Forty years ago, the very first Spidey cartoon I ever watched was on ABC. And, it dealt with Peter Parker heading down to Florida to get snapshots of the notorious "Lizard Man." Which makes this episode doubly ironic.
Because, this morning marks the debut of this particular cartoon series on my local cable-TV provider! As a result, I'm probably a month behind the rest of this country in reviewing this episode. But, I don't mind, as I found "Natural Selection" to be surprisingly intelligent and riveting! In 1967, the animated Mrs. Curt Connors just stayed on the front porch of their Everglades home, wringing her hands in helpless worry. But, in 2008, she's her husband's partner in both marriage and research. Every bit as brilliant as him, in the genetic engineering field. In 1967, Aunt May wore prim-and-proper dresses worthy of Archie's Ms. Grundy. And, her only worry was her nephew's health. Yet, in 2008, she wears shirts and slacks just as casually as any twenty-something woman. And, she also has financial worries, the same as any other single parent. I know, I know! Different times/different standards. But, I'm still glad that the writers of this show could throw in modern angst without sacrificing the action and suspense that first got me hooked on Spidey-cartoons as a kid. In short; "Natural Selection" was like an Ultimate Marvel version of the Spidey-vs.Lizard match that I first watched, forty years ago. And, I hope this latest cartoon-version of the webslinger's adventures lasts twice as long as the Krantz Animation original.
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