Ultimate Spider-Man is the 2012 animated adaptation of Spider-Man, which aired on Disney XD, which later got renamed to Marvel’s HQ here in India, though I argue that it should be Pokémon HQ, or Anime HQ instead, given just how much they run Pokémon there… ahem.
It is the successor to The Spectacular Spider-Man, which I reviewed Here.
Skipping the part when Peter was bitten by a spider, (At this point, if my name were to be Peter, I would run away from the very thought of spiders), he gets the offer to join SHIELD after he captured some villains.
Initially, he refused. But after some consideration, he agreed to join them, and as a result, The Ultimate Spider-Man was born, for better or for worse.
My watching experiences:
First, few things about the voice actors. The guy who voiced Peter in Spectacular in India, also voiced him here as well, so that is one interesting thing.
Honestly, aside from a few disjointed bits here and there, I don’t remember much of the first two seasons. I mean, how can I remember anything when the main character, whom I used to think has a great head on his shoulder, is behaving like a child, like the living embodiment of the internet memes? This is what I decided to watch during my break from Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-Kun?
The fact that most of the time the villains were just “Monster of The Week” didn’t help any, as Octavious and Osborn were the only villains worth something in the first two seasons.
Well, apart from that one time when Dracula decided to enter the scene, that is.
Also, I believe that over the four series I have watched regarding Spider-Man, I have gotten used to seeing him handling his own problems. The new kids from SHIELD are fine, but the way they just barged in everywhere just didn’t sit right with me. At the end of the season, he joins the Avengers. Which is not good in my opinion. Avengers already have a colorful cast. Adding another hero won’t do anything good.
His association with Avengers doesn’t last long, though, after body-swapping shenanigans, and a battle against Loki, he leaves and decides to form his own team. This season has a different team of writers, and it shows.
The monster of the week formula is dropped, there are arks which do go on for multiple episodes, starting from the very first when Peter gets body-swapped by Loki, to go into the Spider-verse, which I have already seen once in 1994, although the plot is different here since there is no alternative version of Peter fused with Symbiote to act as a villain, and all the way to the final ark where Spider-Man is used a game piece within the battle of Collector and Grandmaster.
Season four is the final season. We get to see a lot of new (Old) faces here, the ones which we haven’t seen since 1994 series. Hydroman and Michael Morbious for example.
The alternative villainous version of Peter plot is also used here with the Wolf-Spider, but honestly, it lacks the emotional impact of 1994 for me. younger viewers may disagree though.
Octavious is the main villain of this season, given how much he pops in, or his lab is used for various plot purposes. (Basically, his lab served as a plot device.)
This season ends with the graduation of Peter from SHIELD academy, and I can’t remember what happened to the White Tiger. The show may have revealed that information at some point, but it appears I’m incapable of remembering it.
Honestly, this series is on a weird place for me. when I first watched it in 2012 at the age of 13, I already watched 1994, 1999, and Spectacular. But this one was different. Not only in the terms of content, but the other shows which were aired besides this one. Iron Man Armored Adventures aired alongside the Ultimate Spider-Man, and these two shows couldn’t be more different if they tried.
If you have already read so far, then I do think you already realize that I have a rather low opinion of the first two seasons. It does picks itself up at the season three, but I believe at that point, the show cemented its status of being an immature Spider-Man, and it is hard to get over that reputation once established.
But despite all these problems, we shouldn’t forget that it is the first Spider-Man series which has ended on its own term, judging from the record since 1994 up to this one. It didn’t get cancelled in the middle of the plot, leaving unfinished stories behind, but the series before this one cannot say the same.
Also, this series also establishes one thing clearly. Spider-Man is not for us. It is for the company, so they can make money from it. it is for the whatever generation is currently young enough to watch it, so the company can make money off from them. But people like us, who have watched multiple reincarnations of the same character? Our opinions, our complains, they don’t mean anything.
Having said that, I showed this show to my 9 years old cousin, and for comparison, I showed him the Spectacular, since he has already watched 2017. And even he doesn’t like the first two seasons.
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