|In the third season of his 80's cartoon resurgence, Marvel Comics' spider-powered hero won back his top spot on The Amazing Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk. The previous season had matched new Hulk segments with reruns of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, but now that the webslinger had new episodes to offer, he was again given top billing.
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.
The Incredible Hulk followed the exploits of the green goliath, 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.
On both segments, "Smilin'" Stan Lee, Marvel comics chief and creator of both Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, provided the narration. 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.