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Published at: July 11, 2003, 1:22 a.m. CST by staff

I am – Hercules!!

Man, cartoons take a long time!

With live action, they announce the “Threat Matrix” series in May and it’s on the air the following September.

But we’ve been hearing about this new “Spider-Man” cartoon since 2001. “Daria” was still airing. The “Spider-Man” movie was still six months in the future. It’s been a long dang wait.

If you’re a fan of comic-book writer Brian Michael Bendis, you may enjoy this enterprise, which employs Bendis as a producer and seems to draw to some degree from Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man version of the hero. (Herc, for his part, finds Bendis the most overrated ubiquitous quack this side of Rob Liefeld. I was a colossal fan of Ultimate X-Men until Bendis replaced big-brained Mark Millar about two issues ago. Now Ultimate X-Men is every inch as mediocre as the monthly Superman titles. If I see Bendis at ComicCon I’m going to kick him in the nuts.)

Well, a lot I know. Entertainment Weekly gives “Spider-Man”) an “A-“ and says:

I had more fun watching this slippery-smooth Spidey than I did noting Tobey Maguire's strenuous exertions in the feature film.

VCR alert: Note that two episodes air back-to-back Friday night, starting at 10 p.m. And if you miss it? Don’t worry. MTV repeats every episode of everything a millionty zillion times: Spidey’s first two installments will air three times each on Saturday, twice on Sunday.

I am – Hercules!!





Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here. Just wanted to weigh in with a quick reaction to tonight's premiere. Both Sony and MTV ended up sending it to me to check out, and my reaction after seeing it a couple of times is... not bad. The cel-shaded look of the show is going to divide fans right off the bat, and doing computer animation for television is still going to turn out product closer to the REBOOT end of the scale than the Pixar end. Having said that, there's a lot to like for fans of the character.

Herc is a massive comic book fan. Just like he's got one whole wing of his house devoted to TVs and satellite equipment, he's also got another wing that is nothing but comic books. I'm a little surprised by his vehement hatred of all things Bendis. Personally, I'm the kind of comic reader who waits and picks up trade paperbacks of things, and I only recently got the first two collections of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. I thought Bendis did a very good job of streamlining tons of Spidey history into a new package, and he actually got me to laugh out loud a few times at Spider-Man's wiseass comments, something that hasn't happened in a long time.

I think the writing in the comics is stronger than the writing in the show, and I'm trying to wrap my head around yet another continuity (it doesn't match up with the movie or with the current run of the comics). One of the great things about SPIDER-MAN and the core characters is that they're strongly enough etched archetypes to withstand the endless tinkering and refiguring that they've gone through. The basic relationships still work.

The best thing about the MTV show, based on this quick peek, is the action. There's some really fluid and persuasive action here, and if you're in the mood for some web-slinging, you'll get your fix. The violence in the show isn't gory, but it is surprisingly intense. I didn't expect a beheading in the first episode. Overall, it's the kind of show that goes down painless. You watch, you enjoy, and then you move on to whatever's next. Don't go into it expecting something that will redefine all you know about Spidey. This ain't that sort of project. Instead, it's a fun, slickly produced show that has the potential to turn out some great episodes and guest villain storylines, and it's just right for these summer rerun months.

Check it out. You might really dig it.

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback

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  • July 11, 2003, 1:29 a.m. CST

    FIRST!

    by Effigy2002

    I've always wanted to say that.

  • July 11, 2003, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Gay!

    by Norman Dale

    I've always wanted to say that.

  • July 11, 2003, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Very gay

    by Neojanus

    I've always wanted to say that

  • July 11, 2003, 2:25 a.m. CST

    Bendis

    by ClancyWiggum

    Hey, who's read Bendis's DareDevil storylines (out, underboss, etc)? Are they any good? I've always loved the character and own some TPBs (Frank Miller's stuff, Guardian Devil, Yellow).

  • July 11, 2003, 4:17 a.m. CST

    I collect his Daredevil stuff religiously

    by digdig

    for whoever asked, and I think it's great. Then again my friend is a Daredevil fan and he hates Bendis run for lack of action. I think his current writing of Typhoid Mary is off the hook

  • July 11, 2003, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Herc...

    by MKiro

    If you're going to use a big word like 'ubiquitous', you really should understand the meaning of the word first. In the context you quote, it makes absolutely no sense.

