The Not-So-Amazing Spider-Man

The Not-So-Amazing Spider-Man

Peter Parker's 70s television series was mercifully short-lived... at least in America.

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I haven't seen the entire series but I do own a copy of the TV pilot movie on CED (the record player version of laserdisc). I'll post a wiki link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitance_Electronic_Disc

Looking at video clips of the show, it certainly hasn't aged well and the fact that it was hampered by special FX of its time and being poorly written didn't help.

Still, I am looking forward to your review on Japan's version of Spider-Man.

All told, we're probably on our third generation of people who'll become fans of comic book superheroes from adaptations outside comics: an unintended consequence of comics publishers opting to favor older, established, bigger-spending fans in the mid-80s and the product itself moving out of corner stores and magazine racks and into comic-focused hobby shops. I'm not sure if that's a net-positive or a net-negative in the long run, but it's definitely the way of the market right now.

Personally I blame DC (And to a lesser extent Marvel, who at least have Unlimited) failing to recognize how helpful the Netflix model could be to them. Netflix binges are a hugely popular thing these days since they give you access to years worth of TV shows with no waiting and no ads.

All of those extended comics events that criss-crossed numerous titles and required extensive backstory knowledge would be a lot more accessible if you could pay $10 a month or so to get access to a digital backlog of comics that was well organized. And I think the 'well organized' thing is key. It's not enough to make comics available, you also have to make it obvious where the starting points are. For events you have to make it clear what the reading order is. It would also help to have built in tools to find all chronological appearances of a character, especially villains.

Oh, and you have to actually advertise that such a thing exists. Marvel Unlimited would probably be a lot more successful if Marvel ran a quick ad before Marvel movies saying something like "Want to learn more about your favorite Marvel characters? You can read all the comics you want for the low price of $10 per month!"

When I was younger, I loved Spider-man and His Amazing Friends. So much so, even today my favorite of Marvel's mutant characters is still Iceman.

I remember those old movies too. I realize they were bad, but I loved them nonetheless when I was a child.

I had no idea that this series was so unknown. Though I couldn't say I was a fan or anything, as a kid I was always aware that it was around, much in the same way that The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman were. Maybe it saw more frequent re-runs on British TV?

So, next week we get the Sentai Spiderman, and his amazing giant robot? (no, I am not making this up. Seriously. For real.)

ZZoMBiE13:
I loved them nonetheless when I was a child.

At the time, they weren't all that bad. At least, considering the company. The 70s and 80s had a lot of really bad programming with cheesey or even outright awful special effects and this looked...Well, not good. It looked mostly okay. But still, this was a time period when superhero material was in short supply.

I think it's one of the reasons we enjoyed it as kids. I mean, yeah, kids tend to have lower standards but so did networks.

OH SNAP!

mjharper:
I had no idea that this series was so unknown. Though I couldn't say I was a fan or anything, as a kid I was always aware that it was around, much in the same way that The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman were. Maybe it saw more frequent re-runs on British TV?

See, this is weird to me because I'm about Bob's age and most of the TV I got was out of Boston (to the point that we also used the Globe's listing for years and years) and I saw this several times on TV.

And I have to wonder why.

Zachary Amaranth:

ZZoMBiE13:
I loved them nonetheless when I was a child.

At the time, they weren't all that bad. At least, considering the company. The 70s and 80s had a lot of really bad programming with cheesey or even outright awful special effects and this looked...Well, not good. It looked mostly okay. But still, this was a time period when superhero material was in short supply.

I think it's one of the reasons we enjoyed it as kids. I mean, yeah, kids tend to have lower standards but so did networks.

OH SNAP!

I think I was 5, maybe 6 when these came out on television. I'm not sure really. I just know that I've been a Spiderman fan for long enough that I had genuine affection for these cheesy older versions when they were new. It was better than nothing.

Showing my age a bit, but we only had one television back then so I was lucky to get to see them at all. My parents never had any affection for comics or their characters.

The cartoons though. As much as boyhood me loved them, I can't watch any of them now. Great at age 5 on Saturday morning, not so great 35 years later on Netflix.

Actually had to rack my brain on this one. To be honest I'm pretty sure Batman: Dark Knight Returns was my first comicbook. My dad was a huge comicbook guy, a huge heavy metal magazine and underground/foreign comic collection. My first x-men comic was that first New Mutants graphic novel. I guess I was raised bohemian nerd.

Bob you talk a lot about comics are you ever going to admit Harvey Pekar or Robert crumb exist or are you just a superhero nerd?

ZZoMBiE13:

I think I was 5, maybe 6 when these came out on television. I'm not sure really. I just know that I've been a Spiderman fan for long enough that I had genuine affection for these cheesy older versions when they were new. It was better than nothing.

