The first Spider-Man television series was the famous cartoon series that premiered in 1967. This was the one the featured the theme song about how Spider-Man could do everything that a spider can. The first season of Spider-Man was produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation and it started in medias res, with Peter Parker already fighting crime as Spider-Man and also with Spider-Man already knowing most of his villains.
Grantray-Lawrence went bankrupt halfway through the first season of Spider-Man and, as a result, the second season was produced by Krantz Animation, Inc. Krantz made the important decision to bring in Ralph Bakshi, to executive produce and direct the series. Bakshi wanted to move the show away from just being a mindless kid’s cartoon. Instead of emphasizing action, he emphasized character. The 2nd season premiered on September 14th, 1968 and was rebooted the series, taking it in Baskshi’s new direction. It started with The Origin of Spider-Man, which told the story of the death of Ben Parker in Bakshi’s trademark style.
In the scene below, Peter learns of his uncle’s death and suits up as Spider-Man to get justice.
We all know how the story ended. Spider-Man continued to fight crime in New York and Ralph Bakshi continued to challenge the conventional assumptions about what animation had to be.
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