an overlooked ground-breaker
This series has been somewhat overshadowed by the better-known, but in my opinion inferior, "Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends," which aired simultaneously during the early 80s. "Amazing Friends" was produced for network television, and this show was produced for syndication. That's why this show was free of a lot of the clichés and cuteness of most other early 80s cartoons, including "Amazing Friends." There was something genuinely weird and dark about this show, and it captured the flavor of the classic 1960s/early 1970s comic books which inspired it. Instead of teaming him up with countless other Marvel superheroes, Spidey worked mostly alone here, and the show was all the better for it; the only team-up was with Captain America, and even then it was consistent with the tone of the show, as they fought a truly scary villain, Captain America's main enemy, the Red Skull. It is also a historic show, as this was the first series to emerge from Marvel Productions, which went to make some of the greatest cartoons ever, including "Transformers" and "GI Joe." Even though the writing varied in quality from episode to episode, and even though the animation looks somewhat stiff compared to the Marvel shows that followed, this show still deserves more respect.
- Jan 23, 2005
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