Spider-Man (1981 TV series): Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Format Animation, Adventure
Created by Stan Lee (characters / created for television)
Steve Ditko (characters)
Starring Ted Schwartz
Linda Gary
Mona Marshall
William Woodson
Buster Jones
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 26
Executive producer(s) David DePatie
Lee Gunther
Producer(s) Arthur Vitello
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Marvel Productions
Distributor ARP Films
Original channel Syndication
Original run September 12, 1981 – March 6, 1982
Preceded by Spider-Man (tokusatsu)
Followed by Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
External links
Official website

Spider-Man is a syndicated animated TV series based on the popular Marvel Comics character of the same name.




Production background

The series was created to launch Marvel Productions, successor of DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, who had previously produced the 1978 New Fantastic Four and 1979 Spider-Woman animated series (where Spider-Man made two appearances).


The series featured Peter Parker having to balance his alter ego crimefighting with his responsibilities as a university student, a part-time photographer for the Daily Bugle and caring for his elderly Aunt May Parker. The series was not as popular with fans as Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, another animated series that aired on NBC around the same time, but Spider-Man still provided viewers with plenty of comic book villains, including Chameleon, Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus, The Kingpin, The Lizard, Sandman, Silvermane, Vulture, Mysterio, Magneto, Red Skull, Kraven the Hunter, Wizard, and the Green Goblin.

Character designs

The character design for Peter Parker (as well as other supporting characters including Aunt May and J. Jonah Jameson) was also quite faithful to the comic books of the period and hearkened back to the illustrations by John Romita Sr. of the young hero in Spider-Man’s newspaper strip adventures from the 1970s. Due to network constraints and demands from parents, characters such as Spider-Man were not allowed to make a fist to strike an opponent, but the show’s creators managed to conceal these issues with a focus on action and relatively fluid animation.

Much like the Spider-Man newspaper strip of the late 1970s, Peter Parker’s character design did away with the conservative suit and tie of the 1960s animated series in favor of a hip jacket and yellow turtleneck (although he infrequently wore a button down shirt in the series and put on a tie for the President’s arrival at the New York City airport in “Dr. Doom, Master of the World”). Stan Lee once remarked that John Romita Sr. often drew Parker with a turtleneck instead of a collared shirt since he felt it would better hide his Spider-Man costume, which was always worn under his street clothes.

Peter’s mask was connected to his costume at the back of the neck, almost like a hood, which he would pull over his head when he changed into Spider-Man.

In relation to Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends/Controversy

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends was originally believed to be something of a sequel to this solo Spider-Man animated series, although this has since been disputed since both series were originally first aired at the same time on September 12, 1981. The two series are connected in the latter's third-season episode “Origin of the Spider-Friends.” Although not as well known as Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends the cartoon itself is regarded by many comic book fans as being vastly superior since it remains faithful to the character's origin. The animation to both incarnations and its soundtrack are completely identical, although the voicing actors are different.

In both animated series featuring Spider-Man that aired in the 1980s, the Green Goblin appears in similar episodes, and seems to be similar to a man that transforms into the Goblin, (as in “Dr. Jekyll”) rather than a man wearing a costume.

The third season Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode “Attack of the Arachnoid” borrows the majority of its plot from “The Web of Nephilia” from this series.

In the episode "The Prison Plot" of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, there is a flashback sequence that depicts a scene from "When Magneto Speaks...People Listen", confirming the sequel theory.

Reruns and DVD release

Clearvision dvd uk plan to release this series in summer 2010 on region 2 dvd. As was the case with Amazing Friends, the series was later re-aired in the late 1980s as part of the 90-minute Marvel Action Universe (not to be confused with 1988's The Marvel Action Universe), a syndicated series that was used as a platform for old and new Marvel-produced animated fare (the newer programming featured RoboCop: The Animated Series, Dino-Riders and on occasion, “Pryde of the X-Men”, which was intended to serve as a pilot for a potential X-Men animated series).

