Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

March 6th, 2015, 10:53 pm #141

Spider-Man -"The Vulture's Prey" (1967)
Torqued off about a broken tower clock, JJJ tries to fix it himself, and stumbles into the Vulture's secret stash. Vulture intimidates JJJ into telling him about all sorts of deliveries, rocket launches and stuff. Vulture steals an experimental rocket and straps it to his legs, sort of like the Green Goblin. Spidey eventually shows up and simply webs Vulture. Once again, the cartoons make JJJ more like a mayor or police chief, instead of a newspaper publisher.

VERY cartoony; like an episode of Deputy Dawg. Vulture's a little bit different from his comic counterpart-- he runs aorund in a helmet and has a big frickin' protruding jaw. Spidey actually calls him "Vultureman", several times, as the name is Vulture is only in the title. I've alwasy thought of the Vulture of one the lamest Spidey-villains (perhaps even #1 on that list), so it's no surprise that this is low quality.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

April 6th, 2015, 1:32 am #142

Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends- "Quest of the Red Skull"
A take-off on "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as the Spider-Friends and their new pal, Professor Hiawatha Smith, race the Red Skull to find a hidden vault of Nazi stuff. Even includes stuff like a special map piece and a location that is only revealed when the sun is at a certain point.

Pretty frickin' ridiculous, but it all goes by so fast that it's a fun ride.

The name "Hiawatha Smith" is an obvious rip-off of "Indiana Jones", but they give him some characterization. Like Indy, he's a college professor, but is sorta' like Ka-Zar meets Bloodstone out of the office. He has "all the ancient powers of his Indian people" and can seemingly hypnotize animals. He just runs around in jeans and white shirt, with his bow and boomerang...and he kinda' looks like Ricky Steamboat. This is Smith's first and ONLY appearance, anywhere in Marvel. I wouldn't call him "obscure", though, because this episode is pretty well-known.

The Nazi stuff is given an important role, as Smith shows the Spider-Friends an old newsreel about WWII. They're evil turds, so that's that. This would probably not make the airwaves, today. Especially considering how the big-screen Captain America movies have gone out of their way to specify that Hydra sorta' broke off from the Nazis.

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Erick Von Erich
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April 16th, 2015, 3:22 pm #143

Spider-Man & his Amazing Friends- "The Prison Plot"
Disguised as escape artist "Proton the Great", Magneto takes over a police chief's convention held at Niagara Prison (a little bit of Rikers and a little bit of Alcatraz). The plot stalls a bit, as the heroes kinda' wander around the prison, like it's a mad scientist's castle or something. Cameo appearances by the "Brotherhood of EVIL Mutants": Mastermind, Blob and Toad. Plus one-second cameos of Zarathos, Psyklop, Annihilus and Mephisto during Mastermind's illusions. There's a quick call-back to the solo 1981 Spider-Man series, even.

Magneto's only about 50% of what we're used to. While he's formidable, his powers are tied to electricity. So you could've swapped in Electro and you'd get the same results. Combine this with the plot stalling and this is a below-average episode.

Ms. Lion (the dog) helps out, again, to the collective groan of fanboys. While I'm not a huge fan of the dog, I understand why they included her, but it is a little silly how involved she gets sometimes. I think her role is reduced to background comic relief in future seasons (all of 10 episodes).

There's also a recurring joke about Firestar's pending date and it comes out that both Spidey and Iceman have the hots for her. At the end, she reveals that her "date" was with a hairdresser and she gives the appointment to Aunt May. She smooches both Peter (Spidey) and Bobby (Iceman). This final scene was cut out when this episode was shown on the "Marvel Action Universe" in the late 80's and UPN in the late 90's. It caps off the joke and is mildly essential to the plot. I'm guessing somebody freaked out that that hussy Firestar kissed TWO men on the cheek.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

November 20th, 2015, 11:12 pm #144

Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes - SEASON ONE
Finally watched all 25 episodes and I dug it with a big spoon. No napkins required, as I ate up every little thing.

