Reviews: Ultimate Spider-Man

Identity Crisis

Ulitimate Spiderman was a decent addition to the Spiderman franchise. It had good action scenes, a good sense of humor, and had a good cast of voices to fit into many, many characters. Some people say Drake Bell's Spiderman was "screechy" which I disagree, he provided a fun loving and confident voice to fit the lighthearted and energetic atmosphere. I also liked little details like Wolverine using Spiderman's voice and vice versa in the episode where they switched minds. However, the show was only decent when it could have been spectacular as its previous series.

The main problem is the team dynamic. If the show wanted a team dynamic, it shouldn't have focused centrally around Spiderman. It should have been renamed Young Avengers or Avengers Academy. The success of other team shows like Teen Titans, Young Justice, and X-men Evolution was due to the character dynamics that evolved over the course of the season. Unfortunately, there aren't enough episodes focusing on these dynamics so the characters remain shallow. The season 2 finale "Ultimate" has Spiderman remind each of his teammates how he helped them in an episode. However, this simply draws attention to the fact that each character of the team had only one episode dedicated to them. Beyond Spiderman, the rest of the team's interaction is stagnant, which is a shame, I could picture Luke and Sam fiddling with Sam's helmet, Danny trying some guru pick up lines on Aya, and Aya placating him, and scheming how to steal leadership of the team.

Season 4's team "Web Warriors" does a better job tying the theme together, with newbie Spidermen following a veteran. The dynamics are more varied between Peter and his team, with conflicting roles that add drama. Too bad its in the final season when they finally get this right.

The show alternates team episodes with with solo focused and team-up episodes. The solo episodes are generally better than the terrible team episodes of the first three seasons. Doc Ock's tragic redesign shows that writers could make good characters if they weren't so preoccupied by this stupid juggling act. The worst episodes were team ups. Spiderman would play straight-man to whatever unusual superhero he was paired with to take down the villain of the week. The plots were paper-thin and unimaginative, more a commercial for Marvel than a quality adventure.

I admire Ultimate Spiderman for trying to diverge from the formula, but it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a teen drama, a team show, or a wacky buddy comedy. I hope the next Spiderman series has this show's ambition, but is much better organized and knows its identity.

Good Fun

I haven't yet watched Season 2, but I've watched Season 1 and I've enjoyed it a lot! It's not gritty or dark or serious (for the most part) and that's what I love about it - sometimes all that realism can get you down, and a show like this is the perfect break from it all. The animation style is nothing special but the city landscapes are FANTASTIC, the fourth-wall breaking steadily gets more and more hilarious (I admit, I didn't like it at all when I first started watching) and overall the show is twice as good at female representation as its more serious counterpart Avengers Assemble, and four times as good at representation of POC. So long as you don't go into it expecting a serious drama filled with tragedy and angst then you'll like it - just give it a try!

Season 2 : Ultimate Improvement

Now that the seasons done, my overall feeling for this show has remarkably improved. All in all, the episodes have been much better in contrast to the somewhat so-so, 1st season.


  • Better interaction between Spidey and his team-mates.
  • More spiderman villains.
  • Deadpool that is all.
  • Episodes focusing on White Tiger (Kraven the Hunter), Iron Fist (Journey of the Iron Fist), Luke Cage (The Parent Trap), and even Nova (Guardians of the Galaxy). Are good to watch.
  • Nick fury and Spideys character dynamic in "Venom Bomb".
  • The Howling Commandos 2-parter.
  • As with before, The season finale.

While there are still things to gripe in this series, the improvements have begun to overshadow them, making this season more watchable than the 1st one.

Venom Bomb

This is the best episode of the show I have seen so far(I still had to see the Sinister Six episode).It has everything good this show offered so far:Doctor Octopus,Green Goblin and Venom all together and all of them used at their full potential.The cutaway joke are cut to a minimum in favor of good fight scenes,really scary moments(zombies venom) and awesome ideas(Venom-Goblin is a stroke of genius).Is this all?No sir:we also have geniunly and meaningfuly moments between Spiderman and Nick Fury and something that will really shakes the status quo of the show.So I really hope they continue on this tread.

