Red Spider is a Millenium City superheroine.
Formerly known as the sword-wielding Slash, Red Spider possibly became more famous for avoiding the spotlight after clips began to appear on YouTube of her crime fighting.
She once worked exclusively alone, but has emerged as the leader of the Adventurers super team. Little else is known of this young hero because she guards her secret identity carefully. It is commonly believed that she may have no actual super powers.
Red Spider is actually Cassandra Olsen of Millennium City. This fact is known only to a few family members and trusted allies.
A privileged life was always Cassandra's destiny from birth. Her father had made his fortune investing in companies which manufactured construction implements and materials in the wake of the destruction of Detroit. But Bill and his wife Marie had their first and only child several years after their peers, and learned that a privileged life, without proper guidance, can lead to spoiled, entitled, selfish children. Bill brought up his daughter to recognize that her status gave her a responsibility to the community.
From the age of 3, Cassandra trained in dance. Her parents worried that they were putting too many demands upon her when she begged to also be allowed to take part in gymnastics, but gave in because she showed undeniable talent.
While other children at her private school and her church might be sent abroad for mission trips, Bill Olsen impressed upon his daughter that there was enough people in need of help close to home in their recovering city, which too many were too willing to overlook.
Cassandra volunteered at homeless shelters, city clean-ups, and other local relief projects.
Cassandra completed grades 1 through 8 in a private school. Cassandra asked to be sent to public school at Millennium City High School. Her time spent helping in the more needy areas of Westside made her feel more at home in the school.
Where early on some students detected the whiff of her wealthy upbringing and tried to intimidate her, she managed to hold her own and impress many with her resolve. While she tended to hang out with the athletics crowd, she had acquaintances across many cliques.
In senior year two of Cassandra's friends seemed to be falling in with a gang. She sought her father's advice, but he suggested she stay out of it, for fear that she might get hurt. Inspired by colorful costumed crime fighters in Millennium City, Cassandra made a simple costume and used all of the money she had to buy a Japanese sword. Her idea: scare the gang, and give her friends pause to think twice about joining. The scheme worked, although foreshadowing her future career, Cassandra was nearly in over her head.
Cassandra learned to carefully surveil crooks rather than confront.
A Costumed Crime Fighter
Buoyed by success Cassandra kept trying to fight crime in Westside. Her weekend volunteering in shelters and free clinics let her learn about some of the crooks hurting people in that part of town, and as the costumed crime fighter Slash she was able to intimidate the bad guys back.
Being shot at, or being unmasked on one occasion, didn't deter Slash. She took care to practice her skills, and focus on sneaking and gathering evidence, rather than confrontation. She also stopped using the sword, because it had a way of slowing her down, and she had no desire to wound people very deeply with it - a fact her enemies had come to realize and exploit.
Once she started using a cable grappler, she changed her costumed identity to Red Spider. It made sense since she was ostensibly travelling on threads, and one of her friends remarked that when hitting a punching bag during a workout, that she seemed to have eight arms.
The Red Spider
Red Spider did her best not to draw attention to herself. She had three main tactics:
- - Surveil criminals and gather evidence
- - Call in the cops when it was time, let them take credit
- - Size up opponents carefully, and only join fights she could win
In this way Red Spider managed to stay under the radar, relatively unknown to the criminal underworld of her home city, and to the public in general.
Red Spider vs. Dr. Killowatt
When she began to investigate a weapon smuggling plot involving some high-tech lightning guns, Red Spider was nearly killed twice before she realized that it was a plot too big for her to unravel on her own. She assembled a loose group of her allies from the costumed crime-fighting crowd in Millennium City to form the Adventurers super group. Most of the team had little in the way of actual powers, but were experienced at handling the criminal element. With Red Spider heading the team, the Adventurers thwarted the efforts of Dr. Killowatt and ended the trade of his lightning guns to local gangs.
In this investigation, Red Spider first learned about the mysterious Chairman who seemed to be provide logistical support for crime. Dr. Killowatt was apparently receiving support, but her first close connection to the Chairman was a hired goon named Kingsnake.
