May 14, 2009

Japanese Spider-Man!

Back in the late 70's, Marvel had made a deal with Toei, a Japanese film and television company, that allowed them to use the Marvel characters in any way they saw fit. In exchange? Probably large sacks of money (with a large $ painted on them) that were hand delivered to the states by Godzilla himself. The result? The shittiest best Spider-Man ever!

Peter Parker, or rather Takuya Yamashiro, is a motorcycle racer who acquires not only radioactive spider powers, but also a giant battle cruiser called Marveller that transforms into the fighting robot Leopardon. He endlessly goes head-to-head with the villainous Professor Monster, Amazoness, and their evil army of Iron Cross Group soldiers. I'm totally serious. And did I mention it takes place in Angel Grove? ( it doesn't)

You can stream the first 11 episodes of this exilharating 41 episode series over at Here's episode 9, which had my favorite title, "Motion Accessory is a Loveful Beetle Insect Spy." Enjoy! (and if you don't feel like sitting through the whole thing, skip to the 20:00 mark and watch the last few minutes)

Note: Although I like the image of Godzilla carrying bags of money over the Atlantic, in 1978 he would've been property of Toho, a rival company to Toei. Although Toei now owns Toho, back then I'm sure the business deal probably went down with suits and wire transfers. Not giant lizards.