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Hey Greg! I'm still keeping up with Spectacular Spider-Man and "Natural Selection" didn't disappoint. I feel like each episode is slightly stronger than the one before it as everyone gets more in-tune with the material and each other.
I think you found just the right note with the Billy subplot, where it was genuinely emotional and not cloying. I liked the "I took a cab" bit with Eddie at the zoo. Just a fun little jab a typical cartoon logic. I was not expecting Peter to be fired, so that was a cool moment for me as well. Somehow I have a feeling we'll be seeing the serum again.
Nice continuity nods with the ring-tone alarm, the mention of Electro, and especially Peter and Eddie calling each other "Bro", then having Spidey try to cover it up when he does the same.
One thing I noticed was that during Peter's voice-over before he plans on taking the serum is that he mentions "a hard 9PM curfew" where before it had always been 10.
The cast continues to be amazing (or rather spectacular). In particular, Kath Soucie and Lacey Chabert just completely nailed their parts this week.
Since this is "Ask Greg", I do have a quick question: For small parts i.e. the people at the coffee shop in "Interactions", or Thug #1 in this past episode do you have certain people in the cast in mind, or do you just ask whoever's in that day if they want to do it?
Thanks for your time!
We plan ahead, dealing out our bit parts from among the actors who will be present for the session. SAG rules allow us to ask any actor to do one additional character for free.
Thoughts on the Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Natural Selection."
First off, I like this incarnation of the character of Peter Parker a lot, more so than in other cartoon versions. He's still a kid with a lot to learn, and like most kids, he thinks he knows everything. I like how even getting a good picture of himself as Spider-Man is a learning process.
And I also like the continuity in the series. In the previous episode, we see Connors's formula get shocked. And Curt puts it in his pocket. And now we see the consequences (unless, of course it just resulted from months of him injecting himself, and that last one was the proverbial back-breaking straw). The animation was awesome, in particular his morphing into and out of the Lizard. I like how the tail was formed. And the pacing of the fight scenes reminded me of the movies, which was fine. Those gave us a fantastic sense of Spider-Man's agility, as do these.
I also didn't expect to find myself saying this, but I like Eddie Brock as a character. I wasn't thrilled when I first saw his name in the cast, but I love what you've done with him so far. Giving him this personal connection with Peter Parker might actually make Venom more interesting. He seems to be building a reputation of not being able to successfully tackle baddies in Connors's lab. And I like the way he and Spider-Man worked together at the end. He's a bit reckless, but he also seems to have a strong moral sense. So he and Peter have that in common. I'm actually finding myself caring about what sets him on the road to becoming Venom.
Anyway, favorite moment in the episode: Billy Connors confronting his mutated father. I'm not sure Curt recognized him, and I'm wondering if this might come up again. And I also like how Peter Parker chose not to take what might cure him of his powers, but he also didn't throw it away. More foreshadowing, I suppose.
All in all, you and the rest of the crew have done a fantastic job so far. I was never a regular reader of the Spider-Man comic, but I'm getting more and more excited about this show the more I watch it. Keep up the good work.
Thanks. We're doing out best.
In the new Spider-Man animated series, Gwen already has a small inkling into Peter's financial problems, so why get irritated when she perceived his photo-taking of The Lizard as selfish when it was to benefit his Aunt? Is she just following the crowd's attitude, or was she afraid for Peter's safety and her anger is a result of that?
Neither, really. She felt he was taking advantage of the Connors troubles. If you watch her, she's clearly conflicted, but she's troubled by her perception that Peter LIED about abandoning the antidote quest to get home -- but really went to take a picture.
Ramble on Spectacular Spider-man episode 3.
That attitude is gonna get Peter into a lot of trouble... so is actually having a happy life. Don't you read comic books, young man? Any time you're life is going WELL, that's when fate smacks you upside the head.
Still like that theme song.
Aunt May is okay. I think I jumped the gun when I watched the first episode.
Hmm... is Stan Lee always the executive producer on these marvel animated programs?
