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‘The Menace of Mysterio’ – Saturday Morning Cartoon

You can have the CGI Spider-Man movies and that animated TV show from the ’90s. The best, or at least the most amusing, screen adventures starring the webhead were found way back in the ’60s, when Spidey made his first television appearance.

The show was simply called ‘Spider-Man’ — no ‘Amazing,’ no ‘Ultimate,’ no ‘Superfunkystupendous.’ Just ‘Spider-Man.’ And that no-nonsense title perfectly reflected the aesthetic of the series.

The cartoon started in 1967, five years after the superhero made his first comic-book appearance. The show ran for three years, racking up 52 episodes during that time. They included famous Spidey villains like Dr. Octopus (who was in the very first episode), the Rhino and Mysterio, who showed up three different times.

The first came early in the series — the third episode of the first season. ‘The Menace of Mysterio’ featured the dome-headed villain, who promises to deliver Spider-Man to perpetually angry newspaperman J. Jonah Jameson in exchange for some cash. Turns out that Spidey robbed a museum, and Mysterio has a line on how to trap him.

We don’t want to spoil anything in this nail-biter of an episode. Just settle in for 22 minutes and enjoy the ride. And soak in the bargain but endearing animation, the stilted voice acting and, best of all, the jazzy music that runs throughout the show.

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