So I’ve decided to do a mini-series of posts this month about Japanese takes on familiar non-Japanese characters. I’ll start with what’s probably the one I have the most to say about: Spider-Man.
Basically, what happened was that there was a deal between Marvel and Toei that let each use the other’s characters in any way they wanted. Neither company actually did as much with this as you’d think; Marvel used two Toei anime robots (Combattler V and Danguard Ace) in their Shogun Warriors comic, Toei made an animated movie based on The Tomb of Dracula (one of Marvel’s horror comics), and then there was this tokusatsu version of Spider-Man, and one other thing.
They definitely went for the “in any way they wanted” part; this Spider-Man is a different character with a different origin involving aliens, who only wears the same costume and has similar powers. (And first idea they had would have been even more different; Spider-Man was almost the sidekick of a time-traveling Yamato Takeru!)