by Chris MaGee
A lot of you will be familiar with such popular tokusatsu superheroes like Kamen Rider and Ultraman, while other more obscure ones like Megaloman, Moonlight Mask, and Inazuman may have slipped under your radar, but have you ever heard of Spiderman? Of course you have! Marvel's friendly neighbourhood web-slinger created by Stan Lee in the early 1960s who's become a comic book icon around the world... and when I say around the world that counts for Japan too where in 1978 Toei added their own spin to the character by creating the "Supaidāman" live-action TV show.
While Spiderman's costume stayed the same the storyline for "Supaidāman" was entirely different than the radioactive spider bites Peter Parker back story of the original. In the Toei series Peter Parker is replaced by young motorcyclist Takuya Yamashiro whose father is a "space archeologist" (huh?). One day Takuya discovers his father close to death near a crashed spaceship from the planet Spider (huh?). Its lone occupant, who's also close to death, gives Takuya a bracelet that not only gives its wearer the powers of a spider, but also contains that famous red and blue outfit.
The complete "Supaidāman" series has been available on DVD in Japan since 2005, but besides some YouTube videos its been rare here in North America. Now, according to a report posted at Japanator Marvel is welcoming Spiderman back home from his stint on 70s Japanese TV by hosting a subtitled episode of the series every Thursday at Marvel.com. You can check out Episode 1 here as well as a preview of the new subtitled show below. Now I can only hope and pray that this gets released here on DVD. I'll drop some cash on it for sure!