Dead Television Marvel Month 2: MTV’s Spider-Man (The New Animated Series)


…Dary! LEGENDARY! (get it?)

Once again, following the success of another Marvel movie (this one being Spider-Man (obviously)), I should’ve mentioned a lot of these shows were cash-ins for live action movies, and this was just the first Spidey cash-in. MTV decided to make an animated series based on Ultimate Spider-Man, but reworked the show to make it into a semi-sequel to the (first) Sam Rami movie. The show ran from July 11th to September 12th 2003. With all episodes airing out of order.

MTV’s Spider-Man was the first animated superhero series (at least from what I’ve gathered) to use CG animation, brought to us by the good people of Mainframe (now called Rainmaker) Entertainment, the same people who brought us ReBoot, Beast Wars, and Beast Machines.

The three main characters from the movie (five if you count J. Jonah Jameson and Flash Thompson), except Aunt May is not seen throughout the series (something that has not been done since Spider-Man Unlimited), return for the show but are of course voiced by different actors. The show also introduced new characters and new villains, both classic, original, and analog, the popular being Kraven The Hunter. Electro was given a more tragic backstory, being bullied by a fraternity, then getting shot with paintballs by said fraternity, and getting electrocuted by a neon sign, after that he gained his powers. Other noteable villains were Kraven The Hunter, (who became a fan favorite), The Lizard voiced by musician/director Rob Zombie, and The Kingpin voiced by the late Michael Clarke Duncan, I guess it was meant to kind of tie-in to the Daredevil movie.

The series-exclusive villains are a bit hit and miss for me, most of these villains were just normal regular people, though there were some that appeared in the finale that had psychic powers. The only two villains that are meant to expy’s to Spidey’s rogues gallery are, Turbo Jet (and expy of Rocket Racer), and Talon (an expy of Black Cat).

After the show’s final episode, MTV cancelled the series, due to low ratings. Series director Brandon Vietti stated that if the show was renewed, it would’ve introduced, Mysterio and Vulture, and more appearances by Kraven.

On the hole, the show itself is not good, if anything it’s mediocre at best. The only good thing’s about the show are it’s animation (specifically the night shots), and the voice work of Neil Patrick Harris (Peter/Spidey), Michael Dorn (Kraven), and Michael Clarke Duncan (Kingpin). But other than that, I can’t really recommend it, the series is available on DVD, and  Youtube.

This may have been a mediocre show, but this won’t be the last time we’ll see Spidey this month, but we’ll get to that soon. Next time, we look at what could possibly be, the final animated series to feature four astonishing heroes.

RANK: 3 out of 5


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