Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"When Spider-Man lands on a rooftop, make sure he doesn't land on any pigeons"

   The nostalgia bug has hit me recently, that combined with Netflix recently putting on a ton of old shows, has lead me to the path of rewatching Spider-Man the Animated Series.  the show originally ran from Nov. 1994 until Jan. 1998, a total of 65 episodes over the five seasons.
   The great thing about this show, was that it didn't find the need to over explain things like a lot of shows and even movies do today, but it didn't dumb down anything for kids either.  Season one throws us straight into the thick of things, Peter Parker is already Spidey, and he's out fighting supercriminals, no backstory needed.
   The show has a lot of science and techno babble, 99 percent of which is made up completely.  But ti doesn't try to over explain the science behind this stuff, it just works its way into the conversations on the show and the viewer is expected to understand it.
   The animation holds up to today's standards, even better than a lot of current shows.  Marvel and DC both had several shows out in this time frame, and animation wise, this was one of the best looking shows of the era. Voice wise, Christopher Barnes, while not a well known actor, was an amazing Spider-Man.
   Season one lasted 13 episodes, and introduced us to many classic Spidey villains such as the Lizard, Shocker, Venom, Mysterio, the Hobgoblin and many more.
   Batman the animated series was still on the air when this show debuted, as was Superman the animated series.  The powers that be at the next sent out a memo stating "When Spider-Man lands on a rooftop, make sure he doesn't land on any pigeons," hence the title. What that meant however was that they wanted a show with much less violence than Batman. Batman didn't take any punches when it came to beating on the baddies, Spider-Man wasn't allowed to do anything that would insinuate violence.  He only even attempted to throw a single punch in the entire series, which did not land.
   That memo however in no way changes the enjoyability of the show. the show remains one of my favorite animated shows of all time.
   Stay tuned for reviews of seasons 2-5, and my overall impressions of the show in the near future.

Episode #1 - Night of the Lizard
Original Airdate - November 19th, 1994
Peter's science teacher, Dr. Curt Connors, transforms himself into the Lizard while attempting an experiment to regenerate his missing limb. Consumed by the animal instincts of the Lizard, Dr. Connors terrorizes the city and becomes a hunted man. When Spider-Man discovers that his teacher is in fact the monster he has been trying to capture, he must find a cure before Dr. Connors' transformation becomes irreversible.

Episode #2 - The Sting Of The Scorpion
Original Airdate - March 11th, 1995
J. Jonah Jameson hires a detective, Mac Gargan, to be transformed into a super hero to fight Spider-Man and names him the Scorpion. But Scorpion turns on his creators after he mutates and attempts to blow up a power plant. Now Spider-Man must clean up the mess that Jameson has created and stop Scorpion before he destroys the city.
Episode #3 - The Spider Slayer
Original Airdate – February 4th, 1995
In order to pay off his debt to the crime boss known as the Kingpin, Norman Osborn hires Spencer Smythe to design a powerful robot called the Spider-Slayer to capture and destroy Spider-Man. Spider-Man manages to defeat the machine along with Spencer Smythe in a massive exposion...or did he?
Episode #4 - Return of the Spider Slayers
Original Airdate - Feburary 11th, 1995
Alistair Smythe, Spencer Smythe's son, builds three more Spider-Slayers to destroy Spider-Man and the people he holds responsible for his father's death.
Episode #5 - The Menace of Mysterio
Original Airdate - Feburary 25th, 1995
As part of a personal vendetta a new villain in town, Mysterio, frames Spider-Man in order to tarnish his reputation and attempts to gain the status as the real hero of New York. Now, Spider-Man must foil Mysterio's plan and expose him for the villain he is!
Episode #6 - Doctor Octopus: Armed and Dangerous
Original Airdate - February 18th, 1995
Spider-Man battles the villain known as Doctor Octopus, who has kidnapped Felicia Hardy and J. Jonah Jameson for ransom. Spider-Man discovers that Doctor Octopus has a personal vendetta against Felicia's mother, Anastasia. Now, Spider-Man must find a way to put an end to the grudge and save two innocent lives.
Episode #7 - The Alien Costume, Part 1
Original Airdate - April 29th, 1995
Spider-Man comes across an alien symbiote that attaches itself to him and forms a new black costume. Meanwhile, Eddie Brock accuses Spider-Man of stealing a valuable rock which was really stolen by the Rhino. Now Spider-Man faces a $1,000,000 bounty for his capture.
Episode #8 - The Alien Costume, Part 2
Original Airdate - May 6th, 1995
When Spider-Man discovers that his black costume is a living organism, he decides to use it to get back the Prometheum X. Meanwhile, Eddie Brock's lies eventually leads to his firing when Jameson realizes that he's been duped. Spider-Man eventually removes the symbiote after fighting the Shocker, only for it to find a new host, Eddie Brock. 
Episode #9 - The Alien Costume, Part 3
Original Airdate - May 13th, 1995
Eddie Brock, now bonded with the symbiote costume and calling himself Venom, sets out to destroy Spider-Man. Now faced with a stronger foe that possesses the same abilities as him, Spider-Man must find a way to outwit and outmatch this menacing new villain and send the alien symbiote back to outer space.
Episode #10 - Kraven the Hunter
Original Airdate – April 1st, 1995
Spider-Man finds himself caught between Mariah Crawford, a doctor from Africa, and Kraven, a man who has stalked her all the way to America. An accomplished hunter, Kraven gained animal-like abilities when he ingested a cure to save his life, but the side effects are causing his behavior to be erratic and violent. Spider-Man works with Mariah Crawford to find a cure and save an innocent man and the people around him.
Episode #11 - The Hobgoblin, Part 1
Original Airdate - May 20th, 1995
Norman Osborn hires the the Hobgoblin to take out Wilson Fisk, but when he fails Osborn fires him. To get revenge on Osborn, Hobgoblin changes sides and kidnaps Norman's son, Harry, for the Kingpin. 
Episode #12 - The Hobgoblin, Part 2
Original Airdate - May 27th, 1995
Spider-Man goes after the Hobgoblin after he attacks Aunt May and kidnaps Harry Osborn. He forms an alliance with Norman Osborn and unknowingly becomes allied with the Kingpin as well. After rescuing Harry, Spider-Man finds himself in an all-out no-holds-barred fight to the finish with the Hobgoblin.
Episode #13 - Day of the Chameleon
Original Airdate - June 11th, 1995
A new villain, The Chameleon, is impersonating other people through an image-inducing belt and plans to assassinate two major diplomats on the brink of signing an important peace proposal. But the Chameleon makes a misstep when he unwisely takes the appearance of Peter Parker while Spider-Man is around. Spider-Man battles his doppelganger to ensure that the peace treaty goes according to plan. 


  1. Batman may not have shared his more "adult" way of dealing with things (real guns instead of lasers, using the word "death", allowing Spidey to punch people) but it was gracious enough to share two of its leading actors (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and Mark Hamill) so for that I am grateful

  2. What role(s) did Mark Hamill play in spider-man? I was always more of a Batman animated series fan so I only remember parts of this show.

  3. Mark was the Hobgoblin and his alter ego.

  4. Sorry for the weird font on this one, the formatting was off. That's what I get for posting it from a Mac I guess....