Red Spider Becomes a "Super" Hero
A criminal syndicate captured Red Spider and injected her with an engineered alien retrovirus - revenge for the imprisonment of a criminal leader. Red Spider mutated into a horrible, feral alien-spider-human hybrid monster. The syndicate set her loose, most likely in the hopes that she would tear apart her allies, or they would be forced to destroy her - either outcome suiting their purposes.
When mutated Red Spider escaped confinement by the Adventurers, she spent several days drinking the blood of some random passers-by she abducted. With help from the Adventurers, she was saved and cured - with an added bonus: the muscle enhancement from the viral mutation remained a part of her, granting her above-human physical capabilities.
In the months that followed, Red Spider took on increasingly more powerful foes. The terrifying Etherloch creature - a blob-like shape-shifter that imitated humanoid forms - absorbed some of her blood. From then on, something in her modified DNA became a part of Etherloch, and they could always sense one another when near, though Etherloch's perception seemed more refined. She also went head-to-head with Poison Lash, though their encounters were often more of a psychological challenge for her with Poison Lash being confined by UNTIL.
Red Spider kept trying to learn more about the Chairman. Following a lead, Red Spider tried to infiltrate the Black Skull Syndicate's legitimate hardware store front as Cassandra, pretending she needed to use the staff-only washroom in the back as a way to get a closer look and plant surveillance devices. But she was apprehended by gangsters while wandering, nearly outed as a superhero, and subjected by Black Skull himself to a mind-control gas that she only narrowly escaped. Nonetheless, during this meeting she got the first clues that the Chairman wasn't a man, but maybe a codename for a criminal cooperative.
Mystery of the Missing Plane
Main article: Mystery of the Missing Plane
Cassandra's father Bill became entangled in a VIPER plot. Bill was threatened by mind-controlled Dreamweaver as VIPER's proxy and forced to create a false shipping company for smuggling purposes. VIPER's aim was to reveal Bill and several other businessmen they had entangled, causing a one-day shudder in the stock market which they anticipated would benefit their gold stocks. These profits would allow them to increase their American operations.
To keep his daughter safe, Bill tried to send her to New York City, but the plane crashed after its VIPER-affiliated co-pilot sabotaged it. Cassandra survived by jumping out of the plane at approximately 14,000 feet into the ocean at night time. She made it to shore and was rescued by Lady Justice; but even with her super powers, Cassandra was badly injured. VIPER revealed itself when one of their agents tried to kill or capture Cassandra while she recovered, in revenge for Bill's betrayal of them. The Adventurers determined that VIPER had brainwashed Dreamweaver, and managed to set a trap for her handler. They captured the handler, and forced him to give up information on VIPER's plot. For sentencing concessions, the VIPER agent gave up the location of the base where this plot was being directed. UNTIL drew the base defenses away while the Adventurers entered secretly via a mountain pass and stole all of the necessary data from the VIPER mainframe there.
Cassandra healed before too long, and with the evidence obtained from the VIPER base, her father was cleared of any wrongdoing. VIPER never learned of Cassandra being the secret identity of the Red Spider.
Against the West Side Crew
Red Spider defended the western neighborhoods of Millennium City against a group called the West Side Crew, which included bad guys Chief de Cuisine, Cricket, and Strong Arm. First she fought each individually, but she discovered that they were all working for the same employer. Red Spider's quarrel with them culminated in their trying to draw her into a trap: they kidnapped one of her MCPD contacts, Corporal Matt O'Hagan, and nearly overpowered Red Spider in their warehouse. The trio had underestimated O'Hagan, and with a timely assist from the officer, Red Spider escaped with him.
Months after the incident with the plane, Cassandra was still grappling with a fear of flying. She asked fellow hero Stygian to accompany her on a holiday to Antigua, partly to spend the holidays with a friend, partly to have a protector to help her through her first airline flight.
