Spider-man Your favourite animated Spider-Man series

Discussion in 'Comics Central' started by Mel O'Drama, Jun 7, 2017.

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Which animated Spidey slings your webs?

  1. Spider-Man (1967)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Spider-Man (1981)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends (1981)

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  4. Spider-Man (1994)

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  5. Spider-Man Unlimited (1999)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (2003)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Ultimate Spider-Man (2012)

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  9. Marvel's Spider-Man (2017)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hard to believe, but the original Spider-Man animated series with its iconic singalongable theme song is half a century old.

    There have been oodles of celluloid Spideys in that time. But which is closest to your heart... and why?

    Stay tuned and I'll refresh your memories about each version over the next few posts....
     
  2. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Spider-Man (1967)


    "Does whatever a spider can..."

    The original animated TV series based on the comic book series was jointly produced in Canada (voice acting) and the United States (animation).The first two seasons aired on ABC and the third was distributed in syndication. Grantray-Lawrence Animation produced Season One. Seasons Two and Three were produced by Krantz Films in New York City. The show starred Paul Soles as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The series ran from 9 September 1967 to 14 June 1970.





    Spider-Man (1981 - AKA "Spider-Man 5000")



    In 1981, with the creation of the animation studio Marvel Productions Ltd., Marvel endeavoured to translate more of their comic characters to television. To garner the attention of the major networks, Marvel first created a new syndicated Spider-Man cartoon that was partially based on the old 1960s show. The strategy worked and NBC became interested in having their own Spider-Man cartoon.


    Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends was at times believed to be something of a sequel to this solo Spider-Man animated series, although the first episodes of both series aired on the same date. Although not as well known as Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, the animation style of both incarnations and incidental music soundtrack are identical, although the voice actors are different. The solo series remains closer to the concept of the comic book character.

    Spider-Man/Peter Parker was voiced by Ted Schwartz. The series ran from 12 September 1981 to 30 March 1982.






    Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends (1981)


    "Spider-Friends... Go for it!"

    This show saw Spidey joined by already-established Marvel Comics character Iceman plus an original character - Firestar. As a trio called the Spider-Friends they fought against various villains of the Marvel Universe. Firestar finally became an official part of the Marvel comic book universe in 1985: two years after the series ended.

    "The Prison Plot" of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends has a flashback depicting a scene from the solo series episode "When Magneto Speaks...People Listen", suggesting a connection between the two series.

    Dan Gilvezan voiced Spider-Man/Peter Parker. The series ran from 12 September 1981 to 10 September 1983.
     
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  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Spider-Man (1994)



    Made for the Fox Network to accompany their X-Men series, this show used a novel system of one large story arc per season, developed by John Semper. As a result, each of the episodes starting with Season Two were called "chapters" and the show was heavily serialised. This series more closely reflected the comic book as it delved into the personal conflict Peter Parker felt as Spider-Man.

    Sixty five episodes were made in all. Christopher Daniel Barnes provided the voice of Spider-Man/Peter Parker. Spider-Man ran from 19 November 1994 to 31 January 1998.





    Spider-Man Unlimited (1999)



    Originally intended to be an expanded-universe final season of the 1994 show, it was developed for Fox into a unique series in which Spider-Man is transported to a counter-earth in which Ben Parker hadn't died.

    Though it had fair ratings, it was overshadowed by Pokémon and Digimon, and cancelled after airing only a few episodes. Fox Kids aired the remaining episodes from 2000 to 2001 with the series ending on a cliffhanger. Several scripts were written for Season Two, including the conclusion of the cliffhanger, but none were ever produced.

    The series ran from 2 October 1999 to 13 March 2001. Here Spider-Man was voiced by Rino Romano.
     
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  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (2003)



    In the wake of 2002's live action Sam Raimi film, the first computer animated Spider-Man was produced by Mainframe Entertainment for Sony Pictures Television and broadcast on MTV. It featured characters and continuity from the film as well as Michael Clarke Duncan voicing the Kingpin - reprising his role from the 2003 live action Daredevil film.

    The show lasted only one season, with thirteen episodes running from 11 July to 12 September 2003. Spider-Man/Peter Parker was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.






    The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008)



    This television series was heavily inspired by both the early Lee/Ditko and Romita comic book stories, with elements from Bendis/Bagley's Ultimate Spider-Man. The original supporting cast, including Flash Thompson, were translated into modern terms - with some given altered ethnicities - but the stories remained faithful to the original, with Peter Parker depicted as a teenager living in contemporary New York.

    The first season followed several plot arcs drawn from the comics. Though universally acclaimed, the series ended when Sony Pictures relinquished its rights, which it had licensed from Marvel, to produce animated works using Spider-Man and associated characters.

    Two seasons - twenty six episodes in total - aired from 8 March 2008 to 18 November 2009. Spider-Man was voiced by Josh Keaton.
     
  5. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ultimate Spider-Man (2012)



    The plot saw Peter Parker, who has been Spider-Man for one year, still in the process of learning how to be a superhero. Nick Fury of S.H.I.L.D. offers Peter the chance to train to become "The Ultimate Spider-Man". However, Peter will first have to learn how to work with a team of four fellow teenage superheroes: Nova, White Tiger, Power Man and Iron Fist.

    Controversially, Spider-Man was depicted as breaking the fourth wall and the critical and fan reception of the series was mixed. This incarnation was shown to be less refined than previous versions: less experienced, less responsible, and much more of a goofball. But at times he still showed a fair degree of competence at times and learnt from his mistakes.

