Friday, March 25, 2011

The Spectacular Spider-Man (TV Show) - Review

A Short But Sweet Spider-Man Series

Developed by Greg Wiseman and Victor Cook, this take on Spider-Man sent Peter Parker back to high school after the first summer of his stint as New York's favorite superhero. The tone of the show is a mixture of cartoony style and comic book flared artwork and direction, that sometimes feels like a special one-shot issue than just a TV series. The dialogue is snappy, the villains are tastefully re-designed, and it's a heartfelt adaptation of what has become a timeless American story.

Peter Parker, voiced by Josh Keaton, comes off as a kid who is confident about himself, but not when it comes to how others view him. His friends Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacey are able to lend him a hand with bullies like Flash Thompson, but ultimately he feels very alone in the world. The inclusion of Eddie Brock as a lab assistant instead of another photographer is a little more geared toward the books in MARVEL's Ultimate Universe, but it works for the direction that the stories bring the character.

One of my favorite things about this series was the re-design of the Green Goblin, who steals the show whenever he and the web-slinger battle it out. He has a much better story in the second season, but anything with him in it is wonderful.

The only thing I didn't like about the series was some of the attempts to be as current as possible, which I think diminishes the ability of the show to be timeless. The use of words like "bro" between Parker and Brock, as well as Aunt May asking someone if she's been "Punk'd" take away from the otherwise smooth dialogue and voice acting.

As far as Spider-Man cartoons go, I'd say this one is my favorite. It's tight, lean, and even though it's over early, that might be a good thing. I'm not a fan of the ADHD style of the 90's show, or the 3D animated one based on the movies. I'd gladly revisit some of these episodes while hanging out with my friends or just killing off a rainy day afternoon.

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