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Article

Marvel dusts off two episodes of the bonkers '70s Japanese Spider-Man TV show

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Ever since the Japanese production company Toei’s Spider-Man adaptation first started airing in 1978, Marvel’s kept the series at a safe distance from the official canon, which is easy to understand when you actually see the show and the liberties that it takes with the character. For instance, instead of being a spunky teen photojournalist, Spider-Man’s a motocross racer in his civilian alter ego. Instead of getting his powers in a lab accident from a radioactive spider bite, he falls into a cave and is given a blood transfusion by a space-wizard from the planet Spider. Instead of not battling his enemies in a skyscraper-sized flying robot named Leopardon, he does.

Nearly 40 years later, Supaidaman, as it’s known to its devotees, is finally getting some mainstream Marvel love. In the ongoing Spider-Verse event, writer Dan Slott’s pulling together every known version of Spidey, including the old-timey incarnation from Marvel’s 1602 universe, the satirical Spider-Ham, and, yes, the Japanese TV version, who comes complete with giant robot. To celebrate its long-overdue welcome into the official fold, Marvel’s posted two complete episodes of the show, considerable improvement over the subtitle-free VHS dubs that used to be the only way fans could encounter its glorious weirdness.

Supaidaman appears in Amazing Spider-Man #12, out now.