The rights to all Marvel shows were with Disney, before Marvel acquired them back in 2008. Currently there are no plans for a DVD release in the US or other places in the world. But, in Canada, Morningstar Entertainment has released the episode The Vulture Has Landed on DVD in the set entitled Spider-Man Vs. The Vulture. The set also contains The Vulture's Prey and The Dark Terrors, both from the 1967 Spider-Man TV series. Unfortunately it appears that Morningstar only had access to a VHS copy of The Vulture Has Landed, so the video quality is very low. [1]


# Title Summary
1 Bubble, Bubble, Oil and Trouble Doctor Octopus commits various mysterious crimes in an effort to upgrade his mechanical arms and steal the world’s oil supply.
2 Dr. Doom, Master of the World Doctor Doom is replacing world leaders with robots that, at the upcoming United Nations meeting, will declare him to be the master of the world.
3 Lizards, Lizards, Everywhere The Lizard is plotting to turn New York City into a swampland, filled with reptiles under his control.
4 Curiosity Killed the Spider-Man The Black Cat announces that she plans to steal the Maltese Mouse and challenges Spider-Man to try and stop her.
5 The Sandman Is Coming The Sandman steals radioactive soil samples from NASA and goes on a crime spree.
6 When Magneto Speaks...People Listen Magneto uses a spacecraft to increase his powers and shut off the nation’s power supply.
7 The Pied Piper of New York Town Mysterio opens up a new disco nightclub in town that turns its patrons and anyone else that hears the disco music into his slaves, whom he uses to try and steal a nuclear missile.
8 The Doctor Prescribes Doom Doctor Doom returns to try and force the United Nations to declare him ruler of the world.
9 Carnival of Crime The circus has come to town, and the Ringmaster uses a special gas to rob banks, while making people believe that Spider-Man is the thief.
10 Revenge of the Green Goblin Norman Osborn escapes from a mental institution, but when the train he is riding in gets into a crash, he remembers that he is the Green Goblin and threatens to reveal to the world who Spider-Man really is, and seeks revenge on Jameson for publishing stories about his chemical plant being unsafe.
11 Triangle of Evil The Triangle of Evil forces Spider-Man to survive deadly stunts.
12 The A-B-C’s of Doom Doctor Doom forms a criminal partnership with Goron to pose as humanitarians to gain control of a space craft.
13 The Sidewinder Strikes A rodeo show has come to the city, and the Sidewinder tries to steal the gold spurs.
14 The Hunter and the Hunted After being hired by J. Jonah Jameson to look for a mascot for the Daily Bugle, Kraven the Hunter comes to the city as a hero when he captures Zabu. Ka-Zar comes to the city to liberate his animal companion.
15 The Incredible Shrinking Spider-Man A janitor, feeling that his genius is ignored, dons the identity of the Gadgeteer to steal his employer’s new device that can shrink anything.
16 The Unfathomable Professor Gizmo Professor Gizmo seeks to reclaim sunken treasure and to steal the diamonds from a charity cruise ship.
17 Cannon of Doom Doctor Doom secretly uses a laser cannon to create a fault line on New York City and then promises to fix the problem, when in fact he plans to use his laser cannon to create more earthquakes. Doom’s origins are told.
18 The Capture of Captain America Captain America is kidnapped by the Red Skull.
19 The Doom Report Freedom fighters from Latveria start an underground movement in New York City, while Doctor Doom orders the United Nations to make him ruler of the world or else he will use his weather control device to cause chaos.
20 The Web of Nephilia A mad scientist named Dr. Bradley Shaw transforms into a mutant spider when trying to gain Spider-Man's powers from his blood sample.
21 Countdown to Doom NASA sends a rocket into space, built by Doctor Doom, unaware that he has attached a device to it that will move the Earth out of orbit, sending it into a new ice age, in an effort to force the United Nations to declare him to be the master of the world.
22 Arsenic and Aunt May Spider-Man catches the relative of the burglar that killed Ben Parker, which leads the Chamelon to discover Spidey’s secret identity. He poses as a medium to Aunt May and give her a necklace that makes her want to kill Spider-Man.
23 The Vulture Has Landed The Vulture has been kidnapping scientists in an effort to gain control of a NASA space probe.
24 Wrath of the Sub-Mariner Upon calling a truce with crime lords Silvermane, Hammerhead, and Caesar Cicero, the Kingpin shows them a powerful acid developed by Dr. Everett to unite the crime lords in a plot to pull off crimes. The subsequent chemical waste from the new chemical is illegally dumping into the water, causing sickness to Sub-Mariner’s cousin, Namorita.
25 The Return of the Kingpin The Kingpin is able to trick Spider-Man into committing a series of crimes.
26 Under the Wizard’s Spell The Frightful Four members the Wizard and Medusa arrive in New York City to steal an electronic device from a military base.

The episodes featuring Doctor Doom had an ongoing storyline about rebels in Latveria trying to topple Doom. Throughout these episodes Doom is able to trick people, especially Jameson, into thinking that he is a kind ruler and international humanitarian.


Additional cast


External links


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