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Man Mountain writes...

Hey Greg. I was listening to Howard Stern this morning (4/28/08) and he just gave a quick, but rave review of your Spiderman series. He said he is embarrassed to be his age and watching Saturday morning cartoons, but said he loved it and would be watching. Just thought I'd let you know. Keep up the good work and thanks!

Greg responds...

That's very cool!

Response recorded on May 30, 2008

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Algernon writes...

Spectacular Spider-Man

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Catalyst

You know what I love about this show? It's the consistency, seven episodes in and we've yet to get anything less the great TV. Even the best shows don't usually get this far without at least one mediocre outing, yet the Spectacular Spider-Man continues to go from strength to strength. This episode stands out in particular as we are introduced to two of the most important figures in the Spidey-mythos.

First up I absolutely love this version of the Green Goblin, cunning, creepy and completely insane. Steven Blum has already solidified himself in my mind as the definitive voice of the Goblin. I especially like his banter, it's cool to have a villain who can go toe to toe with Spidey on the quip front. Credit goes to Sean Galloway for the design of Gobby's glider, darn thing looks like it could bite somebody's face off.

This episode also marks our first real look at Mary Jane Watson. I really like MJ, she's a babe and she knows it but doesn't let it go to her head.

Tombstone comes across very well in this episode, calm and calculating even when facing down a super-powered psychopath. He also had a neat xanatosian moment near the end. God do I pithy those poor goons when Tombstone tracks them down. A few questions though…

1) It's interesting that your going with the whole mystery angle with GG identity, aren't you worried about your audience being already spoiled by the Spidey movies or previous cartoons?

2) Not so much a question as minor observation. I noticed a lot of glass breaking in this episode, which I understand is something of a S&P no no. your S&P people must be fairy laid back.

Anyway looking forward to the next episode with Doc Ock.

Greg responds...

Actually, I think the Glider was designed by Tae Soo, our prop designer.

1. Sure. But I'm a worrier.

2. They seem pretty understanding.

Response recorded on May 30, 2008

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Aldrius writes...

All right, starting this ramble about halfway through the episode. Don't have much to say about the first half anyway... and what I do...

That thing with Harry taking some sort of goblin formula strikes me as a bit of a red herring. But it might not be. (I think it is). But the fact that it might not be keeps me guessing!

Anyway, I guess that shows why Harry was grinning like the laughing fish in the last episode. But what makes me think it's Normy is the Big Man connection. Why would Harry care about the Big Man?

I'm gonna assume there won't be a relevation as to who it is by the end of the episode.

And poor Harry too. That was rude of that girl to take back her boyfriend on the night of the prom when she was with another guy...

I don't like how I can tell that the Green Goblin and his thug are voiced by the same guy. Oh well, not that big a deal.

Kevin Michael Richardsons PERFECT Keith David (wouldn't be able to tell if I didn't know) impression makes up for it.

'And Maybe call the Police' That was hilarious. Because I could see another show completely forgetting about even mentioning that.

Wow, Peter way to completely sacrifice the element of surprise. For someone who can't be surprised you sure don't value it very much.

Huh, that cut between the fighting with Green Goblin and Spider-man wasn't in the opening scene!

That little screech whenever a bomb goes off.

I think the goblin's 'bomb' is a bluff. Or not...

I think it's sweet that Jonah went back up with his son.

And it looks like the Mary Jane/Peter romance gets it's first step. But I'm still hoping we get to explore other avenues first. And of course, there's nothing saying that we can't.

Still think Harry's green vial is a big red herring, though. We'll see if I'm right soon. And of course Tombstone's 'you just did what I was gonna pay you for, for free' was great, and has me thinking. If Tombstone's just going to pay him for doing what he was already doing for free, why would he be surprised that he continued to do it? And why doesn't Peter just accept it? He'd be getting paid for doing what he's doing already. Obviously he doesn't, because well, you don't accept favours from 'the mob' and not expect to have to do something in return, at least that's what the Simpsons has always taught me.

But it intrigues me, because I could see Peter accepting Lincoln's offer down the road. And that interests me. That interests me greatly, and now I'm interesting in watching more, and seeing if that actually DOES happen, because I think it COULD happen.

In short, I'm hooked.

Greg responds...

Good. Hooked is what we were going for!

Response recorded on May 30, 2008

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Todd Jensen writes...

A brief review of "Catalysts".

