In her 1979 animated series, Spider-Woman took on a thinly veiled army of wookiees from Star Wars.
Spider-Woman has always had one of the strangest rogues galleries in comics. Likewise, her 1979 animated series pit her against some strange foes.
The 14th episode of the series’ feels like it was plotted using a mad lib. Spider-Woman had already been up against some powerful foes, including dinosaurs, but this episode featured a particularly ridiculous foe: an army of evil furballs straight out of Star Wars.
In “A Crime in Time,” Jessica Drew visits a secret government lab where she finds a time machine. She heads there not as Spider-Woman, but in the capacity of a journalist at her day job working for Justice Magazine. She is accompanied by two of her co-workers: her teen nephew Billy and photographer Jeff Hunt (who is the absolute worst.)
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Doctor T puts his new time machine through its paces by interfering in a Jesse James bank robbery. After freezing the outlaw in time, Doctor T nabs his ill-gotten gains. He calculates that the $50,000 in gold he ripped off from James will be worth $50 million after 100 years of inflation.
While Doctor T continues on his unconventional path to becoming the richest man in the world, Drew gets a vision of what he’s up to via her spider-sense. Making a work-related excuse to duck out of the office, she heads back to the secret lab.
Spider-Woman commandeers the government’s time machine and tracks Doctor T to the year 3000. When T arrives there ahead of her, he stumbles upon what appears to be a group of Wookiees attacking a domed city.
The Wookiees, who speak perfect English, mistake him for a god. T uses their reverence to his advantage, recruiting them to join him in his conquest of the 20th century. Spider-Woman has the misfortune of showing up a moment too late to stop him.
Spider-Woman uses a venom blast to take out one Wookiee, but she’s quickly overwhelmed by the rest. Instead of having his army finish her off, T ties her to the government’s time machine and sends her back to the beginning of time, where she’ll be erased from history.
All hope seems lost, but luckily, Spider-Woman’s able to free herself from the ropes with her venom blast and save herself from annihilation. She returns to the present day as Doctor T and his Wookiees are taking over the U.S. Capitol.
Spider-Woman is able to take care of the Wookiee threat by dropping a net on them and promptly returning them to their time. T is ultimately defeated when Spider-Woman goes back in time and spikes the time machine story, deciding to cover a policeman’s ball instead and leaving T unable to find the hidden base. It also conveniently erases Billy and Jeff’s memories of Spider-Woman’s secret identity, which she was forced to reveal in front of them during the climactic battle.
The Wookiee insurrection wasn’t the first Star Wars reference on Spider-Woman. In “Invasion of the Black Hole,” she used a lightsaber to fight a thinly veiled version of Darth Vader. The show borrowed liberally from other pop culture institutions, too. “A Crime in Time” was a riff on H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. Other episodes “homaged” King Kong and James Bond. While there are plenty of great Spider-Woman episodes, none are quite as memorable as this time-travel Star Wars crossover.
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