On a Saturday morning not so long ago the ol’ Space Chief got up way too early and just couldn’t get back to sleep. I decided to click on the TV and see what was happening in the way of some cartoons! I was horrified by what I saw! Everything on network TV was educational drivel! Where were the heroes? The barbarians? The anthropomorphic animals getting blown to smithereens? I decided right then and there that something must be done about this atrocity! Prepare yourselves for a trip down memory lane with Space Chief’s Saturday Morning Cartoon Memories!
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
As Superfriends introduced young kids to the Justice League and the DC Universe on ABC, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends were bringing the action of the Marvel Universe into our living rooms every Saturday in an impressive three season run from September 12, 1981 – September 10, 1983. Impressive?…Yes! Think of how many other shows were killed after one season or less. The fact that I remember it so vividly and I was 6 years old when it debuted speaks for itself
Stan “The Man” narrated each episode, and with the exception of one or two episodes we were treated to some pretty sweet lineups of heroes and villains.
The setup was, Bobby “Iceman” Drake and Anjelica “Firestar” Jones move into Aunt May’s house with Peter Parker and they all chill out upstairs in a groovy apartment/Secret Crime Lab with an annoying dog. What I always thought was weird was that they have a huge poster of The Incredible Hulk on their wall above the couch. I always assumed that The Hulk was generally regarded as a dangerous menace in the Marvel Universe, yet a company IN the Marvel Universe is manufacturing wall art featuring the visage of the real world equivalent to a carpet-bombing? And two X-Men and Spider-Man bought it? And hung it in their secret headquarters? OK, I was six, sue me, I loved it!
It also didn’t bother me that the three of them all apparently lived there but there was only one bed, they have a huge, stone fireplace in an upstairs room in Aunt May’s house and she never noticed them installing the S.H.I.E.L.D. level, rotating computer system (Compliments of Tony Stark- editor) that would have to take up a good portion of the adjacent room or hang off of the side of the house when not in use, but again six years old.
Ridiculous aspects aside, the show was fairly well made and was my personal intro to the glory that is Wolverine! Sure he’s Australian for some reason, but he was a badass!
Along with Australian Wolverine we got the other X-Men, Professor Chuck, Namor, and Captain America! We got cameos from Stark and Matt Murdock! Shanna The She Devil! There were appearances from The Hulk, Doc Ock, The Chameleon, Electro and The Kingpin!
At some point The Incredible Hulk joined as part of an hour of Marvel but I don’t recall it nearly as well as Spidey’s show.
The plot to most of the episodes weren’t really that bad. They would usually revolve around a real and significant threat, unlike some of the Superfriends episodes where Zan, Jayna and Apache Chief save campers from a bear or a washed out bridge. This was Chameleon capturing heroes and impersonating them, or Juggernaut attacking The Xavier School. You know, Awesomeness!
The series is brilliant for parents that want a kid friendly show for young Spider-fans. It’s also pretty entertaining for us older Geeks to get a few nostalgic laughs. The entire series was available on Netflix the last time I checked so I think it’s time to reacquaint myself with Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends! Spider-Friends! Go For It!