Not Your Usual Review Site

THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN season 1 REVIEW

When MARVEL announced another Spider-man cartoon, I have to say I wasn’t even thinking about the show. The last really good spidey show was the one from the early 90’s. That series, except for the last two seasons, was insanely good. Then they tried to break what made spidey good and put him in the future with SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED…ugh. Then there was the MTV one, which was ok but kind of dark and bland. The reason I even bothered to check it out was because I had been surprised last year when I watched SUPERMAN and The LEGION OF SUPERHEROES. I’ve watched every episode on the air date, and recently I rewatched the season again. So here it goes.

SPECTACULAR MAIN CAST

Episode 1-SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

Episode 1-SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

An elderly scientist named Adrian Toomes plans his revenge against Norman Osborn after accusing him of stealing his flying technology. Donning his own flying suit, Toomes takes to the skies to enact his revenge and it’s up to Spider-Man to stop him. Peter is concerned that Aunt May is running out of money. He tries to make money for the two by making a deal with J. Jonas Jameson that if Peter can get pictures of Spider-Man in action, Jameson will pay Peter money.

This is the first episode and it feels like it. Thankfully with the intro serving as the origin story, I didn’t have to sit through the spidey origin for the millionth time. The way this episode works is in the fact that they know you know who SPIDER-MAN is and they do what alot of “kid” shows don’t do anymore…they treat the audience like they have a brain. I’m not a huge fan of the VULTURE , but that didn’t matter. Just the fact that they got the supporting cast right and had Peter torn between villains was enough for me. Also the end of this episode actually made me very happy.

CHARLES’ GRADE:A

Episode 2- INTERACTIONS

Episode 2- INTERACTIONS

An electrician named Max Dillon becomes the supervillain known as Electro after a freak accident and it’s up to the Spectacular Spider-Man to stop his rampage. Meanwhile, Peter tries to tutor the popular Liz Allen.

Ok this episode keeps some of the steam from the last episode…when Peter is SPIDER-MAN, but the Peter and Liz stuff was not good. At least with ELECTRO they kept the theme that at the heart of these villains don’t start off evil, but are through a bunch of bad things turn evil. That’s some interesting stuff to weave into a kids show. I hate LIZ ALLEN, I’m glad she’s not a huge cast member because her voice is annoying and so is her character.

CHARLES’ GRADE:B-(would have been lower, but the ELECTRO stuff was really good)

Episode 3- NATURAL SELECTION

Episode 3- NATURAL SELECTION

Peter Parker and Spider-Man both must learn to own their choices when decisions made by Dr. Curt Connors transforms Pete’s mentor into The Lizard.

This episode plays on the fact that being SPIDER-MAN and PETER PARKER can screw up your life. Although this episode is defintely the usual Peter can’t catch a break and LIZARD story, it’s such a good classic story that it’s good everytime. Hey man the guy has to make a living…

CHARLES’ GRADE:A

Episode 4- MARKET FORCES

Episode 4- MARKET FORCES

Peter Parker has to choose between helping Aunt May pay the bills or buying a camera to further his career. Meanwhile, Montana (the Big Man’s Enforcer) becomes the stunning Shocker to fulfill his responsibility: eliminating the Spectacular Spider-Man.

Ok, very smart idea to tie into the sudden emergence of villains by having them all get supplied with powers. This is pretty interesting that they bring back a character from the first episode, so much for a kids show. I loved the fact the MONTANA(aka THE SHOCKER) kept telling SPIDER-MAN, ‘no hard feelings. It’s just business.’ The fact that Peter learns the lesson of being a man and sticking to your responsibilites from a hired hitman is interesting and unconventional.

CHARLES’ GRADE: A

EPISODE 5- COMPETITION

EPISODE 5- COMPETITION

Peter Parker and Harry Osborn try out for the football team and become a little obsessed with going for the glory. Flint Marko, newly transformed into the Sandman, is out for glory too- at the expense of our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man!

Okay this is where I realized I’ve never liked HARRY OSBORN. Didn’t like him in the movies, never liked him as a kid. To me Harry is the worst kind of friend, when he’s a loser he’ll hang out with you and when he’s cool he doesn’t know you. I’m nothing if not loyal to my friends, so when I get the sense that a character isn’t a loyal friend I instantly don’t like the character. Nice continuation of the villains being powered by OSCORP and the mysterious BIG MAN. I loved that once again a recurring character is turned into a villain…might be a theme for this show…lol.This was a good episode but once again all the PETER stuff is starting to take a quality level dip to the SPIDER-MAN stuff. We all know Peter’s not going to be a football player…

CHARLES’ GRADE: B-

Episode 6- THE INVISIBLE HAND

Episode 6- THE INVISIBLE HAND

Flint Marko’s former partner, Alex O’Hirn, becomes the Rhino.

AWESOME. We keep the OSCORP/BIG MAN story going. And the second part of the gruesome twosome from the beginning of the series becomes the RHINO. J J doing the right thing as usual when it comes to Peter…perfect episode to show someone if they ask what’s so great about SPIDER-MAN. Plus Spidey gets the crap kicked out of him and he has to use his brains.

