Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends s1e8: The Prison Plot

Air Date: October 31, 1981

Rating: 10/10

Magneto tricks the police to attending his “magic” show at the city prison in a plot to get his mutant friends released and then take over the world. Also, Iceman and Spider-Man are jealous over who Starfire is dating now!

Okay, the main plot is big enough that the “who’s Starfire dating” sidestory is very small in this one but does involve a quick conversation between Bobby and Peter about their feelings for her that I didn’t expect. Just from what I’ve seen from these Spider-people television programs, this era of kids TV seems mostly innocent. Adult themes like relationships, even though everyone is dating everyone in this show, doesn’t really factor into the drama that much. This very short conversation display more maturity than I really expected from this show.

Then again, the fact that Starfire seems to openly dating both Spidey and Icey is maybe too much maturity for a kids show. Also, I can’t decide if people would be more or less upset if this happened on a children’s program of today. Is it more upsetting or more empowering for a woman to be both living with and dating two men in a cartoon aimed at children? I really can’t say how the majority of people would react is these downright strange times but I’m all for more progressive relationship dynamics on TV.

Okay, that got off track. 95% of this episode is focused on Magneto trying to take over the world and such. Typical supervillain fanfare but really out of Magneto’s character in the comics and more recent media. Then again, Stan Lee’s version of the character was a bit different from how we know him, but I still don’t think Magneto would do things like go in disguise to break people out of prison. He’s so powerful he can just walk right through the door and do it by himself. Also, he doesn’t care about taking over the world, he just wants equality for his fellow mutants but is willing to gain that through violent means. Of course, this is just how he’s shown in other media, and I guess this was a point in television and film where “bad guys were BAD” and that’s all there was to it.

SCORING:

+10: I know I was mostly complaining above, but this was a very well written episode with some good drama, even though Magneto isn’t how I want him to be, he works as a generically-motivated villain. It also had tons of action and even gave a decent part to Aunt May. Might be the best episode of this show I’ve seen yet

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