MTV's Spider-Man: The New Animated Series in review

So, every morning, for the past 4 weeks or so, I've been watching the Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, episode by episode. It originally aired on MTV in 2003, and it lasted 13 episodes. Hulu is hosting all 13 for free.

Now this is the part where I talk a lot.

PRODUCTION: It was darn interesting! The producers wanted to appeal to teenagers more, so adults are practically sparse here. And even then, Aunt May appears only once -- in a picture! Doc Connors is portrayed as a soulless scientist, who cares only about his work, and his family is never even mentioned. It's as if he doesn't have one.
Harry's dad died before the show ever began, which is why Harry is in control of Oscorp. Adults are barely relevant to this show aimed at teens. It's fascinating to see all these changes to fit the show's approach.

CHARACTERS: Peter's portrayed in college (Empire State U.), with his main circle of friends, MJ and Harry. Gwen is nowhere to be seen, and Flash Thompson is in one episode. Peter is voiced by Neil Patrick Harris (a spot-on decision), MJ by Lisa Loeb, and Stan Lee makes a voice cameo in the penultimate episode, although it's done poorly.
I may be wrong, but this may have been the first Spidey to be animated in cel-shades (it helps to make a comic-book-y feel. It's also the same way that Ultimate Spider-Man: The Video Game, was animated).

Interestingly enough, Brian Bendis had a hand in producing this series for television! (He also helped script up the plot for Ultimate Spider-Man: The video game.)

VILLAINS: It was certainly a different Spidey for a different time! The villains here are rarely after just petty cash. It's sometimes to assassinate an important somebody, or to further some social agenda (One person violently crusades against crime to support property that's about to be bull-dozed by Oscorp, while the terrorist group "Pterodax" is trying to restore the Soviet Republic.). Max Dillon is also reimagined into an insecure college kid who tragically turns into the monster Electro.
Along with Lizard and Kraven, that only makes three classic villains to appear, because Goblin (Green, Hob, you name it) doesn't appear at all!

DESIGNS: The designs are totally awesome. Overall, the people don't look too appealing in cel shades, but the design for Spider-Man is just awe-inspiring! His eyes are the emotive kind, which aren't realistic at all, but really cool. The way he crawls on walls and swings across the city is just perfect, and the directing gives it the weight that they truly deserve.

There's also a lot of interplay with shadows here. I'd never take Spidey up as a noir kinda guy, but hey, it's cel shading, and it works.

(GEEK ALERT!) This is not any part of my personal canon, but it certainly serves as a nice micro-continuity. The design for Spidey is just amazing.

Once I'm done with the series (I watch the last episode tomorrow!), I'm planning on watching Batman: The Brave and the Bold on Toonami's Jetstream.

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