Having grown up in the 1980s, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends was really my first introduction to Spider-Man and the whole Marvel Universe. The show’s premise was very simple. A college-aged Spidey teams up with his Empire State University classmates/super hero pals Iceman and Firestar (who was created specifically for the show) team up and take out evildoers world-wide.
But first they meet up at Aunt May’s house, where she and her inappropriately named dog Ms. Lion would provide some sort of comic relief. They would then go down to the basement, which somehow transformed into some technologically advanced top-secret lair that James Bond would be jealous of.
Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends was great because it featured cameo appearances by everyone from Marvel. The X-Men, Dr. Doom, Namor the Sub-Mariner, even Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil were all on the show at some point.
Some of the episodes hold up better than others. As a whole, it’s very lighthearted and fun. Occasionally it pops up on ABC Family or Disney XD, and I will get sucked in. The worst was when I was on vacation in Disney World a few years back. We were staying at the Yacht Club and I sound up sitting in the kids section so I could watch Amazing Friends during breakfast, much to the embarrassment to the rest of my travel companions.
To me, the most memorable episode was “The X-Men Adventure” where the Spider-Friends were invited by the X-Men to hang out and use the Danger Room training facility, in the same way as a kid I would go hang out with my classmates after school to take advantage of their Super Nintendo. Everyone is having a great time until Firestar’s ex-boyfriend-turned-cyborg Cyberiad takes control of the Danger Room to get his revenge. He blamed her for the accident that left him a cyborg.
Judging by how Cyberiad wound up looking, Firestar dodged a bullet by not marrying him. I think they might have even had some dialogue in the episode that they were lovers…very awkward for a Saturday morning cartoon show. The two of them wind up fighting, with Firestar zapping him with her microwave powers. Defeated, Cyberiad regains his humanity, tells Firestar he loves her and seemingly dies on-screen. Again….very awkward.
Sadly, the series is still not available on DVD. If you need a Spide-Man and his Amazing Friends fix, visit Spider-Friends. It is a great website that chronicles everything Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends related.