Parents' Guide to

Spider-Man (1981 TV Show)

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Spidey's second toon series set the stage for generations.

Spider-Man (1981 TV Show) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Fun to watch

For the most part the show is fun to watch with its snappy comebacks and action. There seems to be hidden sexual depictions within the show though such as in episode 11 showing a naked lady on the side of a bus during the final fight with stuntman.
1 person found this helpful.
age 2+


Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (4):

Since the day high school student Peter Parker got bit by a radioactive spider back in "Amazing Fantasy #15," Spider-Man has been an icon of the superhero genre, this still-relevant series remind us. After appearing in comic books, newspaper strips, live action TV, and a previous animated series, Marvel gave the friendly neighborhood wall crawler a new syndicated cartoon with 1981's Spider-Man. The 'toon also helped to update the character for a "modern" (at least by '80s standards) audience, with Peter sporting a loose haircut and casual attire. Peter also left high school behind, continuing his education as a college student at Empire State University, while still serving up pictures of Spider-Man to Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson.

In this Spider-Man series, much like in the comic books it was based on, there was nearly as much focus on Peter Parker as a person as there was on Spider-Man as a hero. Whether it meant worrying about school exams while fending off Doctor Octopus or taking down a crime network while at a carnival with Aunt May and Betty Bryant, the audience got to see the constant balancing act of being a hero with everyday life. It all came together to make the character feel a lot more relatable. Admittedly, while the series stayed faithful to the comic book, some parts of the series haven't aged particularly well over the years. There are many episodes where the characters' dated looks and particularly their dialogue are hard to ignore. Still, it's this version of Spider-Man that helped to reshape the character, both in comics and onscreen, for generations to come.

TV Details

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