Spider-Man (1981 TV series).jpg
Based on
Written byCreighton Barnes
Doug Booth
Francis K. Feighan
Donald F. Glut
Jack Hanrahan
Christy Marx
Larry Parr
Jeffrey Scott
ComposerJohnny Douglas
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes26
Executive producers
ProducerArthur Vitello
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
DistributorARP Films Inc.
Original networkSyndication
Original releaseSeptember 12, 1981 (1981-09-12) –
March 30, 1982 (1982-03-30)
Preceded bySpider-Man
Followed bySpider-Man and His Amazing Friends

Spider-Man is a 1981–1982 American animated TV series based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name.[1] It is the second Spider-Man cartoon, following the 1967–1970 series.[2]


The series featured Peter Parker having to balance his alter ego crimefighting with his responsibilities as a university student, a part-time photographer for the Daily Bugle and caring for his elderly Aunt May Parker.

While Spider-Man fights his usual enemies, five episodes have him contending with Doctor Doom.


Note: Neil Ross would reprise his role as Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin for the 1994 Spider-Man cartoon series.

Walter S. Burr was the Voice Director for the series.


No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Bubble, Bubble, Oil and Trouble"September 12, 1981 (1981-09-12)
Doctor Octopus commits various mysterious crimes in an effort to upgrade his mechanical arms and steal the world's oil supply.
2"Dr. Doom, Master of the World"September 19, 1981 (1981-09-19)
Doctor Doom is mind-controlling world leaders so, at the upcoming United Nations meeting, they will declare him the master of the world.
3"Lizards, Lizards, Everywhere"September 26, 1981 (1981-09-26)
Lizard is plotting to turn New York City into a swampland, filled with reptiles under his control.
4"Curiosity Killed the Spider-Man"October 3, 1981 (1981-10-03)
After Spider-Man stops her from robbing a Daily Bugle party hosted by J. Jonah Jameson, the Black Cat announces that she plans to steal the Maltese Mouse and challenges Spider-Man to try to stop her.
5"The Sandman Is Coming"October 10, 1981 (1981-10-10)
The Sandman steals a radioactive soil sample from Mars from NASA and goes on a crime spree. Sally Ann Beaumont accuses Peter of negligence during Sandman's theft and reports his actions to Empire State University's board where there is a chance that he'll be thrown out.
6"When Magneto Speaks... People Listen"October 17, 1981 (1981-10-17)
Magneto uses a spacecraft to increase his powers and shut off the nation's power supply.
7"The Pied Piper of New York Town"October 24, 1981 (1981-10-24)
Mysterio opens up a new disco nightclub in town that turns its patrons and anyone else that hears the disco music into his slaves, whom he uses to try to steal a nuclear missile.
8"The Doctor Prescribes Doom"October 31, 1981 (1981-10-31)
Doctor Doom returns to replace the world leaders with robots under his control so they will declare him ruler of the world.
9"Carnival of Crime"November 7, 1981 (1981-11-07)
The circus has come to town and the Ringmaster uses a special gas to rob banks while making people believe that Spider-Man is the thief.
10"Revenge of the Green Goblin"November 14, 1981 (1981-11-14)
Norman Osborn escapes from a mental institution on Halloween night. When the train he is riding in crashes and blows up, he remembers that he is the Green Goblin and threatens to reveal to the world who Spider-Man really is and seeks revenge on Jameson for publishing stories about his chemical plant being unsafe.
11"Triangle of Evil"November 21, 1981 (1981-11-21)
The Triangle of Evil led by Stuntman forces Spider-Man to survive deadly stunts as bills start piling up for Aunt May.
12"The A-B-C's of D-O-O-M"November 28, 1981 (1981-11-28)
Doctor Doom forms a criminal partnership with Goron to pose as humanitarians to gain control of a space craft.
13"The Sidewinder Strikes"December 5, 1981 (1981-12-05)
A rodeo show has come to the city and the Sidewinder tries to steal the gold spurs.
14"The Hunter and the Hunted"December 12, 1981 (1981-12-12)
After being hired by Jameson to look for a mascot for the Daily Bugle, Kraven the Hunter comes to the city as a hero when he captures Zabu, the last surviving sabre-tooth tiger from the Savage Land. Ka-Zar comes to the city to liberate his animal companion.
15"The Incredible Shrinking Spider-Man"December 19, 1981 (1981-12-19)
A janitor, feeling that his genius is ignored, dons the identity of the Gadgeteer to steal his employer Dr. Norton's new device that can shrink anything and uses it to shrink Spider-Man.
16"The Unfathomable Professor Gizmo"December 26, 1981 (1981-12-26)
Professor Gizmo seeks to reclaim sunken treasure and requires Spider-Man's help to do so.
17"Cannon of Doom"January 2, 1982 (1982-01-02)
Doctor Doom secretly uses a laser cannon to create a fault line on New York City and then promises to fix the problem, when in fact he plans to use his laser cannon to create more earthquakes.
18"The Capture of Captain America"January 9, 1982 (1982-01-09)
Captain America is kidnapped by the Red Skull who plans to swap minds with him and take over the military. After Jameson blames him for the kidnapping, Spider-Man tries to save Captain America.
19"The Doom Report"January 16, 1982 (1982-01-16)
Freedom fighters from Latveria start an underground movement in New York City while Doctor Doom orders the United Nations to make him ruler of the world or else he will use his weather control device to cause chaos.
20"The Web of Nephilia"January 23, 1982 (1982-01-23)
A mad scientist named Dr. Bradley Shaw transforms into a mutant spider when trying to gain Spider-Man's powers from his blood sample. Meanwhile, Peter must find a way to give blood when Jameson wants his employees to donate at a blood drive.
21"Countdown to Doom"January 30, 1982 (1982-01-30)
NASA sends a rocket into space built by Doctor Doom unaware that he has attached a device to it that will move the Earth out of orbit, sending it into a new ice age, in an effort to force the United Nations to declare him to be the master of the world.
22"Arsenic and Aunt May"February 6, 1982 (1982-02-06)
Spider-Man catches the relative of the burglar that killed Ben Parker. When in prison, he meets Chameleon which leads him to discover Spidey's secret identity. He poses as Uncle Ben's spirit and tricks Aunt May into seeing his minion Colleen posing as a medium. Colleen would give Aunt May a necklace that will hypnotize her into trying to kill Spider-Man.
23"The Vulture Has Landed"February 13, 1982 (1982-02-13)
The Vulture has been kidnapping scientists in an effort to gain control of a NASA space probe. Peter goes to see his friend Harry in his apartment, but he's not home. Vulture mistakes Peter as Harry when he borrows one of Harry's outfits after losing his civilian clothes and kidnaps him.
24"Wrath of the Sub-Mariner"February 20, 1982 (1982-02-20)
Upon calling a truce with crime lords Silvermane (who is accompanied by Man Mountain Marko), Hammerhead, and Caesar Cicero, the Kingpin shows them a powerful acid developed by Dr. Everett to unite the crime lords in a plot to pull off crimes. The subsequent chemical waste from the new chemical is illegally dumping into the water, causing sickness to Sub-Mariner's cousin, Namorita. He takes her to the nearest doctor Dr. Donald Blake, then begins to wreak havok on the surface world.
25"The Return of the Kingpin"February 27, 1982 (1982-02-27)
The Kingpin has his minion Hal Hunter trick Spider-Man into committing a series of crimes.
26"Under the Wizard's Spell"March 6, 1982 (1982-03-06)
The Wizard invites Medusa to New York City, where he uses an unremovable collar on her in order to forces Medusa to steal an electronic device from a military base for him.



