Martha "Mattie" Franklin was a regular teenager living in New York City. She was daughter of Jerry Franklin a wealthy businessman. Her uncle was J. Jonah Jameson, editor and owner of the Daily Bugle.
Gathering of Five
Overhearing a conversation between her father and Norman Osborn about a ceremony, Mattie took her father's place in the Gathering of Five. The ritual with five arcane relics, where the people are granted either immense power or they pay the ultimate price. These relics, when brought together and the ritual performed, allow the five who possess them to be blessed or cursed with: power, knowledge, immortality, insanity and death. But the catch is that these powers doesn't seem what they are at first: what first seemed madness was in fact knowledge, what seemed power was madness and death seemed like immortality. Norman Osborn, received "Insanity", Morris Maxwell received "Knowledge", Cassandra Webb received immortality and Gregory Herd received "Death". Granted the gift of power, Mattie was endowed with superhuman physical attributes, as well as the power of flight.
When the real Spider-Man returned, Mattie fought Charlotte Witter and then became known as Spider-Woman with the blessings of Jessica Drew, going through a number of different costumes before eventually settling on a black and red bodysuit. Mattie's admiration for Spider-Man developed into an intense crush, and after Mary Jane's apparent death she kissed him when he was performing CPR on her following a fight with Charlotte Witter. Peter rejected her advances on account of the significant age difference between them and because he still believed Mary Jane was alive, and Mattie was eventually sent to a boarding school; where she fought several new villains and made a friend in Cheryl Lansing.
Mattie wasn't seen for quite a while, and eventually went missing. She broke into Jessica Jones's apartment in a drugged stupor, but quickly fled. Investigating more, Jessica discovered Mattie was being harvested for drugs by her boyfriend and kept sedated. Apparently, Mattie was being used a source for Mutant Growth Hormone, a power-inducing drug that requires a super-powered individual's genetic material. With the help of Jessica Drew, Jessica Jones brought Mattie back to the safety of her uncle.
Mattie joined the superhero support group the Loners in Los Angeles. She got involved in breaking up an MGH ring with two other members which lead Ricochet to later break into a Fujikawa lab, resulting in Lightspeed being grievously wounded by Hollow (formerly Penance). The group was confronted by a woman leading armored guards and Delilah; they had come to reclaim Hollow. The matter was settled peacefully by Mickey Musashi; Mattie was frustrated about allowing the bad guys to leave.
However, Mickey reminded her that she was undoing the damage for which she, Darkhawk, and Ricochet were responsible. It was revealed that another reason for her joining the support group was that she was secretly researching the Slingers. While over at Johnny's house she began searching for evidence but was caught by Johnny, who she slept with in order for him not to get suspicious. Afterwards, she privately contacted the father of Dusk, in which she confirmed that the former Slinger named Ricochet had no knowledge of Cassie's whereabouts. Mattie and Johnny later arrived at Mickey's apartment, where they discovered Phil Urich and Chris fighting each other in Darkhawk armor. After defeating Phil, she learned about Phil also making a deal with Fumiko Fujikawa (just as Mickey did) and decided to leave the support group, no longer trusting them, pointing out that they had forgotten about how to be heroes in trying to overcome their heroic pasts. Mattie also admitted that she regretted sleeping with Ricochet.
During the Grim Hunt, Mattie had been captured by the Kravinoff family, along with Madame Web. Knowing that she was going to die, she told Madame Web to tell Spider-Man that she didn't blame him and that she didn't cry. She is later sacrificed by Sasha Kravinoff in an attempt to revive her son, the Grim Hunter back from the dead. It was a success, but Vladimir was revived as a humanoid lion-like creature. It was then revealed that Martha was merely a test, and that they actually intended to sacrifice Spider-Man. Vladimir and Sasha were later killed by the newly-resurrected Kraven the Hunter.
