Spider-Man (1967 TV series) facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsSpider-Man
|Created by||Stan Lee|
|Narrated by||Bernard Cowan|
|Theme music composer||
|Country of origin||
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Original release||September 9, 1967– June 14, 1970|
Spider-Man is an animated television series in the superhero fiction genre. It was the original animated TV series based on the Spider-Man comic book series created by writer Stan Lee and by artist Steve Ditko, and was jointly produced in Canada (voice acting) and the United States (animation). The show starred the voice of Paul Soles as Peter Parker, aka. Spider-Man. The first two seasons aired on the ABC television network, and the third was distributed in syndication. Grantray-Lawrence Animation produced the first season, and seasons two and three were produced by Krantz Films in New York City. The series aired from September 9, 1967, to June 14, 1970.
The series is also remembered for its theme song: "Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can..."
The series revolved around teenager Peter Parker, a high school student who develops extraordinary strength and spider-like powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Parker decides to become a crime-fighting, costumed superhero, but must deal with family tragedies, personal problems and the insecurity of youth. As Spider-Man, Parker risks his life to fight super-powered criminals such as Doctor Octopus, Mysterio and the Green Goblin. Peter is also a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle, but editor J. Jonah Jameson considers Spider-Man a criminal and writes front-page headlines critical of his activities.
The first season dealt primarily with Peter's job at the Daily Bugle, focusing on his relationship with Jameson, his romance with receptionist Betty Brant, and often being called into action as his alter ego. Peter's life, apart from the Bugle office and his Aunt May's Forest Hills home, was rarely dealt with in early episodes. Although he was never seen at college, he would sometimes visit professors he knew (such as the opening of "Sub-Zero for Spidey", when he went to see Doctor Smartyr). Peter's character (blue suit, yellow vest, white shirt and red tie) was designed by Steve Ditko and art consultant John Romita, Sr..
Season one's stories mainly involved classic Spider-Man villains from the comic-book series, whose captures were often accompanied by a note signed by "your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man". Stan Lee was the story consultant for this season. Seasons two and three, produced by Ralph Bakshi, almost entirely eliminated villains from the comic book as a cost-cutting measure in favor of generic, green-skinned, magical monsters; this enabled the reuse of stock footage from Rocket Robin Hood, another animated series produced by Bakshi.
List of Spider-Man (1967 TV series) episodes
Regular (credited) voice providers
- Paul Soles – Peter Parker / Spider-Man, Ox, Fakir (in "The Fantastic Fakir"), Vulture (in "The Vulture's Prey"; "To Catch a Spider")
- Bernard Cowan – Narrator, Cowboy, Desperado (in "Blueprint for Crime"), Dr. Matto Magneto (in "The Revenge of Dr. Magneto"), Dr. Von Schlick (in "The Slippery Dr. Von Schlick"), Plutonian Leader (in "Sub-Zero for Spidey")
- Paul Kligman – J. Jonah Jameson, Fiddler/Otto (in "Fiddler on the Loose"), Hippie Poet (in "Blueprint for Crime") Lee Patterson (in "The Spider and the Fly")
- Peg Dixon – Betty Brant, Mrs. Conners, May Parker
Semi-regular (uncredited) voice providers
- Carl Banas – Scorpion, Charles Cameo (in "Double Identity"), Dr. Manta (in "Phantom from the Depths of Time"), Kotep (in "The Evil Sorcerer")
- Len Carlson – Green Goblin, Captain Ned Stacy, Parafino (in "The Peril of Parafino"; "Night of the Villains"), Bolton (in "Thunder Rumble"), Stan Patterson (in "Trick or Treachery")
- Vern Chapman – Doctor Octopus (in "The Power of Dr. Octopus")
- Gillie Fenwick – Lizard Man/Dr. Curtis Conners, Vulture (in "The Sky is Falling"; "The Winged Thing"), Doctor Smartyr, Pardo (in "Pardo Presents"), Plotter (in "Blueprint for Crime")
- Max Ferguson – Fifth Avenue Phantom, The Executioner of Paris (in "Night of the Villains")
- Tom Harvey – Electro, Doctor Octopus (in "The Terrible Triumph of Doctor Octopus"), Farley Stillwell, Kingpin, Sandman (in "Sands of Crime"), Baron von Rantenraven (in "Sky Harbor"), Director (in "The Menace of Mysterio"), Dr. Atlantean (in "Up From Nowhere"), Master Vine (in "Vine"), Mugs Riley (in "Menace from the Bottom of the World" and "Spider-Man Battles the Molemen"), Clive (in "Blotto")
- Jack Mather – Jesse James (in "Night of the Villains")
- Ed McNamara – Rhino, Blackbeard (in "Night of the Villains"), Vulcan (in "Here Comes Trubble")
- Frank Perry – Captain (in "Return of the Flying Dutchman"), James Boothe (in "Farewell Performance")
- Henry Ramer – Henry Smythe, Dr. Noah Boddy, Grandini the Mystic (in "The Witching Hour"), Lee Patterson (in "Trick or Treachery"), Mr. Flintridge (in "The Spider and the Fly")
- Claude Ray – Charles Cameo (in "The Sinister Prime Minister")
- Billie Mae Richards – Billy Conners
- Alfie Scopp – Jewelry Store Clerk (in "The Dark Terrors"), Fifth Avenue Phantom (in "The Dark Terrors"), Stan Patterson (in "The Spider and the Fly")
- Chris Wiggins – Mysterio, Blackwell the Magician, Harley Clivendon, Boomer (in "Thunder Rumble"), Infinata (in "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension")
- J. Frank Willis – Cyrus Flintridge III
Spider-Man was initially transmitted in the U.S. on Saturday mornings on ABC. The first episode, "The Power Of Doctor Octopus"/"Sub-Zero For Spidey," premiered on September 9, 1967. During the first and second seasons, the show was broadcast at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. ABC's last Saturday-morning broadcast of Spider-Man was on August 30, 1969, with 39 half-hour episodes (many with two stories) aired. The show went on hiatus until the following March, when a third season began a six-month run from March 22 to September 6, 1970 on Sunday mornings at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. It was rerun in syndication in the United States during the 1970s, usually as part of local stations' after-school cartoon block. In Canada, the series aired on CTV Network affiliates on Saturday morning and other time slots during the 1970s and 1980s.
