“Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can,”
It didn’t take a rocket science to predict that the legendary Marvel Comics superhero, Spiderman, would eventually show up on the Saturday morning airwaves. And from the moment it first aired in 1967, the cartoon was destined to be a classic. With legendary animator Ralph Bakshi supervising the production and a swinging theme song so catchy it adhered to the brain cells as securely as Spidey climbing a skyscraper, it was pretty clear from the get-go that Spiderman would find a loyal following.
The story surrounds Peter Parker, a nerdy science whiz who is remarkably altered after being bit by radioactive arachnid. He soon discovers that he has the ability to shoot webs from the wrist and walk on walls, not to mention some super strength and agility and the ability to sense danger. And so, the teen dons a red and blue costume and takes to the city skies, fighting crime as Spiderman.
By day, however, he is simply Peter, a young photojournalist for the Daily Bugle newspaper, and employed by curmudgeonly publisher J. Jonah Jameson, who happens to not be so particularly enamored with Spidey’s vigilante-style antics. Peter has to watch his step to protect his identity so he can continue to keep his city safe from such sinister villains as Doctor Octopus, the horn-headed Rhino and the illusionist, Mysterio.
Spiderman had long proven his popularity on the pages of comic books. And with Bakshi’s unique style of animation, the series was unlike any other superhero cartoon. Mix in a theme song that it is impossible to stop humming for the rest of the day, and the reasons for Spiderman’s overwhelming success were clear. Besides its original run, which produced 52 episodes over a three-year span, the cartoon continued on in syndication for well over a decade and is still fondly remembered by all that experienced it. Granted, a plethora of successful live action films have been released in recent years, overshadowing the animated series considerably, but there is still plenty of nostalgic spidey charm to be had within this wonderful 60s cartoon.
If you were a fan of the animated Spiderman series back in the day, we’d love to hear all of your recollections in our comments section.