Podcast # 334-Spider-Man ’77 Comic, Spidey Memorabilia, Villain Standstill,


podcast334picWe tackle your dozens of message board questions. Highlights include:
*Would you buy a Spider-Man 1977 comic book based on the live action TV show?
*Our coolest Spidey memorabilia
*What comics started strong and were tough to read at the end of the run? 
*Grading the 1987 wedding issue
*Thoughts when people visits BD’s Spider-shrine
*JR and BD turn their wives into Spider-villains? 
*What villain has fought Spidey to a standstill the most?

Play

 

You can also subscribe to the show on itunes with this link.

Once you listen to the show please share your thoughts on this thread on our message board. 

If you missed the other October show here is the link.

Podcast #333-Spider-News
Podcast #332-ASM 1.5 and Superior 33 Reviews
Podcast # 331-Ultimate Spider-Man Cartoon Reviews
Podcast # 330-Message Board Q &A 

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(15) Comments

  1. The Amazing Bag-Man

    I would definitely buy a comic based on the 70s live-action show. The show had a lot of problems, but I still enjoy it for the cheese and for the fact that Spider-Man was on live TV! Also, it had the best line ever produced on television: http://youtu.be/6flVBuP8ceU

  2. Jeff Gutman

    @10 - to be clear, it was not my intention to insult anyones ability to contextualize. The purpose of my post was to list in one place all of the things that I felt the show got right about Spidey. That said, I'm also glad that the 70s show spidey is not in spider verse since the whole point seems to be having alternate versions of Spidey show up and be slaughtered.

  3. George Berryman

    And around 50:03 in the episode I mention (and by mention, I mean sing) the Frank Gorshin Riddler song. Here it is, for reference! <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/EAlfr7wsqcM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  4. Ryan3178

    Here is the book I was talking about: http://www.amazon.com/Spider-man-Battles-Monster-Comic-vol-1/dp/B000T9IKUY It was retitled: "Spider-Man Vs. The Myth Monster".

  5. Scarlet Spider

    @ Jeff Gutman - "Anyone who complains the series is “cheesy” or “so bad its good” lacks the ability to contextualize the series." - Are you implying that people who think the 70's SM is so bad it's good aren't intelligent enough to contextualize the series? That's pretty insulting. Fans should be able to enjoy this show for their own reasons whether it be nostalgia, amusement ect. Let's be honest here, 70's SM isn't some sort of Twin Peaks-esque surrealist piece where context is paramount to getting the most out of the show. It's a fun, entertaining crime drama that features Spider-Man. I don't think there's very much to contextualize. Anyone with two eyes can see the show was made on a shoestring budget, everyone knows that live action adaptations are very rarely 100% accurate adaptations, and I don't think there are many people stupid enough to compare it to the Raimi/Webb films. I'm not even sure what warranted these posts as like George said there has never been any hatred towards 70's SM on the Crawlspace that I've seen. On the contrary quite a few users (including myself) were actually hoping 70's SM would be included in Spider-Verse when it was announced (though I'm glad he wasn't now).

  6. George Berryman

    I don't believe I've ever seen "vitriolic hatred" directed at the 70's Spidey series, at least not on here. Especially on this episode of the podcast. Brad says it's not as fondly remembered as other shows - and he's right. Batman '66, Wonder Woman '75... Flash '90... all these shows, and more, were better adaptations of the source material than the '77 Spidey show. Even Superman '54 (which didn't really have a Rogues Gallery) was more entertaining.

  7. Jeff Gutman

    As you say, it's not an undiscovered gem. It did have its problems. I still feel like its much better than people make it out to be. It's certainly not deserving of the vitriolic hatred that's usually directed towards it.

  8. MadGoblin

    It could be arrogant presumption on my part, but I daresay that I have the ability to "contextualize the series." The 70's Spider-Man series was hackwork, maybe no more so than a lot of other series television in the 1970's but "because everything else was hackwork" is hardly a justification for mediocrity. No Uncle Ben in the series AT ALL. Spider-Man decides to be a superhero because it gives him good feelies. The absence of Uncle Ben demonstrates a complete lack of fundamental understanding of the character's motivations. And no, because Marc Webb and company royally fucked it up doesn't justify what was done in the 1970's. Oh, and yeah, there's the "Uncle Max" reference by Aunt May in a later episode. As many times as Peter mentions Uncle Ben in the comics (although not every one admittedly), it becomes apparent that whoever wrote that particular episode may not have even read ONE damn comic book at all. The costume? Are we talking about the rubber boots that looked like the webs were drawn on with a marker that I saw in some of the episodes? Because that's what it looked like. The costume from the pilot actually did look good. The problem is, it sure didn't look like it was used in a lot of the subsequent episodes. He couldn't have fought crooked businessmen/mobsters like say, oh, the Kingpin, Norman Osborn, Silvermane, instead of some idiot plotting to steal the Gutenberg Bible? Norman could easily have been done without making him the Green Goblin. Easily - but no one obviously bothered to even try. How come Spider-Man was so weak in the series? None of the losers set up against him in a fight on that show should have been able to last 5 seconds with him, and only lasting that long because Spidey might need to scratch his ass first. The angst you cite in #6 is from the first aired episode when the series got an order. This may be an old man's fading memory, but I don't recall the character having much, if any other such deep thoughts throughout the rest of the run. I don't have a problem with anyone actually liking the series. After all, don't ask me to defend why I think "Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster" or "King Kong vs. Godzilla" are awesome freaking movies. But let's not make it an undiscovered gem.

