Monday, October 11, 2010

Seven Little Superheroes

Seven little superheroes
will vanish one by one,

Seven little superheroes,
soon there will be none...

So chortled the Chameleon in an episode of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Loosely based off Agatha Christie's 10 little Indians, Seven Little Superheroes follows the exploits of Spider-Man, Iceman and Firestar as they travel to mysterious Wolf Island, meeting up with Dr. Strange, Namor, Captain America, and Shanna the She-Devil, all of whom received cryptic invitations to spend the weekend at a resort turned death camp, a sort of Club Med meets Club Dead.

Throughout the course of the episode, Chameleon uses an array of death traps, eliminating the heroes one at a time, occasionally taking their place in disguise to keep the heroes fighting amongst themselves. Namor falls first, tricked into swimming in alcohol (drying out his skin).

Namor = Whiner

"It's not water..."

...the Sub-Mariner cries in an incredibly campy moment - as though the Prince of Atlantis idiotically blundered into the trap because he was unable to smell a FULL SWIMMING POOL of Alcohol. This from a guy who spent 20+ years as an alcoholic in a wharfside tavern, before Johnny Storm sobered him up with a hot shave.

The episode is full of unintentionally funny Saturday morning cartoon cliches including annoying animal side-kicks, nonsensical death traps and a villain who talks to himself too much, using no logic whatsoever in his revenge attempts.

For instance, Captain America seemingly drowns early in the episode, showing up later caged in a prison, along with the rest of the heroes who were thought dead. Rather than kill off the heroes in the initial traps, Chameleon brings them all together to die at the hands of a giant bomb - he's wired the whole island to explode.

I'm sorry, but if Dr. Strange can't escape a simple cage,
he needs to hang up his cape.

Of course the Continental's master plan doesn't work - and why should it? As explained in the story each of the heroes had individually defeated the master of disguise in the past, so why Chameleon thought bringing them all together would result in anything buy a 7x whupping is a mystery.

From the beginning where Spider-Man finds his invitation taped to a random NYC skyscraper ledge (Chameleon obviously *knew* the Wall-Crawler would find it), to the number of times Chameleon chooses to impersonate scantily clad woman (he's got issues I tell you), this episode's got it all.

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