Friday, February 20, 2009

The Vulture has Landed

Season: 1
Episode Number: 23
Season Episode Number: 23
Production Number: 5023
Airdate: Unknown

Writer: Doug Booth
Director: Unknown

Voices: Ted Schwartz (Spider-Man), William Woodson (J. Jonah Jameson), Mona Marshall (Betty Brant), Buster Jones (Joe "Robbie" Robertson), Don Messick (Vulture), Unknown (Hank Edwards), Unknown (Professor Donaldson), Unknown (Pilot).

Plot: Mistaken for millionaire inventor Harry Osborn, Peter Parker is kidnapped by the Vulture and forced to work alongside other kidnapped scientist who are making inventions for the Vultures scheme to become rich quick.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The Vulture makes his series debut in this episode, and is a lot more faithful to the comic books in terms of his costume than the Vulture with the helmet from the 67 series. However, his attitude is not. The Vulture has never really been a petty crook, he is a madman who was scorned by business partners. He became obsessed with revenge and later, destroying Spider-Man.

However, in this episode, his character has been broken down to an old man who wants to be the richest man in the world, which takes away from the complexity of the Vulture, but works within the shallow plots and stories of 80s cartoon writing.

As far as the story goes, this episode is pretty enjoyable. The plot is decent and the dialogue is fun, but like many times in this series, there are big questions that I have. Mainly, how is the Vulture supposed to sell the valuable rocks from outer space in order to become the richest man in the world? I don't think anyone would buy moon rocks since they would know that they would be the famous stolen rocks. The Vulture wouldn't be able to pawn them off on anyone.

But let's move on to the animation, which is good for a show produced in the 80s, but has its shares of problems. Peter Parker changes his clothes to a brown jacket, but in many close up shots of Peter's head his jacket is blue again. There are a few timing issues, and I would love to see a few interesting camera angles, but no such luck here. Oh well, it is still totally watchable and is much better than a lot of other shows produced in the 80s.

Harry Osborn is mentioned in this episode, but is never seen. The Vulture calls him a millionaire inventor, a titled usually credited to his father, Norman Osborn. I'm not too sure why this change was made and why the Vulture couldn't simply kidnap Peter Parker who has a lot of smarts. I guess he's not high profile enough.

DVD Releases:
  • Spider-Man vs. the Vulture

  • Back to Episode Guide

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