Spider-Man The Complete Collection (1994 TV series) Retrospective

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(Spoilers)

This series was a big part of my childhood, I remember sitting up watching endless episodes of it and loving every minute! Around the middle of last year I picked the complete boxset up for a reduced price and that was the end of my social life! Once I received the DVDs I quickly worked my way through the 1st series and made a good dent in the 2nd, however then I realised that I wanted to make the collection last so I cut back on my viewing.  It was only last night that I finished watching all the episodes, so here I just wanted to give my thoughts on the collection.

Basically, its really great! This is the Spider-man I like, he is witty but at the same time deeply troubled by many issues – I think this is why I have so many issues with Tobey Maguire and why I prefer Andrew Garfield, he portrays a more accurate version of Spider-man in my opinion. It is just so cool to see Spider-man face so many of his villains throughout the series, and it has been cool to increase my knowledge of the comic book stories.  The very first episode ‘Night of the Lizard’ is basically the same storyline as The Amazing Spiderman film so I enjoyed drawing comparisons.  One thing that I love about this series is the abundance of characters that can be featured in each episode, most having their own specific theme music which was a nice touch!

Image The ‘Insidious six’ were great for this and it was unreal when you got to see Spiderman face up against all six of these villains in an episode.  However when these villains were together they were under control of the Kingpin and it was nearly a shame that they weren’t explored more on a personal level.  I would have liked to seen more individual plots from each character, especially that of Doc Oc, however it was always great seeing them in any episodes.  However there were a few villains that I didn’t care for, namely Kraven the Hunter and Morbius, I would always let out a sigh when they made an appearance in an episode.  Especially Morbius as far too many episodes are devoted to this character and I really did get bored of his storyline.  One villain that was not featured enough was Venom, his episodes were some of my favourite and it is a shame that he didn’t make more appearances however I suppose the lack of episodes make those ones he is in that bit more special.

The way in which the story was built was quite magnificent really, the intelligent design of the script surprised me.  The fact that things in different series had relevance to other series was really exciting and it was always cool to see links and the use of flashbacks was always useful in filling in the gaps.  One of the best aspects of the series was the plot twist revealing that the Mary Jane that had returned in season 4 and consequently marries Peter Parker was in fact a clone and that the real Mary Jane is still lost, I did not see this coming and thought it was a great twist also it added some weight behind the Hydro-man episodes.

The final season was exciting and featured many well known characters, it was big and went out with a bang! Between Captain America and Redskull and the ‘Secret Wars’ episodes that featured many villains and heroes there was enough comic book material to keep any nerd happy for months! It was good to see the return of the goblins in the final two episodes and the use of parallel universes provided much entertainment, a cameo from Gwen Stacey was much to my amusement! However much I enjoyed this finale and the final series as a whole I was also left slightly frustrated! I wanted more closure, the fate of so many characters was left in the balance! Does Parker find Mary Jane, and where has she been? What happens to the many villains who are still on the loose, especially the Kingpin! Also what about Alistair Smythe’s father, is he successful in bringing him back?  There were many unanswered questions and instead of addressing these in the final minutes it is chosen instead to feature a cartoon version of Stan Lee, amusing as this was I would have preferred answers to the characters I have been following for 5 series!

Nonetheless the Spider-man collection is a great addition to the Marvel universe and has helped me to explore it further, it has genuinely been a blast getting to know more characters from the comics and relieving my childhood in watching these episodes! Any fan of Spider-man should love this and I would recommend that you pick up the box-set.

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”I think this is said a couple of times!

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One thought on “Spider-Man The Complete Collection (1994 TV series) Retrospective

  1. Great review, besides The Spectacular Spider-Man, this is my favourite adaptation of Spider-Man and far surpasses any of the live-action films, it has the humour, drama and action and it works for audiences of all ages because of its intelligent and mature stories. While Andrew Garfield does the witty/jokey kind of Spidey better, I don’t think his humour is written or delivered as good as this show. This cartoon is almost perfection.

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