Showing my age a bit, but we only had one television back then so I was lucky to get to see them at all. My parents never had any affection for comics or their characters.

The cartoons though. As much as boyhood me loved them, I can't watch any of them now. Great at age 5 on Saturday morning, not so great 35 years later on Netflix.

In my case, my dad was a massive nerd and already owned about 67 billion Spider-Man comics. I learned to read, partially, on Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, and to a lesser extent a lot of others. So my dad may have been more interested in the comic movies than I was, even. I also grew up with Star Trek and Star Wars.

Basically, one TV wasn't a big deal for something like this. My brother was in a similar boat, though he preferred Green Lantern and (if I remember right) the Fantastic Four. I mean, there were issues of who got to see what, but this was a pretty standard kind of thing for us to see on the weekends.

But yeah, it's hard to go back. I mean, I like some things from my childhood still, but a lot of it we watched because it was the best we could expect at the time.

Falterfire:

All told, we're probably on our third generation of people who'll become fans of comic book superheroes from adaptations outside comics: an unintended consequence of comics publishers opting to favor older, established, bigger-spending fans in the mid-80s and the product itself moving out of corner stores and magazine racks and into comic-focused hobby shops. I'm not sure if that's a net-positive or a net-negative in the long run, but it's definitely the way of the market right now.

Personally I blame DC (And to a lesser extent Marvel, who at least have Unlimited) failing to recognize how helpful the Netflix model could be to them. Netflix binges are a hugely popular thing these days since they give you access to years worth of TV shows with no waiting and no ads.

All of those extended comics events that criss-crossed numerous titles and required extensive backstory knowledge would be a lot more accessible if you could pay $10 a month or so to get access to a digital backlog of comics that was well organized. And I think the 'well organized' thing is key. It's not enough to make comics available, you also have to make it obvious where the starting points are. For events you have to make it clear what the reading order is. It would also help to have built in tools to find all chronological appearances of a character, especially villains.

Oh, and you have to actually advertise that such a thing exists. Marvel Unlimited would probably be a lot more successful if Marvel ran a quick ad before Marvel movies saying something like "Want to learn more about your favorite Marvel characters? You can read all the comics you want for the low price of $10 per month!"

It's a neat idea and something I would definitely get if it existed, but I don't know how practical it would be to organize. Maybe if they re-edited a lot of things to make a trade paperback-style experience that took you through the major beats of a given story arc, with regular break pages that provided a list of all the supplementary comics that informed the action of the previous section and led into the next.

The problem is that there is so much crossover between given comics that a straight binge would be difficult. With Netflix, I can start a series and plow through to the end with the press of a button, with no distractions. With comics, as soon as you venture beyond a contained trade paperback it's easy to get lost and start wandering, like clicking a link on TV Tropes.

Random aside on the discovering Batman point - I first came across Batman thanks to the Adam West series, and I'm pretty sure the same would be true for a lot of other people in my generation (30-somethings) in Australia. Gawd only knows why, but the 1960s TV series got hugely popular here when it was rerun on TV in the late 80s. Basically everyone at school watched it each afternoon.

Thunderous Cacophony:
It's a neat idea and something I would definitely get if it existed, but I don't know how practical it would be to organize. Maybe if they re-edited a lot of things to make a trade paperback-style experience that took you through the major beats of a given story arc, with regular break pages that provided a list of all the supplementary comics that informed the action of the previous section and led into the next.

The problem is that there is so much crossover between given comics that a straight binge would be difficult. With Netflix, I can start a series and plow through to the end with the press of a button, with no distractions. With comics, as soon as you venture beyond a contained trade paperback it's easy to get lost and start wandering, like clicking a link on TV Tropes.

I'm okay with a TVTropes-esque branching tree of insanity. Just would need a few tools to mark stopping points for picking up later. Handling branching stories shouldn't be that hard - Just pick up any "Continued in..." references at the end of each issue, allow for readers to suggest (and up/downvote) reading orders for specific events. And that's assuming you don't try to have a few people on staff moderating official orders.

A lot of the grunt work has already been done by dedicated fans even - comicbookdb already lets you find all appearances of a character.

Windknight:
So, next week we get the Sentai Spiderman, and his amazing giant robot? (no, I am not making this up. Seriously. For real.)

That series is beast. I love it in every way possilbe.
image

the cool thing about spiderman is his outfit never really seemed to age

My first introduction to superheros on TV was The Greatest American Hero. Not marvel related, but that damn theme song still gets stuck in my head from time to time.

Great article. And I love how we're threading into the whole origin of how the Power Rangers came to be, lol! All hail, Supaiidaman!

 

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