Spider-Man: This looks like something special.
The ’67 Spider-Man cartoon’s greatest legacy in pop culture was the theme song. While the show taught an entire generation that the same dream can be crushed in a thousand different ways, it’s the theme song that proves timeless. I use “timeless” loosely here, in the same way that I’d call the bubonic plague or a famine timeless. The lyrics were written by Paul Francis Webster, and I don’t know Paul, but I can only assume that he never saw a single frame of the show. The grating tune sings of Spider-Man like the hero he should be, not the constantly falling, stupidity-prone idiot that you actually get to see. And while the words “radioactive blood” are used in it, giving it some measure of decency, the song nonetheless sounds like something a musician writes when he’s trying to tell his Dad that he regrets his own birth.
Spider-Man hears about a “lizard man” in the Everglades, and decides that he wants to battle the shit out of it. He tricks The Daily Bugle into flying Peter Parker down to Florida. There he discovers the lizard man and gets beaten up no less than three times. Finally he makes the lizard man drink some pink liquid and the lizard turns back into Curt Conners. Curt rejoins his family, a family that doesn’t seem to even mind that the patriarch was a hissing, vengeful mutant just thirty seconds prior.
There’s a certain point in this episode where Spider-Man turns himself into a living swamp boat. He does this by spinning his web fast enough behind him to make some kind of wind propeller. I don’t want to call the worst thing I’ve ever seen an insult to my intelligence, but assemblies could be held at middle schools to tell my brain to stand up against bullying. The last time someone was this disappointed with humanity, an ark had to be built.
If there was a point in the series when I hoped that the fight scene animators hadn’t made a pre-series suicide pact, it would be here. Spider-Man learns about The Lizard and wants to fight him. He actually wants to beat something up. I imagine that after two previous adventures of him just being thrown around and squashed, Peter Parker would be an angry asshole right now, and I’d like to think that there are deleted scenes where Spidey takes out all his frustrations on The Lizard, leaving behind nothing but reptile blood and suitcase material.
There are two here, and the first is bad because something looks kind of good. There are one or two seconds in the beginning of this episode where a close-up of Spider-Man’s wrist looks decent. It looks like a cartoonist actually put time and effort into drawing a forearm, before the sweatshop master caught him, cracked a whip and showed him a picture of his kidnapped family.
The second is a shot of The Lizard after Spider-Man has shot web at him. Apparently, for a second, Spidey’s web makes your face dissolve, and it looks horrifying.
Amazing Spidey Quote:
Spider-Man: Boy, being a science student sure comes in handy.
You could’ve fooled me, Spider-Man. Judging from the way you fight and think, I would’ve assumed that Peter Parker skips class so that he’ll have more time to eat the glue he found in a dumpster.