Monday, January 13, 2014

Spider-Man: A TVCU Quickie


What's a quickie?  See this blog.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, can do anything a spider can?  Get his own blog, sure he can, because he's like, a spider, man.  Look out!  Here comes the Spider-Man.

This is the first of the quickies not covering a previous blog topic.  And this is a top I said I would never cover, because Spider-Man didn't have very much of an on-screen TVCU presence, even if he does indeed exist in the TVCU.  But with the introduction of the quickies, I can cover subjects like this more easily.

The primary version of Spider-Man in the TVCU is the version from the Electric Company.  Yes, sorry, folks, but its true. The Electric Company Spider-Man has interacted with other Electric Company characters, and Electric Company has crossed with Sesame Street which has crossed with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.  And once you get to Detective Munch, no further linking explanations are needed.

Besides the Electric Company, some of the Marvel Comics stories are also in, when they have crosses with TVCU characters.  However, for the most part, the Marvel Universe is a separate reality.

The animated versions of Spider-Man from the 60s take place in Looniverse.  Amazing Friends seems to also take place in the Looniverse or Bongo Universe.  Or the TVCU (if it's a different guy other than Parker.)  It's complicated and still being worked out.  The live action television series has no crossover to connect to the TVCU sadly.  But it does exist in Earth Prime Time (aka Toob World).

The 90s cartoon takes place in the Marvel Animated Universe.  Then there have been many animated reboots since then, which I really don't care to classify.  But the most recent version seems to be part of a new Marvel Animated Universe, that seems to be a counterpart to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Both of the film versions of Spidey haven't had crossovers, so the Spider-Man trilogy remains in a self contained reality, as does the Amazing Spider-Man and its upcoming sequel.

Marvel loves to place all of its cartoons and films in their own realities, and a full list of the Marvel Multiverse can be found here.

So the current TVCU theory on Spider-Man is that he debuted in the early 60s, and operated as seen in the comics until about 1970.  Then, he continued to operate, but he aged, unlike his comic book counterpart.  By 1984, following the Secret War, he likely retired, being too old to operate on a regular basis, even with his powers, but he occasionally would put on the tights when needed.  Meanwhile, a new Spider-Man debuted in the early 1980s.  So we have ways to explain crosses with Spider-Man depicted still young, or an older Spider-Man.

Come join the discussion about Spider-Man or other TVCU related topics here.




Here's more on the Toob World Spider-Man.

And here is a Spider-Man mini-chron.

1949--BATMAN # 217--Dick Grayson (the first Robin and later the second Batman) attends Hudson University, which will appear often on LAW & ORDER. Professor Martin Stein (in via SUPER FRIENDS) also attended.  Clark Kent had considered attending Hudson but chose Metropolis University instead.  It should be noted that  Batman has been referenced once in Criminal Intent and once in SVU, both times as a real person.  Additionally, Spider-Man was a temporary suspect on one case in 

Summer 1972--3 DEV ADAM (3 MIGHTY MEN AKA CAPTAIN AMERICA AND SANTO VS. SPIDER-MAN--El Santo teams with Captain America in Istanbul against a villain using the name of Spider-Man.



March 1979--MARVEL TEAM-UP # 79 “SWORD OF THE SHE-DEVIL” (MARVEL COMICS)--Kulan Gath possesses a security guard at a museum and draws the attention of Spider-Man. Mary Jane Watson also finds herself possessed, but by the heroic Red Sonja. Carol Danvers is mentioned, but not her alter ego Ms. Marvel.  Based on the various crosses with Marvel heroes in this guide, we can determine that many of the Marvel heroes must have had counterparts in the Horror Crossover Universe.  If this is the case, I still doubt that superheroes were as publically known as in the MU.  Like with the alien invasions and zombie outbreaks, I’m sure the general public is in denial about vigilantes with super-powers.  The super-hero phenomenon must have come in waves.  The first started in the late 1930s and died down after World War II. The second would have occurred from the early 1960s to the mid 1980s.  Since then, heroes would have still operated, but with less and less frequency.  Red Sonja is a spin-off character of Conan the Barbarian, and Kulan Gath was a Conan foe.  Doctor Strange is also mentioned in this story.  Clark Kent also arrives to cover the story.  Of course, this is a fun cameo of the type that DC and Marvel liked to do regarding their friendly competition.  But from an in-story point of view, a few questions arise.  Why didn’t Superman get involved?  Why was he in New York?  Isn’t he old?  Clark often got sent out of Metropolis on assignment.  So that question is easy to answer.  He might have been there for another story and stumbled upon this one. As for a young Clark Kent, several crosses in this guide demonstrate that the golden age version of Superman existed in the  Horror Crossover Universe.  And there are crosses with the modern age (post-Crisis) version.  And of course this is a silver age era story.  To explain the longevity and versions, I have to look towards what DC would refer to as “imaginary stories” or “Elseworlds”.  In the 1970s, DC had a series of “Super Sons” stories, in which Superman and Batman had sons.  Clark Kent Junior would later become the next Superman.  In another series, “Superman 2020”, Superman also had a son who became the next Superman.  And finally, DC One Million followed the same premise.  Based on those three story series, I can theorize that the same case exists in the HCU.  Additionally, the Earth-2 stories and John Byrne’s Generations saga demonstrate the continued life of an aging Superman, which I can utilize.  Pulling all that together, I believe that the golden age Superman follows pretty closely to the stories.  But then he retired, only occasionally coming to action.  So in this story, he chooses to let the young heroes handle things.  Besides which, being out of Metropolis, having Superman and and Clark both being there would risk his secret identity, something even more important to him now that he’s married and with a child.  And Superman has a weakness against magic, something that in the Horror Crossover Universe couldn’t have been easy for him.  Finally, the later appearances of a modern age version of Superman (to follow.  Keep reading!) are likely actually Clark Kent Junior.

