Live-Action TV Spider-Mans Who Didn’t Appear in No Way Home
Spider-Man: No Coming Home thrilled audiences last Christmas with the inclusion of three live-action versions of Spider-Man, with former web-slingers Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield joining Tom Holland’s Marvel Cinematic Universe iteration for a multiversal blockbuster, which has celebrated 20 years of Spider-Man on the big screen.
However, despite these versions of the character, No coming home does not feature all live-action versions of Spider-Man. Long before Tobey Maguire donned the costume, the character appeared in not one, but two television series, the first being the short-lived CBS series. The Amazing Spider-Man (1977–1979) and later appearing on the Japanese TV show Spider Man (1978-1979). The two wall robots were ultimately absent from the blockbuster film, but who were they and why were they missing?
In the 1970s, Marvel Comics began branching out into television, with Doctor Strange, The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man receiving series pilots from CBS. The Incredible Hulk (1978-1984) was the only real hit Marvel and CBS found, with Dr. Strange (1978) not making it past the pilot stage. The Amazing Spider-Man success is harder to determine, with the show only running for two seasons. While the show aired weekly at first, sporadic scheduling, along with a loss of ratings, eventually led to the show’s downfall.
The Amazing Spider-Man starred Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, with the show following Parker’s heroic crime-fighting journey through the streets of New York City, while also working as a photographer at The daily bugle, under the watchful eye of J. Jonah Jameson (played by David White for the pilot, and Robert F. Simon for the rest of the series). The first season of the show consisted of five episodes, the second had seven.
During the 1978–79 television season, CBS began airing the show infrequently and despite changes to try to appeal to a more adult audience, it was eventually canceled, saying CBS feared becoming known as a ” network of superheroes”. The show never returned, despite attempts to crossover with The Incredible Hulkand despite having a fan base, it failed to inspire a lasting legacy like The Incredible Hulk series.
The next live-action Spider-Man is perhaps one of the most bizarre adaptations of a Marvel comic book property. Produced by Toei Company, Spider Man began airing on Tokyo Channel 12 in May 1978 and despite being based on the Marvel character, the show and its version of Spider-Man have very little in common with the source material. Absent from the series entirely is Peter Parker, replaced by Takuya Yamashiro played by Shinji Todō, a motocross rider who becomes Spider-Man using alien blood and a magical bracelet that imbues the wearer with the power of a spider. .
Seeking revenge for his father’s death, this version of Spider-Man was more brutal than his comic book counterpart, no longer being a “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man”, but instead being known as the “Emissary from hell”. This version of Spider-Man also fought with a giant robot by his side called Leopardon, which proved incredibly popular with viewers.
The show ran for 41 episodes and is better known than the CBS version, mainly due to the impact the show had on popular culture, with clips and images of the show appearing in internet memes, in addition to being the subject of an episode. from the Disney+ documentary series Wonder 616. Takuya Yamashiro has also been embraced by fans, with Dan Slott introducing the character to Marvel Comics in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (2014).
The Spider-Verse has become incredibly popular in recent years with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and Spider-Man: No Coming Home both featuring multiple versions of the character. Yet none of the television versions appeared in these projects. Despite his interest, Nicholas Hammond was absent from the film, stating in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “I was really hoping to be approached but unfortunately that didn’t happen.” An appearance by Hammond would have been a nice easter egg for fans of the show, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
Although he also missed a cameo in No coming homethe Yamashiro Spidey is highly rumored to appear in the sequel to the 2018 anime film, the upcoming Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse (2023), which is expected to include 240 spider characters in one form or another. Producer Phil Lord also hinted at Twitter in 2019, that the Japanese Spider-Man will be one of those characters. So, fingers crossed, audiences will finally get to see more of this character, and if we’re lucky, maybe even an appearance from Hammond’s Spider-Man as well.
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