December 5, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Epic Spider-Man Rewatch: Spider-Man (1967) S2 E4

Season Two, Episode Four: "Criminals In The Clouds"

The use of a narrator has become a common occurrence of season two of Spider-Man and it continues here.  I’m not really sure what it adds to the overall experience of the show, but it is another aspect that changes the feel from season one.

As mentioned when I wrote about Swing City, the show now loves to base stories around Peter being on the high school sports team, of which he’ll be on any and all of them it seems.  In this case, it’s football.  As the show begins, Peter is not on the team and is missing out on his current red head lust of the week Susan.  She seems to only have eyes for Flash Thompson Roy Robinson, the star quarterback of the team.  Peter is jealous and decides that with his powers he could run rings around Roy and impress Susan.  He approaches the coach who says that the team is already picked and to come back next year.  But if he wants, he can be the water boy.  Susan will be impressed.

Next we are introduced to the villain of this piece.  The Skymaster.  Who gets his name because he flies around in a blimp.  And that’s about it.  Sure, he has a plan to kidnap Roy Robinson to force his dad to reveal where his chemical company is creating a secret formula for invisibility.  (Is Roy’s dad Dr. Noah Boddy?)  But that is neither here nor there.  We know that he is evil because…he is green.  Strangely, almost all the season two villains are green skinned for some unexplained reason.  But only the leader, none of the henchmen are green.

You may be asking why the Skymaster needs the invisibility serum?  Well, isn’t it obvious?  It’s because he wants to build a “titanic fleet of of flying cities to rule the heavens”.  Um, and how are those two things related?  Is it to replace the “cloud cloaking” technology?  Apparently it will be used to make Skymaster’s army invisible and unstoppable, which makes sense, but has little bearing on flying cities.

After the successful kidnapping, everyone is really concerned about Roy…because he’s going to miss the big game!  Not because he’s been kidnapped and held for ransom.

But Spidey is Spidey and he cares about rescuing Roy and spends the majority of the remainder of the episode swinging around looking for him.

Spider-Man eventually finds the Skymaster by noticing that a group of clouds are moving against the wind.  After much more swinging, Spider-Man finally boards the Skymaster’s blimp and makes short work of his henchmen.  He then confronts Skymaster who not only uses the same skin care products as the Master Technician (from Swing City) but they shop at the same gun store.

During the scuffle the Skymaster accidentally shoots and destroys the blimps controls.  (Even though his henchmen warned him not to shoot in the ship’s cabin.  Probably with Hindenburg visions dancing in his head.)

With the blimp out of control and headed out to crash in the Atlantic Ocean, it’s up to Spider-Man to save the day.  And by “save the day” I mean, save Roy and get him back in time to play in the big game!  Skymaster and his crew?  Oh, they’ll survive the crash into the icy waters.  No worries.

Spider-Man get’s Roy to the game and it has been a rough one.  The jersey on every player on Roy’s team are torn to pieces and full of holes.  Football sure was rougher, or jerseys weren’t very well made back in the sixties.  There’s also only 50 seconds left in the game and the team is down 6-0.

Roy get’s ready for one play, but he’s in no shape since he’s been tied up all day in the Skymaster’s blimp.  But never fear, Spider-Man is here to help.

It’s been an action packed 30 seconds and the score is now 13-6 with 20 seconds left.  In fairness, Roy talks about playing the last quarter, so the previous shot of the score clock probably should have said it was the 3rd quarter and not the 4th…that said, the crowd goes wild when Roy emerges from the locker room with the team having only one last play to win the game.

Somehow the score is now 14-12 and Roy tosses up one last Hail Mary pass.  It is woefully short as Roy warned it would be.  But alas, Spider-Man uses his webbing (which no one notices before, during or after) to pull the ball into the waiting receivers hands to run and avoid way too many tackles for the winning touchdown!  It’s the Cheating Spider-Men 18 Other Guys 14!  What a come back!

After all Spidey has done though, the old Parker luck kicks in and within 20 seconds he sees Roy go off with Susan, gets fired from being the waterboy and having any chance of making the team in the future and gets called a “born loser” by the narrator.  Ouch.  Quite the contrast from season one where everything had a happy ending and an upbeat tune as Spider-Man swings off into the sunset.

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