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Retro Review - Video-man

Like Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Chips and dip, some things just go perfect together. That being said, I have to say video games and 80's toons make a wonderful mix! The popularity of the Arcades in the mid to early 80's could not be ignored. So, it is no surprise to see our Amazing Friends confront Video-man, a video game villain whose very origin is the iconic Arcades of the 80's!

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Originally aired Oct 24th 1981

I remember this episode as a kid and watching again was just as bizarre for me today. But thats not a bad thing. The plot, Electro-man who is looking for precious resources, sells arcade machines to various locations to use as a portal for Video-man to steal for him. His ultimate goal is to take all the power from the city only to render it helpless.

Our heroes get involved when Flash Thompson, the popular yet obnoxious jock becomes Video-man's first victim. Flash's video game addiction gets the best of him when he sneaks into the Arcade after hours only to be confronted by Video-man himself.

Firestar who hears Flash's screams, comes to the rescue but has little effect on the pixel powered creation. While trying to strike Firestar with his eye ray, Video-man strikes Flash Thompson instead. Flash's particles are instantly transferred into Eletro-man's main console, thus becoming a video game himself.

"How do you like being on the other end of the game... you smart aleck punk!

- Electro-man

Flash Thompson has been given a death sentence by "Pong" and soon both Firestar and Iceman end up becoming Electro-man's next victims, by being trapped inside his computer mainframe. They all have to survive through the various video game obstacles that continue to challenge them to the death. Watching closely and you will see that Pole Position and Asteroids were obviously inspirations. At this point, its all but up to Spiderman to crack the code on Electro-man's whereabouts and to rescue his friends.

I have to say I really appreciate the imagination that went into this episode. It was one of the first concepts to cross the video game world with reality, something that Disney's Tron did about a year later. Some of my highlights included, Electro-man's anger towards Flash Thompson. Repeatedly calling him a "punk" left me cracking up. There was a fair amount of suspense. With all their powers having absolutely no effect on Video-man, who was pure energy, I couldn't help to wonder what would be the master plan to defeat such a villian? This was a great story and am giving it a A-

I for one am glad to see cultural elements, like the 80's arcade, being used in these classic episodes. It really brings me back. There are places on the web where you can watch this series and they are also available on DVD. This is a rainy day toon that not only brings powerful nostalgic memories but also comes with phenomenal story telling! So go grab a bowel of cereal and get to watching and when you do, let me know what you enjoyed!

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