Sydney Sweeney as Julia Carpenter in the Madame Web trailer

Who Is Julia Carpenter? All About Sydney Sweeney’s ‘Madame Web’ Role

You may have forgotten that Madame Web is going to be a movie. Well, the first trailer dropped today and honestly? I’m pretty excited. One of the characters we get to meet during Cassandra Webb’s journey is Julia Carpenter. Played by Sydney Sweeney, Julia is a character with important lore in the world of Spider-Man.

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A woman of many names (and by names I do mean titles) Julia Carpenter is known for her strawberry-blonde hair and came into her powers through a friend. While I don’t think that Madame Web plans on going this route, the comic-book version of Julia Carpenter finds her identity as Spider-Woman through a woman named Val Cooper. Julia gets injected with spider venom and in the world of Spider-Man, the rest is history.

Now what is fascinating about the inclusion of Julia Carpenter in Madame Web is that she does eventually become Madame Web herself. Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced) and Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor) are Spider-Girl and Spider-Woman, respectively, but Julia goes through many aliases. Spider-Woman, Spider-Cryptic, Spider-Lady, and Bug-Lady are just some (and not all serious).

What I do find fascinating about Madame Web is that it features four women with Spider powers, who all have different names in the Spider-Man canon. While Julia Carpenter does eventually become Madame Web and was originally a Spider-Woman like Mattie Franklin, she is also Arachne. This makes for a unique team-up with different Spider identities for each of the women involved, even if their origin stories are surely going to be different from their comic origins.

Arachne is on the scene

Julia’s journey to taking on Arachne moniker is a long one. After losing her daughter (and her powers) and fighting with the Avengers, Julia’s identity changes when Mattie Franklin comes into play. Seeing as the film includes Mattie, it might be that this version of Julia Carpenter is Arachne from the start. In the comics, Julia starts as Spider-Woman and fights until she is drained of her power by Charlotte Witter, another Spider-Woman.

Retired from being a hero, Julia eventually changes her name to Arachne before returning. (This is, however, after Tony Stark talks her into joining his team, so I guess in a way we have Tony to thank for the name change?) All of this is stuff that I don’t think will have any bearing on Madame Web. This Julia is probably going to be Arachne from the start and that’s fine. Sometimes you just need to have a different name from your fellow Spider-Women so things don’t get confusing on the battlefield. Don’t want to be calling each other “Spider-Woman 1” and “Spider-Woman 2” when you’re trying to defeat all the bad guys from different universes, right?

(featured image: Sony Pictures Releasing)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.