Spectacular Spider-Man has been a cartoon that I have yet to watch until now. I’ve read on the series and that many Spider-Man fans love it. The series only lasted a couple of seasons then it was cut short. While I was doing research on the show before watching, fans would say that this show is the definitive Spider-Man cartoon. Some would say that it’s better than the cartoon from the ’90s and Ultimate Spider-Man (most recent Spidey cartoon). I had to go on a mission to see if the fans were right.
The first episode is titled, “Survival of the Fittest.” Spider-Man is an already established hero as the show begins. Peter Parker, who is Spider-Man, is in high school while also juggling being a superhero. His friends consists of Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn. Stacy is changed in the show to more of a geeky, smart character that doesn’t hang around the popular crowd. It’s obvious that she likes him more than friends while Parker doesn’t realize it.
I can tell that the show draws from the early Spider-Man comics from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Although Parker is dressed in modern clothing, he wants to be accepted by his popular classmates just as he did in the Silver Age days. He doesn’t like being bullied and he aspires to date a popular girl in his grade. Although Harry Osborn is popular in the Silver Age comics, he isn’t in this show as he’s looking to become popular himself just as Parker is trying to do. Gwen Stacy is content with where she stands in her class. She doesn’t let any of the popular crowd affect her.
The main villain in this episode is The Vulture, who is also the villain in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. The Vulture is played by Robert Englund. Yes, the same man who played horror icon Freddy Krueger in The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Englund gives a fiery performance as Adrian Toomes (Vulture) who had his flight suit blueprints taken from him by Norman Osborn and wants back what is his. Toomes gets back his suit then begins to wreak havoc on New York. Spider-Man takes him on, defeating him, and saving Norman Osborn. Josh Keaton, who plays Parker/Spidey, gives an impressive range in his playing Parker. He’s able to capture the excitement of Parker when he’s Spidey then the emotional side of Parker when things doesn’t go his way.
This first episode is a good pilot. It introduces many characters that will play a part in the show’s future. Norman Osborn, Otto Octavius, Eddie Brock, Dr. Curt Connors, Aunt May, Hammerhead, and The Enforcers all appear. They’re mainly supporting characters, but it’s clear they’ll play a part down the road.
I can’t wait to talk about the next episode!