Season 1: Ultimate Hit-or-Miss

Others have already pointed out the flaws in this show so i'll just go through things in a slightly different way

  • Hits
    • Introducing interesting concepts to the spider mythos like Harry being Venom for one.
    • Their treatment of Doc Ock and a surprisingly good performance from his voice actor Tom kenny.
    • Some of the guest heroes such as Cap and Thor ,kudos to RCS and TW's respective performances.
    • Iron Fist not being the only one nice to spidey but we also got to see parts of his backstory and be a complete badass.
    • Bringing villains like Taskmaster and Beetle and making them awesome in their episodes.
    • The Season Finale.

  • Misses
    • The pacing and padding problems in some episodes which detracts the feel and goes completely out of place.
    • Peter's team mates( with the exception of iron fist)being complete jerks to him and not humbling them throughout the course of the season.
    • The Cutaway Gags
    • The wasted potential of a story arc in favor of standalone episodes.
    • Sacrificing potential character development for the sake of cheap humor.

In short this season has been both a hit and miss for me with part of it being interested in the newly introduced concepts for the show but at the same time the other groaning at some of the execution and the misplaced humor.

Carnage: The return of Venom


This is an intense episode. It could be considered a followup to the season finale. Since it doesn't exactly contain references to the previous 7 episodes, it could conceivably be moved to right after it, although I suppose some of the subtleties such as Eva's closeness to Peter are brought up. That being said, this episode is actually very good. It plays into the general idea that The Green Goblin can make for some fantastic stories.

In this particular one, it ties into several of them: The Goblin's Heir storyline, the ways that Venom and Spidey sometimes team up, the rise of Carnage. Even a reference to recent comic developments.

The focus of the episode is on Norman finding an heir, and wanting to get Spider-man out of his way. The real focus is on Harry's struggle with who his father is and who he is. The line about him being use to being alone is just heartbreaking in how resigned he is. But the way he takes command over the symbiote is incredible visuals. And I mean incredible. So are the fights. We get great reminders of how dangerous the goblin is, as well as watching the symbiote work is just delightful.

And again, this episode is full of intense feelings. From the spider, to the venom. It's just great writing. More proof that good enemies make for great stories, even when the surrounding show might not be as awesome.

Is this show a joke?

I can't believe this show it is utter garbage. Nothing in this show except a few characters work. Granted I have not seen every episode(don't think i'd survive) so I'm going to run down every problem I've encountered. Spiderman suuucks! he is whiney and not a good protagonist. Mary Jane: Useless, Aunt May: Useless, Harry: Okay i guess, Flash: Douche (like he should be), White Tiger: See Harry, Nova,Power Man: Dicks, Iron Fist: He's a fucking joke(pacifist my ass), Iron Man: Pretty good could have been better, Nick Fury: He is Nick fury how can you go wrong? Norman Osborn: Great love him (probably the best character, applies to Goblin version as well) Doc Ock: See Harry, Task Master: Surprisingly well done they don't screw him up at all (2nd best character), Venom: Interesting for about 5 minutes then he just sucks (I'm okay with Harry being Venom but the suit just sucks in this show) plus if it was looking for Spiderman what was the point of jumping hosts 5+ times when he is RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU?, Kraven: Decent (3rd best), Electro: Wasted potential, Carnage: are you fucking kidding me, so much potential WASTED, making Peter carnage was brilliant for all of 5 seconds he is a shitty version of Venom that steam rolls everyone then just stops because Harry told him to and then Harry bonds with the symbiote for literally the 3rd time and it's just a lame daddy issues story. They could have done something interesting by having it be Spider Carnage but carnage doesn't even talk just gurgles and shrieks and acts like an animal. The art is mediocre I hate the little anime faces they make during cut aways. The jokes(are they even jokes?) are atrocious with there only being 2 that actually made me laugh out of the 20+ episodes I've seen. Every time I think "this could be good" I get let down. How do you get TALENT like Jeph Loeb (Batman Long Halloween, Batman Haunted Knight, Batman Hush) Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Arkham Asylum) and Man of Action (Ben 10, Generator Rex) and churn out this shitty joke of a show?