The two had an uneventful journey to their resort. Sophia (Stygian), being unaccustomed to resting, sought to be a crime fighter even in Antigua. She followed rumors of a human trafficking ring, and convinced Cassandra to go on a Christmas Eve pub crawl to some of the seediest bars to pick up a lead on the traffickers. Sure enough, a creepy groomer invited Sophia to an exclusive yacht party. Cass clandestinely followed along and boarded the yacht in secret, while Sophia attended a party on the upper deck. Cass was captured while trying to sabotage equipment in the engine room; later, she was rescued from the captain's cabin once Sophia was able to confirm that the yacht was a lure to bring in young women to be sold into slavery. Together, the two fought over 20 mercenaries on the ship, and forced the yacht to return to shore where the women aboard were rescued by the authorities.
Cass and Sophia spent the rest of their vacation laying low, for their faces had been seen by the mercenaries.
Main article: Faces of the Spider
Early in 2016, a compartmentalized secret lab owned by Source Biotech Enterprises had obtained some of Red Spider's blood, cloned her to learn her secret identity, and trapped the original so that they could do a memory transfer to help 'program' their clone.
The SBE scientists who cloned Red Spider did not know that the source of her powers was a virus. Upon cloning Red Spider, they inadvertently activated the virus in the clone. Just as they were about to do their memory transfer procedure with the captured Cassandra, the clone mutated and became the Spider Monster!
After a lengthy rampage, it took the full Adventurers team to subdue the clone spider. In the aftermath, the Adventurers turned the clone over to UNTIL for treatment. The team had to take part in a secret hearing to secure the clone's freedom from the state. County Prosecutor George Kruger, no fan of meta-human crime fighters, wanted to make an example of the clone and see if he could make her culpable for her rampage. The judge in the hearing ultimately chose to let the clone go free. Cassandra's parents named the clone 'Samantha', a name they had contemplated giving Cassandra years ago, and Samantha began a new life distinct from Cassandra, despite sharing many memories.
Summer of 2016
The summer started off inauspiciously for Red Spider. While trying to tackle a machine gunner during an Adventurers raid on an underground fighting ring, Red Spider was shot twice and put out of action. She managed to hold on long enough to ensure the mission was completed. Her accelerated healing had her back on her feet within days.
During the summer, she visited Rio de Janeiro with Stormherald, and then the lake country of central Finland with Dreamweaver. She also took on a sidekick, Sombra.
In late summer, Red Spider had to focus on redeeming the team's reputation when they were framed as having committed an unjustified attack upon David Lyons, the hero known as Silver Crusader. In truth, Silver Crusader was at the center of a criminal network which had targeted the Adventurers. Lyons's network included connections to Source Biotech Enterprises, a perennial threat which the Adventurers had dealt with. With arrest warrants out for Red Spider, she had to take care in gathering the evidence that would exonerate her team and expose Lyons.
Wrong Side of the Law
In fall of 2016, Red Spider and her Adventurer allies became hunted by the law, after arch-villain David Lyons (formerly a hero called Silver Crusader) framed the team as unruly & violent vigilantes. This after the team acted on evidence that he was part of a global criminal conspiracy, attacked Lyons in his high-rise residence & office tower, and were repelled by him.
For weeks, the Adventurers had to keep a low profile while Lyons prosecuted his anti-mask agenda. Red Spider trusted that her individual reputation in the her community would keep her from being pursued, yet bounty hunters attacked her several times, sensing a pay day for bringing her in to either Lyons or the authorities.
Cassandra was captured by Lyons agents during an undercover mission to find clues with one of Lyons's old associates. She was given over to Lyons's ally Vanessa Simmons - the embattled CEO of Source Biotech Enterprises - for experimentation. In yet another attempt to frame the Adventurers, Lyons arranged to have Simmons home & laboratory missiled, but the Adventurers succeeded in saving Cassandra & Simmons. Samantha Olsen, who learned of her sister's plight while fighting Lyons on a different front, also aided in the rescue.
