Is Madame Web a Villain or Anti-Hero & What About the Upcoming Movie?

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Sony’s Spider-Man Universe keeps expanding, adding some of the best side characters that supported him over the years during his stand-alone stories. By now, we’re used to seeing Spider-Man’s villains, and due to that, fans who aren’t familiar with Madame Web are wondering is she yet another villain both in the comics and in the movie? 

  • Article Breakdown:
  • There have been two versions of Madame Web over the years, Cassandra Webb and Julia Carpenter, and neither of them was a villain.
  • The two weren’t always straight-edge good, but they’re mostly on the side of superheroes, with Julia having a superhero career herself. 
  • In the upcoming movie, the villain will be Ezekiel Sims.

Both Cassandra Web and Julia Carpenter held the mantle of Madame Web in the comics

Before we explain Madame Web’s moral alignment, we should introduce Madame Web properly. 

Madame Web was born in Salem, Oregon, and since birth, she has been special, although, at the moment, she isn’t exactly aware of it. She was born with a debilitating condition known as myasthenia gravis. This is a legitimate chronic autoimmune disorder where antibodies disrupt nerve-muscle communication, leading to skeletal muscle weakness, particularly in voluntary muscles controlling the eyes, mouth, throat, and limbs.

Cassandra’s case of myasthenia gravis, however, came with the side of superpowers, and she developed strong psychic powers and, via this, became a powerful medium. Direct communication was perhaps never her strongest suit, but her powers helped her to rise somewhat above her condition. 

So, where does her connection to Spider-Man come in? Debra Whitman initially presented Madame Web as a charlatan to Peter Parker, but during an attack on the Daily Globe, Spider-Man discovered a clue that led him to seek Madame Web’s help. She used her psychic powers to assist him in locating the criminals, and Peter began to believe in her abilities. Subsequently, Spider-Man contacted Madame Web for assistance in preventing an assassination, and she guided him to the location of the would-be killers during a marathon, ultimately helping him disrupt their plans.

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Cassandra further proves to Spider-Man that she is legit when she contacts Peter Parker and reveals to him that she knows his secret identity as Spider-Man. 

Cassandra Webb was more of a mentor to Spider-Man 

Cassandra Webb, despite taking part in some shady business, was never a villain. She did some bad things (against her will), and she did take place in Gathering of Five, which provided her with a sort of a powerup, but she was mostly on Spider-Man’s side and often took part in superhero affairs to help and to offer clues. She managed to stop numerous catastrophes and assassinations with her psychic powers, and the fact that she never revealed Spider-Man’s identity speaks volumes about her intentions. 

In fact, due to her association with Spider-Man, she was often targeted but always stood her ground.  

Madame Web was eventually captured by the Kravinoff family to aid in their plot to defeat Spider-Man and resurrect Kraven. Despite her involuntary assistance leading to the death of Mattie Franklin and the resurrection of Vladimir Kravinoff, the ritual’s failure angered Sasha Kravinoff, leading her to fatally wound her. In her final moments, Cassandra transferred her powers to Julia Carpenter, passing on the mantle of Madame Web. 

Later, she was resurrected by the Jackal, worked for New U Technologies, and helped track down a hacker attempting to expose the Jackal. Despite being electrocuted by Electro for information, Madame Web played an important role in describing the hacker’s location to Prowler. Suffering from cellular decay due to her refusal to stabilize her cloned body, Madame Web revealed the Jackal’s hideout before dying once again.

Julia Carpenter took over the mantle of Madame Web and continued Cassandra’s legacy

Before becoming Madame Web, Julia was more famous as Spider-Woman, having powers similar to Peter Parker’s. She did have a superhero career of her own, but then found herself in the middle of controversy during the superhuman Civil War. 

During the Civil War, Julia Carpenter registered under the Superhuman Registration Act and, along with Wonder Man, assisted Ms. Marvel in training novice superheroes. However, Julia was secretly a double agent, initially thinking she was helping people escape registration.

She tipped off targeted superheroes, including the Prowler, who refused to register and was romantically involved with the Shroud, an opponent of the act. Julia’s betrayal was exposed when a captured Prowler revealed her involvement, leading to a government strike team capturing her at home. She was arrested and brought to the Negative Zone but managed to escape. 

Following her escape, Julia spent time in Canada, collaborating with the Canadian government as a member of the superhero team Omega Flight, with the incentive of having her outstanding charges dropped. Following a confrontation with the Wrecking Crew, Julia chose to remain on the team, actively participating in exposing Dr. Benning’s misuse of her government position to force addiction on the new Guardian, Michael Pointer. After the departure of many Omega Flight members, Julia eventually returned to America, and soon following this incident, she became Madame Web. 

In her new role as Madame Web, she intervened to prevent Peter from killing Kraven, stressing to him the moral consequences and advising against becoming a ruthless destroyer. 

Even though she made some wrong choices and was even on the run as a hardcore criminal for some time, she was never an outright villain, especially in her role as Spider-Man’s new mentor. 

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So, who will be the villain of the upcoming movie?

Both Cassandra Webb and Julia Carpenter, played by Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney, respectively, will appear in the movie, but neither will play the villainous role. The main villain in the upcoming ‘Madame Web’ will be Ezekiel Sims. In the comics, Ezekiel had the exact same power set as Spider-Man and shared some kind of supernatural connection with him. 

And while we aren’t sure in which way Ezekiel will be showcased as a villain, we can say that his character in the comics is sort of complicated. 

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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