Shows : Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 17

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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...

This episode marks the return of the Green Goblin. Once again, he is looking for a mystic boost to his powers and has a particular target in mind.

In Detail...

"Magic Malice"
Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 17 (Story 2)
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At the Castle Theater (first mentioned & saved from demolition in "Farewell Performance" Spider-Man TV (1967) - Season 1, Episode 13), Blackwell the Magician is performing to a packed house. One of the attendees is the Green Goblin, watching him from the catwalk. He realizes that if he could learn Blackwell's tricks, he would be able to embark upon a unprecedented crime spree. He leaves the theater to ransack Blackwell's house while he's otherwise occupied [How much you wanna bet it's the same house shown in "The Witching Hour"?]

Outside Spider-Man stares down at the theater, marveling at Blackwell's ability to draw a crowd. The Goblin emerges from a skylight [Nice twist.] and catches Spider-Man's attention. Knowing the Goblin's plans can't be good, Spider-Man tries to capture his big-eared enemy. After a brief aerial battle that uses the worst animation I've seen in this series, the Goblin severs Spider-Man's web and is dropped from a significant height. Spider-Man saves himself by making a web-net, vowing to find out the Goblin's plan.

The Goblin makes his way to Blackwell's house and quickly learns many tricks of the trade [FYI, I was right, it is Grandini's house] . The only down side is that in order to properly utilize his newly acquired power, he must recite the silliest incantations ever recorded. The Goblin decides to test his powers with a minor crime spree. He is able to use Blackwell's magic cape to rob a jewelry store and is able to turn a parking meter into a slot machine by chanting "Pork and honey / Give me your money!" [I told you.] He then decides to hit the banks.

The next day at the Daily Bugle, Jonah blames - who else - Spider-Man for the string of robberies. Peter listens to his employer prattle on until Betty reads an article over the news wire about the robbery at Blackwell's house.

Later that night Spider-Man stakes out Blackwell's house hoping that the Goblin will return. His hunch pays off as the Goblin pays another visit to learn more tricks. Spider-Man once again tries to capture the Goblin but finds that his magic tricks give him the advantage. Very soon Spider-Man is chained up - thanks to the incantation "Loop and strain, bind him with chain" - and placed into a large container - "Up. Up. my foe has rise / To meet his doom in a plastic prison". Once satisfied with the arrangement, the Goblin causes the container to quickly fill with water. The Goblin then leaves to make withdrawals from the banks he missed last night. Spider-Man frees himself from his Houdini-inspired deathtrap and begins searching through Blackwell's big book of magic for a method to escape the chains.

At the First National Bank, The Goblin chants "Spindles and pins and high-button boot / Open your door and give me your loot" This causes the vault door to open and the alarm to sound. He destroys the alarm with his sparkle blast. The police quickly arrive but are unable to stand up to the Goblin's magic assault. The Goblin decides to return to Blackwell's house for more tricks and to see if Spider-Man is dead.

When he returns, he finds Spider-Man is very much alive and unchained. The Goblin puts on an impressive display of his new abilities, which involves passing through the walls and firing cannonballs from a hat. Blackwell arrives and proves who's the better magician, allowing Spider-Man to web him up and leave him for the police.

In General...

Ok, the Goblin is once again not acting like the mob boss wanna-be we all remember from the early days. If the villains in this series do behave in a similar manner to their comic counterparts, bonus. If not, just try to enjoy the ride as best you can. I say this because the Goblin appears to have undergone the most significant change for this series. Well that and they bumped the Rhino up several IQ levels. My best guess - emphasis "guess" - is that they just didn't know what else to do with him.

The plot is fairly standard, Spidey gets in a couple of good one-liners, but the high point for me was the incantations. Some of them were so bad that they're actually funny.

Overall Rating...

3.5 webs. I find that the episodes with the Goblin are interesting because they turned him into a mischief making imp with pumpkin bombs. He seems to be on a quest to boost his power base by rather unconventional means. I find this to be amusing as well.