Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tooniversary: Spider-Woman vs. the Fly (1979)

In the mid-70's, with the original "The Fly" airing frequently in syndication, Marvel Comics decided on their own take on the tragic story.

A common thug named Rick Deacon became a villain known as The Fly, not to be confused, of course, with Archie Comics' heroic character of the same name, nor the stuntman known as The Human Fly, who'd land his own Marvel series a year after this Fly debuted.

However, the staff at DePatie-Freleng never consulted Marvel about their Fly when they were searching for villains to battle Spider-Woman. Instead, the writers opted for a generic mad scientist to turn into a hybrid half-man, half-fly, a la the movie, except that he has a working brain and can talk. He manages to rob our heroine (Joan Van Ark) of her powers long enough for viewers to see the TV version of her origin as she works to regain her powers.

Now, here's "Spider-Woman & The Fly":

Personally, I'd have preferred Deacon-Fly, who could've become a recurring foe if the series had been renewed. Instead, it marks its 35th anniversary this year as a footnote in cartoon history, that being the last series DFE sold to ABC.

Rating: B.


Geed said...

Ugh. 70's Marvel toons. Hate them but really hated Spider-Woman. If I recall correctly, they only created her because Filmation made Web Woman as part of the Super 7 and that was part of the DC/Marvel lawsuit against Filmation.

Side note - Arthur Rankin. Jr from Rankin-Bass passed away on 1/30.

hobbyfan said...

Actually, Spider-Woman made her comics debut a year before Web Woman, which would explain Marvel's issue with Filmation.

Have to read up on Rankin, and then there'll be an obit somewhere.....