Ah yes, Cartoon Express… The day of cartoons that had some violence and a deeper story line than 3 set points. And in the middle of it all. Spider-man.
This friendly spider swung his way into our homes through the cartoon channel. Red and blue he was hard to ignore. Add some jokes into the mix and you had a recepy you had to love. For me personally… well I was pretty young but I remember the show good enough. The storyline was difficult to follow as a kid sometimes, and we where more interested in how he beat up bad guys anyway. It wasn’t until I rewatched it as a teen that I found out the deeper story. So what is it about?
A geeky school kid named Peter Parker goes onto a school field trip to a lab… yeah good choice… And gets bitten by a radio active spider. Once this happens after a night of nightmares and sweating Peter adapts powers like a spider. Agility… able to climb walls and some super like strength. Unlike the movies however Spider-Man never had the ability to shoot webs from his arms. He had arm bracers for that. But still he was able to web his way all over the city. Which for older kids raised the question… who cleaned those up when he swung through the city…. but that on a side note. More and more villains pile up as Spiderman swears to fight evil and well there you have it. The red wire of the story. In side plots Peters uncle dies, his first girlfriend does as well and he even once mutates on into a more spider like creature.
We all know the characters. Peter, MJ, aunt May… They are great, they have background and you feel for them. The ever hateful James Jameson is a character we all can relate too in a way. However his anger towards Spider-man is kind of odd… but entertaining. We even had a moment where Spider-Man went for help to the X-men. Which was kind of funny to see that some of the art in the show of Spiderman in how they drew the X-men was better than in their own show.
Bad guys, iconic. You know them and we love them. The green goblin, Black Cat, Dr Octopus and of course Venom and Carnage. By now every kid can name them. Venom made it’s way back these days in the movies, which wasn’t as detailed as we hoped. But that bell scene in the cartoon…. that printed in my memory. Not to mention again those emotions, and no shame in showing violence. Black and white going vs Red and Blue on a dark night… those colors popped right off and you knew Spidey would win. Even if for a moment you wished Venom would get more time.
But does the show hold up this day. It does… The themes are heavy sometimes, but we made it through it. The backgrounds are pretty awesome. You get an early computer graphic idea. The colors, well Spidey always steals the show in his bright colored suit.
The idea he is an outcast even more than average kids, everyone can relate to him. They made him human and we love it. It’s a show that survived the ages, and even made it to a movie remake much like Batman. I think if they where to re air the show, they would have gold there. I sure would watch, and I am sure a lot would with me.