Monday, July 30, 2007

At the Con - Spectacular Spider-Man panel

So as I mentioned briefly after Wonder Con Kids WB has announced that they are putting together a brand new animated Spider-Man series, this one called The Spectacular Spider-Man. It's set for a March '08 launch and I went to the Comic Con panel that gave a first look at the animation as well as answered a few questions about the new series. Bear in mind, I'm not a hardcore animated series guy. Sure I try, and I really enjoy them, but I'm not the guy who remembers names or voice actors etc etc. So this is just from a moderately educated fan perspective really.

I do know that the head writer and show runner is one of the guys behind The Batman. So you can already imagine what kind of style they're going for, in terms of the art and storytelling. Just look at that poster.

Anyhow, there are a few hard details we now know. The show puts the characters back into the high school setting. Peter is 16, as are all his friends, including Mary Jane AND Gwen Stacy. The show will start approximately 4 months after the death of Uncle Ben. Peters parents died when he was very young, 4 years old in fact; so their influence will not come into play much at all. Peter will NOT have organic webshooters; they will be the old fashioned kind. And there will be only 13 episodes in season 1.

As for the more intangibles, apparently the theme of the show is "the education of Peter Parker" stylistically it is inspired by things like Hellboy, and as such has definitely not been dumbed down for the kids. This is a show that will be fun, and not at all 'dark' or 'weird' like the MTV series. They may be contemporizing the setting to modern day high school but there has not been a lot of character revamping or invention. Their goal is to make everyone on screen a real character from the comic book history. Literally they said that they did not want to invent anyone new at all. Maybe just, as someone asked, concede to update a few things like Electro's costume. Sounds kind of like the Ultimate universe to me...

They made a point of saying that in theis first season they were going to be cramming it full of villians in 3 or 4 episode story blocks. The villains they said they've explored for the show include: Doc Ock, Lizard, Green Goblin, Sandman, Electro, Venom, Vulture, Black Cat, a guest spot by The Punisher, and at the end of the season an all out brawl with the Sinister Six...

Sounds really good to me, I'm hoping that the show does well and we get to see Kraven the Hunter, and Rhino in season 2! Here are some pics I took of the character designs, sorry they're a bit dark, if you click to enlarge its easier to see.

At the end of the session they showed us the 'sizzle' reel for the show. Basically it was a pretty sweet commercial. The nice thing was getting to see the movements of the characters in action. Spider-man himself really poped off the screen as he bounced around a lot. There really is a very strong element of fun and youthfullness to the show, that I'm happy to see. Overall I'm thinking this is really a good looking show and I'll be stoked when it finally comes on the air. If Marvel can finally really start making animated cartoons as well as DC does I will be a very satisfied fan.

UPDATE - check out most of the trailer that I saw right here.

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