Shows : Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 16

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

This review was first published on: May 2010.

Background...

Ok, no big surprise given the title, but this episode features the Vulture. He returns to once again cause problems for our partially animated hero. His last appearance was in "The Sky Is Falling" Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 4. What will happen this round? I'm guessing something that doesn't involve an army of turkey buzzards.

In Detail...

"The Vulture's Prey"
Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 16 (Story 1)
Dec 1967 : SM Title
Summary: First Aired Dec 23th 1967
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While on patrol one night Spider-Man hears an alarm sounding in a penthouse in an upscale part of town [Actually they drew a penthouse over the stock footage of the New York skyline, but ... whatever]. As he follows it to the source, he thinks that he might have a chance to catch the thief responsible for a recent series of penthouse robberies. When he arrives he finds that the culprit is the Vulture. He tries to stop him but the evil avian knocks him off the roof to cover his escape. Spider-Man saves himself by making a web parachute and promises to get him next time.

The next day at the Daily Bugle, Jonah is finally at his wits end when the clock tower is seven hours off. He decides that the city isn't going to fix the problem, so he'll have to fix it himself. [So we can now add mechanical engineer to his accomplishments] He walks across a few blocks to the clock tower and rides the elevator to the top floor. After climbing a series of stairs into the clock tower proper, he discovers that it is being used to store all the items that have been stolen recently. To make matters worse, the Vulture picks this time to return.

Rather than be intimidated, Jonah beings to bark orders to the Vulture, stating that he's a busy man and doesn't have time to be captured. He supports this claim by informing the Vulture of a military rocket demonstration he's to attend this morning. He's bringing Peter along to photograph it. Rather than have Jameson miss the appointment, the Vulture offers to go in his place. And by "offers" I mean "ties him up". The Vulture arrives at the base and steals the rocket despite Spider-Man's attempt to stop him. His attempt involves webbing Vulture's feet to the rocket. [Genius. Web him to the thing he's trying to steal.] Vulture came prepared for this and activates a control device in his belt buckle that overrides the rocket's guidance system.

The Vulture returns to the clock tower where Jameson is tied up. Jonah then demands to be released for his next appointment: meeting a diamond merchant arriving by helicopter. The Vulture once again takes his place and steals the diamonds.

When the Vulture returns to the clock tower, Jameson realizes that he's actually helping the Vulture commit these thefts and refuses to cooperate with him further. He changes his mind when he is almost crushed by the pendulum. He tells him about the new laser weapon the navy is protecting. The Vulture attempts to steal the weapon but through the combined efforts of Spider-Man and the navy, the are able to keep it from him.

The Vulture returns to the clock tower to find Jameson has escaped and has bonds. In his absence, he has caused the clock to chime constantly in the hope that it will alert someone. The Vulture ties him to the giant gears, knowing that eventually the gears will rotate and crush him.

Jonah's plan does work. Peter and Betty notice the clock going haywire and Peter decides to investigate as Spider-Man. Spider-Man arrives and captures the Vulture and saves Jonah from being crushed to death.

In General...

I find it very hard to believe a newspaper publisher would take it upon himself to repair a clock tower. Even someone like Jonah would have to admit that's beyond their abilities. Plus I think he'd rather yell at someone until they did it.

This rather quirky behavior comes in handy as it leads into the second odd point. Jonah becomes the Vulture's informant without realizing it. This is another example of "advance the plot at all costs". First, how can someone think that they're "too important" to be kidnapped. Second why would you tell them about anything they might be interested in stealing? Finally why would any of these important people want to deal with Jonah at all? You'd think they want to have a writer for the paper attend, not the publisher.

Overall Rating...

1.5 webs. Good execution of a bad idea. Having Jonah feed Vulture his list of targets was just too convenient for my tastes.