The series was created to launch Marvel Productions, successor of DePatie–Freleng Enterprises, who had previously produced the 1978 New Fantastic Four and 1979 Spider-Woman animated series (where Spider-Man made two appearances).

Character designs

The character design for Peter Parker (as well as other supporting characters including Aunt May and J. Jonah Jameson) was quite faithful to the comic books of the period and hearkened back to the illustrations by John Romita Sr. of the young hero in Spider-Man's newspaper strip adventures from the 1970s. Due to network constraints and demands from parents, characters such as Spider-Man were not allowed to make a fist to strike an opponent, but the show's creators managed to conceal these issues with a focus on action and relatively fluid animation.

Much like the Spider-Man newspaper strip of the late 1970s, Peter Parker's character design did away with the 1960s crew cut for a more modern hairstyle during this time, which the character continued to be portrayed with through the 1980s and early 1990s. Likewise, Parker abandoned the conservative suit and tie of the 1960s comics and previous animated series in favor of dark blue straight-legged linen pants.

Peter's mask was connected to his costume at the back of the neck, like a hood which he would pull over his head when he changed into Spider-Man.

Broadcast and home media release

All 26 episodes have been released on DVD in the UK by Clear Vision, over four DVD volumes. To avoid confusion with other Spider-Man DVD titles, Clear Vision released the show on DVD under the name Spider-Man 5000.

As was the case with Amazing Friends, the series was later re-aired in the late 1980s as part of the 90-minute Marvel Action Universe, a syndicated series that was used as a platform for old and new Marvel-produced animated fare (the newer programming featured RoboCop: The Animated Series, Dino-Riders and on occasion, X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men, which was intended to serve as a pilot for a potential X-Men animated series). The show was last rerun in the US in 1998 as part of the UPN Kids Action Zone block alongside several other Marvel shows.

The rights to all Marvel shows were owned by Marvel themselves, before Disney acquired them in 2008. Currently, there are no plans for a DVD release in the US or elsewhere.

In Canada, Morningstar Entertainment released the episode "The Vulture Has Landed" on DVD in the set entitled Spider-Man Vs. The Vulture. The set also contains "The Vulture's Prey" and "The Dark Terrors", both from the 1967 Spider-Man TV series. Morningstar also released "Canon of Doom" (on the Fantastic Four VS. Doctor Doom set, included in the Villains Showdown Gift Set that also includes "Spider-Man Vs. The Vulture"), although the episode is the Bonus episode on the disc. "Arsenic And Aunt May" was also released in the Heroes box set. All the Morningstar DVDs were mastered from VHS/Betamax copies that were released by Prism Video in 1985 as part of their Marvel Video Library series.

The series was available for streaming on Netflix from 2011 to 2013.[3] The series became available on the Disney+ streaming service at its U.S. launch on November 12, 2019.[4]


  1. ^ "Spider-Man on TV". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 574–580. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ "Marvel Shows Now Available on Netflix!". Marvel.com. 28 April 2011. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011.
  4. ^ Disney (October 14, 2019). Basically Everything Coming to Disney+ in the U.S. | Start Streaming November 12. Event occurs at 31:14. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved October 14, 2019.