Wednesday, August 13, 2014

From Comics to Toons: Spider-Woman hits Egypt (Pyramids of Terror, 1979)

I think part of the reason Spider-Woman was cancelled after just 1 season was because it was separated from the rest of the superhero cartoons on ABC's schedule in 1979. The network placed Scooby & Scrappy-Doo in between Plastic Man and Spider-Woman, which proved to be a momentum killer for action fans. This theory is likely to add fuel to the fire for all those Scrappy haters, but how else to explain how DePatie-Freleng's last series before being sold to Marvel could be such a flop?

One other explanation might be the producers decided to give Jessica Drew (Joan Van Ark, Knots Landing), the alter ego of Spider-Woman, a job in journalism, like Peter (Spider-Man) Parker, except she is the publisher of the fictional Justice magazine, while Peter has been a photographer for the Daily Bugle, going so far away from Jessica's true comics origins, which had been, ah, spun 2 years earlier.

Anyway, Spider-Man returned to Saturday mornings to welcome his distaff counterpart to ABC, but he needs her help to get out of the "Pyramids of Terror".

I remember seeing this when it first aired, and, at the time, I felt this was a little cheesy. Unfortunately, it'd be that way for much of the series.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

It is corny. but then again a lot of shows from that period were.

I find it funny how a woman who is a publisher of a periodical has the time to not only do her job but fight crime! At least it made sense for Batman and Green Arrow to do their heroic duties - both being rich and not having to work in conventional jobs. Remember the 1970s Filmation version of Batman & Robin? Barbra Gordon got an upgrade from librarian to D.A. ! I now know it was meant to give feminists a bone by showing women were taking on more roles in male dominated fields; but knowing how busy DAs are, there's no way Barbara would have been able to do it and be Batgirl!

I wouldn't mind of reboot of this character. If there was one thing about this show I wasn't crazy about, it was that jokes were often at the expense of Spiderman during his occasional cameos. Yeah, it's her show and all, but it seemed unnecessary to me. I never found male bashing funny.

hobbyfan said...

Neither did I.

Marvel has released "motion comics" online in recent years, including Spider-Woman, reflecting creative changes in the comics in the intervening years since the cartoon ended. Would Marvel consider a new Spider-Woman animated series? As long as Jeph Loeb is involved, with his mindset, not now.