I enjoyed this one a lot (like the other episodes I've seen so far). A few things that stood out to me most:

We got to see J. Jonah Jameson's better side, for a side. He's clearly proud of his son - and I think it's justified. (I was particularly impressed with the younger Jameson figuring out that the Green Goblin had planted his bomb on the chandelier, and promptly alerting Spidey.)

Did Keith David go back to doing the Big Man/Tombstone's voice? I thought it sounded more like his this time around, but I might be wrong. (And I liked his performance - especially when he's commenting that Spidey wound up helping him after all. I also enjoyed Spidey's disgust at having to help Tombstone, but doing it because he doesn't want all the bystanders to get blown up.)

I'm looking forward to the next episode, introducing Dr. Octopus. I'm especially eager to find out how he goes from the meek, timid little fellow he's been so far to a fearsome super-villain (and I don't just mean the physical changes).

Thanks for another good one, Greg.

Greg responds...

It's still Kevin Michael Richardson as Tombstone.

Response recorded on May 29, 2008

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Greg Bishansky writes...

"Catalysts" marks the first real appearance of my favorite Spider-Man villain, the Green Goblin. So, needless to say, I've been anticipating this one for a long time, and it did not disappoint.

I loved the Green Goblin. Cheeks' design looked great, like an updated version of Ditko's design that took out all the hokey aspects of it. I love the Goblin, but even I'll admit that Ditko's design was always very hokey looking. Steve Blum just nailed that voice. His cackle was as good as Mark Hamill's Joker cackle.

I think I'll take this moment to compliment the casting and voice direction on this series. Jamie Thomason is a genius. He, along with Andrea Romano, are the two best voice directors in the business. I'm loving what I've been hearing. Vanessa Marshall was terrific as Mary Jane. Very sexy voice. And I've been a fan of Steve Blum since I first saw "Cowboy Bebop" six years ago. As soon as I heard him on that show as Spike, I knew he was going to go places. Unfortunately, most of the time it seems he gets hired just to do the Spike voice, and it's a great voice, don't get me wrong, but it's nice to see what else he can do. The man has range. His Goblin was excellent, and blows every other Goblin voice actor out of the water. It's like the voice I always had in my head when reading the comics without ever quite knowing what that voice was. I felt the same way about Robert Englund's Vulture, come to think of it. Okay, tangent over.

This version of the Green Goblin seems to have just about everything that I love about the character going for him. Smart, cunning, insane, ambitious, and more than a match for the spectacular Spider-Man. This is the first villain (aside from Tombstone) that really, really, really felt like a real threat. Which is as it should be. The Green Goblin is an A-List villain. Him, Doc Ock, Kingpin, Venom and the original Hobgoblin have always been the elite of Spidey's rogues gallery. So, it is great to finally, after all these years, see him being done justice in one of the cartoon series. The 90s series didn't do him justice. Neither did the 80s series or "The Amazing Friends". The movie came very close but didn't quite nail it. But, between Blum's Green Goblin and Alan Rachins' Norman Osborn, I think we have a winner here.

Tombstone was great last episode and I am really enjoying him in this episode. I no longer lament the lack of the Kingpin. Tombstone is just fun. I love how cool he is under pressure, and how he's able to get Spider-Man to protect him like that. I also thought it was great how instead of fleeing, he stayed and helped Spider-Man look for the bomb.

But where would I be if I didn't discuss Mary Jane? I already said that Vanessa Marshall sounds great, and I love Cheeks' character design for her. I've called this the first time Mary Jane has appeared outside the comic book medium. The 90s series had a character named Mary Jane Watson, but that wasn't Mary Jane Watson. The movies turned MJ into Gwen-Lite. But here she was smart, witty, funny, and someone you'd want to hang out with. I also suspect that she already knows Peter is Spider-Man. Poor Gwen. Hell, poor Flash... he's going to have to dress up like a cheerleader.

And poor Harry. Glory used him to get back at Kenny. Now he's drinking "Gobulin Green #994" (Nice "Gargoyles in-joke there, Greg.) Also, nice red herring. But no, I don't think he's the Green Goblin, if that is what they're trying to make us think. For one, how would he know about Tombstone being the Big Man? For another, how would he know about the Tech-Flight glider? Besides, after Hammerhead tried to blackmail Norman in the last episode, taking out Tombstone would probably be at the top of Norman's to-do list. If anything, Harry taking the formula looks like a great way to tell the Harry drug addiction story. Cool. Also, Norman was more than conspicuous in his absence... except that he wasn't really absent.