Cassandra rejoined the team for its desperate defense of the Justice Cave not long after. As the siege raged on, the Adventurers were able to upload critical data to the internet that exonerated them - and showed Lyons's culpability for a great many criminal acts. When orders came down identifying Lyons, not the Adventurers, as the key threat, PRIMUS commander Bennett ordered a cease-fire and requested the Adventurers help in supporting his battle-weary forces in apprehension of the dangerous telekinetic villain. While PRIMUS forces boxed Lyons into his high-rise with ground and air forces, the Adventurers entered the building to defeat him directly.
Tournament of Mastafal
In early 2017, Cassandra learned from her sister Samantha that a notorious South China Sea pirate named Chen Shih was rumored to have left for Millennium City, of all places. When Red Spider tracked him down, she discovered that Chen Shih had gone within the confines of a cult called the Order of Mastafal, who put on a recurring combat tournament. The tournament was accessible from a portal in the order's Millennium City retreat. Red was invited to join the tournament when she was caught trying to sneak into the retreat. Several high-profile criminals were attending the tournament, and she saw a chance to apprehend them once they were knocked out of contention.
Red Spider fought her way to the final round, against the Blue Ninja. The Ninja proved the superior combatant, defeating Red Spider with a stunning barrage of hand-to-hand attacks. The Ninja drew in close after Red's defeat, and revealed who was under the ninja mask: it was Samantha Olsen, Red Spider's clone.
Cassandra has been riddled with self-doubt ever since this very personal defeat.
2017 - Year of Sidekicks
Red Spider met and began training Sombra, a young hero with powers of invisibility and teleportation, in late 2016. Cassandra gave Maya individual instruction at her dance school, but the dance lessons were part of a larger training in crime fighting skills. To Cassandra's disappointment, Maya refused to learn to fight, which Cass felt limited her potential. Nonetheless, Red Spider continued to impart various bits of crimefighter tradecraft to Sombra.
In 2017, Red Spider rescued fledgling crime-fighter Bluebird after Bluebird's initially successful string of crime-fighting came to an abrupt end at the hands of the Cresse gang. Red learned that Bluebird was actually Olivia Ellison, the sister of her Adventurers cohort White Star. Against Cassandra's better judgment - fully realizing that she was courting White Star's ire - she agreed to help train Olivia in crime-fighting.
In summer of 2017, Red Spider's two sidekicks were instrumental in the rescue of land speculator Auggy Stoddard who had been taken hostage by the Sullivan gang as part of a scheme to gain some of Stoddard's valuable land adjacent to the Majestic Casino. Red Spider was captured and nearly executed by the gang, but a timely distraction from Sombra allowed her to get free, and they turned the tables on her captors. Sombra went undercover at a dance competition to befriend a gangster's daughter to get a bead on his (and the hostage's) whereabouts; Bluebird went undercover at a masquerade ball to positively ID Andy Sullivan, the leader of the gang, and obtain evidence that lead to the gang's downfall. Stoddard was rescued alive and well from captivity, and the three heroes rejoiced in their victory.
2018 proved to be a tumultuous year for Red Spider. During an Adventurer battle with the mystical master named Maro, Red Spider - who was wielding Maro's dagger to dispel wraiths he had called upon to assault the team - was, at Maro's command, enveloped entirely by serpents emerging from the dagger. All that remained when the serpents vanished was tattered fragments of Red Spider's costume, drenched with blood.
The Adventurers carried on with Night Star leading them for some weeks after. Red Spider left a hologram which had an imprint of her personality, and tried to guide the team through some of her unsolved cases. One of them surrounded the mysterious Peyasaskew Stone, which Edgar Percy Cryderman had failed to steal in the past, thanks to the Adventurers. Red Spider tracked down a more recent thief named Nina Jedynek (AKA Adrynne) who had attempted to steal the stone, and never found out what Jedynek wanted with it.
