Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Retro Spider

There were many close-to-feature Marvel characters that never really made it into the limelight as much as others had. Take, for example, Hawkeye, or Firestar, or the Sub-mariner (Namor). It a little like that situation when a friend ask you if you personally know that person walking in the distance, and you reply "I know 'em, but I don't really know 'em."

In the comics, Jessica Drew became Spider-Woman in 1977. She subsequently had her own cartoon show in 1979. And I'm sure, like myself, only a handful of Bruneians can remember it ! 

The series was produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and Marvel Comics Animation, and aired until 1980 for only one season of sixteen episodes, on the ABC-TV network. It was DePatie-Freleng's final series before being reincorporation as Marvel Productions (info courtesy of Wikipedia)

According to the title sequence (of the cartoon), Jessica Drew was bitten by a poisonous spider as a child; her father (Alexander Drew) saved her life by injecting her with an experimental "spider serum," which also granted her superhuman powers. As an adult, Jessica is a magazine editor, but when trouble arises, Jessica slips away to change into Spider-Woman.

Pundits like to say that the Spider-Woman show was specifically created for the Spider-Man series (also of that era) to have a female / feminine-orientated counterpart - an idea formulated by Marvel long before any other comic companies thought of it. Just watching the title sequence is enough to give one the hint that the production of the show relates back to the Spider-Man ones.

Spider-Woman is yet another childhood cartoon show of the superhero vein that has come and gone so abruptly. I'm glad I got the chance to revisit the memory this sunny morning years down the line, especially when I should be working.

PS: Spider-Women is now a playable character in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game series.