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A Review of The Spectacular Spider-Man

Introduction:

The Spectacular Spider-Man is an animated adoption of the comic book hero Spider-Man, (which should be obvious since you are reading this), created by Greg Weisman and Victor Cook, and produced by Stan Lee, Craig Kyle, and Eric S. Rollman.

The series began to air on the CW from March 2008, and finished its run at Disney XD in November 2009. It aired for two seasons, and finished its run at a total of 26 episodes, with 13 episodes on each season.

There were plans to make a third season, but legal problems between Sony and Disney got in the way, since Disney purchased Marvel during the run of the show. As a result, a third season was never created.

Plot:

The two seasons of the series are each set during a semester of Peter’s high school years, with season one running from September to November and season two from December to March.
Producer Greg Weisman has stated that the show’s theme is “The Education of Peter Parker.” In keeping with this theme, each of the series arcs is named after courses of study: season one’s arcs are Biology 101, Economics 101, Chemistry 101 and Psychology 101, and season two’s arcs are Engineering 101, Human Development 101, Criminology 101 and Drama 101.

(I totally stole this from Wikipedia.)

Trip down a memory lane:

This is the only Spider-Man series which I watched outside of Disney, as it was originally aired on Cartoon Network India. This, of course, shouldn’t be surprising that I watched this at my maternal grandparents house, during the summer of 2009.

I was pretty sad when the series suddenly disappeared, and unlike 1994 or Unlimited, it was never aired again to this day in India.

My watching experiences:

After the awesome opening, (which I still hum to this day), I am happy to declare that we, officially have gotten our web sound back! Words cannot describe how happy I am.

The first season opens quite… Well… spectacularly, as Vulture is the first villain, whereas usually, he appears quite late in the story, (if he does appear at all, that is.)

Also, aside from one other franchise which rimes with 10, this is the first time I have seen Gwen. Otherwise, it used to be MJ all over the place, in movies, animated shows, in the comics.

I did think that Electro’s voice sounded familiar, and guess who it is?

Why, Crispin Freeman of course! The guy who provided voice for Itachi, Alucard, and Kirei Kotomine.

Norman Osborn has a definite attitude as a CEO. “I never apologized!” which kind of reminded me of someone…

Me of course. Speaking of Norman, I must say that Stephen Blum did an excellent job as the Green Goblin. His voice is perfect for a villain; none of that squeakiness of the 1994 series.

Except when he takes a hit. That part made me laugh so much, it has to be heard to be believed.

Doctor Octopus forms the Sinister Six, while Peter is fused with Symbiote. The Symbiote taking the Sinister Six out is the clearest episode I remember to this day, while other episodes have faded away from my memories with time. (Except not anymore, considering I’m rewatching the series for this article.)

Season one concludes with a rather brutal (Sounded brutal to my ears, don’t have the necessary hardware to confirm it), and emotional fight with Venom, for which many a fan rightly has considered the similarities between a lovers spat, or jealous former lover.

Season two is mostly about the gang wars, as various villains try to take over New York, all the while trying to get rid of the wall crawling menace to their operations. During all of this, Silvermane finally makes his return to TV. The last time I saw him was in the 1994 series, in which he was turned into a baby from an old man, and old man once more from the baby.

Green Goblin makes his return this season, and the series ends with a rather sad ending, with Peter having broken up with his girlfriend, Norman having tricked everyone into thinking he’s dead and left for the Cayman-Islands.

Conclusion:

With great voice acting, and managing to tie every storyline from 60’s comics to movies, as well as great emotional moments, it is easy to consider why exactly this series is so beloved by fans. The fact that it didn’t have moral guardians hounding the creators on every step also boosted its quality.

Josh Keaton has come the closest to replacing Christopher Dannial Barns as the voice of Spider-Man.

I do have one problem, though. They really tried to push Toom Stone as the replacement for Kingpin, because they couldn’t use him for law-related bullshit. There’s nothing wrong with his voice acting, or how he has been presented throughout the show’s run, but I saw him in 1994 as a brute. Not this magnificent guy running a criminal empire.

But in a way, I’m glad as well. I doubt that anyone could replace Roscoe Lee Browne as Kingpin.

I definitely recommend this series, even though it is clearly unfinished. The creators planned a further 39 episodes, but they had to end it just on 26 episodes.

I suppose you might be terrified of the hype of this series, as well as the vocal fanbase which constantly belittles other Spider-Man shows. But I suggest you ignore them, and just watch the series for entertainment’s sake.

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Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

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