Spectacular Spider-Man Cartoon Starts Second Season
June 20, 2009

I didn’t realize Spidey has a new cartoon series running on Disney XD. The second season premieres on Monday, June 22, at 7 PM with two episodes. After that, episodes run at 7:30 on Mondays.

It’s set in high school, where the character works particularly well. Here are the show descriptions:

In the season premiere, “Blueprints”, Peter wants to talk to Gwen about their first kiss, but before he gets the chance, Spider-Man has a run-in with the sorcerer Mysterio. Following in the additional brand-new episode, “Destructive Testing”, Peter wrestles with his feelings for both Gwen and Liz, but in the meantime, Kraven the Hunter has arrived to make Spider-Man his prey.

Sounds like they’re using some classic villains. Later in the season, they’re promising Venom, Rhino, Sandman, Doctor Octopus, and the Green Goblin. Interesting that they chose Gwen as girlfriend when the movies and Marvel comics aimed at the young audience (Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane) both used Mary Jane. Here’s a trailer for the season premiere:

Did you watch any of the first season? How was it?

26 Responses  
Lissa writes:  

I thought the first season was really good. The art style took a little getting used to but the animation itself was fluid. I was also impressed with the writing, which doesn’t often stand out to me, but I thought character drama was especially well handled in the context of the series’ past Spidey love-interests and the slightly new direction this incarnation is taking.

I’m definitely looking forward to the second season. It combined with Wolverine and the X-Men has made the last year a very Marvel-friendly time on television in my books (excluding the new Iron Man cartoon. Sorry, Marvel, you lost me on that one).

Argo Plummer writes:  

My kids and I watched it. They liked it a lot. I thought it was ok, but I’ve never been a big Spidey fan. It was definitely worth the time and now that I know the second season is coming back, I will set up the Tivo for my kids.

BTW, the first season was on kids WB originally last spring and summer. I guess with the demise of kids WB, Disney XD picked this up. Good for them. I love that channel, gives my boys stuff to watch and me a chance to catch up on some stuff from my college days–which hasn’t aged very well. Plus, we all get to watch Static together.

thekamisama writes:  

Oh… they are showing new episodes too? I thought Disney was just repeating the Kids WB episodes. I might have to reset that one on the TiVo.

~chris writes:  

I discovered this mid-season on WB (was it promoted at all?) and enjoy it a lot– looking forward to season two! As in the classic Lee/Romita Spider-Man stories (and in SMLMJ), both Gwen and Mary Jane are set up as possible girlfriends (they even included the famous “Face it Tiger, you’ve just hit the jackpot!” scene [P.S. part of why I preferred Gwen back in the day]). This version of Gwen seems to be a cross between the original Gwen and Debra Whitman (an underrated character in my opinion)– a fellow science student like the original Gwen, but shy and bespectacled like Debra. Other characters are altered from the comics as well– Ned Lee instead of Ned Leeds, Glory Grant is a fellow HS student, etc. Great animation, and an excellent emphasis on Peter’s life. I’m not a fan however of the overuse of two dull Gerry Conway villains– Hammerhead and Tombstone.

I agree with Lissa– thumbs up for Wolverine and the X-Men, thumbs down for the Iron Man cartoon.

~chris writes:  

Almost forgot– also not a fan of Peter’s mole. What’s up with that?

Alan Sepinwall writes:  

Johanna, this aired on Kids WB last season. You’ll like it, I think. It’s akin to Batman: The Animated Series, in that it takes the best of the stuff from the comics, throws out what didn’t work and the decades of continuity build up, and just focuses on why the character is great.

Alan Coil writes:  

I watched 2 episodes this evening. Yuck. The art is poor, the animation is very limited, the story was the Venom-Symbiote story, including the Eddie Brock character, who I think Peter calls Eugene.

Sorry to Venom lovers, but I care little for the character, and the weird voice of the character is like nails on a blackboard to me.

And sorry also to have to disagree with a fellow Alan, but this is NOTHING like Batman: The Animated Series.

