Sisyphus was a character in Greek mythology who, because of his deceit, was cursed to push a large boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, forcing him to begin again, for all of eternity. Starting the second disc in this Spider-Man series, I realize that I am the modern day Sisyphus, and this complete collection is my boulder. I gut through every episode, and by the end of one, I’m back where I started: sad.
J. Jonah Jameson receives a statue from an unknown admirer, and Betty sees a black man in the window behind him, pointing him out by saying “A horrible creature!” Considering that the NYC of this show is home to only about two dozen people, it’s realistic to assume that she’s never seen a black person before. However, “horrible creature,” despite the leniency I’m giving Betty Brant’s racism, seems like an over-reaction. In her fearful exclamation, Betty also described the man as having a “painted face,” which means that Betty should feel lucky that the limited animation of this show couldn’t handle a more populated NYC. If she dealt with more than two white people on a daily basis, she’d simply hole up in her apartment, boarding up the windows and hoping that no one got a tan.
The statue, the titular one-eyed idol, hypnotizes Jameson into putting some money inside of it. Spider-Man sees this, but gets hit with a boomerang. By who? I don’t know. Everyone in this show loathes Spider-Man, so the mystery is limited to the residents of the global power city of the world, and me, since, at this point, I also hate Spider-Man. Spider-Man climbs the Daily Bugle again and faces the “horrible creature” that Betty saw in the window, who uses a smoke screen to get away. About nine parts of this last scene were avoidable, either because Spider-Man has his regular powers, or through common sense. Sadly, none of them were applied.
Jameson accuses Betty Brant of stealing the money, and she quits in an outrage. Jameson then shouts to the world “There shouldn’t be any women in this world! Just children, AND MEN!” I don’t know what the show was trying to point out when it gave two of its main characters such big flaws, but it says volumes about The Daily Bugle’s Equal Employment Opportunities. Here’s a hint: there are very few.
Spider-Man attempts to stop The Horrible Creature from stealing more of Jameson’s money, but the mystery boomerang hits Spidey again, knocking him out just as he was trying to cover his opponent with web. The most notable power of The Horrible Creature was his ability to dodge Spider-Man’s slow-moving web shots, thus making him a more effective villain than half of the already established rogues gallery.
Spidey gets kidnapped, and then presented to John Wayne, aka Harley Klivendon, aka this show’s Kraven the Hunter. He’s apparently the one behind the hypnotizing statue, and his plot is to hope that Jameson never takes the stone idol off of his desk so that he can just steal from him the same way every night. It’s the only Spider-Man villain that would be rendered completely inept if only Jameson had hired a maid.
Harley ties Spider-Man to the bottom of an elevator and presses the “Down” button, ensuring that he’ll be crushed. Unlucky for him, physics don’t work in any predictable manner in this show, so Spider-Man is able to stop the machine from crushing him by suddenly turning his web into a pillar.
Harley tries to stop Spidey with a spear, a bow and arrows, a sword that can change direction in midair when thrown, and lastly, a gun. Spider-Man throws a black guy at him, and webs them up together. Spider-Man leaves the pair for Jameson, leaving a note that calls them a “jungle collage.” Jesus, Spider-Man. Not you too.
Is it dust? Is it dirt? Is it shadow? I have no idea. All I know is that the script called for a non-white guy, and the animation department did very little research into finding out exactly what that meant.
Amazing Spidey Quote:
Spider-Man: “There’s a plot in this…, somewhere.”
That’s fairly optimistic.
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