Posted by: TWILT | February 1, 2014

TWILT’s Spider-Man Retrospective – Part 1 – Spectacular Spider-Man

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Soo, The Spectacular Spider-Man! On a whim, I just finished watching the whole two seasons (26 episodes), and decided to write a small review about it. It was surprisingly very enjoyable!

Spider-Man has always been one of my favorite super heroes since I was a kid, and while not very interpretation of him has been that great (Amazing Spidey 2012, Spider-Man 3, the latest Ultimate Spidey cartoon…which I may get to later…), looking around the internet, I was recommended to check out The Spectacular Spider-Man, which was supposedly really great, and boy am I glad I listened.

The animation and character designs may come off as a tad simple, and is probably the easiest thing to criticize about the show, but the animation is all very smooth, and  well done. From animations like Peter swinging from web to web to get from one place to another, it really reminded me how great it looked in the Spider-Man movies. The hand to hand combat involving Spider-Man is all really well done and I was on the edge of my seat.

The Spectacular Spider-Man follows Peter Parker (voiced by Josh Keaton) who tries to balance his superhero life as Spider-Man with his teenager life as Peter Parker. The whole struggle between this is done really well, as you can definitely tell that Peter is struggling between his life and responsibility, and he must constantly choose what’s right. Of course, then there’s Spider-Man himself and he’s actually pretty entertaining! He’s genuinely funny, cracks the one liner here and there, he’s a joy to watch and root for as the hero and I think he’s one of my favorite Spidey incarnations yet. Josh Keaton does a terrific job as Peter Parker and his alter ego, he’s -the- best Spider-Man voice actor to date in my opinion.

Aside from Parker, the supporting cast is really great too. While I love seeing Spidey in action, I actually really enjoy seeing Peter interact with his high school classmates, his aunt May and his co-workers at the Daily Bugle. From Gwen Stacy, Randy Robertson, Flash Thompson, and of course Jonah Jameson. They’re all done really well, and have a certain charm to them.

Spectacular Spider-Man tackles a lot of stuff with great pacing and consistency. We get to see how villains like Doc Ock, Rhino, Curt Connors, Venom and Electro become villains.  In the first episode we can see Dr. Connors injecting himself with the formula he’s been developing to grow his arm back. In episode three he turns into the Lizard due to problem that occured with the formula in episode two. At the end of the fourth episode, the Big Man has Norman Osborn create super villains just to keep Spidey from interfering with the crime racket. It really is some epic stuff and it all moves along at a reasonable speed.

Touching up on the villains again, the show handles them really well. Most of Spidey’s most iconic villains show up, from Venom, Green Goblin, Sandman, the Vulture, and more. They’re all treated really well, and they all actually feel intimidating to Spidey. Some of the best treatment of his villains to date.

The Sinister 6 all make appearances and they are greaat.

The Sinister 6 all make appearances and they are greaat.

I really like the way a lot of stuff is handled. For example, when Peter Parker gets the symbiote, and starts acting like, well a total asshole to his friends. It’s an inner struggle between him and the power that came with it, but without being absolutely cringe-worthy about it, the show executes how Peter overcomes the black stuff and proves he’s stronger than that. Certainly more well done than Spider-Man 3. It’s admittedly a little cheese-y at times, but you have to remember it’s a kid’s show and what not.

Though despite being a kid’s show, I feel that it can appeal to all ages (though still mostly for kids), or at least to all ages of Spider-Man. It’s a really faithful adaption of the Spider-Man universe; it really shows how much homework the show writers did. The creators really show how much they understand Peter Parker. The more he fights crime, the more difficult his life gets, but it never really comes across as forced. Yeah, he gets to be Spider-Man, but deep down, he’s still only a nerd, with only a few friends there for him. He’s not a loser, and you cannot help, but root for him. Beneath that suit is a kid cracking jokes during super villain fights, trying to stay calm in a bad situation.

Venom in particular was quite well done for me.

Venom in particular was quite well done for me.

It’s a bit of a shame that the show only lasted 26 episodes (2 seasons). The ending I felt was kinda weak, and wasn’t a really satisfying enough ending. I would have love to have seen more, and maybe more villains show up. Apparently, producer Greg Weisman stated that Carnage, Hydro-Man, Scorpion and Hobgoblin would have made their appearances if the show lasted another season. Quite disappointing the show got cancelled; with a few more seasons, the show could have truly been something even more than spectacular.

Still, overall, I was pretty happy with what I got. One of the best takes of the Spider-Man universe to date, I was hooked and watched every episode from start to finish. I would totally recommend every Spider-Man fan to check it out as it’s a great show. It’s uh, too bad, that a certain other show wasn’t so great… *Hint* NEXT TIME… *Hint*

Oh and the theme song is catchy as hell too. SPECTACULAR, SPECTACULAR, SPIDER-MAN!

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