Retrospective: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN

Categories Television

Spider-Man is one of the most popular characters in all of fiction. He’s the mascot of Marvel and a part of the big three superheroes, alongside both Batman and Superman. So, like Superman and Batman, he had an amazing, no spectacular animated series. We’ve talked about Batman: The Animated Series and touched on Superman: The Animated Series so now let’s focus on our favorite teen hero. We’ll be taking a look back at the Spectacular Spider-Man.

Spectacular focus on Peter Parker’s life in high school. He’s been Spider-Man for about six months at the start of the first episode. He’s not in his prime yet, but he’s also not a rookie. Voiced by the talented Josh Keaton, Peter needs to help his aunt pay her bills, intern at Dr. Conner’s lab, and deal with high school love drama all while being your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The show is classic Spidey. It has a balance of humor and action that works perfectly with the character. It takes story beats from the comics and makes it its own thing. It has everything you could ever want in a Spider-Man series. The action is fluid, the voices are perfectly cast, the tone manages to balance both the humor and drama. The art style is unique and distinct, and that theme will be stuck in your head for hours (you’re welcome).

Each character gets fleshed out, and you understand their motivations. You know the good guys like Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, Aunt May, Black Cat, and even Flash Thompson. On the other side, the villains are relatable and sympathetic. Then have Electro, Doc Ock, Sandman, Mysterio, and Green Goblin who are all standouts. Then you have the Big Man himself, Tombstone is one of the best characters in the series. He steals every scene he’s in, and he is the perfect foil to Spider-Man. He and Venom have this menacing presence on the show, and it works beautifully.

The only downside is that it didn’t get a third season. The second season ends with one of the most excruciating cliffhangers I’ve seen in an animated series. Emotions were high, and the setup was fantastic. Then the show got canceled. Still, that doesn’t take away the impact it had on Spider-Man’s legacy. Creator Greg Wiseman had lightning in a bottle. Spectacular Spider-Man is the best incarnation of Spider-Man to date, bar none. It’s a show for old and new fans that shows the best of the character and his world. If you haven’t checked it out, I definitely recommend it.

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Michael Thomas

Deputy Editor-in-Chief at WOBAM! Entertainment
Just a nerd on the internet writing about what he loves.
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