ⓘ Spider-Man (1967 TV series)


ⓘ Spider-Man (1967 TV series)

Spider-Man is an animated television series in the superhero fiction genre. It was the original animated TV series based on the Spider-Man comic book series created by writer Stan Lee and by artist Steve Ditko, and was jointly produced in Canada and the United States. The first two seasons aired on the ABC television network, and the third was distributed in syndication. Grantray-Lawrence Animation produced the first season, and seasons two and three were produced by Krantz Films in New York City. The show starred the voice of Paul Soles as Peter Parker. The series ran from September 9, 1967, to June 14, 1970.


1. Synopsis

The series revolved around teenager Peter Parker, a high school student who develops extraordinary strength and spider-like powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Parker decides to become a crime-fighting, costumed superhero, but must deal with family tragedies, personal problems and the insecurity of youth. As Spider-Man, Parker risks his life to fight super-powered criminals such as Doctor Octopus, Mysterio and the Green Goblin. Peter is also a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle, but editor J. Jonah Jameson considers Spider-Man a criminal and writes front-page headlines critical of his activities.

The first season dealt primarily with Peters job at the Daily Bugle, focusing on his relationship with Jameson, his romance with receptionist Betty Brant, and often being called into action as his alter ego. Peters life, apart from the Bugle office and his Aunt Mays Forest Hills home, was rarely dealt with in early episodes. Although he was never seen at college, he would sometimes visit professors he knew such as the opening of "Sub-Zero for Spidey", when he went to see Doctor Smartyr. Peters character was designed by Steve Ditko and art consultant John Romita, Sr.

Season ones stories mainly involved classic Spider-Man villains from the comic-book series, whose captures were often accompanied by a note signed by "your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man". Stan Lee was the story consultant for this season. Seasons two and three, produced by Ralph Bakshi, almost entirely eliminated villains from the comic book as a cost-cutting measure in favor of generic, green-skinned, magical monsters; this enabled the reuse of stock footage from Rocket Robin Hood, another animated series produced by Bakshi.


2.1. Cast Regular credited voice providers

  • Peg Dixon – Betty Brant, Mrs. Conners, May Parker
  • Paul Soles – Peter Parker / Spider-Man, Ox, Fakir in "The Fantastic Fakir", Vulture in "The Vultures Prey," "To Catch a Spider"
  • Paul Kligman – J. Jonah Jameson, Fiddler/Otto in "Fiddler on the Loose", Hippie Poet in "Blueprint for Crime" Lee Patterson in "The Spider and the Fly"
  • Bernard Cowan – Narrator, Cowboy, Desperado in "Blueprint for Crime", Dr. Matto Magneto in "The Revenge of Dr. Magneto" Dr. Von Schlick in "The Slippery Dr. Von Schlick", Plutonian Leader in "Sub-Zero for Spidey"

2.2. Cast Semi-regular uncredited voice providers

  • J. Frank Willis – Cyrus Flintridge III
  • Henry Ramer – Henry Smythe, Dr. Noah Boddy, Grandini the Mystic in "The Witching Hour", Lee Patterson in "Trick or Treachery", Mr. Flintridge in "The Spider and the Fly"
  • Ed McNamara – Rhino, Blackbeard in "Night of the Villains", Vulcan in "Here Comes Trubble"
  • Carl Banas – Scorpion, Charles Cameo in "Double Identity", Dr. Manta in "Phantom from the Depths of Time", Kotep in "The Evil Sorcerer"
  • Tom Harvey – Electro, Doctor Octopus in "The Terrible Triumph of Doctor Octopus", Farley Stillwell, Kingpin, Sandman, Baron von Rantenraven in "Sky Harbor", Director in "The Menace of Mysterio", Dr. Atlantean in "Up From Nowhere", Master Vine in "Vine", Mugs Riley in "Menace from the Bottom of the World" and "Spider-Man Battles the Molemen", Clive in "Blotto"
  • Max Ferguson – Fifth Avenue Phantom, The Executioner of Paris
  • Vern Chapman – Doctor Octopus in "The Power of Dr. Octopus"
  • Jack Mather – Jesse James
  • Claude Ray – Charles Cameo in "The Sinister Prime Minister"
  • Billie Mae Richards – Billy Conners
  • Chris Wiggins – Mysterio, Blackwell the Magician, Harley Clivendon, Boomer in "Thunder Rumble", Infinata in "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension"
  • Frank Perry – Captain, James Boothe
  • Gillie Fenwick – Lizard Man/Dr. Curtis Conners, Vulture in "The Sky is Falling," "The Winged Thing", Doctor Smartyr, Pardo in "Pardo Presents", Plotter in "Blueprint for Crime"
  • Alfie Scopp – Jewelry Store Clerk in "The Dark Terrors", Stan Patterson in "The Spider and the Fly"
  • Len Carlson – Green Goblin, Captain Ned Stacy, Parafino, Bolton in "Thunder Rumble", Stan Patterson in "Trick or Treachery"


