Spider-Man on the Electric Company #70sTVshows

Sony and Marvel/Disney are reportedly close to selecting a new actor to portray Peter Parker’s Spider-Man on-screen. The rumor mill has identified Asa Butterfield as the front-runner, though this has not yet been confirmed. He was pretty good in Ender’s Game, so I am happy with this choice, if it turns out to be true.

Of course, this will be the third silver screen Spider-Man since Y2K. Hopefully it will be the last for at least a few years.

All this talk of Spider-Man has me thinking back to my very early childhood in the late 1970s. There was a show called The Electric Company that showed on my local PBS station–probably in between Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Like many PBS programs, The Electric Company was comprised of various short segments. My favorite series of segments (if you haven’t guessed by now) was “Spidey’s Super Stories.”

These were days before CGI, and the show operated on a public television budget. The actor didn’t even have muscles. The action all took place within comic panels, and Spidey even talked with speech bubbles. None of the other characters did, but he did. For webs, they used very bad animation to show the shooting, to be replaced by a simple rope net on-screen.

Yet to my young mind, this was Spider-Man.

Thanks to YouTube user “TheWebOfTheSpider” for uploading the above and other early Spider-Man videos.

There were several other attempts at bringing Spider-Man to the large and small screens from the 1960s to the 1980s. You can read the whole story here, courtesy of The Reel Bits.

As one of Marvel’s most popular and most recognizable characters, it’s “amazing” (pun intended) that Spider-Man has had such bad luck in being brought to life.




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