
Now you can see exactly what that would be like in a new Marvel Comics comic book series. Spider-Woman is Spider-Gwen, as in Gwen Stacy, girlfriend of original Spider-Man Peter Parker. Gwen was killed off in the 1973 Spider-Man comic books (and again last year in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 film). But in this parallel world, the radioactive spider bites Gwen instead of Peter.
Spider-Gwen was originally introduced last year in the crossover story Edge of Spider-Verse No. 2. The first new Spider-Gwen issue came out this week and featured her playing in a female band called the Mary Janes and watching Peter die in her arms after he tried to give himself superpowers to be more like her.
Her reintroduction is part of Marvel’s ongoing effort to reach out to its growing female fan base. In the last few years, Marvel writers have also created an all-female X-Men series, relaunched the comics of female fighter pilot Captain Marvel, introduced a female Thor and created a new Avengers-like, all-female superhero team called the A-Force.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Meet the 2024 Women of the Year
- Greta Gerwig's Next Big Swing
- East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment
- In the Belly of MrBeast
- The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap
- How Long Should You Isolate With COVID-19?
- The Best Romantic Comedies to Watch on Netflix
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time
Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com