Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spider-Man Week: Spider-Man (1994)

Having already struck ratings gold with Batman: The Animated Series 2 years earlier, Fox brought another comics favorite back to television in 1994 with Spider-Man, 10 years after the cancellation of Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends.

Storylines were based largely on classic comic book stories from the past, but before the series ended 5 years later, Marvel's animation division had caught up, and adapted the infamous clone saga for television, as if that was really necessary. In one of the most boneheaded decisions in network history, Fox cancelled the series and rebooted by launching Spider-Man Unlimited, sending the webhead to an alternate universe. That series had a completely different voice cast, which was a huge mistake, as they could've carried over from the previous series.

Speaking of casting, Christopher Daniel Barnes was a supposed hot commodity coming off "The Brady Bunch Movie", and was cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. TV legend Edward Asner (ex-The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant) became the latest to resurrect his career as a voice actor landing a gig on Batman, and so Marvel brought him in to lend his voice to J. Jonah Jameson. That was a casting match made in heaven, and really, one of the few the producers got right.

You'll notice the name Stan Berkowitz in opening credits for the episode, "Night of the Lizard". Berkowitz would later move to WB and work on the DC line of cartoons. Faisel666 uploaded part 1 of "Lizard":

Theme music was composed by Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, and was some of the best music written for a Marvel cartoon. Ever.

Rating: A.

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