Monday, May 28, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Spider-Man (1967)

Spider-Man is a cartoon television show that ran from 1967 to 1970 on ABC.
1967 Spider-Man
This show has two notable distinctions. First, it is Spider-Man's first appearance on any screen. Second, is, of course, the classic theme song. Even today my five year old knows all of the lyrics. For those two factors alone, it's hard to hate on this show.

But is it a good show? Well... no. Probably not even by 1967 standards.

The art isn't just sub-par, sometimes it is downright terrible. Human anatomy wasn't a big concern as Spider-Man's head changes shape in almost every shot and characters stand frozen in impossible positions. Spider-Man himself only had webbing on his head. It was probably too time consuming to draw the webbing on the rest of his body. The backgrounds largely consist of psychedelic watercolor paintings and endless skyscrapers.

In many regards, the animation of this show is much like the "motion comics" of today. Characters often stand still with only their mouths and eyes moving. The show relies over-heavily on stock footage. Notoriously, Spider-Man is frequently seen swinging on a webline when there would be nothing for his web to attach to.

Oddly, Spider-Man is stripped of his supporting cast except for J. Jonah Jameson and on a few occasions, Captain George Stacy. While episodes in the beginning relied upon comic book storylines and used tradition Spider-Man villains such as the Rhino, Doctor Octopus, and the Green Goblin later episodes instead use completely new threats such as the Marian giant who throws lightning, a electric knight, a clown with balloons, and an endless stream of faceless gangsters.

As much as I appreciate this series personally, I can't recommend it as a quality show.

1LR Review - 10 out of 20 - It's a Miss!

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