VIDEOMAN
(of Earth-8107)

Real Name: Francis Byte

Identity/Class: Alternate reality (Earth-8107) human mutate

Occupation: Adventurer, student

Group Membership: X-Men (Colossus/Peter Rasputin, Cyclops/Scott, Nightcrawler/Kurt, Sprite/Kitty, Storm/Ororo, Wolverine)

Affiliations: Louise, Spider-Friends (Firestar/Angelica Jones, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Spider-Man/Peter Parker), "Flash" Thompson, X-Men

Enemies: Gamesman;
    formerly Spider-Friends

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The Little Guy," "That Video Creature," "the World's Newest Superhero"

Base of Operations: The X-Mansion, New York City, New York, USA

First Appearance: Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends cartoon episode, "The Education of a Superhero" (October 1, 1983)

Powers/Abilities: Francis Byte was an unathletic student who only focused on video games. After his exposure to the mind-control ray-altered arcade machine, Byte was capable of transforming into Videoman, an electrical being capable of firing force, heat and cold blasts, creating flying squares and teleporting himself via electronics.

Height: (Byte) 5'10"; (as Videoman) variable, up to 8'6"
Weight: (Byte) unrevealed (approximately 155 lbs).; (as Videoman) variable
Eyes: (Byte) blue; (as Videoman) red
Hair: (Byte) black; (as Videoman) none

History: (Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends cartoon episode - "The Education of a Superhero") - Francis Byte played the Zellman Command game at the local arcade and drew a crowd with his skills, unaware that the villainous Gamesman was hypnotizing many of the arcade patrons via the game screens. "Flash" Thompson was dismissive of Francis' skill, however, and soon walked away, taking most of the now-hypnotized crowd with him. As a suspicious Peter Parker and Angelica Jones followed the hypnotized crowd to investigate, a girl named Louise wanted to stay and watch Francis beat his high score. She worried that her presence would make Francis nervous but he insisted she did not make him nervous and in fact, he considered a good luck charm. When he scored nine million, Francis declared that nothing could stop him. When Louise touched him, however, he lost the game and blamed her. Still vowing to beat the game, Francis was unaware that the Gamesman was bombarding him with his hypno-ray in an attempt to hypnotize Francis via the game screen like he had the other bystanders. When the game was unable to completely broadcast the signal, the annoyed Gamesman overloaded the machine, causing it to explode.

Instead of dying in the explosion, the hypno-ray bombardment (in conjunction with the overloaded arcade explosion) transformed Francis into the computerized entity Videoman. Peter Parker, hearing the explosion, returned to the arcade to investigate and, finding the ruined machine and Videoman stumbling around, he seemingly assumed Byte to be the video creature he had encountered once before (see comments) and that the creature had done away with Byte. Byte as Videoman protested his innocence and while doing so, accidentally blasted Spider-Man through the arcade's wall. Panicking, Videoman teleported himself via an arcade machine and reappeared in his own room via his television set. Seeing himself in the mirror, his panic continued and he leaped back into the TV, declaring he didn't want to be stuck in his 2-D form forever. Stepping back out of the TV, Videoman wished to be Francis Byte again and he transformed back to normal. Laying down for a bit, Byte tried to rationalize what had happened. Turning back into Videoman, he decided to test out his newfound powers, blowing out his window in the process. Turning human again, Byte swore that he was no longer a ninety-eight pound nerd but rather Videoman!

Subsequently turning on the TV, Francis saw Louise marching along with the hypnotized crowd. Declaring this was a job for Videoman, Francis leaped head first into the set without transforming and knocked himself down. Rubbing his head, he reminded himself to change first before he did anything. Changing into Videoman, Francis soon arrived in Central Park. When Spider-Man, who had shown up to rescue the similarly-hypnotized Iceman, webbed him up, still thinking him an enemy, Videoman blasted the wall-crawler with his eye beam. Having been freed from the Gamesman's hypnotism, Iceman then created an ice wall around Videoman, who berated the Spider-Friends for hindering his rescue.Bla sting the ice wall apart, Videoman then plucked Louise out of the crowd. Creating a flying platform out of pixels, Videoman flew her away from the crowd, weakening the Gamesman's hold over her with distance.


 Stumbling over his words, Videoman introduced himself as Francis Byte before backtracking and declaring himself the hero Videoman. He swore to help rescue everyone in the hypnotized crowd before leaving via street light. Unaware that the crowd was already free after the Gamesman flew from the scene, Videoman next reappeared via street light and started blasting away at the crowd. Ignoring the Spider-Friends' pleas to stop, Videoman shot down a police helicopter, thinking it was the escaping Gamesman.

Seeing Louise being subsequently carried off by the Gamesman, Videoman swore to help but suddenly transformed back into Francis. He explained his origin to the Spider-Friends, who made it clear that he was to stop trying to be a hero. He promised to stay out of their way but, unseen by the heroes, he had his fingers crossed. Returning to the arcade, Francis stood with his eyes covered when the Gamesman sent out another pulse to hypnotize people. Figuring he could track the Gamesman via the pulses (Spider-Man having came to the same conclusion), Francis managed to transform back into Videoman. Jumping from one arcade machine to another, he followed the hypnotic pulses back to the Gamesman's lair. Videoman then tried to attack the villain but found himself surrounded by an energy cage. The Gamesman promised to let him and Louise go if Videoman took control of a communications satellite. Videoman agreed and vanished into the machines.