3.1. Credits First season

Produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation

  • Backgrounds: Curt Perkins, Dick Thomas, Bill Butler, Mike Kawaguchi
  • Sound Editor: Hank Goetzenberg
  • Theme Song Written by Bob Harris and Paul Francis Webster
  • Re-Recording: Producers Sound Service
  • A GrantRay-Lawrence Production in Association With Steve Krantz Productions Krantz Films, Inc.
  • Animation Directors: Grant Simmons, Clyde Geronimi, Sid Marcus
  • Animators: Hal Ambro, Robert Bentley, Dan Bessie, George Cannata, Herman Cohen, John Dunn, I. Howard Ellis, Bill House, Tom McDonald, Chic Otterstrom, Don Schloat, Ralph Somerville, Reuben Timmins, Harvey Toombs, Kay Wright
  • Creative Consultants: Stan Lee called "Smilin" Stan Lee, John Romita, Sr. called "Jazzy" Johnny Romita, respective story and art consultants
  • Producer: Ray Patterson
  • Animation Checking: Rollie Greenwood, Dave Hoffman
  • Music Composed and Conducted by Ray Ellis
  • Production Supervised by Robert "Tiger" West
  • Production Manager: Gene Meyers
  • Story Direction: June Patterson
  • Layout: Ray Aragon, Joe Asturino, Herb Hazelton, Jim Mueller, C.L. Hartman, John Ewing, Joel Seibel
  • Story Material: Bill Danch, Al Bertino, Dick Robbins, Dick Cassarino, Phil Babet
  • Film Editor: Bryce Corso
  • Voices: Bernard Cowan, Paul Kligman, Paul Soles, Peg Dixon
  • Executive Producer: Robert L. Lawrence

3.2. Credits Second season

Produced by Krantz Animation inc

  • Assistant Director: Cosmo Anzilotti
  • Story Supervision: Ralph Bakshi
  • Story Material: Ira Turek, Lin Carter, Fred Halliday
  • Music and Effects Editing: Hank Goetzenberg, Inc.
  • Distributed by Steve Krantz Productions Krantz Films, Inc.
  • Voices: Paul Kligman, Paul Soles, Peg Dixon
  • Executive Producer and Animation Director: Ralph Bakshi
  • Animators: Clifford Augustson, Douglas Crane, Frank Enders, John Gentilella, Earl James, Martin Taras, Nick Tafuri, Terry Tarricone
  • Camera: Jerry Smith, Larry Hogan
  • Production Manager: Jerry Schultz
  • Production Supervised by Sylvia White
  • Backgrounds: John Vita, Richard Thomas
  • Produced by Krantz Animation, Inc.
  • Dialogue Direction: Bernard Cowan
  • Layout: Gray Morrow
  • Theme Song Written by Bob Harris and Paul Francis Webster
  • Film Editors: Howard Kaiser, George Copeland
  • Music Composed and Conducted by Ray Ellis
  • Animation Checking: Barbara Donatelli

