Back when I was growing up, Saturday mornings were a time when kids got to take over the household television set. Yeah, kids, it’s true: there really was a time when many homes only had one television, and for the most part we only got somewhere between three and five channels on it – the three main networks, PBS, and maybe a local VHF channel or two.. I’m talking about a time before the internet, before cable, even, back when we didn’t have near-immediate access to almost everything that had ever been broadcast. And yes, dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
And most of the time, it was our moms and dads that got to pick what we watched. Of course, that made sense, because most of the programming was aimed at them, since they were the ones who went out and worked each day, and they were the ones who made the decisions about how the money they made was going to be spent.
But Saturday mornings, on the other hand… That was when our shows came on. No, not the “educational” stuff you find on Saturday mornings nowadays, I’m talking cartoons! Bugs Bunny! Superfriends! Scooby Doo! And so many others.
So that’s the inspiration for this Saturday morning cartoon series. Each week, I’ll feature a different cartoon series and give you an episode to check out. and this week we begin with a series that ran for three years, from 1981 to 1983 on NBC – Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.
The initial idea for this show was that it would be a team-up between Spidey, Iceman, and the Human Torch. Unfortunately, because the rights for the Torch were tied up elsewhere, it became necessary to replace him, and that’s what led to the creation of the character Firestar, who was created specifically for this show, and was not, at the time, a character from the Marvel comic book universe. All three of the characters lived together in Peter Parker’s (Spiderman’s) Aunt May’s house, and they had a secret lab/base that was built directly below the house.
Of course, we all know that the real star of the series was Firestar’s Lhasa Apso puppy, Ms. Lion.
The show also included many guest stars from the Marvel universe, and was thus a great introduction to those characters for kids who might not be reading the actual comics.
For today’s featured episode, since this year saw not only a new installment in the Spider-Man movie series, but also a new X-Men movie, it seemed only natural to pick one that teamed these two groups together, so here’s “The X-Men Adventure”:
- Marvel’s Firestar mini-series (1986) (jethroda20sumpin.wordpress.com)
- Immonen Gathers Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends for “Amazing X-Men” Adventure (comicbookresources.com)