Did you know Spider-Man once had more in common with The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers than the comic books?
Above Image: Japanese Spider-Man (Supaidāman) (1978) Leopardo robot landing
Around the same time the 70s live-action The Amazing Spider-Man aired in America, a show aired in Japan. Known simply as Spider-Man (Supaidā-Man or Spy-Darma) it's a Japanese live-action television series produced by Toei Company, "loosely based" on Marvel's Spider-Man character. While Japanese Spider-Man had the same costume and powers, his origin and storyline were completely different from the American version. Besides getting his powers from an alien, he also piloted a giant robot known as Leopardon.
Giant Robots. Hokey villains. Martial arts and super vehicles. This show had it all. Except, it was nothing like the comic books.
Here's the plot, according to Wikipedia:
"Young motorcycle racer Takuya Yamashiro sees a UFO falling to earth, in fact a space warship named the 'Marveller' from the planet "Spider". Takuya's father Dr. Hiroshi Yamashiro, a space archaeologist, investigates the case, but is killed upon finding the spaceship. The incident also brings the attention of Professor Monster and his evil Iron Cross Army, an alien group that plans to rule the universe.
"Takuya follows his father to the Marveller and discovers Garia, the last surviving warrior of Planet Spider, a world that was destroyed by Professor Monster and the Iron Cross Army. Garia explains that he was hunting Prof. Monster but now needs someone to carry on the fight and he injects Takuya with some of his own blood. The blood of a person from Planet Spider gives Takuya spider-like powers. Garia then gives Takuya a bracelet that can activate his spider protector costume, shoot web-lines, and controls the Marveller ship (which can also transform into a giant battle robot called 'Leopardon'). Using his powers, Takuya, now called Spider-Man, fights Professor Monster's army and other threats to Earth under the name Spider-Man."
Check out the Power Rangers style intro in the clip below. Yeah, yeah, yeah! Wow!
You can watch the full pilot episode on Marvel.com here and read more about the show on Wikipedia.
What do you think of Japanese Spider-Man?
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