1984--TRANSFORMERS # 3--I had previously stated elsewhere that Spider-Man had probably never returned from the Secret Wars, but then James pointed out that an older Spidey was still operating in more modern times, and here is more proof that he returned with the suit that would be Venom. One of the Transformers would later appear in Secret Wars II, but I do not consider major Marvel crossovers as TVCU canon.  However, I do believe that Secret Wars II may be yet another part of the Crisis.  Nick Fury also appeared in the original Marvel Transformers comic series.



1989--THE TRIAL OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK--After an incident on a subway, Banner is wrongfully accused of attacking a woman.  In fact, he was trying to save her from attackers, when Hulk smashed.  Blind attorney Matt Murdock offers to represent Banner for free.  Murdock has an understanding of who Banner is, and hopes Banner will help him take down Wilson Fiske, the Kingpin of Crime (and an old nemesis of Spider-Man.)  It turns out that though blind, Murdock has sonar from the acid that blinded him.  (This acid is also called the ooze, by some turtles that were also mutated by the same stuff immediately after.)  Murdock had been operating for about a decade as Daredevil, considered an urban legend by most.  The two work together to take down the Kingpin and Banner gets off on his charges.  (Since all of Daredevil's appearances in Crossovers occur after this, this is a pretty convenient first appearance.  Even if his career began a little earlier, it still helps with the age issues of the later crossovers.)



1991—Bill and Ted’s Excellent Comic Book #11
After an entire lifetime spent in our public school system, Bill and Ted finally learn that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. They embark on a mission to save his life, but only make things worse by twisting time into a paradox that results in a future world where the Soviets won the cold war. Somehow, Bill, Ted, and Death manage to set time right. Though the comic does not say as much, Lincoln agrees to die if it means life for his country.

Death then drags Bill and Ted to Heaven—where Lincoln is Head Party Organizer, and has traded his trademark black suit and stovetop hat for an outfit all in white.

Crossover notice: one of Bill and Ted’s many plans, as seen on their blackboard, is to contact Spider-Man. 

1999--SPIDER-MAN:  THE GATHERING OF THE SINISTER SIX--This novel trilogy is not part of the Marvel Universe, and so is easily incorporated into the TVCU.  The crosses are SPIDER-MAN, THE INVADERS (CAPTAIN AMERICA, HUMAN TORCH, SUB-MARINER, UNION JACK), CASABLANCA, WOLVERINE, JACKIE CHAN, TERRY AND THE PIRATES, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, FARGO, TRADING PLACES, COMING TO AMERICA, PUNISHER, THE GREAT RACE, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, MARATHON MAN, SMILIN' JACK, BLACK WIDOWER, SHERLOCK HOLMES, IRON MAN, DIE HARD, FU MANCHU, JAMES BOND, SUPERMAN, THE 87TH PRECINCT, ELLERY QUEEN, BATMAN (including the 1989 film specifically), THE USUAL SUSPECTS, CARMEN SAN DIEGO, UNBREAKABLE, MALTESE FALCON, LAW AND ORDER, NYPD BLUE, SCOOBY-DOO, and probably more that my TVCU crew and I have yet to find.