I tried watching this series randomly, in years past (see about 2 pages up) and didn't care for it. I thought it was too much short-attention slam/bang action. While that's still there, there's actually a lot of little plot threads and concepts that they advance. That's why this is the perfect superhero cartoon for "binge watching". Watch it scattered over a few months and you won't like it. It's not very accessible in small doses. But watch it, in-order, and binge on certain storylines and it's a great ride.

Felt like this was the sort of Avengers cartoon I wanted as a wee lad. I'm bummed it took me this long to finally watch it (FIVE years). It takes the gist of the "classic" Avengers comics and puts a modern spin on it. Probably my favorite treatment of the Hulk. Black Panther comes off like a bad-ass, as well.

I don't feel bad saying this is probably my second favorite superhero cartoon--- very close behind the 2001-2005 "Justice League".
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Erick Von Erich
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March 16th, 2016, 10:52 pm #145

Iron Man- "Double Disaster" (1966)
Apparently the first episode of the Iron Man portion of "Marvel Super Heroes". It's an adaptation of Tales of Suspense #45, an early Iron Man story that introduces "Jack Frost", who would go on to be become the first Blizzard. Jack is a Stark scientist, Prof. Shapanka, who begins stealing from the company to pursue his obsession with cryogenics.

Also included is a seemingly random sequence where Tony Stark drives a race car and his heart gives out. Only serves to introduce Happy Hogan, who rescues him from the wreckage. Hogan then accepts Stark's offer to be his chauffeur. Pepper Potts and her crush on Stark is also established.

Like I said, it's fairly early in Iron Man lore, as he's still using his clunky old gold armor (or "V2" if you're into scoring his suits). The animation blows its wad on the opening sequence, as the rest of the episode is nothing but a "motion comic". Indeed, the fun thing about these old Marvel "cartoons" is that they're like an old radio play, with everything narrated; you don't need to watch the screen unless you want to.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Adaptation of DC's "Flashpoint" event, obviously. The main focus is on the"alternate world" gimmick and didn't appeal to me all that much. "Wait, he's CITIZEN Cold, not Captain?!" Yeah...crap like that doesn't get me excited, anymore.

There's a completely out-of-place use of the word "asshole", which was not required. But not totally unexpected, especially when there's a lot of gore and people getting killed. Makes me wonder who the target audience is. My guess: guys in their 20's-30's who love video games and hanging out at comic shops talking about the Walking Dead. I also felt that the cast was WAY too big-- why did they shoehorn in Grifter and Canterbury Cricket? Wait...who?

Despite my gripes, there was enough action to keep me entertained. I wasn't buying the whole "war" between Atlantis and the Amazons, though. Didn't make sense to me why they would attack England and France. Atlantis is, well, anywhere in the oceans. While Themyscira/Paradise Island is either in the Mediterranean or Carribean, depending on the era. So why go into mainland Europe and the UK? Just to be jerks?

I really dislike modern DC, but if you're into it, you may enjoy this much more than me. I gave it the middle-of-the-road 3 stars on my Netflix rating.
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Erick Von Erich
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April 20th, 2016, 10:45 pm #146

Challenge of the Super Friends (1978)- "Wanted: the Super Friends"
The first episode of the show's most popular season. I had crappy VHS copies, taped from Cartoon Network back in 1997, but finally tossed those and paid a whopping $6.91 to get the DVD set.

When you first see this; either as a kid or (alleged) adult; you think: "whoa! This is awesome! All these heroes and villains! Super Friends aren't messing around anymore!" The intro has a great energy and it gets you pumped up when they show all the Super Friends marching as one unit. You'd been teased for a few season with all the "guest heroes", but now seeing them all together, full-time, is great!

Then the story hits. Luthor uses his "dream machine" to get the Super Friends to rob stuff, then turn themselves in. Once in jail, they're paralyzed by another Luthor ray and sent to the sun. A flying jail-cell and robberies...well, that's corny. It gets worse.

The Legion of Doom's next step is mutate everybody on Earth into Bizzaroes and Cheetahs. Wha?! This is so damn laughable that any credibility is also mutated away. Then, you can imagine what happens.

For trivia notes, this episode has one of the few "Super Friends" appearances of Clark Kent at the Daily Planet, plus Alfred at the Batcave/Wayne Manor.

