Japanese 'Spider-Man' returns to Marvel with two episodes

Marvel, which previously uploaded episodes of the Japanese live-action Spider-Man series in 2009, has dusted off a couple of those gems in anticipation of The Amazing Spider-Man #12, which introduces Takuya Yamashiro and his giant battle robot Leopardon as part of the "Spider-Verse" crossover.

Produced by Toei Company, the Japanese Spider-Man aired for 41 episodes, from May 1978 to March 1979. Although licensed from Marvel, beyond the hero's signature costume, the series bore little resemblance to the publisher's comics.

"If you've never seen an episode of the Japanese, live action Spider-Man show from the '70s, then you are in for a treat!" says Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott. "He is like no Spidey you've ever seen before! Sure, he's got spider-sense, can climb walls, and swing on a web ... but he's also got the Spider-Machine GP7, a flying, missile-launching race car-- and a leopard-headed spaceship, Marveller,  that transforms into his giant robot, LEOPARDON! And no, it's not a Power Ranger-style robot. Leopardon came FIRST. So all those Power Ranger/Sentai shows? THEY had a Leopardon-style robot. Deal with it."

Watch Episode 1, "The Time of Revenge Has Come! Beat Down Iron Cross Group!," and Episode 7, "Fearful Hit Tune! Song Dancing Murder Rock," below. The Amazing Spider-Man #12 goes on sale Wednesday.

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