On July 11th of this year MTV debuted it's much hyped Spider-Man
computer animated series. It was supposed to be hip, edgy
and deliver Spider-Man to a whole new legion of fans that
were left wanting after seeing the Spider-Man movie.
gave fans an early review of
the show and said that MTV did live up to their promise…that
Spider-Man is in the show. That was about it. The plots were
fairly simple and the computer generated animation looked
unfinished and unrealistic.
Last Friday MTV aired the 2nd part of Mind Games,
the season finale. For the fans that haven't been following
the show, we thought it might be nice to check in again with
MTV's Spider-Man and let you know if it was worth watching
I've watched all of the episodes this season and I stand
by my review from July. The majority of the episodes have
just been the generic, out of the box type of storylines that
plagued the Spider-Man comics for most of the late 90s. They
are not as bad as "The Clone Saga" but not as interesting
as Ultimate Spider-Man
(Dear Brian Michael Bendis, I love you. Will you have my baby? Your biggest fan, M.)
But MTV did manage to take the show up a level, at least
story wise, for the season finale. Mind Games begins
with that old plot device, the prison transfer. The Gaines
twins have been captured and are on their way to jail for…um…some
kind of crime (don't look directly at the plot or it may shatter!)
The twins possess mental powers that allow them to control
people and create false realities. With the help of some generic
henchmen they are soon breathing the sweet air of freedom.
Too bad for them their escape route happens to take them into
the path of Spider-Man. After a brief struggle, Spider-Man
apprehends the twins and turns them over to the police.
Later Spider-Man and MJ stand on top of a skyscraper looking
out over the city. Over the course of the season, the writers
have developed that MJ has a crush on Spider-Man and has fallen
out of love with Peter because he's never around. Meanwhile
Peter has a crush on Indy, a girl that works at a local news
station, but still harbors feelings for MJ. It's all very
After his romantic moment with MJ, Peter hooks up with Indy
and Harry. She provides some exposition and lets us know that
the Gaines twins managed to break Pterodax and Silver Sable
(two villains from earlier in the season) out of jail after
their fight with Spider-Man. Where do they find the time?
So, off Spider-Man goes to have a quick and pointless battle
with Pterodax. He mops them up in a matter of minutes and
then moves right back to his love triangle with MJ and Indy.
The fight scene had no point or repercussions, but we later
learn that's all part of the plot.
After a brief conversation with J.Jonah Jameson at the Daily
Bugle, Spider-Man ends up in a back alley brawl with Silver
Sable and Kraven the Hunter (voiced by Michael Dorn.)
Kraven mentions that he's looking for revenge against Spider-Man
for putting him in prison after their last fight "years ago."
Guess that happened between the movie and the start of the
TV show. Silver Sable gets nabbed by the cops when they show
up, but Kraven escapes. As Sable is taken in to custody, she
screams that there are other ways to get revenge against Spider-Man.
Off Spider-Man rushes to protect Mary Jane. After a brisk,
heartfelt conversation Peter reveals his identity to Mary
Jane. She goes gaga for him and thanks him for trusting her.
Just as they are about to live happily ever after, Kraven
shows up kills her. Ain't that a bitch!?
Kraven escapes and Peter is left with feelings of rage and anger towards him. Enter the mysterious stranger (voiced by Stan Lee) who convinces Peter to join the dark side and murder Kraven.
(dream sequence noise)
to an abandoned warehouse where the Gaines twins, the stranger,
and the henchmen are all standing around an unconscious Spider-Man.
Turns out none of the above plot happened and Spider-Man has
been brainwashed into believing that Kraven killed MJ. The
twins have programmed Spider-Man to murder Kraven as revenge
for experiments Kraven committed against their parents. Spider-Man
wakes up looking for Kraven's blood and that's just the end
of part one.
There is no doubt this plot is far more complex than the
ones MTV has given us in the past. Maybe it is the fact that
they had an hour to work with rather than just 30 minutes
but the difference is really noticeable. MTV may want to consider
taking the Justice
League route and making every plotline a two-parter.
Unfortunately a lot of the things that bothered me at the
beginning of the season still do. The graphics, for instance,
still look as hollow and fake as they did in the first episode.
Some argue that it is a stylistic choice, but it lacks realism.
Look at Cartoon Network's very stylized Teen
Titans. The show caters to a younger audience with its
Matrix effects and over-animated facial expressions,
but at least it plays by the rules it sets up. You buy into
the Teen Titan's reality because it is consistent and thorough
throughout the show.
All of the details that make Spider-Man's world realistic are still missing: there is very little ambient noise in the thriving metropolis, the streets are devoid of any dirt or trash and objects have no real feel of weight to them. Spider-Man moves realistically while swinging and fighting but Peter's hands look like he's wearing giant foam fingers.
The good news, if you're a fan of the show or really want
to start watching it, is that Spider-Man pulled in
decent ratings on Friday and MTV has already renewed it for
a second season. Hopefully they will have time over the summer
to work on the finishing touches of the show. If they can
pull the graphics and storylines together in time to coincide
with the Spider-Man 2 release, MTV's Spider-Man
could be worth being a smash hit.