The Spectacular Spider-Man

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The Spectacular Spider-Man

The Spectacular Spider-Man was the seventh animated series to depict the Marvel Comics' character and icon, Spider-Man. It was produced by Gargoyles creator, Greg Weisman and Gargoyles storyboard artist, Vic Cook.

The Spectacular Spider-Man followed the theme of "the education of Peter Parker" as he attends High School and has to deal with keeping his grades up, girls and the stresses of being a teenager, while at the same time protects New York City from criminals and supervillains such as the Green Goblin, the Vulture, Electro, Venom and Dr. Octopus.

The series premiered on Kids WB on March 8th, 2008 and twenty-six episodes were produced. Sadly, the series wasn't renewed for a third season.

Understandably, Greg Weisman has decided not to reveal any what-would-have-been-future plans for the show, knowing that there's no way he can do them justice online and that ultimately, "ideas divorced from execution are subject (particularly on the internet) to a level of second-guessing" that he'd prefer to avoid. [1][2]

The first non-canonical crossover with Gargoyles was performed as a Radio Play at the 2009 Gathering of the Gargoyles. Three more Radio Plays, which also crossed over with Young Justice, have since been written and were performed at CONvergence in 2014, 2016, and 2018. For more information, see "Religious Studies 101: A Handful of Thorns", "Recruits", "The Cosmos", and "Musicology 101: Songs of the Theme".

Cast Members

The following Gargoyles cast members appeared in The Spectacular Spider-Man. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Both Gargoyles and The Spectacular Spider-Man were voice directed by Jamie Thomason.

Had The Spectacular Spider-Man received a third season, Greg Weisman had planned to cast Marina Sirtis as Emily Osborn. [3]

Crew Members

In addition to Greg Weisman, Vic Cook, and Jamie Thomason, several other crew members from Gargoyles have also reunited to work on this series.

Brad Rader was the storyboard artist for the episode "Destructive Testing".

Also, while she didn't work on Gargoyles, it is worth noting that Jennifer L. Anderson served as Post Production Assistant for the first season, and Production Assistant for the second season. Jennifer is a long time fan of Gargoyles and the President of Gathering of the Gargoyles, Inc and was the Convention Chair of three Gathering of the Gargoyles conventions.

References to Gargoyles in The Spectacular Spider-Man

Mysterio's gargoy.... er... Homunculi.
  • In the pilot episode, "The Survival of the Fittest", Spider-Man swings past stone gargoyles that bear a close resemblance to Hudson, Broadway, and Goliath. Later in the episode, while battling the Vulture and the Enforcers, Spider-Man accidentally destroys a stone gargoyle that greatly resembles Broadway.
  • While not an intentional reference, Max Dillon is transformed into Electro when he is shocked by electric eels in Curt Conners' laboratory. This is similar to Anton Sevarius' "death scene" in "Metamorphosis".
  • Harry Osborn drinks from a vial labeled: OsCorp Globulin Green #994. 994 is the year of the Wyvern Massacre.
  • Another gargoyle appears in a Haunted House ride on Coney Island in "Reaction".
  • St. John Devereaux, who was to play the part of Falstaff in the production of The Merry Wives of Windsor that Aunt May and Anna Watson were hoping to attend, speaks to a friend of his named Sydney on the phone after the evening's performance is cancelled thanks to the attack of the Sinister Six. Sydney is the home-town of Dingo, who is linked to the Falstaff of the Gargoyles Universe in "Strangled" and "Losers". (This is a coincidence, but St. John Devereaux's performance of Falstaff was influenced by Greg Weisman's work on Falstaff for Gargoyles: Bad Guys at the time.)
  • Mysterio, in his guise as a faux sorcerer, shouts "fulminos venite!" before firing a bolt of lightning. This was a favorite incantation of the Archmage.
  • Spider-Man asks a dismembered (and headless) Mysterio robot "What are you going to do, bite my kneecaps off?" The Xanatos Program asked the same question of Goliath in "Future Tense". Both are a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • When fighting a gigantic Sandman, Spider-Man asks himself "How am I supposed to beat up a beach?" The Archmage said "Don't crow too loudly. After all, what have you achieved? You beat up a beach." to the gargoyles in "Avalon Part Two". (One of the Guardians also asked "How are we supposed to beat up a beach?" in an episode of W.I.T.C.H..)
  • In the Vault, Spider-Man is attacked by Mysterio's homunculi, which are little gargoyle-like creatures. Watching it on a monitor, J. Jonah Jameson exclaims "they should have their own show!"
"Mr. Roman"
  • "Mr. Roman" is an alias assumed by Norman Osborn. Osborn has also dyed his hair blond, and grew a mustache to hide his identity. As Mr. Roman, he bears a striking resemblance to John Castaway, and was a "bit of a tribute". [4]
  • When Dr. Connors and his family leave New York for Florida, they board Flight 1057. Meanwhile, "Mr. Roman" boards flight 994 for the Cayman Islands. 1057 and 994 are the dates of two gargoyle clan massacres. ("994" and "1057" were also to be the numbers borne by the two LXM robots in the projected spin-off Gargoyles 2198.)