3.3. Credits Third season

Produced by Krantz Animation

  • West Coast Animators: Robert Bentley, Ralph Somerville, Robert Taylor, Reuben Timmins, Karran Wright
  • Music and Effects Editing: Hank Goetzenberg, Inc.
  • Camera: Jerry Smith, Larry Hogan
  • Theme Song Written by Bob Harris and Paul Francis Webster
  • Voices: Paul Kligman, Paul Soles, Peg Dixon
  • Story Supervision: Ralph Bakshi
  • Production Manager: Jerry Schultz
  • Story Material: Ira Turek, Lin Carter, Fred Halliday
  • Based on an original character creation by Stan Lee
  • West Coast Animation Director: Grant Simmons
  • Animators: Clifford Augustson, Douglas Crane, Frank Enders, John Gentilella, Richard Hall, Earl James, Martin Taras, Nick Tafuri, Terry Tarricone
  • Color Checking: Barbara Donatelli
  • Assistant Director: Cosmo Anzilotti
  • Music Composed and Conducted by Ray Ellis
  • Backgrounds: John Vita, Bob Owen, Richard H. Thomas
  • Film Editors: Howard Kaiser, George Copeland, Richard Calamari
  • Executive Producer and Animation Director: Ralph Bakshi
  • Layout: Gray Morrow
  • Production Supervised by Sylvia White
  • Dialogue Direction: Bernard Cowan
  • Animation Checking: Rena Smith


4.1. Production Budget

Because of the shows limited budget, Spider-Mans costume only has webbed areas on his head, arms and boots; the rest is plain, except for the spiders on his chest and back. The series relied on reused stock animation, including Spider-Man swinging across the New York City skyline and Peter stripping off his white dress shirt to reveal his spider suit. Character movement was also minimized.

The second and third seasons were produced on a reduced budget by Krantz Films under Ralph Bakshi. The cost-cutting is most apparent in the third season, with two episodes reusing almost all the footage from two Rocket Robin Hood episodes notably the season-three Rocket Robin Hood episode, "Dementia 5" and remaking previous episodes with minimal changes.

Several stories during this time were written by noted science fiction/fantasy author Lin Carter.

An error in Spider-Mans costume appeared throughout season one, with the spider on his costume having only six legs. By season two new drawings of the costume showed an eight-legged spider, but reused footage from season one continued that seasons error.

The second- and third-season episodes had a darker tone, with dark-colored settings, psychedelic images and atmospheric music. Bakshi explored Peters everyday life as a soft-spoken college student, such as his failure to make the football team in "Criminals in the Clouds" and becoming a star pitcher for the baseball team in "Diamond Dust". He dated a variety of women who were either concealing secrets "Home" or waited angrily for him while Spider-Man saved the city from destruction "Swing City". Peters most consistent love interest was Susan Shaw, who first appeared in "Criminals in the Clouds" and continued to appear in season-two and -three episodes, even though her appearance changed from episode to episode. Bakshi provided the first origin story for Spider-Man presented on television, "The Origin of Spider-Man," which actually used chunks of Stan Lees dialogue from The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 - specifically, "In the Beginning", published in July 1968, a few months before the episode aired.


4.2. Production Rocket Robin Hood footage

"Phantom from the Depths of Time" and "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension" were largely recycled animation from two episodes "From Menace to Menace" and "Dementia Five" of the earlier series Rocket Robin Hood, with Spider-Man substituted for Rocket Robin Hood on the animation cels.


4.3. Production Theme song

The shows theme song has become a popular standard. Its lyrics were written by Academy-Award winner Paul Francis Webster, with music composed by Bob Harris.

The song is most recognized by its opening line, "Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can."

The 2002 and 2004 film versions included Jayce Bartok and Elyse Dinh, respectively, busking the song. Both films have the song at the end of the credits; the 2002 adaptation featured the original 1967 recording, and 2004s Spider-Man 2 has a re-recording by Michael Buble. 2007s Spider-Man 3 features a performance of the song by a marching band at a public rally for Spider-Man. In 2014s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter uses a version of the theme as his ringtone. In 2017s Spider-Man: Homecoming, an orchestral version plays over the Marvel Studios title card sequence. In 2018s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the theme is briefly played at the beginning, when the original Peter Parker says he "had a catchy theme song".

The shows incidental music uses jangling surf guitar, brass lines and jazzy scoring. The first seasons score was original, with season two and three utilizing other music from the KPM, Capitol, Conroy and Josef Weinberger libraries.


