Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Cartoon Historian Lesson 18-D: The Spider-Man Cartoon Trilogy Pt. 4

Note: We are still on top of the building.

Alrighty,we are now gonna be talking about the final 2 Spider-Man Cartoon series: Spider-Man Unlimited and Spectacular Spider-Man. Mina could you start us off?

Mina: Yes. Spider-Man Unlimited was an animated series featuring Spider-Man. The series was released in 1999. It had fair ratings,but it was overshadowed by the Pokémon Anime and the current Power Ranger series at the time,Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.

Mina: Another factor to the show's failing was the fact that Fox Kids was getting pounded in the ratings that year by ABC's Saturday Morning Block,Kids WB,and possibly Toonami:the Rising Sun.

Fox later resumed airing the show, airing 13 episodes. The Show was canned after those episodes,with the final one ending on a cliffhanger. There were Several scripts written for Season 2, including the conclusion of the cliffhanger,but they were never produced.

Mina: The story goes like this: While covering the launch of John Jameson's one man mission to a Counter-Earth (another Earth on the opposite side of the sun), Spider-Man attempts to stop symbiote adversaries Venom and Carnage from boarding a shuttlecraft.

Mina: Blamed for Jameson losing contact with our Earth, Spider-Man becomes a target of persecution by the media and the public. Believed to be dead after saving a life in a fire, Peter Parker uses the ruse to embark on a mission to retrieve John Jameson on Counter-Earth.

Mina: Making his way to the planet, Spider-Man learns that Jameson has fallen in with a band of freedom fighters opposed to the High Evolutionary Beastials,a race of Human/Beast hybrids who are the dominant species,while the humans are the second-class minority.

Mina: With Jameson reluctant to return until all of the Beastials are defeated, Spider-Man decides to remain on Counter-Earth, blending in as best as he can as Peter Parker, and fighting animalized versions of his greatest adversaries as Spider-Man. It soon becomes clear that Venom and Carnage are on Counter-Earth too. This series also shows the animated version of John Jameson's Man-Wolf form.

This series was short lived and it wasn't as popular as the series before it. The Next Spider-man cartoon was that obsure CGI animated series that aired on MTV in 2003But,like MTV itself,It sucks and I'm not gonna cover it.

Anyway,The Spectacular Spider-Man was a Comic series developed for television by Greg Weisman and Victor Cook. In terms of tone and style, the series is based primarily on the original stories by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, with a similar balance of action, drama, and well as a high school setting.

Mina: The Spectacular Spider-Man premiered on March 8, 2008 during the Kids' WB! program block on The CW. The series aired its second season on Disney XD and ended its run on November 18 of last year.

Mina: The first season features Peter Parker beginning his junior year at Midtown Manhattan Magnet High School, having only acquired his powers and alias as Spider-Man in recent months. While harassed at school, primarily by Flash Thompson, he's close friends with classmates Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn.

In order to help support his Aunt May,after the death of his Uncle Ben, Peter is able to get a freelance job at the Daily Bugle by obtaining pictures of his alter-ego in action.

He and Gwen are also given junior lab assistant positions under Dr. Curt Connors at Empire State University,where they join their friend Eddie Brock.

Mina: As Spider-Man fights against petty crime,he gains the attention of the Big Man a major New York City crime boss. With the help of Norman Osborn and Dr. Otto Octavius, the Big Man oversees development of a project to create "supervillains" designed to distract Spider-Man from other crimes and stop damaging his profits.

Mina: Aside from The Big Man,the roster of season 1's villains include: The Green Goblin,The Vulture,Hammerhead,the Enforcers,Electro,The Lizard,The Sandman,The Rhino, Tombstone,Shocker,Doctor Octopus,Black Cat and The Chameleon.

Mina: Quentin Beck and Phineas Mason appear as Chameleon's associates. Spider-Man's symbiote black suit also makes an appearance, eventually leading to Eddie Brock's transformation into Venom.

Mina: In Season 2,Peter's life becomes more complicated as he finds himself torn between Gwen Stacy and Liz Allan, both of whom have confessed their feelings for him. Norman Osborn takes on the role of Peter's mentor, pulling strings to re-establish his job as Dr. Connors' lab assistant, as well as overseeing the installment of Dr. Miles Warren into the ESU Labs.

