Jul 10, 2017

Supaidaman (Japanese Spider-Man)

As a kid of the 70s, I got a lot of exposure to Spider-Man. He appeared in segments on The Electric Company, reruns of the 60s cartoon (the one with that catchy theme song), and then there was the live action incarnation on TV.

But what kid-me had no way of knowing for decades was that there was another 70s live action version going on around the world in Japan called Supaidaman!

Prepare yourself for awesome and check out the show's intro. Although the lyrics are in Japanese, the song is ridiculously catchy. You've been warned!

As you can see, Japan put their own twist on the spider story we're all know. Supaidaman would actually become the basis for the Super Sentai hero series which evolved into Power Rangers. The origin of this version of Spider-Man is completely different than the one we're used to. Takuya Yamashiro finds a dying alien from planet Spider who injects him with his blood (giving him spider powers) and bestows on him the bracelet that holds the costume, shoots webs, and controls the giant robot Leopardon. You didn't think you'd get a Japanese hero show without a giant robot, did you?

Supaidaman frequently had a monster of the week which would start off man-sized and then grow to a Godzilla-size for the big showdown, which is when Leopardon would be summoned to battle the giant menace.

As a kid, I spent many a Saturday afternoon glued to the TV watching Creature Double Feature on WLVI 56. In addition to featuring horror and scifi from the 50s-70s it was a good bet at least one of the movies would be something in the Godzilla realm. And that's probably why I love Supaidaman as much as I do. From the guys in giant monster suit fights to the sound effects, every bit of this show takes me back to being a kid. Oddly enough, I have never seen a complete episode of Power Rangers.

Marvel.com had posted the episodes years ago but sadly they've since been removed. Clips are easy to find but not so much full episodes. I did manage to find them on the web (ha!) elsewhere and have watched a little more than half of the 41 episodes. I can't recommend this show enough! If you can find it, watch a couple of episodes to get a feel for it.

In the recent Spider-Verse mega-event, Supaidaman finally made his way into Marvel canon from a different universe. It was a great treat for me, as it was right out of the show.

For whatever reason, the whole "emissary from hell" thing is one of my favorite bits from the show. Maybe because it's just so not Spider-Man and weird.

Supaidaman sure knows how to make an entrance!


  1. Electric Company Spider-Man. So hard to catch but always loved it when they had him.

    1. I went back and watch a few of them. That guy The Wall still creeps me out.

  2. Definitely going to try and track this series down. Three's gotta be a Japan DVD out there somewhere - Even if it's a bootleg.

    1. Holy crap, dude! It would cost $700 to $1,000 to get a DVD set of this TV series! Guess I'll go ahead and cross that off my want list.