The Spectacular Spider-Man—Season 1

spectacular spider-man season 1 dvd set episode guide
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

One of the better adaptations of the character

Animation takes a bit of getting used to

spectacular spider-man season 1 title card review episode guide

…and now the song is stuck in your head

Peter Parker has a pretty big secret.  The high school student isn’t just acing his classes, but he’s also fighting crime as the spectacular Spider-Man!  With no shortage of enemies, Peter is trying to make ends meet with his aunt, find a social life, and get a girl while battling the worst of the worst that threaten the city.  The city needs Spider-Man, and Spider-Man is answering the call!

The Spectacular Spider-Man—Season 1 is a Marvel Comics animated comic book adaptation.  The season ran from March 8, 2008 to June 14, 2008 on the CW as part of the Kids’ WB programs.  The second season of the series moved to Disney XD.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 6 the invisible hand meets mary jane face it tiger

Face it, Tiger…you just hit the jackpot!

I missed the classic 1960s Spider-Man cartoon, but my childhood version of Spider-Man was Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.  Going back and watching that series, it still has all the fun and nostalgia, but it doesn’t do what Marvel is famous for and doesn’t create rounded characters.  The Spectacular Spider-Man is all about characters, and like a good comic, the action naturally follows.

The “How Peter Parker became Spider-Man?” storyline has been done so many times and it was nice to have a series not start out with a multi-episode origin storyline.  Instead, everyone is jjust thrust into the busy life of Peter Parker and his friends…as it should be at this point.  The series does dip back into Peter’s origin in the “Intervention” episode, but it is done in a new and fresh way to show his mental battle against Venom.  It builds on the show instead of the show building on it.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 10 persona black cat

It’s always back luck when a Black Cat crosses your path

While villains are often a highlight of Spider-Man, the drama gets center stage here.  From the get-go, Peter has always struggled socially and Spider-Man provided a means to exercise this.  As Peter became more comfortable with Spider-Man, he became more comfortable with his classmates.  This series is at a strange tipping point in Peter’s life and has Peter surrounded by these fringe friends that are still feeling him out as he changes.  The series also blends aspects of the classic Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, and various other versions of the character…it is a bit of a pick-and-choose, but it works for the final product.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 12 intervention symbiote

Can Spider-Man escape the clutches of the symbiote?

The animation takes a bit of getting used to.  It is very modern and many of the character designs border on being manga type characters (I actually think they look a lot like Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim art), but the characters are generally placed in a traditionally animated landscape.  I don’t love all the villain designs either, but they match up with the character art.

The Spectacular Spider-Man is a great entry in a character who has seen many incarnations.  It is both modern but respectful to the character’s history.  It also has a good balance of villains and personal life.  Peter Parker has always been the “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man” and Spectacular Spider-Man revels in that and succeeds.

The Spectacular Spider-Man—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 1 survival of the fittest vulture

“Survival of the Fittest”

1.1       Survival of the Fittest Airdate:  03/08/08

Peter Parker starts a new year at school and thinks this is the year things might change.  Spending the summer fighting crime as Spider-Man, Peter hopes his new secret will give him the confidence he needs.  Aunt May deals with money problems, and Peter hopes his new internship with Curt Connors could fix that.  Norman Osborn is targeted by the Vulture for stealing his equipment, and the Kingpin decides Spider-Man must be dealt with…enter the Enforcers!

