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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spectacular Spider-Man A Retrospective




I have been slowly absorbing as much material as is possible with my heavy work load lately. Landing new projects has been the theme of the month for myself as a PMP. However, the child inside cannot be suppressed and of course neither can the Comic Book fan.  


After finishing "The Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes" I decided to watch the "Fantastic Four: Earths Greatest Heroes" to be honest, I have never been much of a fan of that particular comic book, even though I have many of those publications in my collections, it's one that I need to complete.  This particular series as I started to watch it, something inside me went "Bleh..." and I had to turn it off...



Fantastic Four: Earths Greatest Heroes - Did not inspire much enthusiasm to me readily. But I will get to it...

Perhaps it was my mood, the amount of work I had in front of me or simply my lack of interest in those characters.  I decided to go toward one of my favorite series and look up Spider-Man.  I have always loved the old school variations. Specifically "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" from the early 80's.  I even remember watching the 1978 live action "Amazing Spider-Man" - Which I loved as a kid.  I loved it so much, a close friend of my family who served in the Marines with one of my uncles who started a comic shop after the service gave me some of my first set of Spidey comics, among them a glass encased edition of #1 (but that's another story).

Some of my earliest comic book love and later purist and completest collecting behavior has stemmed from this early access to Spider-Man.  Among the comics as many of you know from reading my notes and mini-blog posts (some not so mini) that it also goes toward collecting the animated series and films.

When I bypassed Fantastic Four for some Spider-Man I found "The Spectacular Spider-Man".  At first, I felt like I was watching something directly geared toward children and very young teens, of course most of these series are for those audiences; Yet finding it relevant and purposeful is a delight in itself.




Similarly scripted as "The Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes" much of the premise follows along the Silver age storylines with a variety of those early characters coming into play.  Much of it also springing forth from either of two centralized characters the Kingpin via proxy in Tombstone and Oscorp.  So the tech angles definitely pop up but most of it is very low key and focused mostly on the relationships that Peter Parker has with his closest friends and of course his struggle to help his Aunt May and maintain his responsibilities as Spider-Man and live up to his notion of what Ben Parker wanted him to be.  

I have thoroughly enjoyed the first 4 volumes, the first of which is titled "Spider-Man: Attack of the Lizard" the other volumes following "The Spectacular Spider-Man: Volume 2" and so on.



I am looking forward to watching the next set of volumes for the second season then I will jump over to "Spider-Man Unlimited" which I never got a chance to get on DVD but with the entire series on Netflix I can watch the entire thing with my children.  

Like with any animated variations of a series there are always details that are either added, omitted or adapted for an audience, in this case certain things are conceded for a TV-Y7 audience.  But even with that it is still a very solid series and the Symbiote Suit arc is easily among it's best stories.  A few characters that are minor nuisances in the Marvel Universe yet part of the origins of Spidey are showcased nicely and it definitely adapts a young audience to a great comic book series that will slowly bring them into our world of comics (It has already worked for my girls).

It will be a week or two before I get it out of the way and move on to Unlimited and eventually I will get to the Fantastic Four series.  

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