Some of you may recall us looking back on Japan’s version of Spider-Man from the late 1970s that was so over-the-top it made the old Adam West Batman series look like brooding British melodrama set atop a dew-soaked Northumberland farm.

It kept pretty close to the original storyline of Spider-Man, like how a motorcycle racer got his spider powers from an alien along with a spaceship that transforms into a giant robot to battle the evil Professor Monster, and shouting out, “I’m the emissary of Hell!” in Japanese before doing so.

It’s been a while since those good times but now the Japanese fans that still remember the series are tickled to see Spidey’s old war machine Leopardon has returned in the latest issue of Amazing Spider-Man!

The tweet which broke the news in Japan sums up many fans’ feelings nicely.

“UUUuuuooooooh!!!!!! Leopardon is in Spider-Verse!!! Aw Fuwhahaha Finally the Toei version of Spiderman has been recognized!”

I’m pretty sure we’re all on the same page but just in case there are a few people who don’t know who Leopardon is, here’s a brief rundown:

When Toei Company, acquired the rights to Marvel’s Spider-Man character they thought a guy with super-strength, super-agility, genius-level IQ, psychic spider-sense, and the ability to cling to walls and shoot webs needed a little more in his arsenal.

So, they created Leopardon a 60-meter-tall robot that Spider-Man pilots. It’s equipped with a sword that can kill anything in one hit using the magical power of studio time and budget constraints (the suit got damaged early on). Here’s one of Leopardon’s lengthier battles, clocking in at a minute-thirty.

Despite the redundancy of Leopardon, the robot was a modest success for Toei who would later use the experience to go on and produce the hit Super Sentai (Power Rangers) and Kamen Rider franchises.

In the Spider-Verse story arc of Amazing Spider-Man, Morlun and his family are traveling across dimensions to kill every Spiderman in every existence. To defend themselves, the remaining pan-dimensional Spideys unite to fight back. These Spider-Men are actually the different real-life film and print incarnations that have appeared over the years like the American animated Spider-Man from back in the day and the relatively short-lived 2099 Spiderman.

In the fourth issue of this story arc, they enlist none other than Takuya Yamashiro, who flies into battle in Leopardon uttering his famous opening line from the TV show.

Unfortunately, Leopardon gets quickly dismembered before being able to pull its sword, and thus dealing a major blow to the Spider-army. It was a brief foray into American comics but maybe we’ll see it again someday if there’s enough positive feedback from readers!

Source: Twitter
Video: YouTube (SpeedRacerFlubber), Serkel