Opening Episodes

Oh. My. Goodness. This was just horrendous. What is wrong with this show? Oh, where to begin? Let's start with one of the more polarizing things: the humor. It stinks. It's either dumb or predictable, and the only times I laughed were when Flash got stuffed in the locker. It's way too in-your-face with the gags, and needs to let the audience breath. Then there's the characters. I'll admit, I like Drake bell in Drake and Josh but here he's just annoyingly squeaky. He's way too high-pitched, and it's really grating. Nick Fury is okay, but kind of bland. The teen superheros are alright, with the exception of White Tiger. She came of as an egotistical hypocrite who doesn't care about anyone but herself. The villains really need some work, and all feel very flat, though I like the less-is-more approach with Doc Ock. Peter's friends also suffer from flatness, but they have potential. However, one thing seems to be a universal character trait among the teens: they all carry an Idiot Ball around with them. Things they would normally whisper to each other to avoid letting the adults hear are nearly yelled, and Peter wasn't even able to make the obvious connection that the new students are the other superheroes. Then there's the writing. It is very inconsistent. The writers try to switch between unfunny humor and pitiful attempts at "strong characterization" come off as ridiculous and trite. Peter's dilemma was completely unbelievable, considering that these heroes SHOULD be more competent than him. And finally, my biggest problem is the very premise of the show. Spider-Man is the everyman, thrust into a world he knows nothing about, trying to learn the ropes as he goes. He doesn't have anyone else to rely on, it all comes down to him. That's why he's appealing as a character. He's one of us. Now, how many of us get superhero training with secret government organizations? Not many. This completely ruins the idea of the character. Peter's great power no longer comes with great responsibility, and that completely betrays everything Stan Lee tried to establish with this character. I for one, am not planning on watching this ever again.

Kraven the Hunter

Sooo, after seeing "Electro", which I find horrible and wasted, I had decided to give up on season 2 as well. Then a friend of mine told me the episode with Kraven was better. Intrigued, I decided to check it just in case... and I admit, I am, for once, impressed.

This is by far the best episode of this show we got so far. It has exactly what I would have been expecting. At the beginning, sure, we still get some stupid jokes, but it's quick to end. Kraven appears, and, unlike Electro, they decided to play him seriously; he is a threatening, Badass Normal, Crazy Prepared guy, with a more advanced equipment than his classic self.

But more importantly, we get something that was really lacking in this show: drama and Character Development. This episode is darker than the previous ones, revealing about White Tiger's past, powers and reasons to be so disciplined. The episode treat about the loss of a loved one, and takes advantage on Spidey's origin to create a parallel that actually works. We even get a Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming, with Ava actually being nice to Spidey for a change.

In my opinion, this was by far the first episode of Ultimate Spider-Man that could pretend to compete with Spectacular. If they keep going that way, the show MIGHT become actually good, and I might change my mind on it.

Ultimate Failure

When I heard that an Ultimate Spider-Man series would be replacing the brilliant The Spectacular Spider Man, I was mixed. It would feel very redundant after the last show had a somewhat similar premise. When I heard it was more team-up focused and that Paul Dini would join, I felt optimistic about it, having enjoyed Batman's previous show that served more to showcase the larger DC Universe. But nothing would prepare me to what I was about to witness.

To be frank, this is one of the worst animated superhero series I've seen in a long, LONG time. It really feels like it panders to the lowest common denominator. The style of humor that is painfully forced in the episodes kills any pacing, and the jokes themselves are very unfunny, only appearing to be put into cheap joke GI Fs. Nothing is ever subtle or clever, just annoying, loud, and gross. The blatant toy placement is also horrible, cramming in idiotic junk like the Spidey-Cycle and other useless Spidey-themed gadgets from SHIELD. The art and designs are very detailed, but also very generic and boring. Don't even get me started on the blatant pandering to the movie crowd, with designs ripped off from the successful movie franchise. The animation also isn't that impressive.