  • July 11, 2003, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Herc . . . have you tried Bendis' "Alias" . . . ?

    by hulkdog

    It's his best ongoing work, IMO. As for this Spiderman toon, I'll TIVO it and see if it's any good.

  • July 11, 2003, 9:33 a.m. CST

    by Sith42

    Y'know.. if he kicks anything like he writes, Bendis has nothing to worry about :)

  • July 11, 2003, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Fanboys are so weird.

    by rev_skarekroe

    Why does not liking someone's writing make you think it's ok to threaten to kick them in the nuts? sk

  • July 11, 2003, 10:21 a.m. CST

    I'll watch for the writing

    by Terry_1978

    The Chicago Sun Times gives this thing three stars, mainly for "the uber-violence and one cool beheading"...LOL. Not too crazy about that cel shaded look, they should have just went with traditional animation, which would make it look a bit more stylized. And I won't dismiss Doog doing Spidey's voice until I hear him bust a few wisecracks and take on the Parker persona. And how can you resist cute ass Lisa Loeb as MJ?

  • July 11, 2003, 10:23 a.m. CST

    he..

    by CycLoner

    Isn't millar writing youngblood for liefeld?

  • July 11, 2003, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Did you know...?

    by Village Idiot

    Did you know there's a review of Mark Millar's TROUBLE in the @$$holes comics review column on this very site? It's true! Just go back to the front page and click "AICN Comics: @$$holes review SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT..." And thanks for the mention, Herc.

  • July 11, 2003, 10:33 a.m. CST

    They should have a "nut kicking" line at coventions. Yes, I am l

    by Big Bad Clone

  • July 11, 2003, 10:34 a.m. CST

    So the whinniest superhero is on the network that shows The Real

    by Big Bad Clone

    Big surprise. Maybe Ashton will try to "punk" Spidey. Pure TV gold.

  • July 11, 2003, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Herc, I totally agree.

    by Dmann

    Brian Bendis is a talky, overpraised writer whose storylines take twice as long to resolve themselves as they should. His style is so craptacular, he has infected the whole of marvel comics with his suckoliciousness... Kick him in the nuts til his nose bleeds, please.

  • July 11, 2003, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Reply to the user who queried Herc's use of 'ubiquitous'.

    by Evil Posh

    Maybe a bit clumsy throwing it in there with unrelated adjectives like that, but it still makes perfect sense. Bendis IS ubiquitous, damn you!

  • July 11, 2003, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Bendis owns Mark MillAr's ass

    by SpyGuy

    Brian Bendis knows characters, dialogue and atmosphere, while Mark Millar (with an 'a') only knows how to write for shock value. His DAREDEVIL is the best since Frank Miller (with an 'e') and his work on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN and ALIAS will be considered classic storytelling for decades to come. Millar (with an 'a') is simply a Warren Ellis wannabe...

  • July 11, 2003, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Why must there be nut kicking?

    by Woolam

    Bendis is a great writer (in my opinion)! Just because you don't like someone's writing doesn't mean you should kick them in the nuts. If you don't like it, don't read it. I love most of Bendis'es work, but I don't read Alias, because the first two story arcs didn't do it for me. Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man on the the other hand are two of my favorite books month in month out. Maybe I should have threatened to kick Herc in the nuts for all of his reviews of Angel (season 3) where he gave it less stars than the lackluster episodes of Buffy (season 6). I resently had the honor of meeting Bendis at the NYC convention. He was one of the nicest guys there. He talked to everyone on his line. The guy in front of me didn't even have anything for him to sign, he just wanted to ask Bendis about the latest story arc of Alias. Bendis talked with him for a good 5 minuets. What I'm trying to say is that Bendis is a nice guy and should not have his nuts kicked. Shame on you Herc.

  • July 11, 2003, 12:58 p.m. CST

    millionty zillion times

    by MiltonWaddams

    hee hee, it's funny because it's true. and mtv will fuck this shit up with a nickleback soundtrack or something lame like that. on top of everything, spiderman is a total puss.