"Randy?"
"Very!"
How did that get past Standards and Practices??? Nice!

Looking forward to Dr. Octopus next week. Come to think of it, I am beyond amused that Doc Ock makes his villainous debut in the eighth episode of the series.

Greg responds...

Just trying to push the envelope...

Response recorded on May 29, 2008

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Avalon writes...

Just watched the Spider-man episode "Catalyst" where Spidey took on the Goblin. However, something seems amiss. I thought I'm caught up with all the episodes, but did I miss a storyline somewhere? How did Spiderman figure out (or at least it was insinuated in the episode) that Tombstone is the "Big-guy" or even know who Tombstone is? (anyway, I thought the "Big-guy" would have been the Kingpin, but guess I was wrong...)

Greg responds...

You must have missed our sixth episode "The Invisible Hand" featuring Rhino and Tombstone.

Response recorded on May 28, 2008

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Anonymous writes...

The Spectacular Spiderman is terrific Mr Weisman I hope it continuous to be a success. My question for you involves one of the characters particularly Liz Allen. I just want to know the reason for her ethnicity being changed from comics. Please don't take my question as a negative I'm just curious thank you.

Greg responds...

The traditional Spider-Man cast was predominantly caucasian, and that just didn't feel realistic to us in modern day NYC. (Wasn't realistic then either, but in 1962...)

So we made a conscious decision to change the ethnicity of some of the characters. Certain characters seemed too iconic to change. Others did not. For us, Liz fell into the latter category.

Response recorded on May 28, 2008

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Vasy writes...

As A sPiderman fan through the ages...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...
No show or movie has ever got it right with Venom...

He got the costume int he Secret Wars...which involves outer space and alot of Super heors and Villians

PLEASE DO IT THIS WAY

WOULD LOVE TO SEE OTHER MARVEL CHARACTERS IN THE SHOW.

THANKS

Greg responds...

We aren't using other Marvel characters in the series, save those from the Spider-Man corner of the Marvel Universe (which is huge, btw). So that eliminates the possibility of using Secret Wars as a source for the Symbiote. (Can't say I'm sorry, either. Not as big a fan of that series as you obviously were.)

Response recorded on May 28, 2008

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Anonymous writes...

I've been waiting with great anticipation for the Spidey cartoon since even before I attended the panel at last year's San Diego Comic Con. I never once feared that I would be disappointed, and I certainly have not been. Hats off to you and your crew for making the best animated incarnation of any Marvel Comics character I've ever seen. The show is fun, stylish, unforced, and very much in the spirit of the old Spidey comics. I actually get up at 9:00 am on Saturday mornings (when I'm not working) to watch a cartoon when I am not one who has much love for the idea of appointment television. So far, I've loved how you have handled every character, and I love how each episode is not simply a villain-of-the-week affair, but also further develops Pete's situation and even features the occasional surprise villain (that Tombstone appearance at the end of "The Invisible Hand" was fantastic). I love that we've seen Jean DeWolff and George Stacy without even having been told who they are yet. I just love a lot of stuff about this show. :)

I guess I do have a question, so forgive me for even MORE preamble: For some reason, I've always had a soft spot for Spidey's less popular, but strange and off-beat villains. I'm sure you've got plenty of stories to tell with the likes of the Goblins, Doc Ock, and other heavy-hitters, but are there any villains off the beaten path that you personally have lobbied to get included, or would like to at some point, even if it might require a big change in origin/design/etc? I'm thinking on the level of Man-Wolf, the Swarm, Stegron the Dinosaur Man, etc., just some villains that are a bit ridiculous but that still have their fans. I have nothing but confidence that you guys could put a cool new spin on guys like these and introduce them into the show in an organic and interesting way. And since I mentioned Man-Wolf: are we going to be seeing John Jameson at all in this show?

Again, apologies for my long-windedness, but this show has visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. :)

Greg responds...

By now you've seen John in three straight episodes... and he'll be appearing more in Season Two as well. We'll also be hitting a few more obscure villains, but I don't even feel we've hit all the majors yet...

Response recorded on May 27, 2008

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Anonymous writes...

Hello, Greg. How will "The Spectacular Spider-Man" show will be affected when Kids WB will be gone? Will the show still air at the same channel? Will the show continue normally?

Greg responds...

We don't yet know where the second season will air. But we are definitely making it, and I'm confident it will air somewhere.

Response recorded on May 27, 2008


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