Spider-Man s1e5: The Sandman is Coming

Air Date: October 10, 1981

Rating: 4.5/10

Spider-Man faces one of his greatest enemies, Sandman, but when Sandman steals Martian soil to become radioactive, it’s possible even Spidey can’t stop him.

Okay, well, this episode somehow felt like it was 3 hours long despite being only 20 minutes. It wasn’t that it was boring but there was so much going on in it that it felt like they were trying to shove every side story they could think of into a very short program. Let’s see, first Peter gets in an argument with a woman reporter who’s trying to get him fired from the Daily Bugle. This is while traveling to a mysterious island. Then Sandman becomes radioactive on said island, but he only does this to rob banks in New York. So it’s back to New York City and Peter lost his mask so he has to get a new costume, but he leaves his old costume out so his Aunt May might find it, but he still has to fight Sandman, but Sandman captures him and ties Spider-Man to the subway tracks, and then J. Jonah Jameson takes a moment to take pictures of the disabled Spidey, but Spider-Man escapes, but now Sandman stole gold from the reserve. Okay, that part was pretty cool…

The issue here is that the episode should have concentrated solely on Sandman fighting Spider-Man, but felt it becomes inundated with so many different plotlines for reasons I’m not even sure why. Was this originally a movie-length script they had to cut down into a 20 minute TV show? I’m legitimately wondering because that’s what it feels like.

Also, this episode wasn’t that funny. I mean, it’s a kid’s show so I’m assuming the humor doesn’t really matter, but every other episode had a lot of one-liners from ol’ Web Head that really amused me. They seem to be completely gone here. There was one thing I found funny, and that was when Aunt May hands Peter a letter saying its official and the music plays something official-sounding but then Peter realizes it’s him being called to a hearing because he’s being framed by What’s-Her-Name and the music shifts to something foreboding and it made me laugh. But it’s a joke that came from the music and not from anything anyone said or did in the episode.

Anyway, once Spidey found Sandman and they fight at a car wash, the show gets pretty cool, but that’s barely the last five minutes of the episode.

Oh, this isn’t a complaint…yet, but I just noticed that J. Jonah Jameson has a Hitler mustache. Is this just for this episode or has that been the case the whole time? Did the animators think it’d be funny? I mean, it kinda is, but not in a good way.

SCORING:

+5: Gets better later

-1: Way too many plotlines for the length of the episode

-1: This episode lacked any real focus

+1: The fight near the end was pretty cool

+0.5: The music made me laugh

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