Rave : 2008 : 8 Reasons to Watch Spectacular Spider-Man
If you aren't watching The Spectacular Spider-Man on CW Kids' WB, you are missing out on what is quickly becoming one of the greatest Spidey cartoons of all-time. Since the show's premier on March 8th, it has continued to impress me and word on the net is, many other Spider-Man fans are also amazed. But if one needs more in depth reasons to watch Spectacular Spider-Man, well here they are:
- Excellent Voice Acting. Josh Keaton does a fantastic job voicing Peter and his alter ego. Darran Noris was born to voice J. Jonah Jameson and his scenes are on par with the films. Alan Rachins does such a frighteningly good job as Norman Osborn that I can't wait to hear what he'll sound like when he becomes the Green Goblin. And for all you horror movie freaks out there, the man behind the Vulture's voice is none other than Robert Englund from the Nightmare on Elm Street flicks.
- Smooth Animation. I cannot get enough of how amazing this show looks in motion. Many have criticized the show for the simplistic character designs. Those same simple-looking characters are what allow the show to have the sweet movement that it does. One of my favorite scenes is in the first episode where Spidey is fighting the Enforcers. There's some hand-to-hand combat with Fancy Dan that flowed so smoothly it had my jaw hitting the floor. When Spidey is web-slinging through the city to make it to school on time in the second episode, he moves at a speed and style that is right up there with the web-slinging scenes from the movies. Pardon the pun, but the animation in this cartoon is spectacular.
- Greg Weisman Works on This Show. If you liked Gargoyles, you'll like this show. Greg Weisman was heavily involved in that awesome Disney cartoon and his hand in Spectacular Spider-Man is far-reaching. Greg likes for the writing on the shows he's involved in to be on all levels, kids and adults. This cartoon is no exception.
- Villains Galore! Sandman, Doc Ock, Venom, the Vulture, Shocker, the Enforcers, Electro, on my! Nearly every bad guy from the Lee/Ditko era is listed to show up in the shows first season. These baddies are also being portrayed extremely well. Spidey was really getting his clock cleaned by the Lizard and if you think Shocker is a scrub, you should see how he does business in this show. I'm hoping we'll get Hobgoblin in later seasons as I'm positive this show would do great things with his character.
- Plot & Pacing. One of the many things I love about this show is the plot and how it moves along. Within the first episode we already see Doc Ock, Rhino, Venom, Shocker, Curt Connors before they become villains. Instead of just having them show up in the episode where they start making Spidey's life miserable, we get to see them go about their daily lives. In the first episode we can see Dr. Connors injecting himself with the formula he's been developing to grow his arm back. In episode three he turns into the Lizard due to problem that occured with the formula in episode two. At the end of the fourth episode, the Big Man has Norman Osborn create super villains just to keep Spidey from interfering with the crime racket. It really is some epic stuff and it all moves along at a reasonable speed.
- Homage! The guys that do this show are huge Spidey fans and they've done their homework. In at least two episodes there have been instances where half a mask comes over Peter's face just like we've seen a million times in the comics. Spidey even holds some short conversations with aunt May on his cell phone while Electro is trying to deep fry him. Trust me, if you've read a lot of stories from the Lee/Ditko, Lee/Romita era you will geek out many times when you watch this show.
- The Supporting Cast. I love the action segments of this show but some of my favorite scenes are when Peter is interacting with aunt May, his friends at school or his co-workers at the Bugle. Peter David once said that Spider-Man is one of those characters that works best when he's around normal people and this show proves that tenfold. Betty Brant, Gwen Stacy, Glory Grant, and Randy Robertson, characters that have been more or less left out in previous Spider-Man cartoons make regular appearances here. I especially liked Peter asking Betty to go to a school dance with him only to be turned down because of the age difference between then. Of course if Peter weren't so preoccupied with other things, he'd realize that Gwen was trying to ask him to the same dance. I just love this stuff!
- The Creators Truly Understand Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Being Spider-Man is a huge release for Peter but when the mask comes off, he's still got to deal with every day life. On top of that, being Spider-Man also makes his life more difficult but these things don't come off feeling forced. Yeah, Peter gets to be Spider-Man, but to the world at large, (which for him in this case would be high school), he's still a nerd with only a handful of friends, but he's not a loser and you never want to stop rooting for him. Beneath that suit is a kid cracking jokes during super villain fights, trying to stay calm in a bad situation.
Kudos to Greg Weisman and everyone working on Spectacular Spider-Man for making such an amazing show!