Spider-Man (1981)

(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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  • 1967 or 1981????

    I was a big Spiderman fan but as a kid when I watched it ('85-'86) I rember watching the 1967 version. Why wouldn't they have been showing the 1981 version? I can't remember the 1981 version but I do remember Spiderman and His Amazing friends. The intro to the 1967 show is what I remeber most but since I was born in 1979 I'm wondering how I even saw this show instead of the '81 version. I have to sit down and watch a few of these episodes to see if it's better than the '67 version which I loved as a kid. The 1994 version is still my all-time favorite.moreless
  • this was spider-man first show in the 80s following on from the 60s series and a great series it was, it just a shame the show gets no credit 10/10 far better then some of the crap cartoons that are out today. release this show on dvd pleasemoreless

    this series always gets overlooked by amazing friends which is a great shame ted schwatz did a great job of spidey, the animation was great for the time. please put this series on dvd. this cartoon series is far better then some the crap they shove on tv now. the series had some great guests captain america being one this was a great episode

    other guests were Medusa,Namor the Sub-Mariner and Namorita.

    doctor doom was the main villain in this series. it was a shame it only had one season.i liked the superman references

    it made in the show to. and the godfather part three joke to the kingpin was funny at the time as that film didnt come out until 1990. a fun show that should not be missed. and again should be on dvdmoreless
  • Spider-man lives yet again.

    I grew up watching this show. It's actually the thing that got me into Spider-Man. I just loved the many adventures they went through. All the characters, voices, everything was perfect. All though, I could have done without the repetitive animation. Regardless, this show was one of my favourites. And still is. I admired it's suberb writing, voice acting, animation everything. It also brought something to Spider-Man that the other shows didn't bring: struggle. Spider-Man finally seemed more 3 demensional. He always was in a fit. Not knowing wheather to abandon his loves, to save others. His jokes and puns were hilarious too! My only beef was Madame Web. Arrg! She stiked me as a tad bit too arrouguant. And not to mention she made Spidey seem stupid. He always seemed to be getting along well in the episode, until he's stumped and Madame Web comes to give him some advice and a lesson. Not that that was a big problem though. Anyway, I felt the show ended at the right time. It had done it share of worthy adaptions, characters, and much much more. But, I do wish we could have figured out what happened to MJ. But her not returning does make it much more sad for Spidey. After all his battles he never got see her again. Or did he?moreless
  • Before Neogenic Nightmare...There Was "Doom"

    The 80s' Spider-Man series, this particular incarnation, not the more famous Amazing Freinds variant, wrote the book on season spanning story arcs long before the 90s' series ever began it. Much more true to the Spidy mythos than the underrated, yet alien and monster infested Amazing Freinds, this series also gave us our first real sense of a story arc in a Marvel cartoon...the classic "Doom" saga, which spawned five loosly connected episodes spread throhout the series, it was strange that Doctor Doom would, of all people, be Spidys' nemesis throughout this series, but he served as a much more interesting character than many of Spidys' traditional rouges gallery in this series, his threat seemed reallistic, and global, as was true to his characteristics. As a result, this writing is what made the series stand out, but sadly, due to the popularity of Amazing Freinds, the original Spidy cartoon, and the 90s' effort, has been as underlooked and as ignored as Spiderman Unlimited and the MTV seriesmoreless

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