I just started watching Ultimate Spider-man on Disney XD this weekend. While I find it definitely worth watching, there are still a few big flaws.
I’ll give the good points first.
It’s something that’s always been part of Spider-man, but this series really takes full advantage of it. Lots of fun with the animation and breaking the fourth wall with Parker’s commentary. There are some clear Scott Pilgrim influences as well. That was a happy surprise as I’ve been hoping it would eventually have an influence on movies and television. Seeing the same use of text and even the K.O. during a villain punch collide with my favorite superhero was a welcome treat.
The downside is that Parker’s commentary becomes too frequent. And some of the dialogues sounds VERY juvenile. It’s not terrible. But it sounds like they’re playing it down for the immature adolescent boys who the show is aimed at. Can’t blame them, but I smell executive meddling.
The animation is great! Even better than SS in some ways. Creative script that leads to even more creative storyboards.
Downside: I can’t stand the character designs. They’re just not very appealing and there’s not much stylization. One of my favorite things about SS was the character designs.
I would say, overall, the voice direction is much better than SS.
Downside is, Josh Keaton still sounds better as Spidey.
I like the fact that they’re incorporating other Marvel characters. I’ve always been a sucker for cross-overs.
Unfortunately, the frantic pacing is sometimes too fast. Especially in the episode Doom, there’s so much being thrown at you all at once that you can hardly tell what’s going on in the last half of the episode. I know kids have short attention spans, but come on! That smell of executives is getting stronger. And then there’s Aunt May. I don’t know if it was this way in the Ultimate comics, but I still don’t like it. Peter actually tells the audience that it would be lame if he was living with his “dotey old aunt” and quickly reassures his audience (who apparently thinks it’s uncool for an orphan to choose to live with his widowed aunt (though he doesn’t really have a choice)) that Aunt May is really “cool!” And by “cool” he means making Aunt May into a completely different character, one who’s feistier, beats Peter at video games, has more energy, strength, looks younger, etc. What’s really uncool? That executive meddling I was talking about. This reeks of it! I’m starting to wish Viacom had bought Marvel instead of Disney.
It’s a good show, but I still prefer Spectacular Spider-man (one of my favorite shows ever!) I also don’t see a reason why this show couldn’t have been a sequel to SS. I miss Gwen Stacy… 😦
Of course, in the end, what you really wanna know is, “Is Ultimate Spider-man worth watching?” The answer is… EDIT