  • July 11, 2003, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Nice to hear someone mention The Maxx . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    I thought that was really cool. Also, does anyone remember a short on Liquid Television about this NASCAR (Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks) type race in the future where they drove hover cars? It was really cool. Huh huh, huh huh, huh huh. I can't believe I'm discussing MTV shows.

  • July 11, 2003, 2:35 p.m. CST

    herv no likey bendis?

    by BRTick

    why you gots to be playa hating!

  • July 11, 2003, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Liquid Tv should really be brought back

    by lush

    I fuckin loved that show. never missed it. man aeon flux was hot. And the immigrant song? Genius! Dogboy? Gold!

  • July 11, 2003, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Bendis' DD is the best crime comic out there

    by bostonjh

    Bendis and Maleev are turning out one of the best comics today, period. But their biggest achievment is taking DD back to the Miller style crime stories that made him so popular in the late 80s. For all the talk about how 'so and so' is the next Miller what Bendis and Maleev are doing is EXACTLY what Miller did: They are updating the characters and bringing them up to date with hard hitting crime stories. The re-intro of Typhoid Mary in the latest arc is fucking brilliant. The scene with Kingpin in her dressing room smacking her around "Mary. I missed you so much, Mary." stuck in my mind for three days after reading it. Kingpin is a mafioso who gets paid tribute and the bad guys are BAD again.

  • July 11, 2003, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Lisa Loeb is cute???

    by bigtroyjon

    You have some serious problems

  • July 11, 2003, 5:55 p.m. CST

    And WHAT, might I ask, is wrong with Reboot?

    by 007-11

  • July 11, 2003, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Hey! What's wrong with Reboot?

    by buckna

    n/t

  • July 11, 2003, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Etc.

    by DyslexicHeart

    Lisa Loeb is cute and talented. Bendis is great, Herc should be kicking the nuts of FOX executives for cancelling Firefly. And Neil Patrick Harris' voice during his tenure on "Doogie Houser, MD" would have been better than his voice now. Thanks for mentioning Reboot Moriarty, now I'll have nightmares tonight about the times my kid brother forced me to watch that crap.

  • July 11, 2003, 10:12 p.m. CST

    They should avoid those sweeping wide shots

    by 007-11

    It looks like footage from the Sims. Not bad, could be better. Just like Stripperella

  • July 11, 2003, 10:19 p.m. CST

    as I sit watching...

    by worst geek ever

    The show's look is odd, that cel shading stuff is distracting. Plus Mary Jane had an oddly sloping forehead IMHO. But, I like the dialogue, has that Bendis feel and he can write some decent dialogue.

  • July 11, 2003, 10:36 p.m. CST

    cel shaders

    by noborgo

    OrionsAngel---You're right, cel shading can look gorgeous...but it sure doesn't here! The faces are more cardboard than on South Park, they all look exactly the same.....For decent cel shading check out Missing Persons and Tekkon Kinkreet--both on bytemonsoon.

  • July 11, 2003, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Don't ruin monk for me

    by Neojanus

    I'm catching it at 12 and I don't want any spoilers.

  • July 12, 2003, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Pretty Damn Good Show...

    by KAWS

    That Spidey is...wanna see Dr. Connors/The Lizard next week...Thank you very much.

  • July 12, 2003, 2:49 a.m. CST

    ha, I own all #43 current issues of Ultimate Spider-man

    by Archduke_Chocula

    backed, tagged, and ready to be sold when i'm older and there even more older *imagines self holding dollar sign sacks*

  • July 12, 2003, 2:55 a.m. CST

    MTV needs more programming.

    by NJM

    When they're devoting three hours in one day to the reairing of two half hour episodes, they need more goddamn programming. I'm sick and tired of seeing the same three or four episodes of PUNK'd being aired, in rotation, every night. But anyway, I was lucky to have turned on MTV a few minutes before 9pm CT to see the running banner on the top of screen for Spidey. I watched both episodes, adn I thought it was very good! Awesome computer animation, and the stories were good, left me wanting more. I shortly realized that it was a more "Ultimate Spidey" approach than anything else. I just wanna know, was that supposed to be Shocker in the first episode, or am I short on my Spidey villians list? -NJM

