August 10, 2022

Over the past 20 years, there have been three separate actors to take on the mantle of Spider-Man: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and most recently, Tom Holland. However, back in the 90s, there was a big wave on animated superhero shows on TV, like X-Men, Batman: The Animated Series, and Superman: The Animated Series, amongst others.

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But the 90s Spider-Mananimated series is quite possibly the best and most accurate adaptation of Marvel’s titular Web-Head. Christopher Daniel Barnes lends a terrific voice to Peter Parker, mixing in a perfect amount of awkward nerd and witty superhero. The show effortlessly adapted some of Spider-Man’s best stories, like The Night Gwen Stacy Died. Additionally, each arc of the show felt true to its source material but also original to the show.


‘The Hobgoblin’ (Part I & II)

After Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill is best known for his roles as animated villains. The list is long and impressive, and Hobgoblin is another entry on that list. Although Hobgoblin plays second fiddle to the Green Goblin in the comics, he was introduced first in the animated series and stole every scene he was in.

The Hobgoblin plays both Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, and Norman Osborne against each other, and even kidnaps Harry Osborne. He is quite manipulative and very cunning, and although he may use the same gadgets as Green Goblin, he is far from the same character.

‘Six Forgotten Warriors’ (Six Forgotten Warriors: Chapter I-V)

Peter and Robbie are sent to Russia on behalf of the Daily Bugle looking for answers about a scientist many thought was dead. Peter is also looking for answers about his parents who, turns out, were spies. As Spider-Man, Peter discovers a doomsday weapon that Kingpin is after, with the help of his Insidious Six.

When the weapon is discovered in New York and Red Skull and Captain America are released from their energy vortex, the Six American Warriors are reunited to stop Red Skull’s decades old plan. Red Skull also ends up turning his son into Electro.

‘Man Without Fear’ (Sins of the Father: Chapter VI & VII)

An awesome team up that got teased in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Matt Murdock becomes Peter’s lawyer after Richard Fisk, the Kingpin’s son, tries to frame Peter for treason with a data disc from Fisktronics. Daredevil’s backstory is altered from his comic book origin, but he is still heavily connected to Kingpin.

The arc culminates in a fight with Spider-Man, Daredevil, Chameleon and Kingpin, although Kingpin is able to escape the two heroes. J. Jonah Jameson also gets to show his soft side, where it is revealed at the end of the arc that he was the one who paid Murdock to be Peter’s attorney, but chose to remain anonymous.

‘The Man-Spider’ (Neogenic Nightmare: Chapter IV-X)

This entire arc was absolute nightmare fuel. When Peter needs answers to mysteries about his mutation, he seeks out Professor Charles Xavier and the X-Men, teaming up with Wolverine, Beast and others in the process. Peter ends up helping Michael Morbius as well, who turned himself into a living vampire.

Peter succumbs to his mutation and becomes a horrendously large and gross Man-Spider, forcing The Punisher and Kraven the Hunter to stop him. Once back to a human, Spider-Man teams up with Blade, the Vampire Hunter, to stop Morbius and find a cure for him as well.

‘Venom and Carnage’ (Sins of the Father: Chapter X-XI)

Mordo, Dormammu, Venom, Carnage, Iron Man and War Machine all show up in this arc, it is quite the cast for Spider-Man. Mordo is attempting to release Dormammu from the Dark Dimension by using Stark Enterprise’s Inter-Dimensional Probe. He is able to bring the Venom symbiote back to Earth, and informs Dormmamu that it’s also going to reproduce.

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With Carnage being an absolute maniac and stealing the life force from people all around NYC, Spider-Man teams up with Iron Man and then is forced to make an uneasy alliance with Venom to stop Carnage. Eddie Brock is able to fight off the urges of Venom long enough to stop Carnage and Dormammu’s plan, destorying the Inter-Dimensional Probe and himself in the process.

‘The Alien Costume’ (Part I-III)

The first true story arc in the show, The Alien Costume covers the infamous Black Suit Spider-Man, where he gets bonded with the Venom symbiote. The show does the Black Suit really well. The design is sleek, memorable, and very comic accurate.

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Christopher Daniel Barnes gives an absolutely iconic performance in these early episodes. Spider-Man chases Shocker to the bell tower where, after almost killing him, Peter realizes how dangerous the suit really is and rids himself of it by using the bell. Eddie Brock, who was following Spider-Man, is then engulfed by the symbiote, creating Venom. This moment was similarly adapted inSpider-Man 3(2007).

‘Secret Wars’ (Part I-III)

After yet another life-changing event for Spider-Man, he is whisked away by The Beyonder and Madame Web and sent to an unknown planet. Secret Wars was presented as a task for Spider-Man, to see if he could be a true leader.

Secret Wars is a star-studded team up, with Spider-Man recruiting The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Captain America, Storm from the X-Men, Black Cat and Dr. Curt Connors to take on Alistair Smythe, Doc Oc, Red Skull and Doctor Doom. Everyone’s memories, sans Spidey, were erased of this event afterwards by Madame Web.

‘Spider Wars’ (Part I-II)

The closing arc to the series. A TV original multiverse Spider-Man story that possibly served as the catalyst for movies like Into the Spider-Verse, this arc sees the main Spider-Man team up with five other Spider-Men to stop a Spider-Man/Carnage symbiote version of Peter Parker who destroyed the multiverse. The Beyonder and Madame Web were able to reverse time and use the Secret Wars arc to train Spider-Man to lead the others.

The six Spider-Men don’t prove to be a match for the mentally unhinged and symbiote-infused Spider-Carnage, however Spider-Man is able to find a living Ben Parker, who is able to break through and reason with Spider-Carnage. The symbiote refused to leave this version of Peter, so he opened a portal using the Time Dilation Accelerator and threw himself inside.

‘The Return of Hydro-Man’ (Part I-II)

Another great, emotionally-charged performance from Christopher Daniel Barnes. Peter and Mary Jane finally get to go on their honeymoon, but it’s interrupted when Mary Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Morrie Bench aka Hydro-Man, suddenly reappears and kidnaps her.

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After following them and discovering Professor Miles Warren’s lab, Peter uncovers that this Mary Jane is a clone. Not only that, but the cloning process was unstable, so Peter has to experience losing Mary Jane all over again. It is totally devastating.

‘Goblin War/Turning Point’ (Sins of the Father: Chapter XIII-XIV)

The Hobgoblins true identity is revealed and Norman Osborne’s Green Goblin persona is reawakened. Once again, like earlier in the series, Hobgoblin and Kingpin make a partnership. This time for a heist using the time dilation accelerator, but Kingpin betrays him (again) by using the Green Goblin.

Now with the accelerator, Green Goblin plots to destroy Spider-Man, and also knows his secret identity. After kidnapping Mary Jane, he and Spider-Man fight atop the George Washington Bridge. As the bridge becomes unstable, Mary Jane falls into one of the portals created by the Time Dilation Accelerator, and is lost in limbo. Furious, Spider-Man still tries to save Norman from being sucked into one of his portals, but Green Goblin tries to hit Spider-Man with his glider, which he avoids, and it hits Goblin, sending him into limbo as well.

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