Peter Parker: I just remembered, I forgot something.
The biggest problem with the first few episodes of this show is that for a cartoon where plot lines start and are dropped or concluded all within the space of twenty seconds, nothing was really going on. I know that this is from 1967, a time when a child’s written instructions for their volcano project were often mistaken for entire episode scripts, but in the space of two episodes, it actually feels like stuff is going on. Spider-Man spends a little less time explaining to himself, in woeful detail, what’s going to happen when someone pummels him, and just lets himself get pummeled. It really makes a difference when you’re watching a show that’s built to replicate both classic comic stories and untreatable blows to the skull.
J. Jonah Jameson, in this one and in Captured By J. Jonah Jameson, has really been taking a hands on approach in killing Spider-Man. He’s heard the phrase “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself,” and changed it to fit his own attitude a little more: “If you want something done right, you trust any lunatic who uses polysyllabic words and unjustifiably hates Spider-Man too.”
He pays Dr. Stillwell for the Scorpion, someone apparently locked in Stillwell’s basement, who’s been dressed up like a scorpion and trained to break granite with his tail, which is an attribute that the animators sometimes forget he has.
The Scorpion tracks down Spider-Man, fights him, and the two end up getting separated after an explosion on the roof. It’s at this point that The Scorpion decides that his insanity would be put to much better use if he tried to kill old newspaper editors instead. Spider-Man webs him up, he’s arrested, but the Warden of the prison doesn’t think that a super powered scorpion suit could possibly add more than +2 to the crazy’s strength and lets him wear it in jail. Scorpion escapes by ripping the bars off the window and makes his way towards Jameson again.
Spider-Man manages to stop The Scorpion in the exact same way he already did before. The Scorpion is left growling and angry, webbed up in the streets and Peter Parker acts all coy about it, with the show cutting off just before he exclaimed “I BET THAT STINGS, HUH, SCORPION?!? THAT SPIDER-MAN ISN’T SO BAD. NOW I’M WALKING, I’M WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND BREATHING.”
At the end of the first fight with Spidey, The Scorpion causes an explosion on a roof, and in five seconds creates more excitement for the show than everything in the past ninety minutes of it combined. Had I really been watching this show for ninety minutes at that point? It feels like eternity. My brain has certainly been affected by it. Someone made a pun yesterday and I almost expected him to follow that up with crawling onto a wall. If the next Spider-Man film doesn’t feature the same special effects shot being recycled four times over the course of the movie, then they really didn’t nail the character like they should have.
The explosion happens at the top of the building and Spider-Man is seen escaping it by climbing a web up, away from the flames. This breaks the rule of physics known as “All Of It”, but then again, if the cartoonists of the ’67 Spider-Man really cared about science, they’d have chosen more fitting careers for themselves, like drawing robots for The Jetsons. If someone on the Spider-Man staff asked about gravity, the unanimous response from the rest if the team would be to look for the man’s spellbook and check his pockets for toads.
Note: I was wrong about New York having a population of about 6. There are a few more, but they only come outside to gather together in hopes of being crushed.
Amazing Spidey Quote:
Dr. Stillwell: The more the Scorpion’s strength increases, the more his evil nature will take over.
In the ’67 Spider-Man universe, the Scientific Method only had the Hypothesis step, and you based your guess off of the first thing that your simple, rattled brain shit out to you.