When Dan Slott said that they would be using every Spider-Man ever in ‘Spider-Verse,’ he wasn’t kidding. So far we’ve seen Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man 1602, ‘Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends’ Spider-Man, Hostess Twinkies Cakes Advertisement Spider-Man, and so many more. But in the latest issue of ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ the writer brought in one of the biggest guns in the multiverse to aid the Spider-Army in defeating the Inheritors.
In last week’s ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ #12, the first huge battle between the Spider-Totems and their spider-hungry foes took place. The Spiders suffered some big casualties, but the scales tipped in their favor temporarily when Takuya Yamishiro, the Spider-Man of the 1970s live action Japanese television series, appeared with his giant robot Leopardon. To some, this might have just been some new Spidey that they’ve never heard of, but to others it was an awesome surprise to see the cult classic staple make an appearance in ‘Spider-Verse.’ But for those still in the dark about this ‘Power Rangers’-esque version of the friendly neighborhood web-slinger, Slott gave a brief history of the Toei-produced show on Marvel.com:
“If you’ve never seen an episode of the Japanese, live action Spider-Man show from the 70s, then you are in for a treat! He is like no Spidey you’ve ever seen before! Sure, he’s got spider-sense, can climb walls, and swing on a web…but he’s also got the Spider-Machine GP7, a flying, missile-launching race car– and a leopard-headed spaceship, Marveller, that transforms into his giant robot, LEOPARDON!!!
And no, it’s not a Power Ranger-style robot. Leopardon came FIRST. So all those Power Ranger/Sentai shows? THEY had a Leopardon-style robot. Deal with it.
When I was growing up, the only way to see these were on grainy VHS tapes with no subtitles. Luckily for you, the fine folks at Marvel have subtitled these classic episodes for you. So you’ll be able to see, first hand, that in Japan, he’s NOT your ‘friendly neighborhood Spider-Man’, but rather ‘an emissary of Hell.’ That’s way more intimidating, right?”
The appearance of this mecha pop-culture icon in ‘Spider-Verse’ was definitely a surprise to many long-time Spidey fans since Marvel wasn’t originally too fond of the creative liberties taken by the Japanese show. But it appears that all the bad blood between Toei and the House of Ideas is in the past because not only does Takuya and Leopardon show up in the pages of ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ Marvel is also streaming episodes of the series on their site. Here’s the trailer to give you an idea of how amazingly cheesy yet badass this memorable part of Spider-Man history was:
What do you think about ‘Spider-Verse’ so far? Were you surprised to see Leopardon enter the fray against the Inheritors? Are there any more versions of Spider-Man that you hope make their way into the pages of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ before the event comes to an end? Let us know in the comment section.