Stop meddling with weird science, Curt! It never results in good things. Though I do like the attention here. He's well intentioned. He's not selfishly just trying to heal his own arm. He's trying to save decapitated people all over the world.
Go Gwen. Yay! Random jock friend who's name I should really learn. Is he a classic Spider-man comics character that I don't know about?
"What are we celebrating? Oh... crazy god-defiling science!! This will end well."
Smart AND perceptive. Quite a man this Parker boy.
So Billy's a scientist too. They start them so young these days.
That's a very nice lizard design.
Peter the coward. That's nice of him. He could have come up with a better excuse than 'My aunt may won't be able to sleep unless I get home.' But I guess he didn't have much time.
Still very funny. I like Peter's banter. Feels very natural. And of course it fits the character perfectly.
Spider-man seems to like fighting on the subway/train lately. I guess the subway's a subterranean place for the Lizard to hide out.
People really should check on those over-anxious kids more often.
I wonder what kind of Lizard Curt blended his DNA with... a cocktail of iguana, and crocodile, or what?
Heh. Peter even cares about Polar Bears! What a guy.
And Aunt May proves herself more dangerous than the Lizard! That's three super-villains that she's beaten out with her telephone!
And the Lizard reverts back to normal.
That ending was really, really powerful. I'm feeling that one in my ribs. And hey, great responsibility, there are consequences for Peter's actions. Even if they weren't his fault per se. Halcyon would be proud.
The ending REALLY sold this one to me. And the general mood and feel of it. And I'm still not sure about the spider mask in the sky at the end. It's... interesting... but... yeah. Not sure about it.
Thanks. The spider-mask is a tribute to the old Ditko days.
Just stopping by to share my thoughts on the latest episode of Spectacular Spider-Man.
Survival of The Fittest.
I've always thought one of the best aspects of the Spidey mythos was the fantastic cast of supporting characters and this episode just proves it.
I absolutely love this version of Gwen, standing up to Flash, helping save Dr. Connors she's pretty heroic in her own right. Speaking of heroic, how about Eddie Brock using himself as lizard bait. It's going to be interesting to see what turns him into a Spidey hating psycho later in the series.
The Connors family are also noteworthy. In most other versions I've seen Martha and Billy don't seem to be much more then appendages to Curt's character but they really shine. I particularly liked Billy's understated yet heartbreaking portrayal of a traumatized kid desperately afraid of losing his dad.
But the real star of the show is of course everybody's favorite wall-crawler. A classic Spidey touch is to see Peter do the right thing despite being vilified for it. It's one thing to save the day expecting a medal or a parade afterwards, it's quite another to save the day knowing your going to get spat on for your trouble. That's something else Spidey has in common with certain other defenders of the night.
Glad you liked it. We're working pretty hard these days.
I just wanted to say that I really liked the transformation scene from human to lizard in "Natural Selection". I especially like the part where his head started to cave in. I dunno if that was your idea or not, but I applaud it. It really emphasizes that he's turning into a simple-minded, primal beast.
Also, some of The Lizard's roaring sounded a lot like Fox's in "Eye of the Beholder". Did you use a similar effect?
I'm not responsible for the transformation. That was the episode's director Dave Bullock, his boss Vic Cook and their storyboard artists.
I kinda doubt that they reused the sound effects. It's not even the same effects guy doing Spidey. But it is the same post-production house, so who knows?
A few comments about the Lizard episode of "The Spectacular Spider-Man".
I enjoyed it. Another good capture of Peter's life; he starts off still taking poor photos of himself as Spidey, he has to give up dodging water balloons when he realizes that everyone else is going to get suspicious - and worst of all, after finally getting a good snapshot of himself as Spidey, he convinced everyone else that he deserted them in a crisis and now they're all angry at him! Yep, that's definitely Peter Parker all right.
Some great humor as well; I especially liked Spidey's indignant response to Lizard being able to walk on walls ("If you start spinning webs too, I'll sue!") and his element of surprise ruined by his cell phone going off (and wouldn't you know that its tune would be "Itsy Bitsy Spider")?
