Arachne (Julia Carpenter, née Cornwall), formerly known as Spider-Woman, is a fictional character and a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. The character first appeared in Secret Wars vol. 1 #6 (in the shadows).
As Spider-Woman, Carpenter has appeared as a starring character in Avengers West Coast and Force Works as well as a supporting character in the second Spider-Woman series, whose main character was Mattie Franklin. While she frequently appears as a member of a team, such as the Avengers West Coast and Force Works, Julia starred in her own four-part Spider-Woman miniseries which explained her origin and the origin of her enemies, Death Web.
A secretive government group called The Commission decided to create their own superhero. Val Cooper met college friend Julia Carpenter in Julia's hometown of Denver, and convinced her to be part of an "athletic study". She was unknowingly a test subject in their experiments. During the experiment, they "accidentally" injected Julia with a mix of spider venom and exotic plant extracts, which gave Julia powers very similar to those of Spider-Man.
Not long after she was given the identity of Spider-Woman, she was drawn into the first Secret Wars, where she met Spider-Man and the Avengers for the first time, and allied herself with the superhuman champions. She battled the Absorbing Man, Doctor Doom, and the Hulk. She was killed and resurrected by Doom with the power of the Beyonder. After returning to Earth, Julia joined Freedom Force (a government-sponsored super team made up primarily of former members of the Brotherhood of Mutants) who enlisted into government service to avoid prison terms. In an early mission with Freedom Force, the team was sent to arrest the X-Men, and Julia encountered her predecessor Jessica Drew, who at the time was still without her own Spider-Woman powers. During this conflict with the X-Men, Julia also began to question her teammates' exceedingly brutal attitudes that they held over from their criminal past. Subsequently Freedom Force was sent to arrest the Avengers after a disgruntled Quicksilver made false accusations against them. Freedom Force actually defeated the combined East and West Coast Avengers teams and helped bring the Avengers into custody at the Vault without a trial. Spider-Woman, once again found her loyalties divided; she had a change of heart and eventually chose to aid the Avengers by breaking into the Vault and freeing them, battling the Guardsmen and thus becoming a fugitive from the law herself. While on the run from the law she teamed up with Spider-Man occasionally. In another adventure she also teamed with Iron Man, to battle renegade AIM agents named the Seekers, who sought to capture Valerie Cooper to undercover solo work. In gratitude for her earlier assistance with the Avengers, Iron Man worked with the government to get her pardoned. Alongside Spider-Man, she battled the Wrecking Crew as a government assignment.
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