Review by Jon T, Media By Stu
Episode #63 - The Big Brainwasher
A rare Ralph Bakshi-directed episode this one; it's actually based on a Spider-Man comicbook story (Amazing Spider-Man #59-61)! Not only that, but this also features the very first animated appearance of Mary-Jane (no Watson here). She's not really all that different from many of Peter's other female interests throughout the later episodes, but at least she does appear once in the series (her next appearance wasn't until Spider-Man: The Animated Series, 24 years later).
Captain Stacy also appears here, and is apparently Mary-Jane's uncle, the writers having combined Gwen's character with Mary-Jane's. I guess it's also worth noting that Captain Stacy here looks nothing like he did in To Cage A Spider, but with all the other regular animation inconsistencies at this point in the series, it's to be expected!
It's great seeing the Kingpin again, since he certainly didn't suffer from overuse in this series, having only appeared once before. Also, having an actual Spider-Man villain just seems so much more right than the hordes of other forgettable original ones.
In the end, this episode is a welcome re-appearance of recognizable actual Spider-Man characters and concepts.
One final point to mention is that this story (and Sky Harbor, which makes up the first half of this episode) was one of a handful that were not re-mastered for DVD, presumably since the original film was unavailable or unusable.