I noticed that he doesn't throw the gene cleanser away, but merely web-stashes it under his bed. Why do I get the feeling that it's going to return later, in another episode?
Keep up the good work, both you and everyone else on the production team.
Thanks, Todd. We'll try.
Greg, Long time fan. In fact, Gargoyles got me interested in writing my own stuff and, like every other Gargoyles fan, into Shakespeare.
But I wanted to ask something about two of the Spidey characters that seem to be neglected in the questions. Namely the two most important girls in Peter's life: Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson.
I noticed that the latter was out, which, while I thought it was a bold move, did lead to some questions in my mind. In the origional 616 comics, Peter meets MJ through Gwen, and through their mutual grief over Gwen's death, become the couple we know today. That fact, coupled with Gwen looking upset that the cheerleader was giving Peter some attention have poked extreme thoughts into my mind: Will you be doing a "Death of Gwen Stacy" rendition in your series? As someone who believes that was one of the best comic book story lines of all time, I would much appreciate seeing that finally acknowledged (unlike in the movies) correctly (unlike in the Ultimate title, which you seem to be loosely following). I know this is a kids TV show, and the manner of how Gwen died (Peter caught her in a web line, causing her neck to snap due to whiplash) is somewhat gruesome for Saturday Morning TV, but it seems the trend of most Spiderman media to include Gwen with her death sentance. Very few do it right though, and I was hoping that after almost a decade, you would still be capable of pulling another "Deadly Force" on us.
In the original comics (I'm not sure I know what 616 means), Peter met M.J. through his Aunt May and her best friend Anna Watson (i.e. M.J.'s Aunt) - not through Gwen. Gwen met M.J. through Pete.
I'm not loosely following the Ultimate title. I'm borrowing from many sources, including Ultimate Spider-Man, but our primary sources are the original Lee/Ditko and Lee/Romita issues of Amazing Spider-Man.
The Spectacular Spider-Man
Main and End Title Credits ___________________________________________________________________________
ERIC S. ROLLMAN
Developed For Television By
VICTOR COOK & GREG WEISMAN
STAN LEE & STEVE DITKO
Supervising Producer and Story Editor
Producer and Supervising Director
DIANE A CREA
JOSH KEATON as PETER PARKER / SPIDER-MAN
CLANCY BROWN as ALEX O'HIRN
LACEY CHABERT as GWEN STACY
JOHN DIMAGGIO as FLINT MARKO / SANDMAN, HAMMERHEAD
ANDREW KISHINO as KENNY KONG
PHIL LAMARR as RAND ROBERTSON
JOSHUA LEBAR as FLASH THOMPSON
PETER MACNICOL as OTTO OCTAVIOUS
ALAN RACHINS as NORMAN OSBORN
KEVIN MICHAEL RICHARDSON as COACH SMITH
DEBORAH STRANG as MAY PARKER
CREE SUMMER as GLORY GRANT
JAMES ARNOLD TAYLOR as HARRY OSBORN
ALANNA UBACH as LIZ ALLAN
TOM WILSON as STAN CARTER
Voice Casting and Dialogue Director
Card # 13
KI HYUN RYU
JEFFREY S. JOHNSON
Lead Character Designer
SEAN "CHEEKS" GALLOWAY
Assistant Character Designers
JEFFREY S. JOHNSON
TAE SOO KIM
LIN HUA ZHENG
DAVID SVEND KARROL
Supervising Timing Director
Storyboard Production Manager BRIAN G. SMITH
Production Art Supervisor JOHN "BUENOS" DIAZ
Production Coordinator SHERRIAN FELIX
Episodic Casting Supervisor MATTHEW C. OTOSKI
Production Assistant BEN MALONEY
Post Production Assistant JENNIFER L. ANDERSON
Production Accountant NATHAN HARAMOTO
Associate Producer for Marvel
Production Coordinator for Marvel
Dialogue Recording Engineer
ERIC LEWIS, C.A.S.
