Today is the big day… The premiere of the new Spidey Cartoon: Spectacular Spiderman. Two episodes were aired this morning to reel in the kiddies… *ahem*…and others. Essentially, what we have here is Spiderman done ala DC’s animated shows especially the most recent version of The Batman (which is currently running on the same network). It has that similar hybrid anime/western look with that “sort of” big eyes and exaggerated body shapes style found in Teen Titans. It’s very contemporary in tone (as it should be) as cell phones and interracial dating appear but Spectacular Spiderman also takes us back to early in Peter Parker’s career only a few months after he has received his powers and that’s a good thing because we certainly don’t want to relive Spidey’s origin again.
…the new animated series picks up the original web-slinger's mythology at the beginning of his hero's journey, as a 16-year-old entering his junior year of high school. Having spent the summer engaging common criminals with his new-found powers, Peter Parker must conceal his secret identity while engaging a new level of terror - the multi-leveled pressures of teenage life at home and school while combating bigger, badder super-villains in the real world like Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Venom, and many more.(from wikipedia)
I’m not particularly interested in the teen angst presented in the show but I have to admit for a cartoon, it’s well done and is mostly in keeping with spirit of the original comics. Not being a kid, I’m more attracted to Betty Brant and what’s happening at the Daily Bugle which only appears briefly in the first episode. The series does seem to be darker in tone than any other versions of Spiderman that have been on TV but that just might be because the animation style is the same as Batman’s. Regardless, a well-adjusted, sunny Peter Parker offsets any gloominess, and lets the zingers fly when fighting the villains. I have a few issues with some aspects of the design of Spectacular Spiderman, but folks that enjoy the half anime, half WB look will greatly enjoy it I think. It’s certainly better than the lame CG Spiderman they did in 2003. It’s a fresh start, so why not a fresh look. Marvel’s going for a franchise reboot with this show and it looks like they’ve succeeded.
What I liked in no particular order (spoilers):
Some of the scenes borrow many visual details of from the movie without directly relating to the films.
The Osborns have their red hair back.
Mary Jane Watson is nowhere to be seen in the first few episodes and is sure to be introduced later like she was in the original comic books.
The animation is very smooth… like it’s never been before in a Spiderman Cartoon.
Peter’s spider bite happened at Doc Conner’s lab. That helps speed up the plot without being hackneyed.
Aunt May looks like a hippy grandma and that seems to work well for this day and age.
Webshooters are back! Yes!
Interracial dating? This is a your modern Spiderman.
Peter wasn’t able to get a job at the Daily Bugle during the first two episodes, the plot is building.
Cell phones are used to funny affect during the show. My SO even laughed.
The show appears to have well-planned story arcs, that has certain appeal for a comic guy like me.
I like the little underarm web wings.
It's really nice having a superhero in a cartoon that doesn't look like he's on steroids.
What I didn’t like in no particular order (spoilers):
Gwen Stacy is the Beautiful-Ugly girl… …sigh
The villains have totally new costumes. I know some of the old outfits look dated but did they have to get rid of them completely?
What the heck is up with Peter’s nose?!
Peter seems a little too happy for a kid that’s indirectly responsible for his uncle’s murder… or is he? Since the origin is skipped we don’t know for sure at this point.
Spiderman’s Eyes on his mask change with his emotions, ah NO! Plus, they are a little too big for me. I like the mask’s older look.
Now having the 16yearold Peter getting involved with Betty at the Bugle would be a real shocker… OK that’s just wrong, sorry…