|For the second season of Spider-Man's 80's cartoon revival, the webslinging wallcrawler gained a new partner in the green, mean Incredible Hulk. Naturally, the big guy got top billing.
The Incredible Hulk and the Amazing Spider-Man paired up new episodes of The Incredible Hulk with reruns of the previous season's Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends filling out the hour.
True to the comic book Hulk (created in 1962, the same year as Spider-Man), this green goliath was the alter-ego of mild-mannered scientist Dr. Bruce Banner. While testing an ultra-secret gamma bomb, Banner notcied a foolhardy teen named Rick Jones riding out on the testing ground. The brave doctor sped out to save the lad, throwing him in a ditch as the blast went off. Unfortunately, Banner himself was exposed to the gamma radiation, which transformed him into the bulging, shirtless, purple-pantsed Incredible Hulk.
Unable to control his transformations from man to Hulk and back, Banner kept his split personality a secret from girlfriend Betty Ross, daughter of General "Thunderbolt" Ross. In cartoon form, the green giant was slightly jollier than he had been in the 1970's live action series The Incredible Hulk, but he still had a temper when provoked, which both created and cured problems during the series' weekly adventures.
The Spider-Man segments gave the famed webslinger a pair of new companions. In this incarnation, Peter Parker was a college student at Empire State University, boarding with his Aunt May. While at ESU, Peter met fellow students Bobby Drake and Angelica Jones. The group ended up exchanging secret identities-Peter was the wall-crawling Spider-Man, Bobby was frosty mutant Iceman, and Angelica was red-hot fellow mutant Firestar. Bobby and Angelica moved into Aunt May’s as well (along with Angelica's dog, Ms. Lion), and Peter and Bobby converted their room into a secret crimefighting HQ (revealed when anyone shifted the football trophy on the mantle).
Spider-Man and Iceman were old standbys in the Marvel universe, but Firestar was a new creation, added over fears that intended Spider-Friend the Human Torch would encourage impressionable viewers to play with fire. Other holdovers from the comics included Aunt May, jock jerk Flash Thompson, crusty newspaper publisher J. Jonah Jameson, and a bevy of super villains-the diabolically insane Green Goblin, eight-armed Doctor Octopus, metal-faced dictator Doctor Doom, master of illusions Mysterio, tubby crime boss Kingpin, Kraven the Hunter, and others.
Adding two Amazing Friends made for plenty of buddy banter, giving this series a lighter tone than previous and later versions. The trio teased and mocked their way through battles, regardless of the stakes.
On both segments, "Smilin'" Stan Lee, Marvel comics chief and creator of both Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, provided the narration. The following season brought another name change, with Spidey regaining top billing for The Amazing Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk. After one more season, the Hulk segments were dropped and the show reverted to its original title, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, for the remainder of its run.