The Adventurers and Adrynne failed to prevent the stone falling into the hands of Cryderman, who used it to begin altering the past to his designs. The universe ended; however, Adrynne was able to protect the Adventurers and open doorways to the past in order to foil Cryderman and reclaim the stone from him. When the Adventurers gave the stone over to Adrynne to render it powerless, it corrupted her; prior to doing battle with her, Adrynne resurrected Red Spider as a token of her goodwill to the Adventurers, and desire to obtain their loyalty as her knights in the new order she was envisioning. The team defeated Adrynne, and caused her to restore reality and time to its normal functions. Adrynne faded away to the astral plane to convalesce. Cassandra awoke at home several days later, surrounded by friends.
Powers Lost, Powers Regained, New Powers
In summer 2018, Red Spider helped defend the motorcade of Prince Alexandros of the island nation of Cretoa. That the prince would fall under attack again after several assassination attempts was almost certain; Aella Markezinis, an international assassin, battled Red Spider on the top of the prince's limousine. While Red Spider repelled Markezinis, the assassin hit Red Spider with a deadly poison with no known cure. The only hope was to keep Red Spider alive through a flight on the prince's plane to Cretoa, where several other Adventurers already were, and treat her in the island nation's fabled Vitanium Baths. The healing provided by vitanium treatment cleansed Red Spider of poison, but it also treated her mutations as an aberration, and cleansed her of those as well - leaving her without super powers!
Red completed the Cretoa mission, and a mission to rescue Night Star from Russia, without her powers. With help from Lady Justice, Red Spider underwent an excruciating procedure to attempt to regain her powers. The procedure was nearly fatal due to the unforeseen presence of vitanium particles which resisted the infusion of a mutagen sample made from her enhanced blood. With some quick thinking by Lady Justice to program her nanites to break up the vitanium, Red Spider's powers, including her healing factor, reasserted itself.
Ever since this incident, Red Spider has found that her powers are balanced differently, and she has discovered a new ability: with a little focus, she can crawl on vertical surfaces.
Red Spider learned that her super team, the Adventurers, was not the first-ever to be called that. A century before, a group of remarkable people had formed and answered the threats of the day, including the dreaded and secretive Order of Osiris. During an investigation, the team learned that the Order persisted, and was intent on aquiring the powerful Worldbreaker, a gem purported to grant untold destructive power to its bearer. Red Spider and some of her team discovered the gem hidden in the headstone of one of the Classic Adventurers - and she grabbed it. The device began to slowly warp her thinking and behavior; soon, it became a source of discord in the group, and it was seized by Blue Fox who was transformed by the device. She and the team strove to destroy the gem, save their team mate, and force the Order of Osiris - which coveted the gem - into the light.
Cassandra Olsen was abducted one day while helping put up campaign posters for her friend, Congressional candidate Olivia Ellison. As it turned it, this was related to the machinations of Yuri Zarkov, whose fortress-like home in southern Russia she and the Adventurers had infiltrated in summer 2018 to save Night Star. Zarkov's scheme was to make it seem like Cassandra was executed, but in fact, he swapped her mind with one stored in a specialized memory device: that of Zarkov's late daughter, Nadia, who had died prematurely from a genetic condition she inherited from her father. 'Nadia' was carefully conditioned to believe that she had always looked like Cassandra, but the conditioning didn't quite take - and in time, Cassandra's Adventurer allies followed the clues to expose what Zarkov had done. They struck a deal with Zarkov to help obtain a clone body for his daughter, and treatment for his and her genetic condition (which was now killing him, too), in exchange for returning Cassandra to them, and giving up the grudge.
Alternate Red Spiders
When then-Adventurer Blue Wonder was killed by the villain Bedlam, it started a chain of events that were eventually undone by time travel decades later. In this alternate timeline, Cassandra revealed her identity publicly and took on the identity Red Wonder to honour her slain friend, but later paid a price for doing so. A boyfriend, her parents, and later, Cassandra herself, were all assassinated in targeted killings to retaliate against Red Wonder. Decades later, this aberrant timeline was averted when Lady Justice - later having dominated the world - revived Blue Wonder and sent her mind back into her past self to avoid being killed by Bedlam.
