Screencap of Isabela Merced as Anya Corazon in the trailer for 'Madame Web.' She is a teenage Latina with long dark hair wearing silver hoop earrings and two silver necklaces over a yellow t-shirt that says "I eat MATH for breakfast" that she's wearing under a brown velvet hoodie. She's standing with her arms folded in a wooded area.

Latinas Are Finally Getting Anya Corazon on the Big Screen in ‘Madame Web’

If you saw the Madame Web trailer that Sony dropped yesterday, you know that it isn’t only Cassandra Webb’s titular hero (Dakota Johnson) coming to the big screen. The upcoming film finds Madame Web joining forces with three future members of the Spider Family: Julia Carpenter (Sydney Sweeney) and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor), both of whom have the mantle of Spider-Woman in Marvel Comics, and Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced), the future Spider-Girl.

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As a Latina Marvel fan, Anya’s appearance on the big screen is particularly meaningful to me.

Who is Anya Corazon?

Cover illustration of Anya Corazon as Spider-Girl. She's dressed in a black-and -white spider suit with a mask over her eyes that leaves the bottom of her face open. Her long light brown hair is in a ponytail. She has thrown herself backwards off a building and is calmly gliding toward the grown as a web swirls around her.
(Marvel Comics)

Aña Sofia Corazón (or Anya Corazon, if that’s too “ethnic” for you) first thwipped into Marvel Comics in 2004, starring in the publisher’s newly resurrected Amazing Fantasy title and making appearances in various Marvel properties ever since.

Created by Joe Quesada, writer Fiona Avery, and artist Mark Brooks (and based on ideas from J. Michael Straczynski’s run on Amazing Spider-Man), Aña is a Latina teenager who was born in Brooklyn (lots of Latine Spider-people in Brooklyn, apparently) to a Mexican mom named Sofia and a Puerto Rican dad named Gilberto. When she was a small child, she and her family moved to Mexico City, where Gilberto had a successful career as an investigative journalist.

That career eventually brought tragedy to the family. After Gilberto refuses to back off from an exposé about a powerful crime lord, Sofia is killed in a house fire that looks suspiciously like arson. Fearing more reprisal, Gilberto takes Aña back to Brooklyn.

Unlike Peter Parker and Miles Morales, who owe their spider powers to radioactive spider bites, Aña came by her powers naturally. As explained in more detail on her character page at, she is “a descendant of one of the original Spider Society Hunters through her mother Sofia’s line.”

Okay, so what the heck are Spider Society Hunters?

According to

“In 1099 in the Iberian Kingdom of Castile, benevolent Crusaders—kingmakers hoping to protect the world from the shadows they felt were consuming the Holy Lands—form a secret society. Arab writings lead them to totems granting arcane powers, but internal dissent fragments the organization into two factions: the Spider Society, which retains their original goal, and the Sisterhood of the Wasp, which seeks to accumulate power for its own sake. Through subsequent centuries, the two groups fight a secret war, each side fielding two linked champions, a Mage and a Hunter, against their opposite numbers in the rival cabal. When a champion falls, another has their innate mystic potential ritually activated and as such replaces them, with new champions often being descended from prior ones as the potential passed down family lines.”

During her freshman year of high school, Aña gets caught up in the battle between the Sisterhood of the Wasp and the Spider Society. The Society’s Hunter has been killed and his Mage partner, Miguel Legar, is supposed to bond with a new Hunter named Nina to continue their fight against the Sisterhood. However, when Aña walks through a park and stumbles into a battle, the Sisterhood senses her lineage and think she’s the new Hunter. One of the Wasp agents fatally stabs Aña, and Miguel saves her the only way he can—by bonding with her to heal her, thereby awakening her dormant spider powers.

Her life is never the same.

So, what’s this Spider-Girl’s deal?

Between 2004 and 2010, Aña went by the name Araña, which means “spider” in Spanish. It also happens to be her mom Sofia’s maiden name, so Aña took it in part to honor her. After her character’s introduction in Amazing Fantasy issues #1-6, she got her own 12-issue limited series called Araña: The Heart of the Spider in 2005 as part of the Marvel Next imprint.