Probably one of the worst aspects of the show is the unlikable characters. Spidey and his band of young heroes are one-note stereotypes with little to no development, and are constantly obnoxious and rude towards each other. By the time the finale comes and Peter claims how "they're family" to him, I laughed, because I never got that feeling in the show itself. The weak, screechy voice-acting from Drake Bell probably doesn't help. Everyone else is either OK or sounds bored.

Even when the show tries to have serious moments, it fails, since they're either very melodramatic (the season finale), or just fall flat. The writing is very sloppy and full of plot holes, with no sense of consistency in tone or characterization. Considering that Man Of Action was writing and working on it, though, shouldn't surprise.

This series is just a major disappointment after the recent, great Marvel shows coming out, and it does make me worry about the new direction Marvel Animation is taking.

The Reveal/Rise of the Goblin

So, I had been willing to give this show a chance for at least half of the season. I eventually gave up on it in Run Pig Run, as I just couldn't forgive the idea of turning Spider-Man into Spider-Ham and make a whole episode on such a crappy mythology gag. After that, I lost patience and decided to stop watching. But I was curious when I heard Osborn was finally becoming the Goblin in the series' finale, so I decided to make an exeption for it. The result was... mixed.

I grant it, the finale got better when compared to the rest of the show. While his origin makes no sense, even by comics standards (so you inject a guy with two Spider-Men dna and you get a goblin version of Hulk with no relation to spiders? Come on!), this Goblin is actually quite well-handled on many aspects; I like how they mixed the Ultimate and mainstream version. He also is actually quite creepy and disturbing, making him a convincing Knight Of Cerebus, witch this show needed a lot, seeing how Octavious couldn't be here all the time. I also appreciated that Spidey finally started being badass for a change. The symbiote was removed from Harry, and will probably be wore by Eddie Brock the next time. I was also impressed they dared crush Connor's arm to prepare him to become Lizard.

Now, for the bad aspects. First, the Cerebus Syndrome arrives too late, and without any preparation; Spider-Man worried for his teammates could have worked, but we didn't get any actual Character Development over the course of the show, so his concern for them comes a bit out of nowhere, especially considering they were a bunch of Jerk Ass most of the time. Also, as usual, the cutaway gags ruins some moments that could have been great if played seriously, most notably the flashback on Spidey's origin and Harry finding out his father was transformed with Spidey's dna. Similarly, Harry's hate, while acceptable, seems misplaced considering his father only cared about him when he was Venom...

To conclude, this finale was indeed much better than any other episode, but it still has a long way to go to qualify as actually good. While an improvement, it doesn't make up for the flaws in previous episodes. I do hope season 2 will learn from it and get better, but I honestly doubt it.

Getting Better

I began to view this series with an open mind.... Unfortunately the first few episodes were disappointing. I considered dropping the series, but the Venom episodes kept me around as it was actually interesting to me. I'm glad I hung around as the newest batch of episodes have shown to be a major improvement over the first few. The characters of Iron Fist and Luke Cage get more development, and we get to see the team actually working together and showing that yes, these characters do have a purpose. Nova has gotten the least attention of the team, but even he has gotten more bearable and seems less like a straight Jerkass and more of a rival who works together with the team. Even Nick Fury gets some development, but Colson and JJJ are still underused. Mary Jane is also underused, but I can understand that the writers want to focus on the team more than the classic supporting characters. The jokes have gotten more bearable, with less slap stick antics in the middle of fight scenes. The fourth wall breaking actually helps show Spider-Man's train of thought instead of being used as padding. As of this review I have seen all episodes up till snow day, and I gotta say while I still miss Spectacular, this series is doing its own thing, and it gets better with every new episode.

Not that bad, but still not impressed

So, let's see... I had planned a moment ago to make a review of this show, but I wanted to see more of it before putting an actual opinion. Now that the show got like 10 episodes, and seems on its way to end its season, I think it's time I give my opinion about it.

