For many of us, our Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons were defined by the high-kicking, giant robot riding, Super Sentai adaptation Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The classic kids series hits 25 this year with a special anniversary episode of Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel, which means it's the perfect time to look back on this iconic entry in children's TV canon, as well as one of the beloved show's biggest and most unexpected influences.
Though it took many of us by surprise as young fans, by now pretty much everyone knows that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' vibrant action sequences were recycled from the Japanese series Super Sentai, specifically the Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger season of the immensely popular show. But something lesser known is that there was another, earlier Tokusatsu series which changed the face of Power Rangers and Super Sentai forever. The name of that groundbreaking, genre-shifting show was... Spider-Man.