    With over a hundred episodes, this is Marvel's longest-running animated series to date. It ran from 1 April 2012 to 7 January 2017. Spider-Man/Peter Parker was voiced by Drake Bell.






    Marvel's Spider-Man (2017)



    This upcoming animated action-adventure, science-fiction television series is a reboot of the Ultimate Spider-Man television series. It is set to premiere in mid-2017 on on Disney XD.

    I'll include it in the poll for anyone viewing this thread a little down the line.







    And that's the lot. So far!


    Which one is your favourite?





    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    On and off this week I've been thinking about this one and it's tough.

    I haven't seen too much of the Noughties series. I like what I've seen (The Spectacular Spider-Man looks especially appealing), but it's going to come down to some of the series I watched when I was young(er) as that's when I was at my most impressionable.

    These are my final four:


    The Sixties series was my introduction to animated Spidey. Now I think about it, it could well have been my introduction to superheroes. I grew up watching repeats of this (I'm too young to have watched it when it was brand new) and back then this was THE superhero show. There just weren't any others (I'd later find out that characters like Cap, Iron Man and Thor had their own animated series, but they didn't get shown. Probably because the animation was dire). When I've revisited this in more recent years, the best aspect has been the music. Not just the iconic theme, but the swinging score throughout the episodes. I'd definitely buy a soundtrack of this one.


    I love the continuity, the slick animation and the occasional darkness of the 1994 series. Sure, there are a few little liberties taken with continuity and well-known stories (Green Goblin debuting after Hobgoblin has always frustrated me, but then even the team behind it have said they'd have done it differently had they known how long it would run). But overall it's the definitive animated Spider-Man time capsule.

    I'm going to write the above two out, though. The Sixties series doesn't hold up well today with poor animation and less than stellar stories. The Nineties series is close to canon, but not quite and it came along a little late for me to really appreciate it.



    That leaves me with two other favourites: both the 1981 series.


    Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends wowed me when it first aired here. The timing was perfect: it first aired here in late-1983 - a year in which I got heavily into Marvel Comics.

    I'm going to geek out for a paragraph here while I contextualise where I was when Amazing Friends came into my world (feel free to skip): My ongoing Spidey UK comic collection started in March 1983 with issue #522 (drawn in, ironically, by a cover featuring Spider-Woman whose own cartoon series was then belatedly airing on CITV). Later in the year I also started collecting the American Spidey titles every month starting with Amazing Spider-Man #244; Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider Man #85 and Marvel Team-Up #135 (MTU was a title which had Spider-Man paired with a different Marvel character each issue. The first one I bought featured one of my all-time favourite comic characters: Kitty Pryde (1983 also saw me hooked on the mutant titles, a heap of other titles such as The Avengers and a number of DC titles. I got the bug in a big way for about a decade and the obsession only grew in that time).

    Anyhow, while this was all happening, along came Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, finally arriving on Children's BBC one Thursday afternoon in late 1983 and officially endorsed by the UK version of Spidey's comic which changed its title to match and printed an adaption of the first episode over three weeks.

    I loved the sparkly fantasy of the series. Plus every week there were all these guest-stars from other comics I was reading - including series regular Iceman (when the original X-Men had a cameo in the Iceman origin episode it was almost too much excitement for me). Then there was Firestar. Most of the ensemble titles I've bought have been on the basis of the female characters. I suppose I was something of an accidental feminist as a kid. Spider-Man was almost the sole exception to that - one of the few male characters I've found endearing on his own merits (solo Batman comics, for example, were usually only bought when Catwoman or Batgirl was featured). You can imagine how I felt about a sparkly new superheroine working with two male characters I enjoyed on their own merits.

    Plus Peter looks exactly as I think he should look. Close to the Romita/Romita Jr. models of him in the comics I read. Outside of the 1981 shows, none of the Peters have looked quite right.

    I don't even mind that Angelica and Bobby were visually based on the comics' Mary Jane and Flash. In fact I kind of like it.

    And it has a fantastic soundtrack by the great Johnny Douglas. Seriously - when is there going to be an official CD release?!


    Next to its flashier, glitzier companion show, the solo Spidey series made at the same time seems like a hidden gem. Actually, it's superior to the team-up show in many ways. It shares the animation style and character models and has the same music style, but it's closer to the true spirit of the comic: Peter is an average kid struggling to balance his study while scraping together some money as a casual photographer at the Bugle, looking after his aunt and having to battle super-villains on the side. It's the perfect sequel to the Sixties series while sharing the improved animated style of the early Eighties. And it had some great guest characters such as the Black Cat and Medusa. What's not to love?!


    I'm still quite torn between these two series. If I could both together it would be a no-brainer.

    The solo 1981 series feels more canon. If I were watching for the first time today I suspect that would easily be my favourite of the two. But I have to take into account how big an impression each show made on me the first time I watched. I don't watch TV and film adaptions for canonical versions of the stories anyway. I watch to see a fun alternative version to their proper medium, so why not go all out and have pure fantasy?

    On that basis: Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends edges it into winning position for me.*





    * I surprised myself with that conclusion. I came on sure I was going to vote for the 1981 solo series but talked myself out of it as I posted.
     
  7. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ooh - I just noticed Spidey's been given his very own prefix.

    Stan The Man approves...

    [​IMG]
     

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