Now, my opinion is: the show isn't all bad. It has some interesting stuff. I appreciate the fact it has a lot of crossover, does't take itself too seriously, and some characters, such as Taskmaster, are actually impressive. Also, even though it's an ambiguous point, I think the idea of Harry Osborn being Venom is an interesting change.

But I'm still not impressed.

While the show has good stuff, it also has several changes that I don't appreciate. To start with a small part, I'd like to know the point of naming it "Ultimate Spider-Man" when it has NOTHING to do with the actual comic. I'm sorry, but the way the title is said in the story sounds just stupid to me. I want Spider-Man to be funny, not a total moron. And that's my next point: the show is too oriented toward humor, to the point it ends up dropping the dark, mature stuff required for the equilibrium that made Spidey so enjoyable. His problems with Aunt May, his pain over his uncle's death, the psychotic side of some of his enemies, are barely even mentionned. Instead, we get an Idiot Plot about learning responsabilities with Nick Fury as The Mentor (isn't he supposed to be THE hero who had to learn responsabilities alone?) with annoying, under-developped teenage versions of other mavel superheroes. Though, granted, Iron Fist is actually likable, I still rather Spider-Man starting as a loner : he could have joined a team later in the story.

Also, while I love the crossover, I really think they took it too far: now, we had so far only three Spider-Man villains for 10 episodes. And Spidey fought only one of them in person so far. What's the point of having such a great Rogues Gallery if you don't even use it?

So, I'll say the show isn't all bad and has potential, but so far, it mostly wasted it, which makes me only more mad about it.

Episode 8 Got Me In

I got into this series because I saw episode eight "Back in Black", which I'm going to talk about, so Spoilers!

I turned on the TV and saw the last seven minutes of the episode (I didn't even know the show was airing yet—oops). I proceeded to have much fangirling over the idea that Harry Osborn was Venom. Why?

1—The "Traditional" Venom storyline, with the suit being possessive of Peter like a jealous girlfriend, isn't that old itself—it was in the 90s series (the original comics storyline had Pete as a bit of a jerk to it). Having it want to kill him because it was made to is interesting. Having it made from his DNA? Even more interesting.

2—I LOVE this version of Harry, even more so as I watched more episodes. He reminds me of 90s-show Harry before the Sanity Slippage. He's someone you can genuinely say is Peter's best friend. That's why they made Eddie so close to Peter in The Spectacular Spider Man, so it would hurt more. Guess what? it's likely going to keep hurting here too, since the symbiote survived.

3—Norman and Harry's relationship. I don't mind the abusive Norman from the comics, since it's been built up over the years (though the bike story from Harry's childhood...that's just wow), but it's nice to see one who does care about Harry, though he's still not paying attention to him. It gives us a reason Harry wants to impress his dad. Plus it leaves you wondering when Norman will cross over into Complete Monster territory (as he usually does).

4—It's like the Hobgoblin storyline in the Ultimate comics, which they couldn't do straight up without Norman being the Goblin first, which would take too long. See, IMO, that storyline ended way too soon. Wow, Harry's the Hobgoblin, he fights Peter, ends up in SHIELD's custody, who get him to piss off his dad so they can catch him, Harry dies. He just dies. His story arc ends there.

This new twist gives us a lot of opportunities. For example, Harry's symbiote is the original, so how will it react to Doc Ock's new ones? Can Harry influence the symbiote like his son did in Spider Girl? Will we have a Harry who gets something resembling a happy ending? What will push Norman over the deep end? Will Peter ever have to tell anyone who Venom really is? Let's stay tuned to find out!

Surprisingly Good

I'll admit, I've been absent from the Spider-Man franchise for quite some time (pretty much went away around the time it was announced Sony was rebooting the film series). With Ultimate Spider-Man airing, I decided to give it a shot, keeping no expectations that it would be good.

Turns out, I liked it quite a bit. I wouldn't say it's the best Spider-Man show I've seen, but it is one of the better ones. The style reminds me quite a bit of Teen Titans, with silly animated segments and an overall tongue-in-cheek presentation. And it works. Some of the little animations are pretty funny (the one at the end of the second episode with Mini-Spidey running around Peter's head to turn on a lightbulb was a wonderful sight gag), and most of the lines are pretty good too ("Okay, now I'm scared thwipless!"). There were plenty of subtle nods towards all the Marvel movies (Iron Man's first flight test is shown in a mini-animation, Agent Coulson has come straight from the Marvel Cinematic universe, and Stan Lee makes an appearance as a janitor), and the new characters are interesting enough.

