Shows : Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 5

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: The Show Must Go On...

This review was first published on: Mar 2010.

Background...

The Scorpion was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #20. He has a distinctive appearance with a solid green costume and a prehensile tail that can be used offensively.

In Detail...

"Never Step On a Scorpion"
Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 5 (Story 1)
Oct 1967 : SM Title
Summary: First Aired Oct 7th 1967
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Jameson has contracted Dr. Stillwell to scientifically enhance a human being to capture Spider-Man. Stillwell has augmented his test subject with scorpion DNA and given him a mechanical tail to be used offensively. Jameson watches the trial run and is pleased with the results.

The next day Jameson arrives at the Daily Bugle crowing about the imminent downfall of Spider-Man thanks to a new "secret weapon". Peter overhears this and decides to investigate further.

[A happy Jameson is a dangerous Jameson, after all.] He changes to Spider-Man and listens outside Jameson's office window. He overhears a phone conversation between Jameson and Stillwell indicating that the Scorpion is out looking for Spider-Man.

Now aware of the name of Jameson's new toy, Spider-Man begins looking for him. And quickly finds himself engaged in a fight to the death on a rooftop. He tricks the Scorpion into destroying an electrical box, causing a fire that conceals the location of his target. The Scorpion promises to continue looking for him.

Stillwell's final tests on the Scorpion proves that he's becoming more and more unstable. He calls to warn Jameson that the Scorpion could turn against him. Spider-Man wonders where the Scorpion may strike next. He comes to the obvious conclusion: the Daily Bugle.

Stillwell's statement proves to be quite prophetic as the Scorpion soon crashes through the window with blood in his eyes. Spider-Man arrives in time to hear Betty scream for help. When Spider-Man arrives, he finds Jonah cowering behind Betty as the Scorpion advances toward them. He webs Scorpion to the wall using his "extra sticky" webbing. Betty then calls the police.

Once the police arrive, Jameson's courage returns. He instructs the police to take him away [I don't see how that's possible with him webbed to the wall.] The Scorpion vows revenge against Jameson and Spider-Man. In the next scene we find the Scorpion in the back of a squad car – sans tail - in handcuffs with a gun pointed at him [Wait, how did they do that?] He is taken to prison, but is suspiciously able to keep his costume [Instead of – oh I don't know – being required to wear the zebra suit?] Later that night, he escapes intending to complete his vendetta against Spider-Man and Jameson.

While Spider-Man is searching for the Scorpion, the Scorpion makes his way to the Bugle to take care of Jameson first. Spider-Man eventually realizes his mistake and goes to the Daily Bugle. When he arrives, he attacks Spider-Man while Jonah hides under his desk and calls the police. The threat of the police is enough to sent Scorpion into a full retreat. Spider-Man follows him and quickly captures the Scorpion, who is then returned to prison.

The next day, Jonah takes credit for the Scorpions capture. He omits the embarrassing parts of the story.

In General...

The episode went as follows: Jameson funds the creation of a cool super-villain who is then sent after Spider-Man. This is good so far. Then he decides to kill Jameson because he's supposedly unstable. He is captured, but escapes from prison within 24 hours. Goes after Jameson again in the most obvious place possible. He is then recaptured and sent back to prison.

While this is a good basic plot this doesn't count as an entire story. There wasn't much added to it except some fight sequences which were not terribly interesting.

Overall Rating...

2 webs. They started out strong and ended very weak. I get the impression that they had too much content that had to be cut at the last minute due to time constraints. This should have been stretched into a full episode instead of a half. The extra time would have helped develop this story a little more and improved the overall quality.