90s, Blog, Cartoons, Comics, TV — March 4, 2015 10:28 am

Spider-Man Says Vote

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Way back when, I was obsessed with X-Men. If it was X-Men related, I had to have it. Like most comic book fans in the early 90s, I was hooked into the X-Men animated series. Imagine my surprise when I came across a video tape in a discount bin that was labeled “The only X-Men Animated Adventure Ever Created”. Yes, I had to have it.

Dazzler is in this pilot episode… and it didn’t get picked up, eh?

The tape had an awkward start, beginning with a PSA featuring a live-action Spider-Man. I was pretty confused as to why ol’ Spidey appeared first on the tape clearly labeled as X-Men, but I went with it.  I can’t say the actual X-Men episode was much better than the PSA.

Re-visiting this promo recently, I realized just how trippy it is. It opens with a shot of Spider-Man spinning around until he’s sideways. It continues to spin every few seconds, with Spider-Man ending up in a different position. It’s a good thing I have a high tolerance of carnival rides. The spinning shots aren’t even everything odd about this promo.

Spider-Man offers advice, whether or not it is helpful.

All that web slinging must have finally gotten to Spidey. Instead of sounding like an awesome superhero ready to fight crime, he comes across as one of those “fight the man” guys you last saw at a party in a college dorm room. “If you think superheroes like me can fight all your battles for you, think again,” he warns. “Voting for your local, state, and federal representative lets you choose who’s on your side in all the issues we face today.” It’s as if Robbie Sinclair from Dinosaurs sneaked into Peter Parker’s room and slipped into the Spider-Man costume. Something about the way he says “who’s on your side” seems a bit daunting. Is this why nations are so divided today? Because a generation grew up on superhero propaganda speeches enforcing that a side should be chosen?

Spider-Man then goes on to sign his voter registration forms. This should actually be kind of a dilemma for the mysterious crime fighter. Does he write down his true identity of Peter Parker and reveal his alter ego? Or does he write down Spider-Man and commit voter fraud? What is the take away lesson here?

The last time we had seen a live-action Spider-Man at that point, he looked like this!

The arachnid superhero then informs us voting information and registration forms are available at video stores. In a total Bobby’s World moment, I’m sure my younger self envisioned adults walking into rental houses to vote for the president and walk out with a copy of Look Who’s Talking Too. Before it’s all over, his final words are “And tell them Spider-Man sent ya’.” Yeah, that’ll seem totally normal when walking up to the voting booths at the video store.

SpiderRobbie_002

Finally, who was the target audience for this PSA? Most people watching the tape were probably not old enough to vote. This might have even my introduction to the concept of voting. In retrospect, maybe it’s a good thing I always fast forwarded this part of the tape.

Oh, well… Can’t say Spider-Man didn’t try to save the world one voter at a time.

 

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