Ed Sizemore writes:  

Alan is a stick in the mud.

It’s a great show. Feels like Marvel is finally figuring out how to do animation right.

Thanks for the great news of a 2nd season.

vid writes:  

The show runner is the same guy who did Gargoyles.

I think this is a great take on the Spidey mythos.

In my opinion season 2 is even better than season 1. Season 2 has already aired in Canada.

Jim Perreault writes:  

I really liked what I’ve seen of season 1. Did not care too much for some of the new character designs (Elektro’s was really bad), but other than that no complaints.


Alan Coil writes:  

Ed said:

“Alan is a stick in the mud.”

Get off my lawn, you kids!

Chris G. writes:  

Eleven comments and no one’s mentioned the spectacular theme song? I can’t wait for the new episodes so I can watch my daughter bop along with it like she does to the Brave & the Bold’s theme song…

Thad writes:  

Hate to throw in a “me too”, but this is the best children’s cartoon I’ve seen since Justice League Unlimited ended. Weisman (of Gargoyles) has done a great job of distilling the essence of the classic Ditko-Romita era and updating it while cutting the things that didn’t work. (What got me to check it out was his comment in an interview that “It’s 2008 but it’s also 1963″ — just like Batman: TAS was 1992 but also 1938. What sold me on the series was the first five minutes of the first episode, where he used the Vulture and the Enforcers as villains, and the Spidey costume had the old Ditko armpit webs.) They even managed to make the Venom story good, and I’ve always hated Venom.

I’ve already caught season 2 (it’s already aired in Canada) and on the whole I preferred season 1, but 2 certainly had some great moments. One favorite was an homage to the classic “Spidey trapped under rubble as Doc Ock’s ocean fortress comes apart” sequence (for my money the single best cover in comics history); my favorite episode was one called Identity Crisis which I’ll avoid describing since the premise is something of a spoiler. The standout characters of the season, for my money, were Flash Thompson and George Stacy, both of whom got some very satisfying development.

~chris writes:  

“the story was the Venom-Symbiote story, including the Eddie Brock character, who I think Peter calls Eugene.”

I’m not a fan of Venom either, but I think you confused Eddie Brock (blonde hair on the show) with Eugene “Flash” Thompson (orange hair). Yes, that’s his name in the comics too.

“Get off my lawn, you kids!”

I’m 46 years old and I respect your private property rights. :-)

~chris writes:  

“spectacular theme song”

Nothing beats the Ramones version of the original Spider-Man theme song.

Argo Plummer writes:  

“The show runner is the same guy who did Gargoyles.”

His name is Greg Weisman (as others have mentioned) and he co-wrote the excellent Captain Atom series in the 80’s. Worth digging up if anyone is interested.

“Eleven comments and no one’s mentioned the spectacular theme song?”

It is pretty cool. My two older boys, my wife, and I all sing it constantly. It is light years better than the theme song to the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon. However, nothing will ever be cooler than the theme song to the 60’s cartoon, which we all sing as well.

Rich Burley writes:  

My son and I have been watching the show from ep 1 of season 1. I’m not sure that we’ve caught every single episode. But we’ve seen most of ‘em. The show is brilliant. Agreeing with others, smooth very nice animation. But it’s the writing that makes this show work for me. They do probably the best job I’ve ever seen yet capturing Peter’s life juxtaposed with his Spidey alter ego. The characters have great depth. Who knew that I could even like Flash!? Yes, the show takes liberties with changing some of the classic story characters and elements…especially the look of some of the characters. But Marvel et.al. does that to themselves all the time (e.g. Ultimate Spiderman).

Btw, LOVE the Black Cat! And I love the way the origin stories of the villains really emerge out of a common source and revolves around the life of Peter. It makes his involvement very natural. He just happens to be an old friend of Brock, they happen to both work in the laboratory of the Lizard etc. Great stuff!

