After years of public begging from all corners, Marvel Studios and Sony Entertainment have come to an agreement on the rights to Spider-Man. Spider-Man has been a part of almost every major Marvel crossover storyline, going back years, and much of the anticipation over this deal has been about his inclusion in a film version of the “Civil War” storyline. It’ll be great to see Spidey out there as part of the MCU. While I’m not entirely thrilled about many of the implications, it does give me the opportunity to talk about Captain America: Civil War and Spidey.
So I’ve been trying recently to branch out into American comics. You may have noticed this. My most recent adventure has taken me into the animated world of Spider-Man. Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man TV show is actually pretty awesome. The premise is this: Peter Parker has been Spider-Man for a while when he is approached by Nick Fury with a proposition: join up with S.H.I.E.L.D. and let them train Peter into the “ultimate” Spider-Man. Peter accepts and is suddenly tossed onto a team with junior S.H.I.E.L.D. agents White Tiger, Nova, Power Man, and Iron Fist. Hijinks ensue and Peter learns valuable lessons about superheroing, blah blah, you know the drill. Anyway, it’s a pretty fun show.
So first I gotta be upfront with you about the real reason I started watching this show. Yes, it was a good way to learn more about the Marvelverse, as Peter often breaks the fourth wall to explain a situation or introduce a character we may not know. But really? I needed more Son of Coul in my life. Yup, that’s right. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had a lot of influence on this show, and one way that shows is in the presence of Agent Coulson as a supporting character. Best of all, they even got Clark Gregg himself to do the voice acting! It’s just a small part in the background (Coulson is undercover as the principal at Peter’s high school) but it made me happy nonetheless.
The voice acting in general on this show is pretty great, with Drake Bell as Peter Parker, Tara Strong as Mary Jane, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, and Tom Kenny, Greg Cipes, Steve Blum, Travis Willingham (as Thor!), and even Mark Hamill as various other roles. (Stan Lee has a running cameo as the high school’s janitor.)
The animation is somewhat inspired by anime, with some chibi-fication and whatnot. It also has a good mix of episoding plots versus an overarching storyline.
I’m enjoying it so far. (Although, to be fair, seeing as the internet seems to be full of this show’s haters, I’m relatively easy to please and have no basis for comparison.) I recommend you check it out, too!