When Spider-Man subsequently spotted Videoman's signal in the Gamesman's network, he managed to draw him out and into the Spider-Friends' HQ. Videoman explained what he was on the way to do but Spider-Man convinced him to wait and give them a chance to save Louise. Tired of waiting, Videoman decided to follow his original plan and took over the satellite at the Gamesman's behest. Returning to the Gamesman's hideout, Videoman demanded Louise be freed. When the Gamesman betrayed him, Videoman grew angry and left the room via TV, emerging thereafter to help Spider-Man, who had similarly arrived with the Spider-Friends to rescue Louise, deal with the holographic piranhas that he was fighting.

When Spider-Man asked him to use his hot and cold rays to repower his friends, Videoman replied he didn't have those abilities. When asked how he knew that without trying, Videoman attempted to use these hot and cold powers and blasted a hole in the floor, bombarding the room below with heat and cold and repowering Firestar and Iceman. Videoman was then ordered by Spider-Man to free the satellite while they freed Louise. Videoman quickly did that then returned to the lair to find Louise being helped out of her cage by the Spider-Friends. Kissed by the grateful student, Videoman accidently shocked her. After the Spider-Friends took Francis to the X-Mansion to help him better learn to use his powers, Francis and Louise kissed again on the steps of the X Mansion. Firestar and Iceman explained that the X-Men would help Francis with his new powers (see comments). Francis shook Spider-Man's hand, declaring the hero his role model and inspiration right before he tripped over his own feet and faceplanted before the assembled group.

Comments: Created by Dennis Marks and Marvel Productions, Ltd. (see Appearances list for list of artists involved).

Frank Welker was the credited voice actor for Videoman (Francis Byte). Louise was voiced by Susan Blu.

Nothing to suggest why he was going to a school for mutants. Maybe a secondary mutation?
Perhaps the hypno-ray did not affect Francis like it had the other civilians because Francis was a mutant whose powers had not yet manifested and the hypno-ray in conjunction with the shock of the exploding arcade activated his powers? --Proto-Man

Also the Spider-Friends seem confused when they first see him as Videoman with not a single reference to their previous fight with the character.
I'd counter that with, while the previous encounter with a different Videoman was not mentioned in the episode, the previous encounter with the electrical Videoman construct was likely why Spider-Man assumed Videoman had "killed" Francis Byte when he first encountered Byte. He probably recalled the electrical entity and assumed the Videoman he was seeing was that entity and that it had attacked and killed Byte, unaware that Byte WAS this new Videoman. Just my two cents. --Proto-Man

Francis Byte's height is listed as 5'10" and Videoman's height is listed as 8'6" on their
Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends animation model sheet. --Proto-Man

Profile by David Lawrence.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Earth-8107's Videoman (Francis Byte)
should be distinguished from:


Louise

A fellow student, Louise was the object of affection for Francis Byte before he transformed into Videoman. She watched him play arcade games and offered encouragement. When she put her hand on his arm during a particularly high-scoring game, Byte lost the game and blamed her. Walking off, she noticed the video screens in the arcade and fell under the sway of the Gamesman, who was projecting his hypno-ray through the screens. She walked to Central Park alongside the hypnotized crowd.
When she was freed of the Gamesman's control, she panicked at the sight of Videoman but when the new hero left, she realized he was actually Francis. She was then kidnapped by the fleeing Gamesman. Taken to his lair, she was forced to listen to the Gamesman as he explained his master plan. When Videoman arrived and agreed to help the Gamesman, she begged him not to, saying she wasn't worth it. When she was finally freed, she kissed Videoman and got shocked by his electric body. She was fine with the result. When she later saw him off at the X-Mansion, Louise begged Professor X not to tamper with any of Videoman's old powers.






 

--Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends cartoon episode, "The Education of a Superhero"

images: (without ads)
Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends cartoon episode, "The Education of a Superhero" (all images in this profile)


Appearances:
Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends cartoon episode, "The Education of a Superhero" (October 1, 1983) -
Dennis Marks (writer), Jan Green, Rick Hoberg, Cullen Houghtaling, Larry Houston, Sherman Labby, Will Meugniot, Dick Sebast, Bob Schaffer, Don Shepard, Hank Tucker, Warren Tufts (storyboards), Bruce Bennett, Norm Cabral, Dan Faucett, Neil Galloway, Greg Garcia, Gary Graham, Rick Graham, Karl Hepworth, Stuart Heimdall, Elian Hultgren, Boyd Kirkland, Debra Pugh, Dave Sharp, Roy Smith, Tom Tholen, Grant Wilson, Roy Wilson, Bob Foster (layouts), Gerry Chiniquy, Steve Clark, John Gribbs, Donald L. Jurwich, Sid Marcus, Bob Richardson, Nelson Shin, Arthur Vitello (animation directors)


First posted: 12/16/2021
Last updated: 06/29/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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