Air Date: October 17, 1981
Chameleon secretly organizes a party for the Spider-Friends, including Captain America, Sub-Mariner, Dr. Strange, and Shanna the She-Devil. He plans to take them out one-by-one through his clever impersonations and traps. How can these heroes save themselves when they don’t know who to trust?
Last episode, I felt that the writers of the show were greatly inspired by 1930s monster movies. Here I feel it’s more a noir-mystery, also very common in the 30s. Maybe movies of that time period, with their more adult themes than that of films for 20+ years after because of the induction of the Hays Code, were having some sort of resurgence in the early 80s as the VHS was popularized. I don’t know why children would be the ones interested in that stuff though, but it’s also before my time so I don’t have a clue what things were like when this episode came out in terms of what was popular.
As a show with this premise, though, there really wasn’t much sense of mystery. For a moment I thought we were meant to guess at who Chameleon was impersonating, but then it shows us outright whenever he changes places with someone so there’s not much mystery to be had for the audience. Feels like a missed opportunity, but maybe they were worried about confusing or scaring the children in some way.
+8: Considering this is a Chameleon episode, a person with zero superpowers, he does a pretty good job of fooling these Supes
-1: Had they really dove into the mystery/noir aspects of the plot, I feel this could have been something great