Red Spider - Jesse Weaver
In an alternate timeline created by the death of Blue Wonder at the hands of Bedlam, Lady Justice came to power with a brutal plan to save the world through conquering it. Twenty years later, a new Red Spider was appointed by surviving Adventurers: an athlete named Jesse Weaver. Weaver was given some of the original Red Spider's equipment. The aberrant timeline was undone when future Lady Justice sent a revived Blue Wonder's mind back to her younger self to avoid being killed. It cannot yet be said that Jesse Weaver ever became the Red Spider in the new timeline, though it was recently revealed that Red Spider (Olsen) earned back-channel access to the MCPD secure server to aid her crime-fighting after rescuing the daughter of an MCPD IT administrator, Sandra Weaver.
A parallel reality version of Red Spider casts Cassandra as the daughter of a mob accountant. She was raised to be the secret assassin who might someday eliminate her father's rivals and allow him to claim the syndicate's throne. Apart from her deadly & serious masked persona Dread Spider who is wanted for numerous violent targeted killings, Cassandra is a well-known party girl and bon vivant. Despite her family's well-known connections to organized crime, Cassandra is regarded as one of Millennium City's most eligible bachelorettes.
Source Biotech Enterprises obtained a sample of Red Spider's blood following a mission when Red Spider was shot and bled out. Over a period of months, they cloned Red Spider from her cells. When the clone's accelerated maturation to Red's approximate age completed, the SBE lab in charge of the project was able to use the clone's face to track down that of the real Red Spider, and abduct her. The clone was to be programmed with Red Spider's memories, but the process was stopped just short of completion when the clone mutated - the SBE scientists had not accounted for the mutagenic virus in Red's system which had given her powers. The clone transformed into the Spider Monster and attacked Millennium City. Defeated by the Adventurers, the clone was turned over to UNTIL for treatment. A court hearing determined that she was not culpable for her actions in her monster form. Named 'Samantha' by Red's parents, the clone was embraced by the Olsen family and has begun to start a life for herself separate from the memories with which she was programmed.
In late 2018, Samantha became Red Spider again with Cassandra's blessing; there would now be two Red Spiders, a secret known only to their family and closest allies. To preserve the secret, they do not patrol together.
A Red Spider hailing from a possible future visited Millennium City and stayed with Night Star for a time. She claimed to be - and most likely is - the daughter of Cassandra Olsen, and her successor as Red Spider. She was displaced in time by an enemy that the future Adventurers faced. Shannon was careful to avoid her mother for fear of contaminating the timeline. She and Cassandra did accidentally meet, knew who one another was, hugged, but didn't linger - Cassandra left the matter to Night Star to deal with, and Shannon was eventually returned to her proper time.
A long-serving Adventurer, Lady Justice seemed an anti-social misfit for the team at first, but she admits that time with Red Spider & the team has softened her, and saved her from becoming cold and embittered. Now Red Spider often thinks of Lady Justice first when she has problem that requires a scientific or technological approach.
Dreamweaver has been around since the early days of the Adventurers. While Dreamweaver was compromised and used against Red Spider during the "Missing Plane" crisis, Red Spider never held that against her. But ever since Dreamweaver started working at this new psychotherapy place where she also lives, Red Spider has been kinda worried about her...
A size-shifting member of the Young Sentinels. Red Spider initially met Atomac as he was attempting to curb a Destroid raid on a Downtown lab, and then later--each in their civilian identities at the gym-- just before the "Missing Plane" case. After those events, she was eventually able to deduce that Ralph Matheson was more than he appeared to be. In a rendezvous atop one of the Renaissance Center's sky-scraping buildings, the two heroes exchanged knowledge about their identities. Their paths continue to cross occasionally on patrol.
Initially told that Stygian was a bit too extreme and probably more of a vigilante, Red Spider befriended her and found she was actually an impressive & talented costumed hero, who also showed remarkable restraint. While they started off kind of rocky due to Stygian's strict creed and wariness of strangers, they have become close friends.