  • July 12, 2003, 2:15 p.m. CST

    To NewYorkKid

    by Solrider77

    Gwen Stacey may have been the big tragedy death of the Spider-Man comics, an event that is still talked about today. But I'd like to remind everyone out there why that decision was made. Gwen Stacey was a pale doll of a character that had no personality what so ever!!!!! Her entire life in the comics seemed to be made up of weeks where she alternated between hating Spider-Man and loving Peter Parker. The writers and editors of MARVEL have overs years openly admitted that if Gwen had had one tenth the personality or spunk of Mary Jane, she might not have died. Speaking of which to all those Bendis haters, he's succeeded in given Gwen a new lease on life by making her the exact opposite of her original self. To the rest of you Mary Jane haters out there, I'll just say one thing: none of Spidey's other women have lasted as long as MJ, and she's the only one he walked down the isle with. There's reason why that is, I'll let you figure it out. P.S. the new show has potential, it'll be interesting to see how it goes.

  • July 12, 2003, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Screw Gwen Stacy.

    by Steal_Dragon

    I read a couple of past issues with her from the 60's, and she was annoying. Whine, Whine, Whine, Whine. I am glad that they killed her off. Mary Jane was a charater with alot of sex appeal, sassiness, and spirt. Too bad they didn't make her that way in the movie. Kirsten Dunst was to much of the prissy Gwen, than the hot Mary Jane Watson. The Gwen Stacy of today, Brian did a great turn around with her character making her the bad girl druggy, but I still wouldn't want to see her in an animated series. On the cartoon, I enjoyed it. I like the adult content of the cartoon, and the Mary Jane rocks, but they should had got a more deeper, sexier voice to play her than Lisa Loeb. BTW, the animation rocks. 10 times better than that shitty X-men evolution, and that ruler drawn Justice League.

  • July 12, 2003, 7:05 p.m. CST

    MTV's Spider-man is good, but will they keep it?

    by Yotaruvegeta

    I hope to god that this version of Spider-man sticks around. I really liked it and the actors are good (but they'll never beat the 90s version). I don't care if Lisa Loeb is attractive or not (she is, by the way, especially when she sung "pretty white kids with problems" on mad TV)I'm still thinking of Kirsten dunst nip when I hear the name Mary Jane! I hope that MTV doesn't can this show. Bring it to cartoon network!

  • July 12, 2003, 11:12 p.m. CST

    Steve Sanders Rules!!

    by CHEWBLACCA

    OK-not really.At least old Ian is working.It took me awhile to place the voice.SPIDER-MAN 90120. Yeah.I thought the show was decent.Spidey was nice and fluid-Parker and pals were stiff and jerky.But the action is what counts.So I give it 3 1/2 webs.Sorry.that sucked.

  • July 12, 2003, 11:37 p.m. CST

    This show sucked and was MJ supposed to have a ghetto booty. Dam

    by seekshelter

    The character cell shading would have looked better if they didnt have all the backgrounds cg. The look was jarring... like disney or dreamworks crap. Was it just me or was MJ's as sticking way the hell out ... she walked around like a duck the whole show. Damn ghetto booty.

  • July 13, 2003, 1 a.m. CST

    Sorry, but it sucked...

    by vesp_e_rillian

    The comp animation sucks ass, did anyone notice spidey gets cut by the electric geek and the ninja hottie in THE EXACT SAME PLACE?!?!??!?!?!? Even the tears are the same in his suit!!! And then there's the whole kill-off-every-villian crap they've already started.. Does anyone else think the ninja hottie would have made a good return villian/ally? Well, at least it's a great way to make a cheap-ass cartoon that will draw viewers back to ABMTV (Anything But Music Television).

  • July 13, 2003, 3:17 a.m. CST

    Well, NewYorkKid..................

    by Solrider77

    I guess I have to say the reason. Simple, Mary Jane is too perfect a character to lose. When I say perfect I mean you can always find something to do with Mary Jane. She's not a perfect person, she'd had a rough life, but that is what makes her so dynamic. She hides her inner most feelings behind a "party girl" facade, just like Peter when he's Spidey. That makes Peter and MJ perfect foils for each other. Gwen was only a part of Peter's world not Spidey's and the Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) was only part of Spidey's. Mary Jane as character is a part of both worlds that's why no matter what new media Spidey jumps into, MJ will always be at his side. I suppose I should add that the writers and editors of MARVEL did admit to making Gwen Stacey too flawless a character, thus making her not work as a character. And since you brought this up here's a challenge for you...... If MJ isn't a good enough woman, then who or what is???? I'll check back later to see your answer.

