All right! Time to watch some cartoons!

My son is turning three soon, and he likes to watch super-hero cartoons, but a lot of the new animation is pretty violent for him. He picks up on it easily, and then it’s nothing but punches and kicks for the rest of the day. As a response to this, I’ve taken to pulling up older cartoons from the 60’s and 70’s where the violence was more strenuously moderated,  so he and I can enjoy it without getting into a brawl at the end of every episode.

We have watched a bunch of Superfriends and Spider-Man ’67, where the bad guys get tied up rather than knocked out. But I like to keep an eye out for other stuff to watch, because we watch stuff over and over (and over) so adding something new into the mix will stop me from going bananas. That’s when I found the 1979 Spider-Woman cartoon.

I was pretty excited for this. I’d never seen any of it before, so it would be fresh to me, and she’s a female hero, and I’d like my kid to be aware that anyone can be a super-hero. He likes Wonder Woman a bunch, so a big “yay” for more lady crime-fighters.

So lets get into episode 1, “Pyramids of Terror”.

Panning over a desert, a giant purple pyramid rises from the sands. In a nearby village, a storm rages, endangering the already terrorized residents.

 

Then, Spider-Man shows up to save a kid. Fuck. Spider-Man shows up before Spider-Woman. And his eyes are yellow. The whole episode, they stay yellow. My two-year old pointed this out, and called him “Other Spider-Man”, it’s that bad.

Spidey goes to the new pyramid and sneaks in, getting whumped by an evil mummy. As you do.

Now, there is no explanation as to why Spider-Man is in Egypt, who the bad guy is, or anything at all that is going on. 3 minutes in, and this show is banana-boat crazy.

We cut back to New York City, where we meet Jessica Drew, the writer/editor of Justice Magazine, and her photographer, Jeff. They’re covering the new Egyptian exhibit at the museum (obviously) when the mummy in the glass case comes to life to attack them (obviously). Jessica gets a spider-sense message that Spider-Man is in trouble in Egypt, and has a vision of his capture. So that’s how the spider-sense is gonna work now, I guess.

Jeff tells Jessica to take a hike so he can handle the monster in the museum, giving Jess the chance to change into her Spider-Woman outfit, but he also tells her “Just do what I say, Jessica!” in such a douche-bag manner, that I already hate this guy. At least the mummy chases him out the sixth story window.

 

Spider-Woman saves Jeff, and zaps the mummy with a stunning venom-blast, stopping it cold.

Jeff and Jessica meet up in her office, where Jeff tells her not to worry about the walking dead, as it’s probably just a publicity stunt. “Forget it, Jessica. It was just a one-in-a-million freak accident.” I hate Jeff. He’s dismissive and dumb, and Jessica is his boss. She should fire him right then and there, but a pre-teen kid walks in to say “Aunt Jessica, have you heard, there have been mummies spotted all over the country!” and Jeff now looks like a tool.

The kid is Billy, and he’s also annoying as all hell. A wise-cracking know-it all, Jonny Quest meets Steve Urkle kind of kid. He basically serves to ask where Jessica is whenever Spider-Woman is saving the day, and to point out that Jeff is always wrong.

Jeff and Jessica take the Justice Magazine jet-copter to the Pyramids of Egypt, and Billy stows away (obviously). The nearby village is in ruins, and then Jessica sneaks away to change into Spider-Woman!

The King-Mummy monologues at a captured Spider-Man, letting him know that he is an alien and the vanguard of a conquering fleet on the way to Earth from the plant Ho-Tep (obviously). Their plan? Turn every earthling into a mummy!

Jeff and Billy wander into the evil pyramid, falling into a quicksand trap, and getting captured and tied up with Spidey. Spider-Woman also gets captured, thanks to a handy trap-door.

The walls begin to close in on Spider-Woman in her cell, when her “high-frequency spider-hearing” hears some sand spiders in the room with her. She commands them to chew through the wall with her “spider-telepathy”, saving her at the last second, so she can go free Jeff, Billy and Spider-Man, who all escape the pyramid.

Kufu, the mummy king orders his mummies into their pyramids, and all the pyramids lift off and fly into the sky, set to turn people into mummies. Kufu’s pyramid heads to London to wreak havoc. Spider-Man swings onto Big Ben to stop the attack. It is not explained how he got from Egypt to London in a few minutes, but The Justice chopper isn’t far behind with Jessica, Billy and Jeff. Spidey gets shot with the mummify-ray, and Jessica needs to find a way out of the copter to change into Spider-Woman to save the day.

Her solution to this conundrum is the most baffling thing I’ve ever seen in a cartoon.

She pitches herself right out the door of a flying jet-copter! What the fuck? Look at Billy! He’s terrified! His aunt and guardian, seemingly faced with the destruction of human society in the face of a hostile alien race commits suicide RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM! That is really fucked up, Jessica Drew.

Spider-Woman grabs Spidey before he’s fully turned into a mummy, and they go to the Institute of Egyptology in Geneva for help and advice. I guess they walk? It’s not clear how they get there, but it’s not by jet-copter. The scientists there tell the Spider-Peoples about, I kid you not, pyramid power. This is the break Spider-Woman needed to save the world!

Wait, what? What the fuck is going on?

They go back to London, somehow, and Spider-Woman leads a pyramid on a chase into a dead-end ally, where Spider-man webs the flying giant pyramid into a cube. This cancels out the alien pyramid power, and now, their weakness revealed, Kufu orders a full retreat from earth as his ship sputters into space.

Yeah. That’s what happens. Holy hell that’s insane. This cartoon is insane.

The earth is saved, and all that’s left to do is to check in on Jeff and Billy, who are sitting on a bench crying that Jessica is dead. She walks up, tells them that Spider-Woman saved her, and gives them heck for not being at work. Just to make sure you don’t forget he’s a douche, Jeff exclaims “I told you this work was too dangerous for a woman!”

You probably need to watch this episode:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXEiO2-ttto

Wow, right? Every episode is like this. Spider-Woman’s powers are near-limitless, she always has no excuse to sneak off to change into her costume, and Jeff says something misogynistic and comes off looking like a tool.

1979, what the hell?

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