Dead No More
Over a year later, the Jackal brought Mattie and Madame Web back to life as clones. Mattie later encountered Silk. Despite initially attacking Silk and extolling the virtues of New U, Mattie later met Cindy Moon and befriended her upon learning she was an employee of her uncle, revealing her suspicions regarding New-U. When the Jackal triggered the signal to reduce the resurrected people to Carrion zombies, Mattie resisted and helped Cindy defeat the resurrected Hector Cervantez, who subsequently died and returned to his ghostly state. While protecting Jameson from attacking Carrion zombies, Mattie revealed to her uncle that she was a superhero, but ultimately sacrificed herself to protect Silk and crumbled to dust in her arms. Cindy collected Mattie's remains and buried them in an urn atop her coffin, but was left traumatized by the experience.
- Gathering of Five Power: Mattie was received the gift of power after she participated in the Gathering of Five ceremony.
- Superhuman Strength: Mattie was superhumanly strong and capable of lifting about as much weight as Spider-Man, 10 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Martha was capable of running and moving at speeds that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. She could easily catch up with accelerating cars while on foot.
- Superhuman Stamina: Martha's advanced musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than an ordinary human. This allowed her to exert herself physically for much longer periods of time before fatigue began to impair her. At her peak, Spider-Woman was able to physically exert herself at her peak capacity for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood began to impair her.
- Superhuman Durability: Spider-Woman's body was physically tougher and more resistant to some types of injury than the body of a normal human. Her body was more resistant to impact forces than anything else. She was able to withstand great impacts, such as falling from a height of several stories or being struck by an opponent with superhuman strength, that would severely injure or kill a normal human with little to no discomfort. After absorbing the powers of the other Spider-Women, Mattie may have become bulletproof.
- Superhuman Agility: Martha's agility, balance, and bodily coordination were all enhanced to levels that were beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. She was extraordinarily limber and her tendons and connective tissues were twice as elastic as the average human being's, despite their enhanced strength. She had the combined agility and acrobatic prowess of the most accomplished circus aerialists and acrobats. She could also perform any complicated sequence of gymnastic stunts such as flips, rolls, and springs. She was able to easily match or top any Olympic record at gymnastics apparatus such as flying rings, climbing ropes, horizontal bars, trampolines.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Her reflexes were similarly enhanced and were about 40 times greater than those of an ordinary human.
- Flight: Martha was able to propel herself through the air through sure act of will at an unknown maximum speed.
- Spider-Woman Powers: The following powers were absorbed by Mattie after she reabsorbed her own powers from Charlotte Witter. 
- Superhuman Strength: After absorbing the powers of the other Spider-Women, her strength may have increased to about 25 tons.
- Wall Crawling: Originally belonging to Jessica Drew, Martha's limbs could adhere to surfaces via electrostatic attraction. She could have held and carry a considerable amount of extra weight while sticking to walls without falling off; it's safe to assume that the weight she was able to carry was dozens of times her own, and the limits of how long she could have done this before fatigue sets in were unknown.
- Venom Blasts: Originally belonging to Jessica Drew, Martha's body possessed an inordinate amount of bio-electricity that she learned to channel and discharge through her hands, in controlled bursts of what she called "Venom Blasts". These energy projections varied in power; they mostly affected the nervous system in humans. Martha was able to regulate them from simply a stun to potent enough to kill an average-sized man in the same way that a lightning bolt could kill him.
- Psychic Spider-Legs: Originally belonging to Charlotte Witter, Martha possessed four psionic spider-legs growing from her back. Having them grown out was their natural state, but Martha could conceal them in her back with concentration, though this left her with feelings of pressure. On occasion, Martha was shown firing brilliant bursts of energy from the legs that left her enemies stunned.
Mattie has cat allergy.
- Mattie gained her original powers during the Gathering of Five ceremony.
- Mattie is the third woman to use the name Spider-Woman.
- 58 appearance(s) of Martha Franklin (Earth-616)
- 4 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Martha Franklin (Earth-616)
- 4 minor appearance(s) of Martha Franklin (Earth-616)
- 9 mention(s) of Martha Franklin (Earth-616)
- 5 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Martha Franklin (Earth-616)
- 40 image(s) of Martha Franklin (Earth-616)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about Martha Franklin (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Martha Franklin (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Comicboards: Question about Mattie Franklin
- Wikipedia: Spider-Woman
- Marvel Directory: Madame Web
- Spider-Woman Fanpage
- Marvel Encyclopaedia: Spider-Man, New York, 2003, p184