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 2 interactions electro


1.2       Interactions Airdate:  03/08/08

An accident at Professor Connors’ lab leaves Max Dillon with electrical powers.  Peter is assigned to tutor Liz Allen and tries to find a way to take photographs of Spider-Man for the Daily Bugle.  When Max loses control of his new powers, Peter finds himself in battle with Electro.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 3 natural selection vs lizard

“Natural Selection”

1.3       Natural Selection Airdate:  03/15/08

Curt Connors uses his experimental lizard formula on himself and finds he has regrown his missing arm.  When the lizard formula continues to transform Curt into a massive Lizard, Peter must try to stop him…but a decision to try to pay his bills could cost him more.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 4 market forces vs shocker

“Market Forces”

1.4       Market Forces Airdate:  03/22/08

Peter tries to mend his differences with Eddie Brock and Gwen over his pictures for the Daily Bugle.  Spider-Man finds himself the target of the Shocker.  Harry finds Peter is blowing him off and Norman reminds his son that his grades are his responsibility.  Peter must choose between paying May’s bills or getting a new camera.  The Kingpin sends Hammerhead to Norman with an offer.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 5 competition vs sandman


1.5       Competition Airdate:  03/29/08

Flint Marko has been given an opportunity to improve his chances of facing off against Spider-Man…and Sandman is born!  As Spider-Man tries to deal with Sandman, Peter is convinced to try out for the football team by Harry, and Peter finds that he could gain new popularity.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 6 the invisible hand vs rhino

“The Invisible Hand”

1.6       The Invisible Hand Airdate:  04/12/08

Alex O’Hirn as been given a new rock hard skin by Dr. Octavius, and as the Rhino, he’s been sent out to bring in Peter Parker in the hopes to capture Spider-Man.  Peter’s bet with Flash over taking Betty to the school dance hits a blow when Aunt May gets involved…and Peter makes a new acquaintance.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 7 catalysts green goblin pumpkin bomb


1.7       Catalysts Airdate:  04/26/08

Peter is headed to the dance with Mary Jane Watson much to the surprise of his classmates.  When the Green Goblin attacks Tombstone’s party, Spider-Man must come to the rescue and questions if saving Tombstone is in his best interest.  Ned Leeds is given permission by Robbie to pursue Spider-Man’s true identity for the Daily Bugle.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 8 reaction vs dr octopus liz allen


1.8       Reaction Airdate:  05/03/08

Gwen worries about Harry recent behavior as Harry’s secret drug use increases.  A sabotage of Dr. Octavius’s project at Oscorp by the Green Goblin leads to Doctor Octopus going on a rampage at Coney Island…and endangering Peter and his friends.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 9 the uncertainty principle vs green goblin

“The Uncertainty Principle”

1.9       The Uncertainty Principle Airdate:  05/10/08

John Jameson’s space shuttle mission is in danger when it is struck by an asteroid, and J. Jonah Jameson awaits word on the risky landing.  The Green Goblin is going after Tombstone’s operations and Peter learns the shocking truth of his identity.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 10 persona vs chameleon waterskiing


1.10     Persona Airdate:  05/17/08

An alien substance has been found on the space shuttle, and Spider-Man’s investigation leads himself to a face-off with the Black Cat.  Paired with the strange alien, Spider-Man learns that someone else has taken an interest in him and that it could potential ruin his Spider-Man name.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 11 group therapy sinister six

“Group Therapy”

1.11     Group Therapy Airdate:  05/31/08

Electro has broken Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Vulture, Shocker, and Rhino out of prison, and the “Sinister Six” is out to bring down Spider-Man.  Eddie feels betrayed by Peter due his actions at the lab and lashes out.  Peter discovers the alien costume might not be the lifesaver that he though as Aunt May faces a health crisis.

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 12 intervention uncle ben symbiote


1.12     Intervention Airdate:  06/07/08

Aunt May’s heart attack is combining with the black costume’s influence over Peter and taking over his personality.  Now Peter is remember what made him Spider-Man as he fights off the symbiote’s attack, but is he is strong enough to break free forever?

spectacular spider-man season 1 episode 13 nature vs nuture venom

“Nature vs. Nurture”

1.13     Nature vs. Nurture Airdate:  06/14/08

Spider-Man is back in the red-and-blue, but Eddie Brock has combined with the symbiote to form a new enemy in Venom.  Venom knows everything about Spider-Man and who he truly loves…and Venom intends to make Peter pay!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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