Meanwhile,as Spider-Man,Peter investigates the activities of a mysterious new crime lord known as the "Master Planner",whose actions gradually escalate. This leads to a three-way gang war between his own super-villain forces, the Big Man's established order, and the old guard of Silvio "Silvermane" Manfredi's family. Peter's search for Eddie Brock also leads to the return of Venom and the Green Goblin returns to attempt to put an end to Spider-Man.

Mina: Rumor has it that this "Master Planner" is actually the Kingpin and that it was to be revealed in the canned Season 3.

Anyway,New characters were introduced for Season 2.These characters were: Kraven the Hunter, Calypso,Sha Shan Nguyen,Silver Sable,Roderick Kingsley,Molten Man,Mysterio,and the Tinkerer.

Mina: The timeline of the original Spider-Man story-arcs has been condensed and reconfigured in order to include classic and important characters who originally appeared much later.

Mina: Characters such as Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, and Harry Osborn are depicted not as direct equivalents to their older counterparts from the comics, but rather as characters who evolve into their more established roles.

The Spectacular Spider-Man was announced by Kids' WB Senior Vice President and General Manager Betsy McGowen and Sony Pictures Television Co-President Zack Van Amburg in March 2007.

The series was produced by Sony Pictures' direct-to-video label,Culver Entertainment and its television animation studio, Adelaide Productions (due to Sony's holding of the Spider-Man film franchise rights).

The series was developed by supervising producers Victor Cook and Greg Weisman; Cook as supervising director and Weisman as story editor. The lead character designer for the series is Sean Galloway.

Mina: The art style of the series is more simplified than in previous incarnations but retain their iconic elements. This choice was made to ensure Spider-Man would move as he should and replicate the fluidity from Sam Raimi's movie incarnation.

Mina: The title sequence for the show was directed by Victor Cook with the theme song was written and performed by The Tender Box. The show's creators were striving to reach 65 episodes. However,only 26 episodes of The Spectacular Spider-Man were produced in total.

Rumor has it that the series stopped production due to ratings issues on Disney XD and low sales of the DVDs. If the third season were to have gone ahead, producer Greg Weisman stated that The Scorpion,Hobgoblin,and the Kingpin were to have made their appearances.

Mina: Hey,what about Carnage and Hydroman?

Carnage,Maybe? Hydroman,I highly doubt it.

Mina: On September 1, 2009, the television rights for Spider-Man were returned to Marvel by Sony. The effect this had on The Spectacular Spider-Man's future was unknown. At the time,The President of Marvel Animation,Eric Rollman,further stated that "no decisions have been made either way" regarding the fate of the series.

Newsarama reported that the series' cancellation occurred just after The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment in December of last year.

Mina: Wait So it's all Disney fault that this cool show was cancelled? Damn Them To Hell!

Calm yourself,Mina. I don't think this was Disney fa...Actually,in away,it is. Disney brought the Spectacular Spider-Man over to Disney XD,a network that people weren't watching. Y'see soon after the network was created,a vast majority of people Hated it and decided to ignore it.

Disney XD was a low rated Network and unfortunatly the Spectacular Spider-Man didn't help it much. And so,because it was on a low rated network,The show never got many viewers. In fact,since people were ignoring Disney XD,they didn't know that the show was airing On that network.

Mina: So,in other words,had the show been on a better network,it might have done better.

Yes. Anyway,on April 13, 2010, Marvel announced that a new series based on the Ultimate Spider-Man storyline will air on Disney XD next Fall.

Mina: Hopefully,Disney will improve the network and get better ratings before then,otherwise the ratings for this show will be just as low.

Right. On April 14, 2010, Tom Brevoort of Marvel Comics confirmed that The Spectacular Spider-Man has ended and will give way to the new 2011 series.

On the same day, Greg Weisman told IGN: "I've heard nothing directly from Marvel, but I think the Ultimate Spider-Man announcement makes it fairly clear that Spectacular is over." Marvel Animation and Sony also commented on this to Marvel Animation Age, confirming that the series has ceased production.

Well that was an interesting ride wasn't it. Mina,I wanna thank you for helping me with this special presentation,as well as agreeing to be my assistant.

Mina: No problem,Stefan. I look foward to working with you on future projects. *winks at me*

Well that's gonna do it for now. See ya next time on The Cartoon Historian.

Mina: Laters.

*Spectacular Spider-Man theme plays as we get a nice look at New York City in the evening*


Stefan said...

This Entry is soo Awesome. Dude You Rule!!

KingsSideCastle said...

Nice. ^_^