Spider-Man: 'The man who saved Toei's heroes'

Spurred by Marvel.com's streaming of episodes from Toei Company's 1978 Spider-Man TV series, Matt Alt dusts off his translation of the show's origins -- courtesy of liner notes that accompanied a Soul of Chogokin toy, naturally:

Even though Toei added their own original elements -- such as Spiderman's powers originating from "Planet Spider" rather than a radioactive spider and the introduction of the "Iron Cross Army" as his sworn enemy -- they respected the original's portrayal of Spiderman as a less than perfect hero, as symbolized by the show's ending theme. There were also no shortage of episodes with a pessimistic mood. But Toei ensured a balance by putting a spectacular climax in every episode: the appearance of the giant robot Leopaldon. The catharsis of Spiderman's bug-eyed monster enemies getting blown into smithereens by Leopaldon's explosive attacks was, at times, a much-needed stress valve for viewers subjected to thirty minutes of somber and stressful drama.

Nothing relieves stress like blowing up bug-eyed monsters. There's more at the link, of course.

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