11:31am PT by Graeme McMillan
Marvel Revives 1970s Japanese 'Spider-Man' Online and in Comic Books
To tie-in with the current “Spider-Verse” storyline currently taking place in the Amazing Spider-Man comic book, Marvel Entertainment has released two episodes of the 1970s Japanese live-action Spider-Man series online.
The series, which ran for 41 episodes on Tokyo Channel 12 between May 1978 and Mar. 1979, was a co-production of the Toei Company and Marvel, and saw the familiar web-slinging superhero revised to become a motorcycle rider named Takyua Yamashiro who gains superpowers after a blood transfusion with an alien from the planet Spider. He doesn’t just fight crime using his powers, however; he also has a spaceship that transforms into a giant robot, called Leopardon.
Marvel’s revival of the television series for an Internet audiences follows the return of the Yamashiro character — and the Leopardon robot — in the “Spider-Verse” storyline, which sees Peter Parker team up with different versions of Spider-Man from across multiple alternate realities. (Yamashiro and Leopardon both debuted in Amazing Spider-Man No. 12, released last week.)
This is actually the second time that Marvel has released episodes from the show online; in 2009, the series was temporarily available to stream in its entirety, including the feature-length episode created to accompany the series during its original transmission.
The first and seventh episodes of the Toei series are currently available to view at Marvel.com. Amazing Spider-Man No. 12, featuring the introduction of the characters in comic book mythology, is currently available digitally and in comic book stores.