Episode Title: Seven Little Superheroes
Greetings once again, true believers! This week’s episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends is about to give you more heroes than you can handle. We have not one, not two, not even a mere three superheroes. Get ready for Seven Little Superheroes.
This time, a mysterious supervillain known as The Chameleon is on the loose. This villain can change his appearance to perfectly copy anyone and he has plans to make life difficult for Spidey, Iceman and Firestar. But that’s not enough for him. He also has his eye set on four other heroes, both famous and obscure: The Submariner, Doctor Strange, Shanna the Jungle Queen, and none other than Captain America himself. Each of the heroes gets a strange letter summoning them to Wolf Island Mansion for a “most unusual get together.” There’s one problem, though. Since Aunt May is visiting a friend with cats for the weekend, the Spider Friends have no choice but to bring the dog, Miss Lion, along for the trip.
Once they get to the creepy mansion, they meet the other four superheroes. Then The Chameleon wastes no time setting his plan into action. He begins eliminating the heroes one by one; locking them in his dungeon. Of course, a big part of his plan involves impersonating the various heroes to trick the others. Eventually, Spidey is the last hero not to be captured, so it’s up to him to rescue the others and stop The Chameleon from escaping.
This is a strange, but fun episode. First of all, it’s nice to see more Marvel characters make appearances in this series. We actually get some pretty big names in this one. I mean they don’t come much bigger in the Marvel universe than Captain America! At the same time we get the fairly obscure Shanna the Jungle Queen. In the comics she’s actually Shanna the She-Devil, but that must’ve been a name that wasn’t kid friendly enough for Saturday morning cartoons. Though it’s nice that these characters put in an appearance, since there are so many of them they all feel a bit underused. Poor Sub Mariner is the first to be eliminated and thus ends up taking a back seat through much of the episode. I doubt the arrogant Prince of Atlantis would stand for such a thing.
The highlight of the episode, though, is the brilliant vocal talents of Hans Conried playing The Chameleon. If you don’t know who Hans Conried is…well first of all shame on you! He’s an actor who has appeared in tons of film and TV roles, including many other vocal parts for cartoons. Probably his most famous voice is his iconic turn as Captain Hook in Disney’s Peter Pan. Conried’s portrayal of The Chameleon is wonderfully theatrical and over-the-top. It is a joy to behold.
At times it feels a bit like there is too much going on in this episode, but it still manages to be a fun ride. Once again, though, we get the annoying presence of Miss Lion. My eyes rolled in disgust when the Spider Friends decide they have to take her with them on the trip. She does end up playing a role in things, though. In true dog fashion she is able to tell the difference between the real Spidey and The Chameleon disguised as Spidey. So I guess she ends up being useful…but did we really need to bring the cutsey dog with?
Next time one of Spidey’s arch enemies shows up. The one and only Electro! And it’s the version with the yellow lightning bolt mask this time…none of this blue man group lookin’ Jamie Foxx stuff. See you next time for Video Man!