Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 2, Episode 19

Background

To cage or not to cage? That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler to stay off the superhero's radar or to take arms and imprison him once and for all? Ah that is the rub.

And that is the end of the faux-Shakespeare for today, class. My brain hurts now.

This episode is based on the events in Amazing Spider-Man #651

Enough setup, the cartoon's a-startin'.

Story 'To Cage a Spider'

  Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 2, Episode 19
Summary: First Aired Jan 18th 1969 (full-length episode)

A series of midnight bank robberies attracts Spider-Man's attention. He gets a tip on the latest heist and begins to follow them back to their hideout. They soon spot him and realize that the only way to avoid capture - and I'm not misquoting here - is to throw the "vibrator" at him. The device is a red cylinder with moving tip and handle. As he closes in, they throw the device at him, exploding in his face. [At the risk of being fired from this site, I will not comment here.] Spider-Man lands on the ground unconscious as the criminals drive away.

Very soon a crowd gathers around him. They are held in check by the police under the guidance of George Stacy. [What? A real supporting character is in use?] Stacy refuses to give into the crowd's growing urge to unmask him. As they load him up into the ambulance, Stacy decides to accompany him to prevent anyone from potentially violating his rights by unmasking him. [Wow. This actually makes sense.]

At the prison, Stacy maintains a strict hands-off-the-mask policy while Spider-Man is unconscious. After everyone leaves his room, Spider-Man fully awakens. He has somehow overheard that he won't be unmasked and rests until his strength returns. [Ok, whatever. Not too unbelievable. Continue]

It is at this point that a small group of inmates decide to stage a breakout and use Captain Stacy as their hostage. Knowing his actions may put Stacy at risk, he convinces the cons that he wants to help them escape. He crushes the master fuse box and leads the inmates through a darkened building, capturing them individually.

Stacy is appreciative of Spider-Man's efforts and promises to testify on his behalf at his trial. Spider-Man chuckles a bit and asks Stacy if he really expects him to stick around and clear his name. The confused police captain admits that he actually expected that. Spider-Man explains that he's not that patient and leaves.

General Comments

Well that was actually ... good. This episode featured a simple, coherent plot with no crazy side steps. They used a valid supporting character that stayed true to the comic roots and actually worked well within the story.

Overall Rating

3 webs. I can't believe it either. While the episode didn't contain any major villains, it did the only thing that many of its "siblings" have not been able to do. That would be to tell a decent Spider-Man story with the understandable limitations.

No magic users, cavemen, time travel or anything else that doesn't belong in the Spider-Man universe. Not without proper guest stars at least.

Footnote

  1. Thanks to my newest, bestest friend "Steve" (additional info intentionally withheld) who pointed out this episode was based on ASM #65. This explains the coherency.