Spider-Man Episode 21- “Father’s Love Sparkles in the Sky”
Aired October 4, 1978
In the twenty-first installment, an Interpol Agent struggles to escape the clutches of the Iron Cross Army in order to say farewell to his son, who is headed to America. Can Spider-Man help the father and make it to the airport in time or will another tragedy occur?
Deep in the mountains, a bunch of soldiers play war games, with the centerpiece being a crucified Spider-Man. They stop, drop, and roll, all while aiming their rifles at our hero and fire! Amazoness marches on to the field and berates her maggots for failing to aim properly and destroy the pesky super hero. Machine Bem Tanto Buffalo will show them how it is done and the Spider-Man dummy is blown up in a glorious explosion. The results are relayed to Professor Monster, and he tells his men to continue with their training. Far from the battlefield, a man in a Gatsby hat and overcoat watches with a pair of binoculars. The narrator explains that he is an Interpol agent that is monitoring the Iron Cross Army. Amazoness commands her men to go after the intruder and he is chased through the forests.
Meanwhile, Hitomi and her boyfriend are on assignment at a United Nations art exhibition, showcasing the finest works by the children of many different countries. Japan’s only entry is a painting of a dove in the middle of a fiery battlefield, symbolizing the hope of peace after a horribly destructive war. They meet the artist, a little boy who doesn’t seem to have a guardian with him at the moment. The kid reveals to the two that his mother recently died of a car accident (funny how that’s so common these days), and his father has gone missing. After a tense moment, Takuya tries to cheer up the boy and tells him that the Americans will surely like this painting when he goes abroad.
Arriving home, Takuya finds a picture of the Interpol agent and gets his next mission. Spider-Man goes into action, crossing that tiny suspension bridge while trying to avoid detection. He makes it across, as the Interpol agent is captured by the Iron Cross Army. The Ninders hold him up and they start pummeling him with the butts of their rifles. They then place him on the crucifix, demanding the location of his boss, Agent Mamiya. The agent steadfastly refuses to cooperate, and his thoughts reveal that he can’t die, as he has a son waiting for him.
Spider-Man is close by, and knocks out two soldiers with their helmets. Tanto Buffalo fires at the agent, threatening him but our hero throws a grenade at the Iron Cross and gets away with the agent. The Machine Bem fires again and the stakes are raised, now that Agent Tsuda is wounded in the leg.
Spider-Man places the man down and somehow produces a metal cup and gives him some water. He also tends to his wounds, ripping off a shirt arm and tying it around his leg. Tsuda tells Spider-Man that if he dies, our hero must tell Interpol a message that he’s succeeded in avenging his wife. We learn the truth about the recent spate of car accidents, and they’re mainly caused by the aggressive driving of Amazoness in her civilian garb. All those single parent families, caused by the Iron Cross Army! And the Mrs. Tsuda is not exception.
The agent spent the past year tracking down that woman and has found the location of their hated enemy’s base. He takes out a photo of his son and it’s none other than the boy who painted that picture. Tsuda left Hisao in order to investigate the Iron Cross and now he’s scared that he’ll never say goodbye to him. Spider-Man tells him that the boy is headed to America, and he vows to Tsuda that they will see that painting and the boy no matter what.
While Spider-Man and Tsuda attempt to escape the forest, Hisao is now headed for the New Tokyo International Airport. Their escape is now complicated as the Spider-Killer soldiers have brought a helicopter to the mix. If Michael Westen was ever needed, this sure would be a good time to give him a time machine. The battle with the helicopter looks suspiciously like the one from the movie, complete with our hero commandeering it after ridding it of Ninders. He tells Tsuda to run to the helicopter and they will make their escape now, but the agent is wounded once again. At the same time they continue to run, Hisao’s departure time is almost ready.
They run toward the railroad tracks and attempt to ride a train to the airport. Tsuda tries with all of his might to get on the train, but although he gets on, the Iron Cross Army catches up and leaps on the front, forcing another battle. After it ends, Tsuda is quickly losing consciousness and you’d really wonder why the Spider-Machine GP-7 wasn’t brought out soon enough. It is used instead to bring out Marveller to destroy the Machine Bem.
It is now you should be wondering why didn’t Spider-Man use his machines to save Agent Tsuda and fly him to the hospital or to the airport. I have an idea that even though Leopardon is ridiculously powerful, it’s also a piece of crap since Spider-Man can’t use it for more than 5 minutes at a time, as well as the flying capabilities of the GP-7. So Spider-Man had to struggle with adversity all these episodes in order to win his battles with the Iron Cross Army without those damned robots’ help.
After the destruction of Tanto Buffalo, Spider-Man takes Tsuda to the airport and it turns out they’re too late to meet him at the gate. They run on to a crossway at the tarmac, trying desperately to see Hisao once last time. With his dying breath, Agent Tsuda gives his blessing to his son, hoping that he will find success in America. Spider-Man learns about the dangers of stubborn persistence, as no matter how hard he fought through it all, he still failed in the end.
Now that the series is at its half-mark you’d think the web-shooting hero would be at a crossroads regarding his battle with the Iron Cross Army. Instead, we are treated to another life-or-death struggle episode, where the outcome only allows our hero to burn more with the fires of vengeance with each new story. Will the next episode be that important one? Don’t count on it.