January 2006--DRAWN TOGETHER--"Super Nanny"--
  • BATMAN, SPIDER-MAN, GREEN LANTERN, and ETHAN HAWKMAN are seen.

February 2006--DRAWN TOGETHER--"The Lemon-AIDS Walk"--
  • In a scene in a gym are THE THING, HE-MAN, PANTHRO from THUNDERCATS, SHE-RA, SPIDER-MAN, and THE JOLLY GREEN GIANT.  The Thing may be from the animated Marvel cartoons of the 1960s to 1980s, or the teenage Thing from FRED AND BARNEY MEET THE THING.  He-Man and She-Ra are from Eternia and Etheria, which are alternate realities to Earth according to DC COMICS.  But since He-Man and crew have interacted with Earth-1 and Earth-Prime, it's easy to imagine them visiting the Looniverse. 
Summer 2008--PHINEAS AND FERB:  MISSION MARVEL--The upcoming Disney/Marvel crossover Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel features the Marvel heroes Spider-ManIron Man, the Hulk, and Thor, the Marvel villans WhiplashMODOKRed Skull, and Venom, and characters from Phineas and Ferb, where the storyline involves Phineas and Ferb trying to restore power to the Marvel heroes, whose powers were taken away by Doofenshmirtz.

ALTERNATE REALITIES:

MARVEL MULTIVERSE:  The Marvel Multiverse contains many alternate realities with counterparts to Marvel characters.  Hulk counterparts exist in HULK (1966 animated series), SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS, FANTASTIC FOUR (1990s animated series), IRON MAN (animated series), THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1990s animated series), ULTIMATE AVENGERS I AND II, FANTASTIC FOUR (2006 animated series), THE HULK AND THE INCREDIBLE HULK (feature films), NEXT AVENGERS:  HEROES OF TOMORROW, WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN, HULK VS., IRON MAN:  ARMORED ADVENTURES, PLANET HULK, AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, THE AVENGERS:  EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES, THE SUPER HERO SQUAD SHOW, AND THE AVENGERS.  Additionally, Thor has appeared in MIGHTY THOR, THE MARVEL SUPERHEROES, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, THOR:  TALES OF ASGARD, ALMIGHTY THOR, AND THOR.  Daredevil also appeared in SPIDER-MAN (1990s animated series), Daredevil (feature film), ELEKTRA (THE HAND AND THE DEVIL), and PUNISHER '79 - 82.

TVCU2--Ivan Ronald Schablotski: I'll point out for the sake of being pointy that a theory exists linking the Purity (black oil) alien virus to the Venom alien symbiote, especially the way it is depicted in the movie SPIDER-MAN 3.


TVCU CREW REVIEW

Here are some of the more recent posts regarding Spider-Man in the TVCU discussion forum.




Meta-Messages – Bob Haney Lets Spider-Man Know His Place



In the novel Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath (1998) by Keith R.A. DeCandido and Jose R Nieto (pgs. 113 & 314), Daily Bugle reporter Vreni Byrne publishes an article about a Roxxon/Acme merger.

Here are some Spidey crosses from TV Tropes and Wikipedia.

  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series had a crossover with the 90's X-Men animated series. It was considered a big deal because it was a completely different animation studio involving the then current roster from X-Men in a show that was not their own. Even more impressive was the effort put in to keeping all the same cast (save for one, Gambit, presumably for contractual or scheduling reasons) for the sake of continuity. Even more fun, the crossover remains in continuity for Spider-Man, as Storm returns during the series' adaptation of the Secret Wars crossover event.
  • The Marvel cartoons from around this era were frequently cameo-ing in each other's series, as well (though it's hard to know if they were the same characters as the other cartoons; they all take place in a Marvel Universe, where a Spider-Man, Human Torch, etc. would likely exist somewhere.) You never know who'll be briefly shown watching from a rooftop, or looking up at the Pillar of Light in the distance when something really big goes down. Also, Iron ManFantastic FourIncredible Hulk, etc. guest starred in each other's shows often enough to make the 90s Marvel cartoons a Diniverse of sorts - you can connect the dots through all of them.
  • in the Marvel Comics universe, Spider-Man has frequent dealings with another Marvel hero, Daredevil, just as in the DC Comics Universe, Batman and Superman often collaborate. 
  • The first major crossover event was spearheaded by the Marvel Editor-in-Chief at the time, Jim Shooter. As a way to further toy sales he devised theSecret Wars crossover which brought all the major Marvel heroes into a twelve issue mini-series to battle a common threat. After the threat was dealt with they all returned to their regular titles. This Secret Wars was hailed as both a critical and commercial success largely because the events of the crossover had lasting effects on the characters (such as the introduction of Spider-Man's black suit which would later become the villain Venom). 
  • The Disney/Marvel crossover Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel features the Marvel heroes Spider-ManIron Man, the Hulk, and Thor, the Marvel villans WhiplashMODOKRed Skull andVenom, and characters from Phineas and Ferb, where the storyline involves Phineas and Ferb trying to restore power to the Marvel heroes, whose powers were taken away by Doofenshmirtz.
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Bonus.  Horror Crossover Universe!



