Whatever A Spider Can 11: The Witching Hour

I have two notes before this review actually starts.

First, I’m glad that the third thematic element of the show, besides Spider-Man’s constant incompetence and insane ramblings, is his love of driving vehicles. Usually, cartoons put heroes next to crudely designed planes and boats in order to sell toys of those, but here, Spidey drives construction equipment, boats, etc. with ease. If something is around that Peter Parker can steer, regardless if it actually advances the fight against his enemy, Spidey will hop inside and give it a whirl. What’s the thrill of web slinging when you can operate a bulldozer?

Second, I must admit, the Green Goblin, Spider-Man’s greatest foe, is extremely easy to mess up. He wears his little elf shoes and cap and flies around on his glider, throwing tiny, explosive pumpkins. They had to mop up the exploded heads of half the writing team when they heard the description of the character before they could even start on the first draft. That being said, I don’t blame the creative team of the ’67 Spider-Man series for what I’m about to watch. I realize that they can’t help it, and that adding a character that looks dumb 99% of the time isn’t improving matters. If I asked them to make me a burger, they’d simply hand me a whole lettuce with a note attached from their mothers that said they’d be absent from school that day.

Spider-Man episode "The Witching Hour"

Plot: The episode begins with Betty Brant and Peter visiting a magic show, one probably already ruined by Peter’s incessant talking to himself. They’re wowed by the magician’s ability to do his job, until the magician starts talking about someone robbing a book of witchcraft from his home. That someone? The Green Goblin. Betty asks Peter about his opinion, but he’s gone from her side.

Green Goblin

We see the Green Goblin picking up a book entitled WITCHCRAFT and giggling about it. Spidey shows up, and shoots web at Goblin. Goblin, in the most hilarious reaction to anything that I’ve ever seen, blocks the web by throwing living bats at it. I honestly don’t care what happens anymore in this whole show, but I’m just glad to know that Spider-Man’s legacy includes fucking bats stopping his web.

Goblin escapes with the book. Jameson sees a picture of him and just assumes it’s Spider-Man in a different costume. If Jameson had his coffee delivered late, he’d blame the delay on that web-headed menace. Brant delivers a paper to Jameson, which he reads aloud and then goes Evil Dead for a second. He’s soon snapped out of it, but Goblin breaks into Jameson’s office, only to find that Jameson still believes that he’s Spider-Man. Apparently Jameson read Goblin’s “ad.” I love this episode.

Spidey is hanging out with the magician from before, and he tells Spider-Man that Goblin is searching for some medium. Meanwhile, Goblin is having Jameson tell him a prophecy that entails Goblin getting the scepter of Osiris and controlling underworld demons. Spider-Man shows up and kicks a filing cabinet so hard that one of the drawers flies out of it. Spider-Man finds new ways to disprove the laws of science every day. Spider-Man ends up knocked out, unsurprisingly, when Goblin somehow makes a desk uppercut Spidey in the jaw. Spider-Man is getting punched by furniture now. He is not very well-liked for being NYC’S only defense against monologists with explosive training.

Jameson comes to again, this time with a hangover, and discovers Spider-Man’s unconscious body. The logic of this show dictates that it would be Jameson’s first instinct to immediately claw at Spidey’s body in a fit of primal ecstasy, but instead he calls the cops. Spidey wakes up as Jameson and the cop argue over the charges that should be pressed for the Knocked Out By Medieval Fantasy Character In Newspaper Office violation, and he escapes.

ghosts

Spider-Man stock footages his back to the magician’s office, fights the Goblin and then after some Jameson trickery, because when you hand Jameson incomprehensible scribbling, Jameson is compelled to read it aloud, he goes to the graveyard, where Goblin is having his “witching hour.”  Goblin tries to use the demons, but they think he’s an idiot and refuse.

That’s pretty much all of it.

Animation Woe:

At one point, the Goblin flies his glider against the backdrop of the Daily Bugle building, and instead of being a detailed drawing, he remains this weird, floating shadow. It’s the closest that this Spider-Man show has come to devolving it’s animation into finger puppets against a flash light.

Cartoon shadow.

Amazing Spidey Quote:

Spider-Man: I didn’t know you belonged to the Crook of the Month Club!

Really, Spider-Man? That’s the best you could come up with in the entire time you spent web slinging from the magic show to the magician’s library, a place you had no prior idea of the location of?

-Daniel

Episodes: 12345678910111213141516,

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