In Japan, the series was broadcast on TV Tokyo from July 23, 1974 to August 30, 1974 with an episode also aired on October 10, 1974 (episode title unknown). It was broadcast again from November 30, 1974 to March 29, 1975. Kei Tomiyama was in charge of the Japanese version voice actor. In June 1986 it was broadcast on TV Tokyo again and ended in November of the same year. However, the voice actor was changed to Hideyuki Tanaka.
In 1977 Spider-Man was broadcast abroad, airing in several international markets for the first time. The Spanish and Italian versions used a different theme song, written by Erick Bulling and Santiago and sung by Chilean singer Guillermo "Memo" Aguirre, dubbed over the original introduction. In the Italian version, the show's title (L'uomo Ragno) was superimposed in large yellow type over the first two shots of Spider-Man swinging through the city.
The series aired on ABC Family in 2002 as part of the network's Memorial Day weekend-long "Spidey-Mania" marathon, to coincide with the release of the first Spider-Man movie. It was not seen again until another "Spidey-Mania" marathon in 2004, coinciding with the release of Spider-Man 2, its last television appearance in the U.S.
In September 2008, the series appeared in Canada on Teletoon Retro. A French-language dub aired on Radio-Canada's Saturday-morning lineup into the mid-2000s. Episodes of the series have been posted in the "Videos" section of the Marvel website, but have since been removed.
Home video releases
A number of episodes were released on VHS during the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s, usually compiled with other Marvel Comics characters' cartoons. The early-2000s releases were included as bonus episodes with the 1990s animated series. The episodes on The Ultimate Villain Showdown and The Return Of The Green Goblin were mastered from pre-2004 tapes, and the remaining tapes, Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock and Daredevil Meets Spider-Man, used the 2004 remastered versions.
In 2008 and 2009, Morningstar Entertainment released a number of episodes on DVD in Canada. These were reissues (mastered from VHS and Betamax copies) of the 1985 Prism Video Marvel Video Library. Compared to the early 2000s DVDs by Disney, the video and audio quality on the Morningstar are poor.
On June 29, 2004, Buena Vista Home Entertainment (whose parent company would acquire Marvel five years later) released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 as Spider-Man – The '67 Collection. The six-disc box set, with all 52 unedited, uncut original episodes of the TV series and an introduction by creator Stan Lee, was discontinued after a few years. Pre-owned copies go for high prices online today and there are currently no plans for Marvel and Disney to re-release the set.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|Spider-Man – The '67 Collection||52||June 29, 2004|
On November 10, 2008, the UK company Liberation Entertainment released the first season of Spider-Man as The Original '67 Series on Region 2 DVD. Another UK company, ClearVision, later acquired the Region 2 rights.
Due to the low budget and odd nature of some of the still shots, the 1960s series has become popular with Internet culture. The various images and memes created from the show often portrayed Spider-Man as an online troll of sorts, the opposite of the character's true nature.
During the "Spider-Verse" storyline, a variation of the TV show's universe appears with the designation of Earth-67. The Spider-Army recruit the Spider-Man of Earth-67 in order to help fight the Inheritors.
In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man 2099 develops a device allowing inter-dimensional travel and goes to the "beginning" at Earth-67 where he encounters the local Spider-Man (voiced by Jorma Taccone with the character being credited as "Last Dude") with footage from "Double Identity" being used. The scene is a nod to a popular internet meme based on a scene from "Double Identity" featuring two Spider-Men pointing at each other.
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