The animation in the "real" show feels a bit stiffer than Spectacular Spider-Man, but there are still plenty of notable fight scenes (the scene where Spidey is running up tables that The Wizard is hurling at him made the action aficionado in me grin). The series does take a few liberties with the established Spidey canon (MJ wants to be a journalist now rather than an actress, Aunt May's become a lot more lively and energetic, and I'm still not sure if Peter and MJ are in a relationship or not), but that's to be expected in an adaptation.

Overall though, I was pleasantly surprised with Ultimate Spider-Man. Once again, it's not the best Spider-Man show I've seen (that honor goes to Spectacular Spider-Man), but it is a worthy addition to the Spidey mythos. Give it a try. It might surprise you like it surprised me.

Thwip Thwip!

Good, but not as good as I had hoped

So,I've seen 3 episodes of this show, and I greeted it with an overwhelming.... "Yeah it's pretty good." This show is THE HYPEST SHIT! I love the fourth wall breaking, the cutaway gags, the Imagine Spots, and the animation and voice acting. While I think that they should've gotten anyone other than Drake Bell ( {James Arnold Taylor} would've been a better choice) the voice acting is good, and there's very little I would change about it. The fight scenes are good as well, though they could be better. While this show cannot replace Spectacular Spider-Man, I'd reccomend it to any Spider-Man fan.


So, we've had one review saying this cartoon was good, and another saying it was bad. I shall give my opinion, and say that it was...okay.

The cartoon has plenty of treats for older fans, in the form of returning voice actors and little bits like Dr Conner's arm not being seen at first, but it's very clear about the fact that it's aimed at a younger audience. An impromptu food fight foiling a team of villains prevented us from taking the show too seriously, but this was between some pretty satisfying action scenes. The overall premise and parts of its execution remind me of the old 'and his Amazing Friends' show, with an improbable amount of tech being given to the wallcrawler. But it takes a fairly modern and self referential look at itself, and rightly questions the logic of Spiderman having a motorbike before justifying it. While the plot of this episode had some holes, like Fury automatically assuming a teenager knows how to drive, but the interaction between the main heroes feels somewhat believable, particularly near the climax.

I've heard this show thus far being compared to Teen Titans, and in my opinion, it really is Marvel's answer to the cartoon. An action show, with some edgy moments, but stuffed with heavy amounts of cartoonish frivolity. Do the real cartoonish parts suit Spiderman? The fact we haven't had such things in most marvel cartoons before might have made it more jarring, but if any non-deadpool superhero had them thrust on him, it would be Spidey. TT didn't suffer for its goofiness in the long term, but what helped was the story becoming more dark and mature. If the glimpses of Dr Octavius were any indication, Ultimate Spiderman can go down that road. With the proper kick, and enough time to gather steam, this show could become much better.

All in all, a very different, shaky start to the new series, but with the capacity to greatly improve.


This was a terrible pilot episode.

Right off the bat, the monologues felt like they were directly talking down to the audience as if the never heard of Spiderman. Pretty sure everyone on the fucking planet has. Then there were about a minute and a half intros for people like MJ and Harry Osborn. We didn't need this long an explanation for the previous show, Spectacular Spiderman. It essentially it made the viewer hold its hand and point out everything it needed instead of letting people do their own damn work. Drake Bell's voice added to this annoyance with his somewhat obnoxious voice sounding too high pitched compared to Josh Keaton.

With Norman Osborn's appearance, he wastes no time in hitting the audience over the head with how evil he was. Nothing in this show was subtle. The overall designs were kinda mute as were facial expressions. The fourth wall gags and most of the humor seemed juvienille and very very much of an indication of padding, overall it was very mediocre. Only saw one episode and it was one too many.