Let’s see, ok minor nit pickings. Yep, don’t dig Peter’s mole. Electro’s look took some getting used to…but I’m ok with it now. Yeah, way too much use of Hammerhead and Tombstone…whatever move on. But those are very, very minor criticisms!

For those who haven’t yet seen Season 2, I’ve seen several episodes now…and it’s equally as good. I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t….but there are more classic characters/villains coming…and more tangles with ones established in the 1st season. Sweet!

Btw, the series has a very nice between being episodic and yet maintaining some very nice story archs.

Verdict: Imho, it’s the best Spidey cartoon ever…hands down. And I agree with others who say that it and Wolverine and the X-Men (another really well done well written show) are redeeming Marvel animation.

Rich Burley writes:  

Oh as to the Theme song, my son and I dig that too. Very catchy and pretty cool.

Btw, I’ve been wondering who designed the animation. I know that it takes a team of animators to do this. But who set the style? It seems vaguely reminiscent of Kim Possible.

~chris writes:  

Correction… Flash Thompson (orange hair in the comics) has blonde hair on the show.

Character style is from character designer Sean Galloway. Good info here: http://animatedfilms.suite101.com/article.cfm/behind_the_scenes_of_the_spectacular_spiderman

Kristie writes:  

I so hope that there is going to be a season three!!!Season 1 and 2 were awesome, and I can’t wait for season three!!!The show was fantastic.Huge fan.Love Batman too.

Kristie writes:  

I’ve already seen season 2 and my favorite out of both seasons was “Identity crisis.”The fighting seen was amazing!!!Sorry, I would tell you more but I don’t want to be a spoiler!!

Cartoon Clip: Spider-Man vs Sandman » Comics Worth Reading writes:  

[…] an ad for Monday’s new episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man. I like seeing Sandman animated — he was made to be in […]

Bobbie writes:  

My 2 boys loved the first season and will be excited for new Spidey adventures. Spectacular! Spectacular! Spiderman!! The new theme song is also very catchy.

Brandon writes:  

The first season was good and the i liked the story line with tombstone and hammer head working with osborn not knowing he is the goblin to create supervills like sandman rhino shocker doctor octipus but electro vulture and lizard were a little uninspired vulture is like 70 elecrto isnt that strong he gets beat fairly easily considering his power and lizard was stupid there should be more of a struggle between doctor conners and lizard and venom is to upsesed with spidy it gets annoyin we need more villans in season 2 the did a good job with it mysterio tinker kraven molten man (richoet ox) as the new enfrocers hammer head acually fighting and silverman and silver sabel and john jameson going insane with new powers from spores that were on the sypiot (venom) and becoming colonel jupiter that was good and dr. miles warren aka in the comic jackel probaly season 3 and blacky gaxton fredrick foswell as the patch and exposing the bigman and showing calypso kravens wife and finnaly revealing norman osborn to be the green goblin and showing everyone else to beleave his death and him not be dead and having doc ock be the master planner creating an crime enpire of supervillans in a gangwar with silverman and big man that were all duble crossed by hammerhead and the goblin starting a crime empire and working with camleon who needs more screan time and making reveranses to roderick kingsly aka hobgobling and cletus kasady aka carnage wow third season is righting its self especially with rumor scorpion showings and a possibal black cat spidy show down after her father walter hardy aka the cat burgaler killed uncle ben and spidy stop her from freeing him and peter dumped liz for qwen who couldnt dump harry after norman suporsed death and mark allen aka molten man arom being remote activated and green goblin last to have it and venom running around and hammer head gone after his betrale to eveyone under the controle of green goblin and the connors moving to florida were norman moved under and usumed name after his unmasking and deafeat and silver sabel show up and showing sandmans good side because in comics he was a hero at one point but spidy needs some team ups with some other heros to fight there villans like the fantastic 4 against dr. doom or iron man agains crimson dynamo or captin american against red skull and x-men against the brother hood of evil for a change rather than magneto or thor againsst lokie or the advenger against anyone really im totally excited for season 3

mariah writes:  

I love it.

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