  9. Jeff Gutman

    A monologue from the series: “…And what about his conscience? I mean what good is it to have some sort of special power if you don’t use it to help people? … I mean, think about for a minute. He has to lie to everyone! At work, to his friends… What about girlfriends? I mean how can he ever hope to settle down, just have a normal life? People think it would be really wonderful to have Spider-man’s powers. Let me tell you, I’m not so sure whether it’s a blessing or a curse.” This monologue demonstrates the creators of the show understood more about what makes Spider-man tick than Dan Slott ever will.

  10. Jeff Gutman

    People complain about the series having “cheesy” disco music. The pilot and Season 1 both didn’t feature any disco music whatsoever – the series had an orchestral score written by the great Stu Phillips. The second season featured the disco theme written by Dana Kaproff (which I actually happen to enjoy as well.) People complain that Spidey never fought super villains in the series. Let’s talk about that for a minute. The reason they never featured Spidey fighting super villains is because they were trying to make a more grounded realistic show. To the TV producers of the time, this meant he should fight more street level crime and crooked businessmen instead of Doc Ock. But for context, the other superhero shows and movies of the time never featured any super villains either! The Hulk never fought the Leader or the Abomination but no one ever mentions that. The closest they ever got to having Hulk face off with a supervillian was the 1981 episode “The First” where an old man became the Hulk as well and the two Hulks faced off. In his TV series, Captain America didn’t fight the Red Skull, he fought a crooked businessman with a neutron bomb. In the movies, Superman didn’t fight super villains in the 1978 movie either, he fought crooked businessman Lex Luthor. So what if Spider-man didn’t fight the Green Goblin in the show. He wasn’t alone there – every other show of the time wasn’t including super villains. To me, everything about the series showed the producers were trying to mirror the comics of 1978 as closely as they could. I enjoy the series as nostalgia and because it captures the vibe of the 70s comics perfectly.

  11. Jeff Gutman

    5) Peter works as a photographer for the Daily Bugle. His boss is J. Jonah Jameson who doesn’t hate Spider-man like a ranting lunatic, but he has lines throughout the series that shows he has a general distrust of Spidey. In one episode, he says “You got this from Spider-man? I wouldn’t trust anything that weirdo tells me.” J. Jonah’s right hand man is Robbie Robertson in the show, played by Hilly Hicks who later was seen in Roots. Robbie is only in the pilot, but it shows that the production company was paying attention to make the show mirror the comic. In the series that followed, they have an actress who is portraying Glory Grant, Jameson’s secretary in the 70s comics. They change her name to Rita, but she looks and acts exactly like Glory. There’s a rival reporter/photographer named Julie Masters who resembles Betty Brant very strongly, especially how Betty was being drawn then. 6) Peter designed his own web-shooters and spider-tracers. People complained that he wore his webshooters on the outside but the producers only did this to make sure the audience understood the webs didn’t come from his arms – he actually designed these. Again, they were showing he had a science background. Also, Peter’s spider-tracers are represented here – something that’s been missing from the comics since the 80s. Peter has a machine he uses to track them – exactly like he did during the Ditko era. 7) Peter got his powers from a radioactive spider in an experiment in a lab. They really could’ve changed his origin entirely to some random nonsense (look at the Captain America show from 1979), but they kept the spider bite aspect.

  12. Jeff Gutman

    I heard your snickering response in regard to the question raised of whether or not you would purchase a Spider-man 77 comic and I felt compelled to write. I have been and will continue to be a vocal advocate for the Spider-man Live Action series. Anyone who complains the series is “cheesy” or “so bad its good” lacks the ability to contextualize the series. You cannot compare a TV show made in 1978 against modern programming or films. It must be compared with other shows of the period. Simply put, Spider-man isn’t any worse quality-wise than any other show being made in 1978. And in some ways, it got more right about Spider-man than our current Dan Slott-written comics. Spider-man was the first live action Marvel series, beating the Hulk to the screen by months. I’d like to take the time to detail what the series got right. 1) Spider-man is Peter Parker. This sounds like a simple thing, but even the Hulk got his name wrong. The characters name is Bruce Banner, not “David” Banner. The actor playing Peter, Nicholas Hammond looked exactly like Peter was drawn then. He looks like he could’ve stepped out of a Sal Buscema drawing from 1978. 2) Spider-man’s costume is perfect. The red and blue patterns are in all the right places, its cloth – not latex rubber. They did their research obviously because the eyes are reflective lenses with one-way mirrors exactly like Stan Lee described in the backup features of ASM annual #1. They easily could’ve gone with white cloth for the eyes but they didn’t. 3) Peter has an Aunt May who features in some of the episodes. Not as much as she should have, but at this point in the comics (1978) Peter didn’t live with Aunt May so he didn’t see her as often. This mirrors the comic of the time. 4) Peter goes to Empire State University and even studies undergraduate science there. This is huge since it mirrored the comics of the time perfectly.

  13. Matt Byrd

    Dear Spider Crew, I have yet to hear this one, maybe later in the week I'll get to it. The part I want to hear most of is your takes on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #21, from 1987, I was just thinking of pulling out my trade of it that also includes THE NEWSPAPER version an the late 68 "SPIDERY MANN" where he tries to marries the wasp and you know what happens at the end. After work today maybe I'll save it for after hearing this.

  14. Scarlet Spider

    Would you buy a Spider-Man 1977 comic book based on the live action TV show? - I would drop ASM vol.3 from my pull list in favor of this. That show was so bad it's good entertainment at it's finest.

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