Spiderman… Since 1962, the beloved character, originally created by Marvel Legends Stan Lee and Artist Steve Ditko, has won the hearts, minds, and imaginations of young and old throughout the country and around the world.
Now, “..around the world…’.. that phrase always has such a nice, fat, poetic, yet cliched ring to it. But, this time around for Spiderman month at ComicBooked.com, that phrase rings truer than ever. This time around, I showcase three of the most unusual, hillariously amusing, and most interesting international adaptations, parodies, and homages to the good ole’ Webhead. Are these awesome incarnations or outright desecrations of Spidey?? YOU BE THE JUDGE!
Our first Stop…INDIA!!
THE ADVENTURES OF MAKKAD-MAN
From the land of mystic transcendentalism…
This little homage animated piece was done as small cartoon commercial for a Company called DesiMartini. Webhead is actually known instead as the hero Makkad-man.
Not enough to interpret here since the video captured piece was not subtitled… Webhead appears to be a galavanting carefree soul in the story. It also appears that an Indian Spiderman will be made soon as well. The hero will making his way through the streets of Mumbai in that adaptation.
Here comes Makkad-man!
Next..onto to Italy? Err..no..AUSTRALIA!
Well, check out what I mean here. This particular piece is part homage(if only in name and costumed jersey), but mainly parody. Though this is not so much parody on our favorite webslinger, but mostly a parody on classic international B-grade action cinema. Italian Spiderman is basically an action superhero made indie style but with the all forementioned details included. He, much like the hero in the Hindi Spiderman commercial, is a galavanter yet he also fights evil head-on, sometimes rather slovenly too. Plus, although the character is pretty much a “guns ‘n’ fists” brawler, he still has all kinds of super powers(suprise ones, which have absolutely NOTHING to do with Spiderman by the way) to help him save the day….
The film and story itself was created by a group of young filmmakers in Australia. They in turn, hid their work behind a rather hoax-ish premise that it was originally created in the late 60′s by a wealthy Italian orange grower turned filmmaker named Alfonso Alrugo, his production company Alrugo Entertainment, and the film originally produced in Milan, Italy.
All said and done, the film over the last two years gained a small notoriety since its debut in the summer of 2008 on Youtube, along with its hoaxing premise on MySpace and Wikipedia.
Check this out! (AUTHOR’S WARNING: To all diehard purist fans of the beloved Wallcrawler, you may find this video offensive to Spidey’s credit and your fandom of him as well. Watch with care and indiscretion… Yeah right! XD)
Spider, Spider, Spider!!
SPIDERMAN TOKUSATSU(or “Live Action/Superhero”) SERIES (JAPAN, 1978)
Now what would a visit through this “World of Spiderman” be without a Web segment on one of the greatest, most exciting stops for action pop culture in the world?? Here we go to Japan!
Where else in the world would you see Spidey decked with more streamline webgear, cool sentai/action hero moves reminiscent of Japan’s own action hero, Ultraman, and yes, yes, YES! His own giant robot mecha that he pilots/controls!! Where else?..I tell you..
(Your likely question: Why is there MECHA piloting/controlling in a Spidey show? Billion dollar plus toy company giant Bandai was sponsoring this show; if no mecha, maybe no money…therefore NO SHOW!! Enough said.)
This 1978 product of Marvel comics and Toei company made this take on Ol’Webhead that went on to create an absolute sensation across Japanese TV back then.
The first trailer, the Opening credits, notes most of this show’s amusing details; the second trailer, a Marvel.com promotional, takes further detail. Now, yes, there are several elements(the mecha, monsters, etc) that take Spidey WAY out of its original US Marvel environment, and more into shows such as Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and GoRanger(Power Rangers). Still, this show packs enough amusing non-stop action and wild campiness that would have given the original 1977 Spiderman series starring Nicholas Hammond a good run for its money. All totalled, this show appeared to be a fun partnership between Marvel and Toei Company. Like the man on the opening theme track says/sings, HEY HEY HEEEY WOW!.. Hey Hey Wow! ..is right.
[Author's note: Timeline-wise, this show came before Power Rangers; natural speculation from various sources say that this Spiderman show was a major influence for Sentai action shows from the late 1970s onward.]
Spiderman Japanese TV series OP
Japanese Spiderman Promotional for Marvel.com
That’s the Spidey tour for now folks.. Speaking more of Japan, We’ll see you next time when my next feature explores two of Marvel/Stan Lee’s most recent inroads into the exciting world of Japanese anime.