Fox was an early ally of Red Spider's. She was drawn in by his wry humor, and with his help & support, they founded the Adventurers. He has put himself in harm's way to help Red Spider several times. Fox's disappearances are frequent, but even when he disappeared and was thought dead in late 2016, she was sure he was still out there - and she was proven right when he turned up undercover in late summer 2017!
Cassandra's father Bill has proven a reliable ally since he first learned that his daughter was the Red Spider. A wealthy VP at an investment firm, Bill has the financial means to provide for his daughter, as well as give her access to the city's elite. Bill & his wife Marie may also be credited for instilling strong civic & humanitarian virtues in Red Spider.
Red Spider befriended the young crime fighter Sombra while visiting the Club Caprice. After earning the teenager's trust, they mutually shared their secret identities. Red Spider provided training in a variety of crime fighter tradecraft, and materials for Sombra to build new costumes. In exchange, Sombra often brings Red Spider cookies & new clothing.
When Red Spider witnessed a young costumed crimefighter get in over her head with the Cresse gang, she followed along and waited for the right moment to enact a rescue. The crimefighter, Bluebird, was new on the scene - and it turned out, was the younger sister of Red Spider's Adventurer team-mate White Star. Red agreed to train Bluebird behind her sister's back at first, but convinced Bluebird to come clean to White Star about her activities.
Dr. Herman J. Witt
A dedicated academic with several degrees, Dr. Witt is knowledgeable in areas of life sciences, chemistry, nanometrology, and a special emphasis on genetics and biotechnology. He teaches grad students at Millennium City University working with state of the art gene editing, as well as human genome studies. Cassandra became aware of him as a student at MCU, but has only approached him while in costume as Red Spider. Dr. Witt has a scientific curiosity, but as a 'by the book' academic, he feels uncomfortable working with a costumed crime fighter. However, the cases Red Spider brings to him are too curious not to study them. Witt is divorced and has two teenaged children, a son and a daughter.
Red Spider rescued this inventor in her earlier days of crime fighting, before she had powers. In gratitude, he gave her a pair of prototype beam grapplers he had developed for NASA, so that astronauts could hook on to distant objects using a beam of pure energy that did not exert a pulling force. The concept was abandoned because its battery was cost prohibitive for the space program, but Decosta had just enough of a rare isotope, that could make a battery that could remain operable for several hundred years.
A shape-shifting goo that can take on frightening approximations of humanoid forms. It consumes living prey with rapid acidic breakdown. If even a small amount of Etherloch survives destruction, it can reconstitute itself. At one point, it got some of Red Spider's blood, giving it access to the alien retrovirus she carries with her; now the two can sense when the other is near.
Hired muscle for the so-called Chairman, Kingsnake is built like a brick wall, but isn't too bright. He is a disgraced former wrestler who - through modified appearance or genetic mutation - looks and sounds somewhat like a snake. Red Spider has yet to defeat Kingsnake and bring him to justice; so far, her best accomplishment has been to frustrate his plans (or those of his employer).
A massive power armor specialized in digging, it's not clear yet if this is a robot, or a piloted suit. Red Spider foiled Quake's attempt to steal some high-tech power armor parts after he created a small, localized earthquake to keep the MCPD busy.
This meta-human with electric powers sought to collect a price on Red Spider's head after she collected a mysterious vial coveted by gangsters. In their very first encounter, Livewire interceded in a battle between Red Spider and a lesser villain called the Gas-Master during the latter's hostage-taking at City Hall, which was an attempt to draw out Red Spider specifically and force her to surrender the vial. Livewire used his powers to bring Red Spider (Cassandra) to defeat. She was unmasked on the city hall rooftop before spectators and media personalities who had assembled across the street during the hostage crisis. Fortunately for Cassandra, no one had time to focus a camera on her face before the other Red Spider (Samantha) arrived. She claimed Cass was just a non-meta human friend wearing a costume - a decoy to help give her an edge against the Gas-Master's hostage trap. Days later, Red Spider (Cassandra) - having equipped a set of tights with an electrical dispersion underlay - battled Livewire again at a research facility, and defeated him.
