In an interview unearthed by Heat Vision, Spidey’s co-creator said the show, which ran for two seasons and starred Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, missed the mark.
“The Spider-Man TV series I was very unhappy with because very often, people will take a novel, let’s say, and bring it to the screen … and they will leave out the one element, the one quality that made the novel a best-seller,” Lee explained. “With Spider-Man, I felt the people who did the live-action series left out the very elements that made the comic book popular.”
Basically, the characters were boring, the Marvel icon said.
“They left out the humor. They left out the human interest and personality and playing up characterizations and personal problems,” Lee said.
The CBS series was technically not the first live-action Spider-Man venture. That distinction belongs to PBS’ The Electric Company, which in the early 1970s featured the short skits “Spidey Super Stories.” However, those had no action, no special effects.
The CBS series had special effects, and Lee admitted that visually, The Amazing Spider-Man was impressive, especially for its time.
“On a technical level, I think they did a good job,” he said. “The scenes of him climbing on the wall — in those days, they didn’t have the wherewithal that they have today, and they did a very good job with that.”
Yet, the program was one-dimensional, in Lee’s opinion, and he wasn’t surprised it only lasted 13 episodes.
His dislike for the Spider-Man series marks the rare occasion when Lee has publicly been critical of a Marvel-related project. He was also vocally not a fan of an attempt to make a 1994 Fantastic Four film, which ultimately went down in flames.
In separate footage featured in Doomed, a 2016 documentary about the failed Fantastic Four project, Lee promised fans after that debacle, Marvel would have control over future iterations of its big-screen characters.
The Tom Holland starrer Spiderman: Homecoming is due out July 7. Lee, of course, will have a cameo.
Check out Lee’s comments on The Amazing Spider-Man and a trailer for the show’s pilot below.