Episode Title: Along Came Spidey
When it was announced a few months ago that Sony would be starting over with Spider-Man movies AGAIN, and that the web-slinger would join the MCU, some fans started getting nervous. Would we be getting the Spider-Man origin story all over again!?! I understand the reservations with having a 3rd big screen version of the story, but you gotta admit that Spidey’s origin story is one of the best. Today’s episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends gives us yet another take on the classic story in Along Came Spidey.
The episode begins with a prison break by supervillain The Shocker. Fresh out of the joint, this baddie decides to pull a jewel heist and, wouldn’t you know it, Peter, Bobby, and Anjelica are in close proximity. Problem is, so is Aunt May. During the battle, Aunt May ends up injured and is sent off to the hospital. This causes Peter to start worrying about losing Aunt May and thinks he should give up being Spider-Man. He then begins to remember the time he lost Uncle Ben right after he got his powers.
From here, a flashback shows us the awkward teenaged Peter Parker, and his being picked on by the likes of Flash Thompson. We then see the radioactive spider incident and Peter’s discovery of his new powers. He decides to put them to use in a wrestling match to try and win $100. After that success he goes on to become a big TV star. One day he has the opportunity to stop a thief but doesn’t step in. Of course, later this thief ends up killing Uncle Ben and Spidey learns that, let’s say it together, “with great power comes great responsibility.” After recalling the story, Peter resolves that he can’t quit now and must bring The Shocker to justice.
This episode is a pretty decent retelling of the Spidey origin story that sticks pretty close to the original comic story. Because of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man film series, I’d grown used to the elimination of the TV star Spidey part of the story. It’s in the original comic story, though, but it is a sillier aspect of the story. The biggest problem with this retelling, however, is that there isn’t a whole lot of emotional impact to the death Uncle Ben. Remember, this is a kids show, so we don’t see any violence and we don’t see Peter with his dying Uncle. All we see is cop cars in front of the house and then Spidey heads off to find the crook. So, while it’s the original story we all know, it lacks the emotional wallop that other versions have had.
The story with The Shocker that bookends this episode is also a bit lacking. I admit, I don’t entirely get this villain or what his MO is. He just seems to want to use his little hand zappers to make buildings crumble. He doesn’t really seem to have any big fantastic scheme. He’s essentially just a vandall in a yellow jumpsuit. Plus, the whole episode is set in motion because he uses his little zapper things to bust out of prison. Wouldn’t those things have been locked away someplace? How did he get them back? Details like this require too much thinking for the writers of a kids show so it’s not brought up.
I’m not saying this is a bad episode. I love the Spider-Man origin story and I’m always down for seeing the way the different big and small screen versions of the character have presented it. Though this one stays true to the original comic version, it’s been done better. Next time we cover the third and final episode of the short season two with A Fire-Star is Born.