Friday, April 17, 2009

The Kingpin Strikes Again

Season: 1
Episode Number: 5
Season Episode Number: 5
Production Number: 4005
Airdate: October 19, 1979

Writer: Jeff Scott
Director: Bob Richardson

Voices: Joan Van Ark (Spider-Woman), Bruce Miller (Jeff Hunt), Bryan Scott (Billy Drew), Lou Krugman (Police Chief), Larry Carroll (Detective Miller), Unknown (Kingpin), Unknown (Bouncer), Unknown (Shorty).

Plot: After stealing an invisibility ray, the Kingpin discovers Spider-Woman's secret identity and uses that information to take revenge on Jessica Drew, who wrote a scathing article about him in the Justice Magazine.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Since the Kingpin is the only comic book villain to guest star in this series (let's face it, Dormammu's appearance in Realm of Darkness doesn't count since his character is completely different than in the comics), this episode is one of my favourites.

Not yet the man who pulls all the strings, this version of the Kingpin actually goes on the bank jobs he is planning. He is not afraid to get his fingers dirty, but he still has his thugs (Bouncer, Shorty, and an unnamed third thug whom I like to call Fancy Dan) do all the physical stuff.

However, there is no indication that he has any sort of special powers in this episode. Instead, the writer has him constantly eating food, as if his incredible mass is due to his large appetite rather than really dense muscle mass like in the comics.

In the end, Kingpin reveals Jessica's identity to the world but Jessica uses her Spider-Woman robot to fool everyone into thinking that the Kingpin made the whole thing up.

But where did Jessica get a life-size Spider-Woman robot? Surely she didn't make it herself! This is a perfect example of how this series often pulls out the "deus ex machina" in order to solve all their writing problems.

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