Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
For the 1977 season, Filmation paired up the
second season of Tarzan, Lord of the
Jungle with reruns of The New Adventures of Batmanin a blockcalled The Batman/Tarzan
Adventure Hour. With the show block being successful, Filmation decided to
use the two established shows as a hook to bring audiences in for some new
Web Woman in Web Central.
In 1978, they renamed the block Tarzan and the Super 7(the
Super 7 referencing the seven
different shows that would be featured with Tarzan) and expanded it to
an hour and a half. Along with Tarzan and a truncated version of Batman, Filmation included the additional segments of
The Freedom Force, Manta and Moray, Superstretch and Microwoman,Web
Woman and Jason of Star Command(the
only live-action show in the block).Another segment, Sunlight and
Starbright, was planned but abandoned at the network’s behest (technically
making it the Super SIX).
Web Woman and Spinner ensnare a diabolical robot.
Web Woman centered on NASA scientist-turned-farmer Kelly Webster (Linda Gary), who
had rescued the insectoid alien Scarab (Lou Scheimer) from drowning. As a
thanks, he turned her into the galactic hero Web Woman. She was given the
strength and power of the world’s insects as well as the ability to communicate
with them, a utility belt full of advanced technology including a Web Lasso,
and a ring that created forcefields, shot energy that turned into solidified
ensnaring webs, delivered sleeping gas and allowed her to communicate with
Scarab remotely. She also gained a new companion/sidekick in furry alien
Spinner (also Scheimer) who helped her on her farm as much as on adventures.
Receiving a mission from Scarab.
Kelly operated from a webbed
subterranean base called Web Central (a rounded cave decorated in webs with
several elevated platforms), which was accessed via a web-covered monorail that
was accessed under her barn when Scarab summoned her. There she would
communicate with Scarab from his galactic space station, Citadel Seven, via a
giant crystal ball where he would tell her about a looming threat—from space
pirates stealing the sun’s energy to disgraced military personnel out for
revenge—followed by a cryptic riddle that would aid in her victory. When it was
time to go into action, she would recite the chant “Insects of the world, small
creatures of the cosmos, lend me your powers now!” and become Web Woman. Her
primary mode of transportation was a spider-shaped ship called the Web Track,
which could fly through the sky as easily as enter orbit.
Early in Web Woman’s
development, designs for her were labelled with the name “Spider Woman”.
However, this was changed at some point as Marvel
Comics had created their own Spider-Woman
in 1977 to ensure they would own the trademark on the name. They had learned
about Filmation’s production, and had already been burned by rival DC Comics for making a Wonder Man
character while they had Wonder Woman only
for them to later make a Power Girl
character while Marvel already had a Power Man. Remnants of this early work could be found in the comic book print ads for
the Super 7 as she was depicted in a blue, yellow and red full-body suit
rather than the purple leotard that made it to air. Gary would go on to
star in two other shows featuring Marvel’s more well-known arachnid: as Colleen
in 1981’s Spider-Man,
and as Aunt
May for the first three seasons of Spider-Man:
The Animated Series. Ben Cooper produced a costume
based on Web Woman while Imperial Toys
released a Web Woman flash light, include the characters in their Super 7 puffy
sticker collection, a set of Bubb-a-Loons balloon-maker tubes and two
bubble maker sets.
Kelly about to transform into Web Woman.
Shortly after the block’s debut, DC
Comics had sued
Filmation for copyright infringement, feeling that Superstretch and
Microwoman as well as Manta and Moray copied their characters
Plastic Man and Aquaman a little too closely; especially considering Filmation
was involved in the production
of a series with one and in talks for the other. Many places claim that
Marvel joined in on the suit in regards to Web Woman, however Scheimer
stated in the book Creating
the Filmation Generationthat neither he nor his lawyer recall that
particular nugget. However, deciding to be cautious and not press their luck, Web
Woman ceased to air after it concluded its run as part of Batman and the
Super 7. To date, episodes are only available to view through fan
recordings on YouTube.
EPISODE GUIDE (dates are approximate):
“The Rainmaker” (9/9/78) – A disgruntled Major takes control
of an experimental military weather satellite and starts causing weather
problems around the world.
“The Eye of the Fly” (9/23/78) – A greedy treasure hunter
stumbles upon a long-hidden alien spaceship and becomes a humanoid fly on a
quest to find their greatest secret.
“The World Within” (10/7/78) – Dr. Abyss plans to bombard
the world with deadly volcanos unless he’s named ruler of Earth.
“Madame Macabre’s Calamity Circus” (10/21/78) – Web Woman
chases two crooks to a mysterious carnival where the owner captures beings from
one world to exhibit on others.
“Red Snails at Sunset” (11/4/78) – Space pirates take
control of Citadel Seven while Scarab escapes in a damaged ship that’s being
pulled towards the sun.
“Send in the Clones” (11/18/78) – A vengeful mad scientist
manages to get the drop on Web Woman and create a perfect duplicate of her.
“The Sun Thief” (12/2/78) – Space pirates plan to steal the
sun’s energy to sell off to the highest bidder.
“Dr. Despair and the Mood Machine” (12/16/78) – Dr. Despair
plans to turn members of the space program against it in order to become the
master of space.
“The Perfect Crime” (12/30/78) – Mr. Perfect abducts
law-breakers and brings them to his tiny island where he brainwashes them into
being perfect people.
“The Lady in the Lamp” (1/13/79) – An ancient evil Scarab
defeated before is freed and sets her sights on conquering the world—starting
with Web Central.
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