Spider-Man (1981 TV series)

Spider-Man (1981 TV series)

infobox television
show_name = Spider-Man

caption =
format = Animation, Adventure
runtime = 25 minutes
creator =Stan Lee (comic book),
Steve Ditko (comic book)
presenter = Marvel Productions
starring =Ted Schwartz
country = USA
producer = Arthur Vitello
executive_producer = David DePatie, Lee Gunther
network = Syndication
first_aired = September 12, 1981 | last_aired = March 6, 1982
num_episodes = 26
preceded_by = "Spider-Man (tokusatsu)"
followed_by = "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends"
website = http://spider-man.toonzone.net/
imdb_id =0081938
tv_com_id = 6721|

"Spider-Man" is the name of a syndicated animated TV series based on the popular Marvel Comics character of the same name.


Production background

The series was created to launch 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 (where Spider-Man made two appearances).


The series featured Peter Parker having to balance his alter ego crimefighting with his responsibilities as a university student, a part-time photographer for the "Daily Bugle" and caring for his elderly Aunt May Parker. The series was not as popular with fans as "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends", another animated series that aired on NBC around the same time, but "Spider-Man" still provided viewers with plenty of comic book villains, including Chameleon, Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus, The Kingpin, The Lizard, Sandman, Silvermane, Vulture, Mysterio, Magneto, Kraven the Hunter, and the Green Goblin.

Character designs

The character design for Peter Parker (as well as other supporting characters including Aunt May and J. Jonah Jameson) was also quite faithful to the comic books of the period and hearkened back to the illustrations by John Romita Sr. of the young hero in Spider-Man’s newspaper strip adventures from the 1970s. Due to network constraints and demands from parents, characters such as Spider-Man were not allowed to make a fist to strike an opponent, but the show’s creators managed to conceal these issues with a focus on action and relatively fluid animation.

Much like the "Spider-Man" newspaper strip of the late 1970s, Peter Parker’s character design did away with the conservative suit and tie of the 1960s animated series in favor of a hip jacket and yellow turtleneck (although he infrequently wore a button down shirt in the series and put on a tie for the President’s arrival at the New York City airport in “Dr. Doom, Master of the World”). Stan Lee once remarked that John Romita Sr. often drew Parker with a turtleneck instead of a collared shirt since he felt it would better hide his Spider-Man costume, which was always worn under his street clothes.

Peter’s mask was connected to his costume at the back of the neck, almost like a hood, which he would pull over his head when he changed into Spider-Man.

In relation to "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends"/Controversy

"Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" was originally believed to be something of a sequel to this solo Spider-Man animated series, although this has since been disputed since both series were originally first aired at the same time on September 12th 1981. The two series are connected in the latter's third-season episode “Origin of the Spider-Friends.” Although not as well known as "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" the cartoon itself is regarded by many comic book fans as being vastly superior since it remains faithful to the character's origin. The animation to both incarnations and its soundtrack are completely identical, although the voicing actors are different.

In both animated series featuring Spider-Man that aired in the 1980s, the Green Goblin appears in similar episodes, and seems to be similar to a man that transforms into the Goblin, (i.e. “Dr. Jekyll”) rather than a man wearing a costume.

The third season "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" episode “Attack of the Arachnoid” borrows the majority of its plot from “The Web of Nephilia” from this series.

In the episode "The Prison Plot" of "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends", there is a flashback sequence that depicts a scene from "When Magneto speaks... people listen", confirming the sequel theory.

Reruns and DVD release

As was the case with "Amazing Friends", the series was later re-aired in the late 1980s as part of the ninety-minute "Marvel Action Universe" (not to be confused with 1988's "The Marvel Action Universe"), a syndicated series that was used as a platform for old and new Marvel-produced animated fare (the newer programming featured "", "Dino-Riders" and on occasion, “Pryde of the X-Men”, which was intended to serve as a pilot for a potential "X-Men" animated series).

As of now, similar to the majority of the other Disney-acquired Marvel Comics animated series, there are no plans to release this series on DVD just yet.