It'll be awhile before I feel compelled to watch one of these, again. You have to prep yourself for the stupidity, and psyche yourself up for the novelty of the whole thing. Hopefully you get psyched up enough to carry yourself through the whole episode.
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JimBob Skeeter
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JimBob Skeeter
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Joined: January 4th, 2008, 8:03 pm

April 26th, 2016, 3:35 pm #147

I remember that cell flying to the sun! Good times...........
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

June 23rd, 2016, 10:36 pm #148

Justice League: Injustice For All (2001)
For no real reason, woke up Saturday morning and popped this on. Watching each JL (Animated) two part episode is a total of 40 minutes, so the time just flies by.

This was supposed to be one of the first batch of episodes to air when "Justice League" premiered in the fall of 2001... but it was held back until September 2002 because Lex Luthor gets busted selling arms to "terrorists". In the first few minutes; before the intro plays; Luthor makes a full transition from slimy suited businessman to flat out super villain.

There's no name for the team, although the title implies "Injustice League", but we've got: Luthor, Ultra-Humanite, Cheetah, Copperhead, The Shade, Star Sapphire, Solomon Grundy and party-crasher The Joker.

The plot relies heavily on an old 70's JLA comic book complaint: "why is Batman on this team? He's so powerless and worthless". Batman gets caught by the villains, fairly early, then uses all of his skills to turn the tables and help the JL. Also a treat to get the FULL 7-member Justice League in action, as the most of the first season would only have a few characters for each story.

I will never say a bad thing about any of these episodes. It's been almost 15 years and it's still my "Best. Comic Book TV Series. Ever".
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

July 31st, 2016, 12:22 am #149

Iron Man- "The Death of Tony Stark/Hands of the Mandarin/The Origin of the Mandarin" (1966)
Mandarin zaps Tony Stark's house, in an effort to draw Iron Man out. Iron Man jumps out of a commerical airliner (by simply opening the door with no repercussions) to get to "the Orient" and Mandarin's castle.

Mandarin's pretty formidable and uses his "karate skills" in addition to his rings. He has his old costume with a big "M" on his chest. Like a good villain, he monlogues his origin to Iron Man... and I'm curious if Marvel ever defined where his alien rings came from. Kree? Mandarin pisses off the Chinese military when a missile launch goes bad.

This is officially the second episode of "Iron Man", but he talks as if he's fought the Mandarin before. Iron Man's also progressed to his "V4" armor; very similar to his iconic 60's-80's suit, only with rivets on the face plate. I coulda' swore that the pointy-face plate armor ("V3" by my scorecard) was used in some of these episode, though. I'm going out on a strong limb by thinking that these weren't produced, or run, in-order.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

September 1st, 2016, 9:13 pm #150

Spider-Man Unlimited-"Worlds Apart"
First episode of the...weird... late 90's/early 2000's series. After astronaut John Jameson gets marooned on Counter-Earth, Spider-Man gets blamed for the screw-up. Then, everyone believes Spidey's dead when a burning building falls on him. Spidey survives, but decides to retire his costumed ID.

Jump forward six months, where Peter Parker stows away on rescue space shuttle mission to Counter-Earth, to save Jameson and clear his name. He's built a new Spidey costume, of course, with some technological enhancements and a new design. Very similar to the some of the Horizon Labs suits he cooked up, about 4-5 years ago.

Once Spidey gets to Counter-Earth, it's like he's wandered into the Sweet Pickles franchise. Anthropomorphic creatures run the place (dog-man, lion-man, ram-man, etc). The High Evolutionary is mentioned and while this is nothing new, it's a very odd setting for Spider-Man. The rest of the series is based around Spidey sneaking around Counter-Earth and running into more animal-people.

I was never a huge fan of the 90's FOX Spider-Man show, but this is somewhat of a continuation. In the first five minutes, Peter Parker springs into action and the theme music from the 90's show plays. He's also with Mary Jane, so there's another carry-over. It's a different animation style and voice actors (which is fine, because the 90's Spidey was voiced WAY too serious for the character). It also appears that they're trying to emulate some elements of the "Batman Beyond" show. Still... not an engaging concept and I don't think I can stomach 12-13 more episodes.
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