Review by Arsenal, Media By Stu
Episode #13 - Quest Of The Red Skull
Written By: Dennis Marks
Music Composed By: John Douglas
Guest Starring: Peter Cullen as The Red Skull and Michael Ansara Hiawatha Smith.
“If he says ‘Me Tarzan, you Hot Stuff’ one more time, I’m going to fry his web.”—Firestar, warning Spider-Man as he swung through the jungle.
He proceeds to spout that very catchphrase and is soon on the wrong end of a fireball. (I’m not certain what the right end of a fireball is.)
Sometimes, this show is hilarious in an 80’s kind of way. Here, superheroes goof off with their powers. They flirt and tease and save lives. The angst is kept to a minimum. I appreciate that. Too often, heroes are grim, gritty and angsty. S & AF is a throwback when it was fun to save the world, and this episode is a great example.
This episode, the trio team-up to stop the Nazis. That’s right, one of the most notorious cabals of the twentieth century. You can’t make it anymore clear cut good v. evil. There are no conflictions, no grey area, no hero v. hero or heroes acting badly—just superheroes fighting Nazis. This is the Golden-Age style storytelling and has most of its charms.
The heroes track the Red Skull and prevent him from starting World War III with the help of stock Native American Hiawatha Smith (more on him later.) It’s all standard heroics, but it stirs something in you like the flag or national anthem… or God Bless the Queen if you’re Stu. Also, the jokes fly fast and funny, keeping things from getting drab.
It should be noted that unlike “A Savage Time,” swastikas were shown and Hitler named many times.
80’s Stereotype Alert: I, for the life of me, cannot find a Hiawatha Smith in Marvels’ annals so I assume he is an original character. He throws a boomerang (perplexingly Australian, but I guess it saves him the trouble of picking up arrows) and talks to animals. (Most American Indians can do this on television. I’m not certain why.) He’s definitely a cliché, but he’s the least offensive type, the kind that saves the world.
Oh yeah, Hiawatha was the first Iroquois chief, so the Caucasian version of his name would be George Washington Smith. I guess it’s better than “Redskin” or “Brave.”