Monday, December 15, 2008

8th Man and "Spider Hero?"

There used to a be a black & white cartoon from Japan, the first of its kind, called 8th Man (AKA 8man). For a superhero with a dual ID, he was the first robot/superhero I remember....predating RoboCop even; but a very similar scenario and for a kid's cartoon, it was pretty gritty; A cop is shot and killed; a super genius brings him back as a cyborg/supercop. Weird thing: In order to recharge his atomic battery, 8th Man would smoke a "special atomic-charged cigarette." ( chance we'll be seeing that show anytime on Late Night Black & White) Anyway, there was a cool 8th Man Halloween costume that went along with the basic design except with "day-glo" safety colors in place of the dull TV grays on the mask. Isn't safety fun?

Halloween was the greatest thing next to Christmas...sometimes, even better.
In the mass market of Halloween in the last 40-50 years, the masks and costumes were always related to pop culture, comics and cartoons. Yet every so often costume companies would "sneek in" a knock-off character for some poor kid who didn't get there in time to be Spider Man or Batman. I would have been one of those kids. I remember one year I had the chance to be a knock off of 8th Man and Captain America combined. It wasn't so bad. I could create my own powers and wear a cape or not...although I must admit, wearing the cape always made you feel more "super" than without. The mask was bonus.

The weirdest concoction one year was the Spider Man knock off. We'll call him "Spider Hero" for lack of a cool name. He wasn't bad. Actually he should've had his own TV show. But he simply wasn't Spider Man. He would be resurrected from time-to-time in various colors day-glo, bright red lips (hmmmm....made ya wonder) but always with the zombie white face...almost like a vampire/spider guy.

I wonder whatever happened to him?


jiggins said...

I love some of those old Japanese style cartoons.. and I love some of the new ones.. and some of the new ones annoy me.. hehe.. oh well. To each his own. I remember a couple of different cartoons - Ultra Man and TranZor-Z! TranZor-Z was controlled by a guy hanging out in the cockpit located in his head.. and his crime fighting buddy was a female robot called Aphrodite that shot missiles from her breasts! LOL.. my brother and I got such a kick from this when we were kids. I still would.. if I could find an episode or two. Gotta look it up.

As for the cheesy Halloween knock-offs, I was a more home-made costume kind of kid. Partly cuz my Mom was into that.. but partly cuz i was an artsy nerd even back then! :)

Charli said...

Hey! I came across your place at Mass Affected... I have read a few of your posts and like your space here. I'll be back to read more!