This past weekend, Marvel’s Spider-Man (or simply known as Spider-Man) made its official debut. This is the latest animated adaptation of everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. Before its debut weekend, there were six animated shorts that gave backstory as to how Spider-Man got his powers in this version’s intepretation.
Personally, and I say this as someone who considers Spider-Man to be his favorite Marvel superhero, I think the show is OK. However, I believe that it does have some potential to its name.
Judging the Outward Costume
First off, I think it is important to address the most glaring aspect of any animated show: the visuals. Without beating around the bush, I think Marvel Animation dialed down the art for this show BY A LOT. The studio cut some corners in the visual department. It was as if Marvel Animation had to put this entire production together on a shoestring budget.
From a technical perspective, the art style looks dated. Heck, I would go as far as to say that it looks amateurish as if a bunch of art students put this together for a final school project.
I don’t consider myself an art connoisseur by any means – far from it. However, this is 2017, and this is Spider-Man! It is not like this is a show for some obscure or C-tier hero. He is a superhero most people can name on sight, regardless if they like comic book characters or not.
I just hate how flat the characters look, especially how the colors do not pop. Everything has this unpleasant and dull appearance, which is apparent with how the backgrounds appear.
Also, the actual animation is not fluid. There are plenty of jarring moments where something like characters walking across a classroom comes off as stiff and awkward. This problem also makes its way into the action sequences, leading to some less-than-stellar scenes that should be more awesome but lose some punch.
It is such a shame. I just think it does the Spider-Man name a disservice to undercut the animation medium to this degree.
Sounds Like Spider-Man
Fortunately, though the show is questionable in the visual department, the voice acting is pretty strong. Robbie Daymond is excellent as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He sells the idea of a nerdy, but lovable guy who has his heart in the right place well.
My only real gripe is with the writing itself that injects a lot of Peter rambling (mostly about science) in a cringeworthy, annoying manner.
We get it. Peter loves science. It’s his spiel. Peter is intelligent in general without the Spider-Man persona, but he doesn’t have to interject with some science-related response every other sentence.
Everyone Loves a Good Story
Ultimately, I can forgive a lot of my woes with the animation if the story components are stellar. After all, who doesn’t love a good Spider-Man story? As a standalone, episode one is meh at best to me (the animated shorts, collectively, are better).
In fact, I think watching all of the shorts together gives me a sense of hope that this show’s story could be a good one for Spidey’s mythos. There is some promise of something special in the long haul.
Though visually underwhelming, Spider-Man will have to prove there is more than meets the eye. Until then, its appearance as a “cheaper” version of Spider-Man will be its own giant skyscraper to climb.
Time will tell if the show can.
Spider-Man belongs to Disney/Marvel.