While Peter has his share of “Parker luck” in this series, they sure never play up the unpopular science nerd persona that Peter had in high school when he first became Spider-Man. In the comics, once he graduated and went on to college his popularity seemed to increase, so it aligns here with Peter’s early Spider-Man days being in college. I think. You know, I’m really not sure. Either way, no comic version of Spider-Man ever had Peter Parker, star athlete, even if he could run rings around anyone on any team. It seems to be a popular notion in this series though as this episode shows Peter as a stud pitcher on the school baseball team.
Well, he is on the team. I think…he is also worried about making the team, so maybe he is just playing in an exhibition game as part of try outs. As a pitcher, he’s not sure he will even get in the game to pitch, though it looks like he was supposed to start. And without him being there they will forfeit…though the game seems to continue on just fine when he’s not there and off playing Spider-Man. In any case, the most important lesson we learn here is that men didn’t have nipples in 1968.
While everyone is so focused on the baseball game that looks like it is straight out of a Peanuts cartoon, a (surprisingly not green) villain by the name of Shakespeare is putting his plan to rob a museum into motion. Let me break the plan down for you. Step one, release one single ape from his cage in the zoo, causing panic and all the nearby security, including those at the museum to be sent to help. Step two, have your gang walk into the museum dressed as a bunch of apes because…well, I’m not sure why. There is one guard left after the zoo fiasco and while he does faint when he sees an ape with a gun wearing a derby, I’m sure they could have subdued him otherwise.
Over at the zoo, the animators discover they can reuse animation other than that of Spider-Man swinging around to fill time. The same dozen people run away screaming from the released ape over and over and over and over again. That’s not to say that there is no never ending web-swinging, just not quite as much. At least he swings by Ms. Trubble’s bookstore and Parafino’s Wax Museum for a bit of universe building.
Let’s keep in mind that the ball field, the zoo and the museum are all in the same park. You can even see the museum in the establishing shots of the ball park. This makes sense for Shakespeare’s free the ape to draw the guards away from the museum point of view. What makes little sense is the proximity when it comes to Peter/Spider-Man.
Peter hears about the ape breakout at the zoo while he is on his way to the game. We have no idea how far from the park he is, so we’ll give a pass here to the amount of web swinging Spider-Man has to do to get there and take care of the ape situation. But playing hero means Peter is late for the game. He better get over to the field ASAP. The field that is right next to the zoo (even enforced by a line of dialogue by a security guard). But to get to the field Spider-Man has to swing and swing and swing. Maybe he had to swing back to wherever he started and retrieve his clothes for the game. Silly, but maybe we can let it go.
When Peter arrives at the game he is relegated to the bullpen. But with the starting pitcher getting rocked, the coach tells Peter to retrieve a ball that just went over the fence and then start warming up. Peter finds the ball on the front lawn of the museum, just to reinforce how close the field is. While retrieving the ball, Peter comes across one of the museum workers (whose voice changes every other sentence) who tells him that he saw apes going through the gem collection. (The fake-apes make a comment that their appearance causes people to run away, but their dressing as apes doesn’t really factor much into any sensible plan. And to show how unneccary the ape costumes were, to get out of the museum with the diamond, they change back into civilian clothing.) Peter sees right through the fake-ape charade and knows Spider-Man needs to get into action!
So Peter runs off and changes…and then takes forever swinging around to get back to the museum. How far did he go to change? He was literally at the museum already.
As Spider-Man finally gets back to the museum he defeats Shakespeare’s gang by hiding inside a suit of armor. Ok. We’ll also ignore how exactly he got into the armor in the first place after Shakespeare uses his gold gun (natch) to cover the place in liquid latex…that dissolves after about 10 seconds. Spider-Man then manages to overcome the fact that his spider-sense does not work on canes and is able to defeat Shakespeare and get the diamond back.
At which point, you’d assume that Spider-Man would return the diamond and then spend forever swinging back to his game that is right next door. When Peter does get back, he is immediately inserted in the game. How long did the coach think he was warming up for?
Peter has to get what amounts to a one strike save and somehow while on the mound, having thrown no warm up pitches, he looks in his glove and finds…the baseball shaped diamond from the museum. Say what? Not only does this make absolutely no sense, but now we find out that J. Jonah Jameson was right all along. Spider-Man is a menace, having stolen a million dollar diamond.
2 thoughts on “Epic Spider-Man Rewatch: Spider-Man (1967) S2 E6”
Didn’t Ultimate Spider-Man try out for the school basketball team before he put the webs on?
I don’t recall. But that’s a whole different beast than a show in 1968 based on the comics of that era.