Origin of the Spider-Friends

Tivo recently upgraded the Tivo service to include better suggestions. I am now being treated to a variety of new surprises on my TiVo every day. One of the most recent ones includes the “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends” episode “Origin of the Spider-Friends.” Here’s a synopsis from Spider-Friends.com:

While attending an inventors convention, where Tony Stark is demonstrating his new computer devised for crime detection, Peter Parker is mesmerized by the beauty of Angelica Jones. All of a sudden the Beetle bursts in through the ceiling to steal Stark’s invention. Peter changes to Spider-Man only to find Iceman and Firestar already on the scene. The Beetle escapes without the invention. Later, as Peter is talking to Angelica and her friend Bobby Drake in the Cafeteria, a fire breaks out in the science lab. Peter changes in a storage room. He begins to put out the fire as Spidey, and coincidentally Iceman and Firestar show up. That night, Peter finds that his camera took pictures when it was left in the storage room. What develops are pictures of Angelica turning into Firestar. This makes him realize that Bobby must be Iceman. The three decide to join forces while the Beetle kidnaps Tony Stark, giving The Beetle access to his newest invention, the Power Booster.

It’s amazing how your tastes change as you age. As a child, I thought this was one of the greatest shows on TV. I thought it was almost as good as the Superfriends! But watching this in 2006, the show just doesn’t hold up as well. I can deal with the corney dialog and silly come-backs, the headquarters that Aunt May never finds, and even the super-computer that shorts out when she is vacuuming, but what they did to Tony Stark (Iron Man) was just wrong. His voice sounded like a poor imitation of James Earl Jones. As I watched him, all I kept picturing was Brack’s dad on “The Brak Show.” How could anyone watch Tony Stark in this episode with a straight face? And why didn’t Iron Man ever show up after The Beetle takes Stark’s invention?

Yeah, I know. Sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and say “It’s just a cartoon.”

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