Saturday, August 26, 2017

On The Air: Marvel's Spider-Man (2017)

50 years ago, come next month, Spider-Man made his television debut, the last American project for Grantray-Lawrence before dismissed by Marvel & Krantz Films, which then hired Ralph Bakshi away from Terrytoons. The rest, of course, is history.

After 5 years of Ultimate Spider-Man and various sub-titles, Marvel has rebooted with a new Spider-Man solo series, which launched last week after a few short subjects had appeared prior to and after the release of "Spider-Man: Homecoming". The series is inspired by "Homecoming", as Peter Parker, wearing a homemade costume worse than the one created in the books many moons ago, begins his career while juggling the responsibilities of being a high school student and de facto man of the house after his uncle Ben (Patton Oswalt) is killed by a burglar. Ben shows up in a flashback segment in the first half of the 2-part series opener.

Newcomer Robbie Daymond is the new voice of Spider-Man, and while they were looking for someone who could be as young, dynamic, and energetic working on this show as Tom Holland brought the ol' web-head to life in "Homecoming", it works, but as with Ultimate, there's just too much expository dialogue, and in the opener, most of it comes from Peter himself.

DisneyXD has its own YouTube channel, from whence we get the first half-hour episode:

I am so not digging the prototype costume Peter has now, but don't worry, kids, he'll get the more traditional gear soon enough. Per Wikipedia, 11 episodes are on order for season 1, with some odd quirks. 2 episodes last week, 1 today and on 9/9, 2 next week, 3 on 9/16, and the 1st season wraps rather quickly---we think--on September 30. Maybe they'll run the origin shorts, which I think were online only at first, as a 12th week.

In short, this suffers from the same problem as Ultimate in that it's too noisy, this time in terms of dialogue, for its own good. Also, the CGI is inconsistent, as the vehicles don't look too realistic, as normally would be the case if the entire show were animated on computer. The characters themselves are fine, but the rest of the animation needs help.

Rating: C-.

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