SOUND BYTE, INC.
STUDIO POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
RALPH A. EUSEBIO
BRUCE A. KING
Digital Effects Supervisor
Music Engineers MARK MATTSON
Post Production Sound Services ADVANTAGE Sound Services
Sound Designer ROBERT POOLE II
Dialogue Editor ROBBI SMITH
Foley Artist CRAIG NG
Foley Mixer MARY ERSTAD
Digital Audio Transfer ROBERT PRATT
Re-Recording Mixers MELISSA ELLIS, FIL BROWN
Main Title Theme by
THE TENDER BOX
Main Title Directed by
Main Title Storyboard by
Main Title Color by
Main Title Animation Production by
HANHO HEUNG-UP CO. LTD
Animation Production by
MOI ANIMATION CO. LTD
This Motion Picture is protected under the laws of the United States and other countries, and its unauthorized duplication, distribution, or exhibition may result in civil liability and criminal prosecution. Many of the characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
"The Spectacular Spider-Man, the animated series (C) 2008 Adelaide Productions, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Spider-Man and all related characters TM & (C) 2008 Marvel Characters, Inc."
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MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT CULVER ENTERTAINMENT
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Watched the first 2 episodes of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" and I gotta say thank you.
Thank you for putting the humor back into Spidey, specifically his banter (the movies seriously lacked this). I like lighter toned Spidey. Drama's great, but I love the Spider-Man zingers!
Thank you for the jam-packing of continuity references- both to the comics, and between the episodes.
And I don't know if this thank you goes to you or Sony, but I'm thankful we're getting at least 26 episodes of this series.
Couple questions since this is "Ask Greg":
1. While watching "Interactions" the opening teaser looked vertically stretched when it aired on KTLA- was it? Maybe I'm still getting used to the designs, or maybe you guys were trying some low-angle perspective stuff, but it looked like it also happened sporadically throughout the episode. I mainly noticed it when seeing Conners or Brock. This is assuming you watched the broadcast- since you've seen the episode countless times already I wouldn't be surprised if you passed.
2. I enjoyed the theme song. Is that the whole song or is there an extended cut?
3. Will you post the lyrics to the theme song? Or since you can be a stickler for phrasing- What are the lyrics to "The Spectacular Spider-Man" theme song?
4. I'm not super familiar with Gwen's classic personality- the most I know of Gwen comes from Loeb/Sale's "Spider-Man: Blue" and Busiek/Ross's "Marvels" so is her characterization in this series a dramatic departure, a subtle re-working, or spot-on?
I was a little shocked that MJ wasn't in the opening credits- until the scene with Anna and May at which point I went "Oh, there introducing her like in the comics, cool."
Loved the Flint Marko cameo at the start of "SotF".
Looking forward to both Sandman and the Scorpion (whenever they show up).
I've been seeing here, and on other boards across the 'net, that some folks are having trouble with the designs. For me, it reminds me of my initial reaction to the "Batman: The Animated Series" designs when I first saw them- I laughed out loud. At the time I didn't "get it." Now course I love those designs, so first impressions can be misleading. I personally don't have an issue with "TSS-M" designs- I've seen Cheeks' work on the Hellboy DTV's so I know they can be dark and dramatic if necessary. But again I like light and funny, so take from that what you will.
I don't have to tell you to keep up the great work, since I know you will anyway- but don't forget to get some sleep and take a break every once in a while.
1. I am NO expert on this, but someone told me that if you had your television set to HD when they weren't broadcasting it in HD it would stretch it. Is that possible?
2. The main title version is exactly a minute long. The original was a minute and twenty seconds. But we're producing a new 2:30 second version for the first DVD.
3. I don't have those in writing, so I can't simply cut and paste them. But if someone wants to listen and make an attempt, I can probably proofread 'em easy enough.
4. It's our extrapolation of who the Lee/Romita Gwen Stacy was back in High School (as opposed to college, which was when the character was actually introduced into continuity). It's not for us to judge how accurate. But we certainly tried.