CHARLES’ GRADE:A

Episode 7- CATALYSTS

Episode 7- CATALYSTS

Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson go to the Midtown High Fall Formal. Meanwhile, the Green Goblin tries to take down L. Thompson Lincoln.

No, just no. This episode we get a three way reveal. We thankfully get a full appearance from MARY JANE, and it’s perfect. But then we get to the awful introduction of The GREEN GOBLIN, who we later find out is Harry osborn…really, he takes some enhancement drugs and becomes the GREEN GOBLIN…ugh. Then we finally get to see the BIG MAN, and it turns out to be TOMBSTONE. TOMBSTONE?! Nice, we’ve been working our way through the low A listers of SPIDER-MAN lore to get to the awful reveal of the Top Villain(Green Goblin) and TOMBSTONE.TOMBSTONE is only a step above HAMMERHEAD, and anybody who knows SPIDER-MAN knows that’s pretty low on the list. Only good part was the Mary Jane parts…ugh.

CHARLES’ GRADE:C-

EPISODE 8-REACTION

EPISODE 8-REACTION

Tired of constantly being pushed around by others, the timid Otto Octavius has his robotic arms permanently attached to his back and becomes the deadly Doctor Octopus.

Once again, another villain is finally realized. This show teases the big bad guys very well, because anyone who knows SPIDER-MAN will recognize the character names. It’s just the wait to see the villains emerge that make it so rewarding…sometimes. DOC OCK is awesome in this episode. He’s actually the only villain, so far, to actually be threathing to not just SPIDER-MAN but Peter’s friends. Which is a classic staple of the SPIDER-MAN story.

CHARLES’ GRADE:B+

Episode 9- THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE

Episode 9- THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE

Spider-Man is pitted against the Green Goblin and Tombstone, while Colonel John Jameson attempts to land a damaged space shuttle.

Every time Green Goblin shows up this show screeches to a halt. Green Goblin is more like HOBGOBLIN, which isn’t a good thing. For some odd reason GREEN GOBLIN (Harry Osborn) wants to take over Tombstones business. The SPIDER-MAN stuff is good as usual, and they do introduce the symbiote, but I feel like they’re just pumping out all of the SPIDER-MAN mythos into this 1st season because they’re not sure they’re coming back. No more Green Goblin please.

CHARLES’ GRADE:C-

Episode 10- PERSONA

Episode 10- PERSONA

The Chameleon is out to blacken Spider-Man’s name. The master of disguise loots the city while borrowing Spidey’s look, forcing Peter Parker to get help from Black Cat.

Alright, after that awful episode we get back to the good stuff. The usual CHAMELEON story of him disguised as Spidey story. Nice introduction of BLACK CAT and the BLACK SUIT. This series really can be really good when they do it right.

CHARLES’ GRADE:B+

Episode 11- GROUP THERAPY

Episode 11- GROUP THERAPY

Six of Spidey’s toughest enemies band together to get revenge, as the Sinister Six!

The best episode so far. Great scenes allthroughout this episode. Aunt May standing up to the villains, Peter getting the crap kicked out of him the first time he goes up against the Sinister Six. The part that put it over the top for me was the black suit taking over Peter’s body to take out the Six. The fight was epic. The ending was heartbreaking though, with JJ trying to call Peter to tell him about Aunt May being in the hospital.

CHARLES’ GRADE:A+

Episode 12- INTERVENTION

Episode 12- INTERVENTION

Spider-Man realizes the alien suit is ruining his life and tries to get rid of it. Unfortunately, it has grown too attached to Peter, and doesn’t plan on leaving him.

Um…I understand this is part 1 to a 2 part story but it’s kinda middle of the road. Peter going off on his supporting cast was awesome though. Good bit with FLASH THOMPSON too.

CHARLES’ GRADE: B

Episode 13- NATURE VS. NURTURE

Episode 13- NATURE VS. NURTURE

With Aunt May out of the hospital, Thanksgiving coming and the alien suit gone, Peter’s life is finally getting better. However, the Symbiote has survived and found a host within the vengeful Eddie Brock. Now Spider-Man must face this monster, named Venom, a creature that knows everything about him and will stop at nothing to get revenge.

This is what I’m talking about. This episode makes me even more sad about the fact that the 3rd Spider-Man movie ruined Venom so much. The fact that this VENOM was Peter’s best friend, that turned on him made it all the more thrilling when he became VENOM.

CHARLES’ GRADE:A+

————————————————————————————–

CHARLES’ OVERALL SEASON GRADE: B-

PROS: GOOD PETER PARKER/SPIDER-MAN CHARACTERIZATION, GOOD INTRODUCTION OF KEY VILLAINS

CONS: BLEW IT’S VILLAIN WAD A LITTLE TOO EARLY, WHO’S LEFT CARDIAC?, GREEN GOBLIN AND TOMBSTONE SUCKED

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One response

  1. the green goblin underworld stuff is actually pretty close to what happened in the comic when norman sought to take over the big man and the crime master’s business. to make a name for himself he picked a superhero that he felt if he killed would give him a big rep in the underworld. it was only until he became obsessed with spider-man after discovering his secret id in amazing #39 did he become the green goblin who would eventually murder gwen stacy.

    02/01/2009 at 8:50 pm

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