  • July 13, 2003, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Who the fuck cares about MJ?

    by Grammaton Cleric

    Spidey in action has NEVER EVER looked better than he does here. The web-swinging and wall crawling is perfect. Rad, rad, rad. The 90s series had shit animation, btw.

  • July 13, 2003, 12:06 p.m. CST

    the perfect girl for Spidey

    by jinX

    Buffy Summers of course. Or in the Marvel Universe, Jessica Jones (see Alias #22-23)...ah what could have been!

  • July 13, 2003, 2:08 p.m. CST

    This show was pretty cool.....

    by ogonekenobi

    From the looks in the opening credits it looks like we will be seeing Silver Sable and Kraven the Hunter, as well as the Lizard next week. Bring on Hobgoblin and Venom!

  • July 13, 2003, 2:08 p.m. CST

    This show was pretty cool.....

    by ogonekenobi

    From the looks in the opening credits it looks like we will be seeing Silver Sable and Kraven the Hunter, as well as the Lizard next week. Bring on Hobgoblin and Venom!

  • July 13, 2003, 5:11 p.m. CST

    yeah, like Entertainment Weekly is to be trusted

    by beamish13

    they're the morons that gave good reviews for Britney Spears' "Crossroads" and "Mulholland Drive".

  • July 13, 2003, 11:18 p.m. CST

    I wonder, if we'll get any other Marvel universe guest stars

    by JamieMadrox420

    Just caught a tape of the show, had to work on Friday when it was on, but I gotta say it's pretty sweet,one of the better Spider Man cartoons I've seen. Animation I'll admit took a little to get used to, looked more like a new Spider Man game for the PS2 or something, but after a while the animation grew on me. To the comment on them killing their villians at the end of every episode, they didn't kill Electro at the end of the first one, he just got sucked into the power lines. Next week's looks pretty sweet as well with Rob Zombie doing the voice of Dr. Conners/The Lizard, how he's gonna pull that one off I don't know. Was reading that Michael Clarke Duncan reprises his role of The Kingpin in another episode later on this season, saw him in the credits so it looks like they're going for the black Kingpin from the Daredevil movie, wonder if they're will be any mention of that in the episode. Finally some tying together of different Marvel movie/tv franchises, into one universe, sweet.

  • July 14, 2003, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Damn, it's a good show....guess mtv's gonna cancel it then

    by JamieMadrox420

    One other thing I have to add, I've got a bad feeling this show's not going to last long, as is the trend it seems every time MTV puts out a show that I end up liking, with the exception of Beavis and Butthead, everytime I like a show on MTV it's doomed to cancellation after a season, 2 at the most, such was the fate for Dead at 21, The State, Sifl and Olly, Undergrads, and the latest Clone High. But, maybe the 'kids''ll pick up on this Spider Man show and it won't meet the fate my other favorite shows did, I hope anyway.

  • Aug. 2, 2003, 7:38 a.m. CST

    a little clarity

    by billsprestonesq

    first of all, i don't even know if anyone will read this as it may be old news. second of all this is my first and maybe my last posting in the talk backs because i think a lot of you don't have anything better to do than crap on other people's work cuz it makes you feel better about yourselves. now i'm sure that comment may cause a lot of you to rip me apart. feel free. anyway, here i go. i know a lot of people have been discussing the writing of brian michael bendis. well, i don't read the comics, but i have it on good authority (and you can check the credits) that he only wrote the first episode of the mtv series--the one with electro--which was subsequently rewritten by brian and other writers about 100 times. the writing and production of the show was convoluted after the movie came out. as soon as it made all that money everyone and their mother at sony wanted to dip their big toe in the animated series. numerous story arcs were dropped making things a tad confusing in the season as a whole. and mtv doesn't seem too confident in the show (which is why they're showing 2 episodes a night) which means that a second season seems unlikely. lastly, the producer (who gets his head cut off) in the 2nd episode is voiced by john c. mcginley not james woods.

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