Comic Legends: The Saga of Shinobi’s Spider-Man
Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fourth week of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, it’s all Spider-Man legends about non-comic book Spider-Man appearances!
Spider-Man was an unlicensed villain in the late 1980s video game, “Revenge of Shinobi.”
True (but briefly false)
Along with Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the early video game star characters for Sega was the ninja, Joe Musashi, who starred in the 1987 video game, “Shinobi.”
The game was a big hit, so in 1989, Sega released TWO sequels, “Shadow Dancer” and “The Revenge of Shinobi.” In the second of those two titles, the game designers thought that it would be cool to have Musashi fight against famous pop culture figures, like Terminator, Rambo, Batman, Godzilla and Spider-Man.
The unlicensed characters were okay enough in Japan, but when bringing the game to American audiences, they had to genericize all of the characters (althogh not Godzilla, for some reason).
However, amusingly enough, due to the fact that Sega had then recently acquired the license for Spider-Man, Marvel allowed them to then keep Spider-Man in the game!
Oddly enough, Sega also had the license to Rambo, and they still genericized him.
However, the license was just a temporary one. So when the game was rereleased in the future, they had to then change Spider-Man and make him generically pink.
Reader Paul B. suggested this one nearly a DECADE ago. I finally featured it for ya! Thanks for the suggestion!
OK, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
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The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…
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See you all next week!
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