Elizabeth “Betty” Brant

Another character from the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming has been revealed, and this one is quite a surprise: do you know the girl in Liz Allan‘s group, the blonde one portrayed by Angourie Rice who looks exactly like Gwen Stacy and everybody believed to be Gwen Stacy? She turns out to be Betty Brant, another well-established character in the comics, but with a completely different look. Betty already appeared in the first three Spider-Man movies as J. Jonah Jameson‘s secretary, little more than a cameo in the first two movies, but with a slightly larger role in Spider-Man 3: in here, she’s been tasked by Marla Jameson to keep an eye on Jonah’s medicines and blood pressure, she’s hit on by Eddie Brock and she even flirts with a now rebellious Peter Parker. The rest of the time, she’s always the poor secretary who always gets yelled at… in the comics, luckily, she managed to free herself from that position. Let’s see together.

Elizabeth Brant was born in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, the daughter of single mother Eleanore Brant. She grew up with her little brother Bennett, and since her mother always worked all day long, she took care of him in her stead. When she was still in high school, however, Eleanore fell ill, and Betty found herself being the one responsible for both herself and her brother. Eleanore’s boss, J. Jonah Jameson, knowing the girl had a tough future ahead, offered to Betty her mother’s position as his “Girl Friday”, a job Betty gratefully accepted. She dropped out of high school and she moved to New York City, where she started working for Jameson as his secretary at the Daily Bugle. In the meanwhile, Bennett became an attorney, thus helping her in paying for Eleanore’s medical bills. It turned out, however, that most of the money Bennett had used came from gambling, a risky activity that had brought him a lot of debts: Betty helped him repay them, making him promise he wouldn’t have gambled ever again. Unfortunately, it was Betty’s own boyfriend, Gordon Savinski, who convinced Bennett to go back to his old ways, and this time the debt was even bigger than the first time: the gangster Bennett owed money to, Blackie Gaxton, rushed into their house, and he attacked Eleanore, causing her to go into a coma (she would have died months later in a clinic). Betty was heartbroken, and didn’t know how to help her brother. She obviously broke up with Gordon, and she entered one of the worst moments of her life. The only person who managed to cheer her up a little was the new freelance photographer at the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker: he was a kind young man, and Betty admired him seeing how he took care of his old Aunt May, and even for the way he stood up for his ideas when he questioned J. Jonah Jameson for what he wrote with his pictures (usually articles against Spider-Man). Unfortunately, Gaxton had found a powerful ally in Doctor Octopus, and the villain kidnapped both the Brant siblings for him, as an insurance to his debt. Things couldn’t go any worse… apparently.

Soon, Spider-Man intervened to free the Brants, but during the following battle between him, Doc Ock and the Gaxton gang, Bennett was accidentally shot and killed. This, for Betty, was the final drop, and she snapped on Spider-Man, whom she accused of being reckless and irresponsible, blaming him for her brother’s death. She told the hero she didn’t want anything to do with him anymore, and she left. In the following days, she mourned her brother, and Peter was the one closest to her: the two started feeling a strong mutual attraction, and they dated for a while. Eventually, however, Betty felt that Peter was unable to commit time to her (she couldn’t possibly imagine he usually left her because he was Spider-Man), and when she even became jealous of Liz Allan, she broke with Peter. Albeit she still loved Peter, Betty accepted the advances of a colleague, reporter Ned Leeds, and she kept hearing from him during all the time he was in Europe. When Ned came back, the two started dating, and eventually he proposed to her: despite her attraction to her ex-boyfriend Peter, she accepted, with Mary Jane Watson as her maid of honor. The marriage was nearly interrupted by the mercenary Mirage, but Spider-Man saved the day (in this occasion, Betty finally forgave him for the incident with her brother, realizing he was trying to protect them also in that occasion), and the two could finally get married. The marriage wasn’t the happiest one, as during their trip to ParisFrance, Betty started noticing some changes in her husband’s personality, who was interested in work only. The two grew increasingly distant, with Ned taking a case after the other to investigate on, and Betty eventually cheated on him with her friend Flash Thompson, the one she confided with. Tragedy struck again, as Ned was framed by Hobgoblin and died with the world believing him to be the villain: Betty suffered from a major breakdown, unable to accept the loss. In this state, Betty was far too an easy target for the cult of the Students of Love, a sect preying on the weakened and the desperate ones…

Betty Brant is a woman forged by a number of tragedies in her life, who found her strength and her temperament in loss, betrayal and loneliness. A secretary who completely reinvented herself as an investigative reporter, Betty is a skilled markswoman able to use a variety of guns, and she’s even been trained in a number of martial arts. Determined never to be a victim anymore, Betty took her life and her problems in her own hands, finding an unhoped-for rebirth in her new attitude.