Here they are, better late then never. The Top 5 episodes from Spiderman: The Animated Series (in my opinion). Many are spectacular, but I have chosen what I think to be the “best of the best” from the best Marvel animated series of all time.
5. The Alien Costume
In this 3-part adventure from the very first season, the classic tale of the symbiote is retold in spectacular fashion. Beginning with a mission to space, the black symbiote is accidentally brought to Earth where it finds it’s first host in Peter Parker. The Venom Saga from the comics was always one of my favorites and as cool as it was to read that adventure in a comic, it was a dream come true when I could watch it in spectacular animation on television. Venom is arguably Spidey’s greatest foe and the story of the symbiote is one of the best Spidey stories ever, so when the final showdown between Spiderman and Venom arrived, it became one of the greatest moments in the show’s history.
Favorite Moment: Peter returns from the space shuttle crash with “tar” on his costume. As he goes to sleep the symbiote latches onto him, creating an internal struggle between his classic red suit and the symbiote. The symbiote wins, and Peter awakens in his new, awesome outfit.
Just as he is a more powerful villain then Venom, his episode gained a higher ranking on the Top 10 list. Carnage is the spawn of the Venom symbiote, which attached itself to the criminally insane Cletus Cassidy. With the symbiote’s advanced abilities and Cassidy’s twisted mind, Carnage becomes a nearly unstoppable opponent. An opponent so powerful that Spiderman requires the assistance of his good buddy Ironman, and even Venom. This episode is very similar to the comic series that introduced Carnage. In both the comics and the cartoon Spiderman is forced to team-up with Brock and “keep his friends close, but his enemies closer”. The difference is that Dormamu and his henchman Mordo are helping Carnage. Carnage and Venom are eventually sucked into a vortex created by Tony Stark’s inter-dimensional gateway machine. Ironman then proceeds to destroy his machine, locking the two symbiotes inside forever.
Favorite Moment: Just when Spiderman and War Machine think they have won the fight against Venom, it’s “symbiote son” Carnage arrives and creates a whole new set of problems for the Web-slinger. Not even the combined forces of Spiderman and War Machine could stop this pair of symbiotes.
3. Turning Point
Named after the classic story from the comics, in which the Green Goblin murders Gwen Stacy, the TV series’ version of “Turning Point” sees the return of Green Goblin, who had thought to be removed from Norman Osborn’s mind. The Goblin has gained access to the time dilation accelerator (TDA) and has found out that Peter is Spiderman. He uses the TDA to kidnap Mary Jane and he takes her to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge (where he killed Gwen Stacy in the comics). After an intense showdown with the Green Goblin, Spiderman notices that Mary Jane has fallen off the top of the bridge, but when he looks over the side to save her, she was gone. Unknown to Spidey, she had fallen into one of the TDA’s open portals and sent to another dimension, a similar portal that took Carnage and Venom.
Favorite Moment: Without a doubt the fight scene between Spiderman and the Green Goblin atop the Brooklyn Bridge. Unfortunately this battle ends in the tragic disappearance of Mary Jane.
2. The Secret Wars
As you’ve probably noticed by now, the majority of great episodes are loosely based on some of the greatest stories, either in Spiderman comics or stories from across the entire Marvel Universe. In The Secret Wars (comic version), the heroes of the Marvel Universe are transported to an alien planet and get involved in an inter-planetary war. The television version sees Spiderman and the world’s greatest villains transported to another planet by the Beyonder to see who would win: good or evil? Spiderman is given the opportunity to choose a group of heroes to help him defeat the villains. The Fantastic Four, Storm, The Black Cat, Ironman and Captain America are all selected to help the web-slinging wonder battle the Red Skull, Alistair Smythe, Dr. Octopus and Dr. Doom. After our heroes successfully win the battle, Madame Web and the Beyonder take Spiderman back to Earth, but things are not what they seem.
Favorite Moment: Dr. Doom has taken control of the Beyonder’s powers, but when the powers become unstable, Spiderman suggests that he give them up. Doom asks, “who among you has ever wanted to give up there super powers?” Spiderman answers the question with a classic speech about great power and great responsibility. Like we haven’t heard that one before, but it worked.
1. The Spider Wars
“I Really, Really Hate Clones” and Farewell, Spiderman” are the two final episodes of Spiderman: The Animated Series, and the best. In an alternate reality, the Carnage symbiote bonded with this world’s Peter Parker, turning him into Spider-Carnage and wit the TDA, he plans to destroy all dimensions with the help of the two Goblins and the Kingpin. The Beyonder is losing power so Madame Web summons 6 Spidermen from 6 different dimensions, including a six-armed Spiderman and the Scarlet Spider. Our Spiderman travels to the “Iron” Spiderman’s dimension where he meets Gwen Stacy for the first time, but his real objective is to stop Spider-Carnage, which he realizes can only be done with the help of Uncle Ben, alive and well in this dimension. With Spider-Carnage defeated, all dimensions are safe and Spiderman meets Stan Lee when Madame Web takes him to the “real life” universe. At the end of the episode, Madame Web offers to help Spiderman find Mary Jane, lost in another dimension. A perfect end to a perfect show.
Favorite Moment: As Peter struggles to break away from the Carnage symbiote; he opens a portal and takes the machine with him, sacrificing himself to save all of reality. Either that or the scene when Spiderman meets Stan Lee.
Hope you enjoyed my Top 10 of Spiderman: The Animated Series. Farewell, “True Believers!”