After that, she made appearances in other heroes’ comics, like Ms. Marvel, Captain America, and The Amazing Spider-Man. Finally, she adopted the Spider-Girl mantle in her own title, Spider-Girl, which debuted in November 2010 as a tie-in with the “Big Time” story arc in The Amazing Spider-Man.

She is, of course, the second character to take on the Spider-Girl mantle, the first having been May “Mayday” Parker, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s daughter. Mayday even interacted with Araña in the comics in a very timey-wimey, multiverse, vision quest way involving clones. It was a whole thing.

What do “spider powers” mean for Spider-Girl, exactly?

A section of comics panels from an issue of a Marvel comic featuring Anya Corazon's Spider-Girl. She is dressed in her spider-suit, and the strip is divided into four panels where she's looking at herself in a mirror.  Panel 1: She says "Spider-Girl."  Panel 2: she puts her hands on her hips and says "I am Spider-Girl. I am Spider-Girl"  Panel 3: she crouches and does finger-guns at herself, saying "Aww yeah, Bad Guy! You just got schooled by the Spectacular Spider-Girl!"  Panel 4: She's hunched over menacingly and says "You wanna know who I am? Wanna know my name? That's right, punk. I'm the Gosh-Darned Spider-Girl."
(Marvel Comics)

Aña Corazón’s Spider-Girl has powers that are very different and more mystical in nature than other members of the Spidey family. In addition to the expected wall-crawling abilities and superhuman strength, agility, speed, and stamina, Aña can make organic webs through special glands in her forearms. She can camouflage herself in shadows, becoming invisible in the way of a crab spider, and can do a 25-foot standing high jump.

She also has a very interesting skeleton in two ways: First, her regular human skeleton is super-flexible from years of gymnastics training, so she’s able to get herself into really tiny spaces. Second, she was at one point able to generate a carapace armor (what exoskeletons are made of on animals like turtles, crustaceans, or spiders and other arachnids) when she’s in danger. The way that this happens is like her own version of “Spidey sense.”

According to

“The spider-tattoo on her right arm is invisible except when it senses danger. Anya can generate a carapace armor from it that would instinctively expand to block attacks, even ones she’s unaware of; Anya could also consciously control the thickness, coverage, and shape of it. At its thickest, it was resistant to small-arms fire, but when armored even partial immersion in water paralyzed and asphyxiated her, forcing her to retract it. The Doomsday Man ripped the carapace off Araña and it is uncertain if it will regrow.”

Yeesh. After her exoskeleton was ripped out, Aña maintained many of her other, original powers, but also began creating specialized weapons to deal with the power loss.

So, does Spider-Girl interact with the other “spider-women” who appear in the Madame Web comics?

Yes, she does!

In 2016, after the Secret Wars arc, the resulting damage to the multiverse created Battleworld, a place where several new domains arose from each reality’s wartime destruction. Aña and Spider-UK ended up in a spider domain called Arachnia with no memory of how they got there. It’s in Arachnia that Aña meets and teams up with Julia Carpenter’s Spider-Woman along with other spider people to get out of this bananas situation.

Martha “Mattie” Franklin was an earlier Spider-Woman who, like Aña, came by her powers via an ancient ritual, not a spider bite. They haven’t interacted in the comics as far as I can tell, though feel free to jump in and correct me, nerds! Marvel lore is vast and convoluted.

Still, it’s awesome that these three young spider women are coming together alongside Cassandra Webb in the upcoming Madame Web. In the comics, Cassandra served as a mentor to several Spider-Women, including Mattie Franklin and Julia Carpenter. Now, Aña can get in on the spider-mentorship, too!

And yes, I know I’ve been calling her Aña instead of “Anya” this whole article. While she’s known as “Anya” in all the official Marvel stuff, she’s a Latina with spider powers who once went by the name Araña. Her name in Spanish is a pun on that word and doesn’t work as well when it’s Anglicized. So there.

So, who’s excited for Madame Web?

(featured image: screenshot / Sony Pictures)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.