How Spider-Man The Animated Series is the most underrated superhero cartoon of all time!
Twenty one years ago to this very day, Spider-Man The Animated Series ended a four year run. Running from November 19th 1994 until January 31st 1998, the show accumulated sixty five episodes throughout five seasons and was one of my first experiences with Spider-Man as a child, keeping me hooked through many of it's story arcs. Following Peter Parker's college years the show revolved around Peter's love triangle with Mary-Jane Watson and Felicia Hardy and also featured Peter's early days as an intern at the Daily Bugle. I've been wanting to write a little piece on how I feel it is the most underrated superhero cartoon of all time and what better time to write such a thing than on the 21st anniversary of the show's end!
Showcasing many of Spider-Man's classic comic book villains such as, King Pin, Green Goblin, Venom, Mysterio and Doctor Octopus, the show never held back from delving deep into the Marvel universe. Occasionally also bringing in fellow Marvel heroes like Doctor Strange, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Captain America and The Punisher, the show introduced me to a lot of characters I'd eventually grow to love and follow in their own mediums. The show acted as a gateway early on for me and along with The Batman Animated Series and The X-Men animated series,it introduced me to a marvelous world of superheroes long before the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Fox X-Men series rejuvenated the superhero genre in live action form. It's always surprised me, however, that when talking about great superhero cartoons, Batman The Animated Series and The X-Men series are praised regularly and rightfully so, but no one ever seems to talk about how great this Spider-Man series was.
With great story arcs based on several of Spider-Man's best comics such as The Goblin War, The Wedding and The Assasin-Nation Plot, the show was constantly staying faithful to the source material and never seemed to run out of ideas. The show was also known for it's excellent adaptations of certain under utilized Spider-Man villains such as Morbius and Kraven the Hunter, modifying their origin stories giving them more depth as characters. Add to that the excellent voice performances from the likes of Christopher Daniel Barnes and Roscoe Lee Browne who played Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Wilson Fisk/Kingpin respectfully and you have a recipe for a truly great animated series and I for one think it's criminal the show doesn't get anywhere near as much praise as I feel it deserves!
Well, that's just a little piece on how I think the Spider-Man animated series is vastly underrated. I hope you all agree with me and that I'm not alone in feeling this way! Feel free to comment if you can think of any other superhero cartoons that get nowhere near the love they deserve, thanks!