# “Bubble, Bubble, Oil and Trouble” - Doctor Octopus commits various mysterious crimes in an effort to upgrade his mechanical arms and steal the world’s oil supply.
# “Dr. Doom, Master of the World” - Doctor Doom is replacing world leaders with robots that, at the upcoming United Nations meeting, will declare him to be the master of the world.
# “Lizards, Lizards, Everywhere” - The Lizard is plotting to turn New York City into a swampland, filled with reptiles under his control.
# “Curiosity Killed the Spider-Man” - The Black Cat announces that she plans to steal the Maltese Mouse and challenges Spider-Man to try and stop her.
# “The Sandman Is Coming” - The Sandman steals radioactive soil samples from NASA and goes on a crime spree.
# “When Magneto Speaks...People Listen” - Magneto uses a spacecraft to increase his powers and shut off the nation’s power supply.
# “The Pied Piper of New York Town” - Mysterio opens up a new disco nightclub in town that turns its patrons and anyone else that hears the disco music into his slaves, whom he uses to try and steal a nuclear missile.
# “The Doctor Prescribes Doom” - Doctor Doom returns to try and force the United Nations to declare him ruler of the world.
# “Carnival of Crime” - The circus has come to town, and the Ringmaster uses a special gas to rob banks, while making people believe that Spider-Man is the thief.
# “Revenge of the Green Goblin” - Norman Osborn escapes from a mental institution, but when the train he is riding in gets into a crash, he remembers that he is the Green Goblin and threatens to reveal to the world who Spider-Man really is, and seeks revenge on Jameson for publishing stories about his chemical plant being unsafe.
# “Triangle of Evil” - The Triangle of Evil forces Spider-Man to survive deadly stunts.
# “The A-B-C’s of Doom” - Doctor Doom forms a criminal partnership with Goron to pose as humanitarians to gain control of a space craft.
# “The Sidewinder Strikes” -A rodeo show has come to the city, and the Sidewinder tries to steal the gold spurs.
# “The Hunter and the Hunted” - After being hired by J. Jonah Jameson to look for a mascot for the Daily Bugle, Kraven the Hunter comes to the city as a hero when he captures Zabu. Ka-Zar comes to the city to liberate his animal companion.
# “The Incredible Shrinking Spider-Man” - A janitor, feeling that his genius is ignored, dons the identity of the Gadgeteer to steal his employer’s new device that can shrink anything.
# “The Unfathomable Professor Gizmo” - Professor Gizmo seeks to reclaim sunken treasure and to steal the diamonds from a charity cruise ship.
# “Cannon of Doom” - Doctor Doom secretly uses a laser cannon to create a fault line on New York City and then promises to fix the problem, when in fact he plans to use his laser cannon to create more earthquakes. Doom’s origins are told.
# “The Capture of Captain America” - Captain America is kidnapped by the Red Skull.
# “The Doom Report” - Freedom fighters from Latveria start an underground movement in New York City, while Doctor Doom orders the United Nations to make him ruler of the world or else he will use his weather control device to cause chaos.
# “The Web of Nephilia” - A mad scientist transforms into a mutant spider when trying to gain Spider-Man's powers from his blood sample.
# “Countdown to Doom” - NASA sends a rocket into space, built by Doctor Doom, unaware that he has attached a device to it that will move the Earth out of orbit, sending it into a new ice age, in an effort to force the United Nations to declare him to be the master of the world.
# “Arsenic and Aunt May” - Spider-Man catches the relative of the burglar that killed Ben Parker, which leads the Chamelon to discover Spidey’s secret identity. He poses as a medium to Aunt May and give her a necklace that makes her want to kill Spider-Man.
# “The Vulture Has Landed” - The Vulture has been kidnapping scientists in an effort to gain control of a NASA space probe.
# “Wrath of the Sub-Mariner” - Upon calling a truce with crimelords Silvermane, Hammerhead, and Caesar Cicero, the Kingpin shows them a powerful acid developed by Dr. Everett to unite the crimelords in a plot to pull off crimes. The subsequent chemical waste from the new chemical is illegally dumping into the water, causing sickness to Sub-Mariner’s cousin, Namorita.
# “The Return of the Kingpin” - The Kingpin is able to trick Spider-Man into committing a series of crimes.
# “Under the Wizard’s Spell” - The Frightful Four members the Wizard and Medusa arrive in New York City to steal an electronic device from a military base.

The episodes featuring Doctor Doom had an ongoing storyline about rebels in Latveria trying to topple Doom. Throughout these episodes Doom is able to trick people, especially Jameson, into thinking that he is a kind ruler and international humanitarian.


* Ted Schwartz - Peter Parker/Spider-Man
* Linda Gary - Aunt May
* William Woodson - J. Jonah Jameson
* Mona Marshall - Betty Brant
* Ralph James - Doctor Doom/Victor von Doom
* Buster Jones - Robbie Robertson

Additional Cast

* Jack Angel - Moe, Man Mountain Marko, Dr. Donald Blake
* Lee Bailey -
* Bill Boyett -
* Corey Burton -
* Wally Burr -
* Philip Clarke -
* Henry Corden -
* Regis Cordic -
* Brad Crandall -
* Peter Cullen - Red Skull, The Stuntman
* Brian Cummings -
* Jeff David -
* Jack DeLeon -
* George DiCenzo - Captain America
* Walker Edmiston -
* Ron Feinberg -
* Brian Fuld -
* Lynn Johnson -
* Dennis Marks - Green Goblin
* Stan Jones - Doctor Octopus, Kingpin
* Les Lampson -
* Morgan Lofting -
* John Mayer -
* Don Messick - Vulture
* Arlin Miller -
* Vic Perrin -
* Tony Pope -
* Richard Ramos -
* Gene Ross -
* Nielson Ross - Norman Osborn
* Michael Rye - Mysterio
* Marilyn Schrefler -
* Gary Segar -
* Michael Sheehan - Mortimer
* John Stephenson - Dr. Norton, Nephilia
* Andre Stojka -
* B.J. Ward -
* Paul Winchell - Silvermane

External links

* [http://spider-man.toonzone.net/ 1981 "Spider-Man" Cartoon at Toon Zone]

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