I've just finished watching this and my brain has returned from its vacation into the depths of anti-logic that is the original Spider-Man cartoon. I enjoy watching these old episodes but am in no doubt about just how awful they really are. If you're a real animation buff, you mightn't find much to enjoy here, but if like me you have a healthy appreciation for the pitfalls of mass-market television animation from decades ago, this is right up your alley. The mistakes run the gamut from simple physical impossibilities like The Vulture stopping mid-flight to clobber Spider-Man with a sack or the titular hero constructing a working engine to power a boat out of his webbing, to absolute black holes of common sense- such as Rhino's endeavours to smelt a golden statue of himself (in "The Golden Rhino", the best episode of the series, available on volume 3) or 'The Phantom' (note: is NOT The Phantom) creating shadow monsters that can touch but not be touched to commit crimes.
Every policeman is Irish; the villain Dr. Noah Boddy pronounces his own name just as 'Dr. Nobody' (he's invisible); a violinist takes exception to modern music and turns his instrument into a weapon; classic nemesis The Chameleon is replaced by the cypher 'Charles Cameo', and Kraven the hunter becomes a generic nameless Australian; the whole series is completely stupid from start to finish. The animation is poor, limited and repeated endlessly- good luck finding an act that doesn't end with Spider-Man falling silently to his death. The voice acting consists of every single cast member shouting lots and lots, and in many cases voicing several people (per episode). The music is great but it's drowned by all the shouting and comedy sound effects.
Other classics here include the two halves of episode 13, "Return Of The Flying Dutchman" (a killer Mysterio episode) and "Farewell Performance", which sees Spidey face off against magician Blackwell, who turns a dove into a rocket and then locks our hero in a cupboard. Blackwell's magics are stolen by the Green Goblin in a later episode, that if I'm correct features actual ghosts, but it's been a while. Also, Blackwell pronounces Spider-Man as "Spidah-Men", as he's supposed to be English or whatever.
You ever notice how Paul Soles makes Spider-Man sound like he's in his 50s? Anyway, this is a slightly better batch of episodes than the first set, and nostalgia combined with the comic appeal of these essentially rubbish cartoons really does deserve a watch or two. Rent it at least.
And I love it. I love every second of it. It's a standout work of the so-bad-it's-good variety. You can get them really cheap too, so it's not like you'll feel gypped shelling out a pile of cash for it.
Kilowatt Caper/ The Peril Of Parafino
Horn Of The Rhino
The One-Eyed Idol/ Fifth Avenue Phantom
The Revenge Of Doctor Magneto/ The Sinister Prime Minister
The Night Of The Villains/ Here Comes Trubble
Spider-Man Meets Doctor Noah Boddy/ The Fantastic Fakir
Return Of The Flying Dutchman/ Farewell Performance
on 9 April 2014
I brought this for my 2 year old son who has now become interested in spider-man, but the spider-man on daytime T.V is far too clever and fast for him to take in - whereas the old versions are the opposite in straight forward, cardboard cut-out cartoon strip that is easy on the eye to follow and not cheap looking to a toddler!
For me as an adult, I now see how bad the cartoons are and how far cartoons have come - but none-the-less still nostalgic!!