5. Broadcast schedule

Spider-Man was initially transmitted in the U.S. on Saturday mornings on ABC. The first episode, "The Power Of Doctor Octopus"/"Sub-Zero For Spidey," premiered on September 9, 1967. During the first and second seasons, the show was broadcast at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. ABCs last Saturday-morning broadcast of Spider-Man was on August 30, 1969, with 39 half-hour episodes many with two stories aired. The show went on hiatus until the following March, when a third season began a six-month run from March 22 to September 6, 1970 on Sunday mornings at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. It was rerun in syndication in the United States during the 1970s, usually as part of local stations after-school cartoon block. In Canada, the series aired on CTV Network affiliates on Saturday morning and other time slots during the 1970s and 1980s.

In Japan, the series was broadcast on TV Tokyo from July 23, 1974 to August 30 with an episode also aired on October 10 the same year episode title unknown. It was broadcast again from November 30, 1974 to March 29, 1975. Kei Tomiyama was in charge of the Japanese version voice actor. In June 1986 it was broadcast on TV Tokyo again and ended in November of the same year. However, the voice actor was changed to Hideyuki Tanaka.

In 1977 Spider-Man was broadcast abroad, airing in several international markets for the first time. The Spanish and Italian versions used a different theme song, written by Erick Bulling and Santiago and sung by Chilean singer Guillermo "Memo" Aguirre, dubbed over the original introduction. In the Italian version, the shows title Luomo Ragno was superimposed in large yellow type over the first two shots of Spider-Man swinging through the city.

The series aired on ABC Family in 2002 as part of the networks Memorial Day weekend-long "Spidey-Mania" marathon to coincide with the film-version release. It was not seen again until a 2004 "Spidey-Mania" marathon coinciding with the release of Spider-Man 2, its last ABC Family appearance in the U.S.

In September 2008, the series appeared in Canada on Teletoon Retro. A French-language dub aired on Radio-Canadas Saturday-morning lineup into the mid-2000s. Episodes of the series have been posted in the "Videos" section of the Marvel website.


6.1. Home video releases VHS

A number of episodes were released on VHS during the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s, usually compiled with other Marvel Comics characters cartoons. The early-2000s releases were included as bonus episodes with the 1990s animated series. The episodes on The Ultimate Villain Showdown and The Return Of The Green Goblin were mastered from pre-2004 tapes, and the remaining tapes, Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock and Daredevil Meets Spider-Man, used the 2004 remastered versions.


6.2. Home video releases DVD

In 2008 and 2009 Morningstar Entertainment released a number of episodes on DVD in Canada. These were reissues mastered from VHS and Betamax copies of the 1985 Prism Video Marvel Video Library. Compared to the early 2000s DVDs by Disney, the video and audio quality on the Morningstar are poor.

On June 29, 2004, Buena Vista Home Entertainment whose parent company would acquire Marvel five years later released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 as Spider-Man – The 67 Collection. The six-disc box set, with all 52 unedited, uncut original episodes of the TV series and an introduction by creator Stan Lee, was discontinued after a few years. Pre-owned copies go for high prices online today and there are currently no plans for Marvel and Disney to re-release the set.

On November 10, 2008, the UK company Liberation Entertainment released the first season of Spider-Man as The Original 67 Series on Region 2 DVD. Another UK company, ClearVision, later acquired the Region 2 rights.


7. Popular culture

Due to the low budget and odd nature of some of the still shots, the 1960s series has become popular with Internet culture. The various images and memes created from the show often portrayed Spider-Man as an online troll of sorts, the opposite of the characters true nature.

During the "Spider-Verse" storyline, a variation of the TV shows universe appears with the designation of Earth-67. The Spider-Army recruit the Spider-Man of Earth-67 in order to help fight the Inheritors.

In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man 2099 develops a device allowing inter-dimensional travel and goes to the "beginning" at Earth-67 where he encounters the local Spider-Man voiced by Jorma Taccone with the character being credited as "Last Dude" with footage from "Double Identity" being used. The scene is a nod to a popular internet meme based on a scene from "Double Identity" featuring two Spider-Mans pointing at each other.