References to The Spectacular Spider-Man in Gargoyles

Norman Osborn & David Xanatos

The following was originally posted in an IGN interview with Greg Weisman on the episode, "Accomplices"

"Was the Incarnation of Norman Osborn in this show inspired by David Xanatos from Gargoyles? He seems very similar to him. He even has an Owen Burnett like assistant! Was this intentional of you?"

Weisman: Well, I can see why people feel that way. He's not the first person to bring that up and I get it and god knows Xanatos is so in my head that there's some influence there. But the truth is that Osborn predates Xanatos. I was reading Norman Osborn in comics long before Xanatos was a glimmer in my eye, so to speak. Even the thing about having an assistant… Osborn had that assistant in the comics. I didn't come up with him and stick him in. Donald Menken played that exact role in the comics – one in fact might argue that Owen was slightly influenced by Menken, although I don't actually think that was true, because Menken was pretty obscure. But when I went back and re-read the Spider-Man comics, after I got this gig, Menken was there.

And as for how similar Osborn and Xanatos are, I think the similarities are somewhat surface. Yes, they're both incredibly wealthy, incredibly smart businessmen. But I think of Xanatos as being amoral and I think of Osborn as being immoral. And I think there's a big difference in that. Xanatos has said revenge is a sucker's game. I think Osborn kind of likes the revenge idea. Osborn is a really, really crappy father. And I think David is actually a really loving father. He's got lots of flaws, and I'm not saying some of those flaws won't impact how he raises his son, but David is going to do his damndest to raise that boy in an environment that's loving and warm and supportive, and it's obvious that's not Norman's point of view on things. Norman refuses to apologize or take responsibility for anything at all, and David's not like that either.

It makes it sound like I think David's great and Norman's awful, and that's not how I feel at all. I think they're both great characters, but I do think that in real, fundamental ways, they are very different personalities. What they have in common is they're both very, very smart.

See Also

Season One Credits

Inside Spidey's Web

  • Blueprints / Destructive Testing - Greg Weisman talks about Mysterio and Kraven's introduction.
  • Reinforcement - Greg Weisman talks about the Sinister Six's return to The Spectacular Spider-Man.
  • Shear Strength - Greg Weisman talks about the Master Planner's true identity and more.
  • First Steps - Greg Weisman talks about Sandman, Flash Thompson and more.
  • Growing Pains - Greg Weisman talks about John Jameson and the return of Venom.
  • Identity Crisis - Greg Weisman talks about the big Venom rematch and possible future guest stars.
  • Accomplices - Greg Weisman talks Silver Sable, and Roderick "Hobgoblin" Kingsley.
  • Probable Cause - Greg Weisman talks about the New Enforcers, Harry's drug use and more.
  • Gangland - Greg Weisman talks about taking the show to the opera and Spidey's relationships with Gwen and George Stacy.
  • Subtext - Greg Weisman talks about Molten Man, Miles Warren and more.
  • Opening Night / Final Curtain- Greg Weisman talks about the end of Season 2 and the big revelations regarding Black Cat and Green Goblin.