Days before the theatrical release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Screen Junkies releases an Honest Trailer for a Spider-Man series that has to be seen to be believed: Supaidāman (スパイダーマン). As one of the most adapted superhero franchises of all time, the wall-crawler has been on plenty of TV adventures over the years, including the ever meme-able 1960s animated Spider-Man, Fox's 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and the 1970s live-action The Amazing Spider-Man. But any Spidey fan who knows the latter as the most ridiculously bad adaptation of the comic series may have to think twice after checking out Supaidāman.
The live-action show was the result of a licensing deal between Marvel and Toei, the studio famous for global phenomenons like Power Ranger, Dragon Ball Z, and Sailor Moon. However, the story radically departs from Peter Parker's radioactive spider origin. The show follows a motocross racer named Takuya Yamashiro, who encounters a spaceship inhabited by warriors of Planet Spider. The last surviving soldier on the ship infuses Takuya with his blood in order to give him spider-like powers, so that he can battle the sinister Professor Monster, who's planning to take over the Earth. Forty-one episodes were aired in Japan from 1978 to 1979, and the series was at one time released online with English subtitles by Marvel.
In their latest Honest Trailer, Screen Junkies point to the show's anonymity by opening the trailer cut with "So, nobody asked for this, it's just for us." Since then, it's achieved over half a million views in less than 24 hours. Check out the video below:
As noted by the trailer, perhaps the show's greatest contributions are the elements that Toei eventually used in Super Sentai, aka Power Rangers. The giant robots, armored vehicles, putty-based bad guys, and even the bracelet transformation devices all went on to become staples in dozens of Power Rangers-inspired kids shows.
The gift of Supaidāman is a reminder that Spider-Man's timelessness comes largely from its ability to walk a solid line between lunacy and severity. The cheesy lines, dramatic death sequences, and over-the-top nefarious laughter seen in the Honest Trailer not only reframe everything about Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, but also celebrate all the laughs, gasps, optimism, and despair that the various TV and film versions have delivered over the decades. The deaths of Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy never fail to bring on the painful emotions, just as Peter Parker and Miles Morales' spunky wit always generates elation. With Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse already posed to be a big hit and Spider-Man: Far From Home coming up on the horizon, the adventures don't appear to be stopping any time soon.
Source: Screen Junkies
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) release date: Dec 14, 2018