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- She's a mutant. She belongs with us.
- -- Beast
- -- Beast
Produced and Released
The Jackal had previously created many clones of Gwen Stacy, some with powers and some without. Upon finding out that one of his samples of Spider-Man's DNA was stolen, Jackal went after the culprit. He soon discovered that the vial was stolen by Mr. Sinister (used for the creation of Lethal), and as petty revenge stole a vial of DNA from Sinister's labs for his own uses. That vial of DNA belonged to Scott Summers, and he merged it with another sample of Spider-Man's DNA, as well as that of Gwen Stacy's, to create the being who would become known as Virginia Dare.
Under unknown circumstances, the clone escaped and began uncontrollably rampaging through New York City, due to a lack of control over her powers. She was engaged in combat by the Spider Slayer taskforce, before she began to overwhelm them due to her enormous size. Soon the X-Men and the Superior Spider-Man arrived to take her down. Despite poor cooperation between the two parties, ultimately, they were able to team together and take down the clone without injury. Due to some quick DNA tests by Beast, it was determined that she was part spider, part human, and part mutant. As such, Spider-Man allowed the X-Men to take the clone into their care, while he dove deeper into the arising clone conspiracy produced by her presence.
Inducted Into the Alphas
Upon arriving at the Xavier Institute, the clone had frequent telepathic lessons with Rachel Summers to rapidly bring up her intellect, since her mind had been completely empty when she was found. After learning about basic world history and the kind of world she was a part of, she chose the name Virginia Dare for herself. After she was deemed ready to join a squad, she didn't know who to join, because even among the mutants, she was an outcast. This made her a prime candidate for Northstar's squad, the Alphas, and after he reached out to her, she accepted in desperation. Even on a squad of misfits, Virginia still didn't feel like she fit in, despite her connection with Dust over not being an average student, culturally speaking. She spent a lot of time training in the Danger Room, logged under the alias Spider, and she began leaving the Xavier Institute during the evenings, returning before morning before anyone noticed she was missing.
Eventually, her in and out activities were noticed by a student, who alerted Northstar with what he had seen: Virginia on her way back to the Institute one morning with a large backpack. The administrators investigated into Virginia's activities, but because there were no signs that she was doing anything threatening, her mind was not read and she was instructed not to do it again. She did not listen, however, and one night after she left, a squad of X-Men consisting of Northstar, Beast, Nightcrawler, Iceman, and Rogue was sent to retrieve her. They discovered that she had been gathering intel under the alias of Abby Levine, hunting down all of her fellow clones and murdering them. Despite the X-Men's best efforts, she could not be reasoned with. Northstar reluctantly told her that she was expelled from his squad and from the school. She then engaged them in combat one-on-one (as they mostly fought off the rabid, mindless mutant clones). She tried to explain that what she was doing was correcting a mistake, that clones were not meant to exist, particularly these ones, who would never have a life of their own. But the X-Men insisted they could be saved, and in her anguish, her optic blasts went haywire, and she caused a massive explosion that destroyed the building they were in. The X-Men were barely able to escape alive, and Abby/Virginia chose not to escape, letting the burning rubble of the lab kill the remainder of the clones, along with herself.
Powers and Abilities
|Power Grid |
- Spider Form: Virginia has the ability to shapeshift into a massive garden spider, granting her several innate abilities.
- Wall-Crawling: Virginia showcased the ability to climb massive skyscrapers in New York City without difficulty.
- Webbing: Virginia, as a spider, is capable of shooting webbing from her rear like a common spider, though the webbing has much greater strength.
- Eyebeams: Virginia can blast eyebeams, much like Cyclops, from her eight eyes in spider form.
- Enhanced Arachnine Condition: Virginia was able to resist blows from super-strong opponents, as well as swat them away with equal if not greater strength. Her hide is also incredibly dense.
- Human Form: Even when not shapeshifted into a spider, Virginia still had access to an incredible array of abilities.
- Webbing: As a human, Virginia retains the ability to shoot webbing, however, it comes from her mouth in human form.
- Slightly Enhanced Condition: Virginia was in slightly weaker condition in human form than in spider form, only able to lift about half a ton and survive a lab explosion with minimal damage.
- Carrion Touch: Due to the presence of the Carrion Virus in her system, Virginia had the ability to accelerate cellular degeneration with her touch, quite rapidly with clones, but also to ordinary living beings, albeit at a slower rate.
Spider-Powers: It is reasonable to assume that Virginia possessed other powers that Spider-Man shares, such as enhanced agility and a danger sense, although she never displayed such capacities.
Stealth: As the Spider, Virginia was an exceptionally stealthy individual, able to sneak up on creatures with enhanced awareness and dispatch them easily. This indicates a level of combat training and weapons experience, the source of which is unknown, though she claims to have been self-taught.
Cloned Physiology: As an artificially created being, Virginia was subjected to the same cellular degeneration common in other clones.
Personal Philosophy: Virginia's philosophy about clones being soulless husks that shouldn't exist proved to be her undoing, as she chose to die rather than save herself from a preventable demise.
Equipment: None known.
Weapons: Virginia wielded handguns, a combat knife, and a sniper rifle.
When she first appeared, Virginia did not have a personality, because her mind was completely blank from being created, so she was controlled by fear when her first experience was that of being fought by a team of costumed individuals. As she learned more and more, she gradually became less fearful, but was still a very mild-mannered person, having difficulty making friends due to her origins and spending time mostly quiet and alone. It was when she learned what she truly was that her personality underwent a radical shift. In her desire to exterminate all her fellow clones, she became secretive, bold, and intensely focused on her mission. Her life ended as the exact opposite of who she was when she was born: bold, determined, intelligent, and calculating, the exact traits that made her a martyr for her cause.
Virginia Dare is the Earth-166 counterpart of several characters, all tied to Gwen Stacy.
- Virginia's first and most obvious inspiration was "Spider-Girl": who provided the setup and early life for the character.
- The second inspiration for the character was Virginia Dare, a character from the 1602 Marvel universe believed to be the counterpart of Gwen Stacy, who had the ability to shapeshift into animals. This provided Virginia's name and helped separate her from her roots and to become her own person.
- Virginia's third inspiration was Abby-L, a failed Gwen Stacy clone with the Carrion touch determined to prevent the Jackal from cloning Gwen ever again. This provided the close to Virginia's story, as Abby-L died in her only appearance.
- Her fourth, final, and minor inspiration was Abby Levine, a minor civilian in the Marvel universe tied to Spider-Man in her only appearance. Here, this serves only as an alias to make "Abby L" make more sense, as well as for her to gain intel on the down-low.
- An honorable mention goes to the fact that she was inspired by the Mutant-Powered Spider Clones, but this is more about Virginia's story than Virginia specifically.
- No trivia.