In 2021, Marvel Strike Force developer Scopely announced Kestrel, the first all-original character in the massive roster of its hero-collecting mobile RPG, designed in collaboration with Marvel. Kestrel is the long-lost founder of STRIKE, the in-universe organization for which the game is named. Later in that same year, the studio revealed Deathpool, a second original character that imagined what a child of Deadpool and Death would look and act like. While Deathpool originated as a part of Deadpool's 30th anniversary, the studio's third original character comes as a result of Spider-Man's 60th anniversary.
"With Spider-Man's 60th anniversary happening, Marvel came to us and they asked us, 'Hey, could you come up with a new, original Spider-Verse character?' – no pressure there," Marvel Strike Force creative director Sean Dugan says with a chuckle. "There's this big responsibility because not only is it a Spider-Verse character, it's a Marvel character. So how do you come up with something that is new, fresh, innovative, something you haven't seen before in the Spider-Verse? So our team started gathering ideas and one of the things that came up was the notion of this Navajo figure, the Spider Woman Na'ashjeii Asdzáá."
Scopely has revealed, exclusively through Game Informer, that Spider-Weaver is the third original character coming to Marvel Strike Force as a part of a new Tangled Web team, which also features other new additions, Spider-Man (2099) and Spider-Man (Noir). Scopely is intentionally leaving this new team as a trio, allowing players to figure out who works best in the fourth and fifth spots.
"Tangled Web is going to be the new force in Cosmic Crucible, our PvP game mode," Dugan says. "They're going to be a really crucial addition on top of Wakandans and Unlimited X-Men. The Tangled Web team is going to be a three-person team – we're going to have Spider-Weaver, we're going to have Spider-Man (Noir), and Spider-Man (2099). So you've got that core, three-person team and then a couple of slots available for other characters. That will provide interesting opportunities for people to craft their own version of what's going to be viable in the Crucible with the Tangled Web team."
While Scopely doesn't foresee any particular characters as the surefire additions to the Tangled Web trio, all three members have the Spider-Verse tag, making them work well with other characters from that corner of the Marvel Universe. "It depends on how you want to play with some of the theming and tags because certainly with Spider-Verse, you could drop Doc Ock and maybe somebody else; we can mix and match a little bit," Dugan says. "[Maybe you can] get some damage dealers in there like Electro. Symbiote Spider-Man is still a pretty solid character for a lot of people, but you definitely do have some pairings like Cloak and Dagger or The Eternals that fit in. I find it interesting when you have these three-person teams that then there are a couple of other slots. It allows for a lot of opportunities for the players to explore."
Unlike many of her Spider-Verse compatriots, Spider-Weaver is a Global Mystic Protector Hero. Meanwhile, Spider-Man (2099) follows suit with the majority of the Spider-Verse characters in Marvel Strike Force, retaining City Bio tags, and Spider-Man (Noir) will be a City Mystic character. While both Spider-Man (2099) and Spider-Man (Noir) are important parts of the Tangled Web team, Dugan describes Spider-Weaver as the anchoring character.
"We've never had a Spider-Verse Protector character, and so playing with the idea of [Na'ashjeii Asdzáá] being a benevolent, protector to humanity, we wanted Spider-Weaver to be this unique character," he says. "The gameplay mechanics are going to be about her being able to heal and buff and put defensive barriers on the team, but also reduce incoming attacks. She basically destroys enemy teams' accuracy, so they're going to be missing. There's a novel mechanic there where people will just not be able to hit her and her team, and then the rest of her team are going to be able to do damage and apply a lot of debuffs that are going to be very sticky in Cosmic Crucible to the enemy teams."
The two previous original characters Scopely created in collaboration with Marvel (Kestrel and Deathpool) are still relatively useful in the meta, even as it evolves at a rapid clip in Marvel Strike Force. With that in mind, players should expect Spider-Weaver to also be quite useful outside of Cosmic Crucible, even if that's where Tangled Web will shine the brightest.
To ensure the highest number of players can recruit Spider-Weaver to their rosters, she will be a campaign event unlock, which is often considered one of the most player-friendly methods for character releases. Spider-Weaver, Spider-Man (2099), and Spider-Man (Noir) join Marvel Strike Force as a part of the 6.4 update, which Scopely tells me is coming soon. Players will be able to unlock the three characters in the subsequent weeks. For more on Marvel Strike Force, be sure to check out our hub by heading here.
Note: This article initially said that Spider-Man (Noir) would be a City Bio character. Scopely has clarified that the character will be Mystic instead of Bio. The text above has been changed to reflect that information.