MARVEL TEAM-UP # 12 “WOLF AT BAY” (MARVEL COMICS)
Release Date:  August 1973 (Contemporary Setting)
Series:  Spider-Man; Werewolf by Night
The Story:  While both happen to be in San Francisco, Spider-Man and Jack Russell encounter each other.  As with any meeting between Marvel series leads, a fight ensues.
HCU Comments:  While with some comic book horror characters, like Doctor Strange, I don’t use them to bring in other comic characters they meet, because they are so intertwined with the overall superhero universe. But the Marvel monster books, though set in the Marvel Universe, were less involved with the superhero books, and so I don’t mind including these crossovers.  This brings Spider-Man into the Horror Crossover Universe, but likely only his solo stories (and stories where he teams with other characters established to be in the HCU) up until the mid 1980s.  After that, he’d be too old to be the same character as seen in the books.  I good breaking off point for when to stop counting Marvel hero inclusions would probably be Secret Wars in 1984, because that was the start of the large company wide crossovers and the large altering of the worldview of living in a super-hero universe.



THE OCCULT FILES OF DOCTOR SPEKTOR # 8 “DRACULA’S VAMPIRE LEGION” (GOLD KEY COMICS)
Release Date:  June 1974 (Contemporary Setting)
Series:  The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor
Horror Crosses:  Dracula (novel); The Vampyre; Varney the Vampire; Carmilla; Morbius the Living Vampire; The Interconnected works of Donald F. Glut; Vampirella
The Story:  Dracula raises an army of the most infamous vampires of history, and plans on raising even more.
HCU Comments:  The Dracula here seems to be the original from Stoker’s novel.  Since all the other vampires in this story are their original versions, I don’t see why we can’t assume this Count is the real deal.  The vampires he raises are Varney the Vampire, Lord Ruthven, and Countess Mircalla Karnstein.  Varney is from the book Varney the Vampyre or the Feast of Blood.  Lord Ruthven is from the Vampyre, and the vampire Angel has claimed that he was Lord Ruthven.  Mircalla Karnstein is from the film The Blood Splattered Blood (aka Till Death Do Us Part), which was based on the novel Carmilla.  The book used to raise them is the Ruthvenian, which is named for Lord Ruthven.  Other vampires Dracula planned to recruit were Arnold Paul, Morbius, Count Noctilio, and Baron Tibor.  Arnold Paole was a real historical figure believed to be a vampire!  Thus he doesn’t count as a cross.  But I bet he avoided them.  Morbius was a professor who got a transfusion of blood from a vampire bat and becomes a living vampire.  He was an enemy of Spider-Man at first, but eventually got his own series.  Spider-Man is already in by a cross with Werewolf by Night. Noctilio may refer to the Family Noctilionidae of bats, a theory I got from Win Scott Eckert.  Baron Tibor first appeared in Mystery Comics Digest # 4 in a story written by Glut.  He also previously encountered Spektor. Spektor works with Valdemar Van Helsing, another of the famous monster hunting family, in this story.  They come up with a formula that keeps a vampire from craving blood.  This is very similar to what Vampirella used in her early stories.



MARVEL TEAM-UP # 36 - 37 “ONCE UPON A TIME, IN A CASTLE…” / “SNOW DEATH! CHAPTER ONE MADHOUSE!” (MARVEL COMICS)
Release Date:  August - September 1975 (Contemporary Setting)
Series:  Spider-Man; The Frankenstein Monster (Marvel); Man-Wolf
Horror Crosses:  Tomb of Dracula
Non-Horror Crosses: Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD
The Story:  A mad scientist captures the Frankenstein Monster and Spider-Man in his attempt to create an army of monsters.
HCU Comments:  Man-Wolf is a Spider-Man villain who like Morbius got his own spin-off series.  Marvel’s Dracula appears in a flashback.  Nick Fury appears in a cameo.  SHIELD is heavily involved in this story.

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