Betty Brant: Spider-Man, how did you get trapped?
Spider-Man: That’s what I keep asking myself.
I imagine that it’s hard to ruin a show about Spider-Man, and after viewing the first episode of the ‘67 animated series, the first part of this sentence is a lie. For the next however long it takes, I’m going to review every episode of this entire series. This will either end in one of two ways. Either I’ll gain a new appreciation for a blind, retarded man’s efforts to create a TV show based on his favorite superhero, or I’ll be a gargling, incoherent madman. Both have the same likelihood.
The Plot: J. Jonah Jameson sends Peter Parker out to a mountain to investigate mysterious lights. After literally driving his car off of a cliff, Parker discovers that the lights are coming from the lab of Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man gets captured multiple times and Betty Brant shows up too, to give the show a shot of sex appeal.
When I say “gets captured multiple times,” I’m not kidding. Spider-Man is captured three times in the space of ten fucking minutes. Usually, the hero getting caught is a one-time thing, to add suspense to the story. Here it seems that the “unnecessary plot device” key on someone’s typewriter got stuck, and Spider-Man has been doomed to whatever falling cage/hand cuffs/chains Doc Ock can throw at him. At one point in the episode, Spider-Man tells Betty Brant to go find help. This impotent plea is almost too depressing to handle, but considering that Spider-Man is about as ineffective at crime-fighting as Peter Parker is at not stupidly throwing his automobile off a damn road, it’s the least he can ask for.
His fights with Doc Ock are riveting, mainly because you’re wondering who possibly saw them and decided that they were good enough to be on television. Doc Ock never seems to know how to use his tentacles properly, which doesn’t matter in the long run, as he has enough capture-devices that fall from the ceiling to last a lifetime. Spider-Man’s whole fighting style is built around the ancient art of See What Doesn’t Work And Then Try It Again. This whole show could be considered educational if there was a genre of cartoons based around teaching your kids that they’re losers.
Animation Woe: I didn’t think that you could get different actors to play a cartoon character, but every time Doc Ock shows up, he looks completely different. Sometimes he looks thirty, with a flat-top haircut and sometimes he looks fifty with a shaggy mess on his deformed skull. Sometimes his face seems like it’s melting into its own wrinkles, and the only reason Doc Ock wants to destroy anything is because he’s pissed off about it.
Amazing Spidey Quip:
“Looks like I caught you with your plans down.”
They say that the first few episodes are the peak of the show, which means that by the time the cartoon ends, playing an episode will just make a flaming, giant bat made of diarrhea and ex-girlfriend taunts fly out of my computer.