|| BEAM GRAPPLERS - Wrist-worn counter-gravitational beam projectors are a unique invention. They were crafted by Red Spider under the guidance of Doctor Silverback. Red Spider was already skilled at using a cable grappler to move quickly along rooftops, or make a quick escape, yet the act of using it often caused injury to the arm or shoulder when the line would go from slack to taut. The beam grappler's advantages are in both dramatically reducing strain on the user's shoulder and arms, as well as lessening damage to property by having no tangible impact on the structure being grappled upon. Red Spider has become skilled at using a beam swing to drive into enemies.
|| RED SPANDEX COSTUME - The classic costume originated from Red Spider's secret identity life. A surplus sale at her university's theater costume shop led her to buy several red bodysuits at a time when she was transitioning from her former 'Slash' identity. She created a simple web pattern for the upper body, and made some special eye coverings that were large and would help conceal the shape of her face. The form-fitting costume didn't restrict her range of movement, and lacked accessories like a cape that she felt would only encumber her.
|| BLACK NANOWEAVE COSTUME - This costume has nanoweave armor, environmental filters for airborn toxins, protection from temperature extremes, kinetic dispersal, and enhanced visual modes. The most recent version of this was assembled by fellow Adventurer Lady Justice. This suit addresses some of Red Spider's key vulnerabilities when she is fighting super-powered adversaries, while avoiding being encumbering.
|| THE HOODED COSTUME - With the help of Lady Justice, Red Spider designed a costume that might assist her in stealthy missions. It departs from previous Red Spider costumes in several ways. First, the cape & hood which she had tried to avoid as an encumbrance in previous costume designs. Second, the claws. While the claws are meant for scaling walls, they can be used for combat as well. The suit has several built in tech features like her black nanoweave costume, but especially better protection against slashing or piercing weapons.
|| HOLO ARMS - The most recent versions of Red Spider's nanoweave costume included a built in hard light projection system. Tapping a hidden button over the solar plexus adds four arms which are guided intuitively by reading Red Spider's nerve impulses. These arms have proven useful when Red Spider fights especially dangerous enemies, or when she needs to make contact with something (i.e. toxic, radioactive) that she would be better not to use her own limbs.
The holo arms, while formidable, have a limitation: they run on a network of nano power cells embedded in her costume that can only withstand approximately 30 minutes of sustained use. For this reason, Red Spider uses this feature sparingly.
|| SPIDER MICS - Red Spider uses small microphones disguised as tiny spiders to perform surveillance on crooks. This suits her preferred style of gathering evidence and avoiding confrontation unless absolutely necessary.
- Acrobatics - A mix of dance & gymnastic training, with physical enhancements; enables Red Spider to swing impressively on a beam grappler.
- Super Strength - Red Spider can lift a small car with ease.
- Movement master - She can observe/repeat movements of others with brilliant accuracy; she can also read muscle movements & anticipate next actions.
- Faster healing - Red Spider has noticed since her ordeal with the engineered retrovirus that she heals faster than average. By no means is this healing instantaneous.
- Wall sticking - With concentration, Red Spider can adhere to surfaces via microscopic hair-like projections found all over her body. This only works through skin or thin fabric. She can also use it to stick objects to herself for carrying.
- Determined - Her willpower causes Red Spider to be dogged in pursuit of goals. Physical injury or emotional distress rarely keeps Red Spider down.
- Honest to a Fault - Red says what she means, and means what she says. She gives the benefit of the doubt; sometimes, this makes her too trusting.
- Compassionate - She has an abundance of empathy and compassion - but that won't stop her kicking a villain in the face.
- Introverted - Cassandra prefers to spend quality time with a small number of friends.
- Paranoid - Red Spider constantly fears the public discovery of her secret identity, and she goes to some lengths to preserve the integrity of it.
- Smirking Crime Fighter - Red Spider displays a sense of humor to allay her anxiety in dangerous situations.