Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Spotlight on Spider-Man from Spider-Man (67)

College student Peter Parker is your average teen. He is a top student and a photographer for a local newspaper in his spare time. But what makes Peter so special is that he is also the super crimefighter known as Spider-Man!

The Show: Watching the classic 1967 Spider-Man series, you will find that Spider-Man is not a very deep character. The writing in the show is quite shallow thus making Spider-Man a fairly shallow character as well. He is a good guy. Period. There is no inner struggle or arc for Spider-Man to go through, he just goes about his superhero business and snaps some photos for the newspaper when he has time.

Peter Parker's character is just as two-dimensional. He is a very plain person who does his job at the Bugle and takes crap from his editor, J. Jonah Jameson. He has a secret crush on his co-worker Betty Brant that he never moves on and he's a very good student at school.

Famous Spider-Man stories such as the Venom Saga would be hard to imagine in this series.

The Origin: When Spider-Man's second season switched from Grantray-Lawrence Animation to Krantz Films, producer Ralph Bakshi decided to begin his run on the series with the episode The Origin of Spider-Man, a story that hadn't been told in the first season.

The show lifts the plot, dialog, even the panels themselves, straight from Amazing Fantasy #15. This origin is probably the most faithful adaptation of Spider-Man's origin ever.

If you're a Spider-Man fan then you know the story: Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider. He soon finds that he has super strength, the ability to walk on walls and ceilings, and a special sense that detects danger.

Using his scientific smarts, Peter creates a sticky web-like formula that he can shoot from bracelets he wears on his wrists. He dons a costume an turns to television to earn some cash. But when he finds his Uncle Ben murdered, he turns his life to fighting crime.

The Powers: Spider-Man's powers are pretty much the same as they appeared in the comic books. The only major difference is that the writers were much more liberal with what Spidey could do with his webs. They could become a balloon, a spear, a bullet-proof shield and many other object that you wouldn't find in the comics.

The Costume: Due to the limited budget of the series, Grantray-Lawerence streamlined Spidey's costume, taking away the webs on his chest, to make the character easier to animate.

The design for Spider-Man and Peter Parker is directly influenced by the work of Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko and John Romita, Sr., who was a consultant for the show.

The Voice: Paul Soles created two voices for the show. His Peter Parker voice, which was a timid awkward teenage voice, and his Spider-Man voice, which was deep and more threatening.

Not only does this help disguise Peter's secret identity, but it is also a reflection on Peter's character. Spider-Man is everything Peter is not so it makes sense to have Soles provide a more confident voice when Spider-Man is in the scene.

The Episodes: Being the main character of the show, Spider-Man appears in every episode.

Back to Spider-Man Series Information

No comments: