Helmed by Gargoyles creator Greg Weisman
and Victor Cook from the Hellboy DT Vs
, "The Spectacular Spider-Man" premiered in 2008 to tie in to Sam Raimi's 2007 film "Spider-Man 3". Ever since this show was fist announced as a DTV series, I was looking forward to seeing a new Spidey series, and the announcement of Weisman's involvement made me really look forward to the premiere. It did not disappoint.
"TSSM" is one of the best comic book cartoons out there, and I'd rank it just as high as "Batman: The Animated Series". It pays tribute to the Ditko and Lee's run in the 60's, but skillfully adapts other elements from the movies, the Ultimate Comics, and decades worth of comic book history and content to create a cohesive, developed world. It is mostly faithful to the source material, while still putting on new twists and revamps here and there.
The writing is sharp, providing for some nuanced dialog, some clever Spidey humor, and likable, endearing characters from Peter and his flawed character, to his strong supporting cast and extra characters, to his colorful Rogues Gallery
. Everyone has an interesting relationship with each other. The stories are almost formatted to have several mini story-arcs in both seasons, but the episodes themselves are episodic enough to not get viewers confused. Character development is aplenty as well. The voice cast is mostly perfectly cast, from Josh Keaton
giving an iconic performance as Peter and Spidey, to Lacey Chabert as Gwen, Vanessa Marshall as Mary Jane, and the villains such as Steven Blum
's deliciously evil Green Goblin, or Kevin Michael Richardson
as the cold, calculating Tombstone.
Though the show's stylized art style is a point of controversy, I personally enjoyed it. It is a fresh breath of air from anime and Timm imitators, and provides for some neat costume updates, such as Vulture and Electro. The art style also allows for some great animation and fight scenes, such as Symbiote Spidey's first fight with the Sinister Six, or the opera fight between three mob bosses. It is fast-paced, but not without detail.
Overall, "The Spectacular Spider-Man" is an excellent show. Though it was cancelled due to unfortunate Executive Meddling
, it remains a high-quality production. One of the best cartoons of the 2000's, and one that hopefully will not be forgotten anytime soon.