Spider-Man (1981)

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(ended 1982)

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Spider-Man (1981)

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This early 80s animated series was the second Spider-Man cartoon after the original 1967 series. It was produced by the newly formed Marvel Productions, which had risen from the ashes of DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, who had previously produced the 1978 New Fantastic Four and 1979 Spider-Woman animated series. The series' character designs and some of the same voices (not Spider-Man himself) were later to be used in the more famous Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends animated series. The character designs for the series were based on the classic style of Spider-Man artist John Romita, and so, were very similar to the visual look of the comics from the mid 60s to the early 80s, when his style was still followed closely by successive artists.

The series itself chronicles the adventures of Peter Parker as Spider-Man during his college years. Regular characters included Peter's Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson-editor of the Daily Bugle, Betty Brant-Jameson's secretary and occasional damsel in distress, and later on in the series, Robbie Robertson, Jameson's assistant. In this series, Spidey faced off against some of his c foes, including the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio and the Chameleon. There was also a six-part story arc spread throughout the series that had Spider-Man's battling with Doctor Doom.

Although the series was produced just before the Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends series, it ended up being shown in syndication around the same time as Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends debuted on NBC in 1981. In 1988, the series was syndicated along with the then-new animated series Dinoriders and Robocop, altogether called the Marvel Action Universe. From the early 90s onwards, the series has been syndicated under the title of Spider-Man 5000, due to the production numbering system of the show (although the opening credits remain unchanged).

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