Monday, April 2, 2012

Ultimate Spider-Man Premier Thoughts

So, yesterday (time of writing is 1:20 AM, April 2), the newest animated Spider-Man series, Ultimate Spider-Man, premiered with the first two episodes.  The episodes themselves were titled 'Great Power' and 'Great Responsibility'; so, quite literally, great power came with great responsibility...clever enough I suppose.
So, for anyone reading that hasn't seen my 'Best Superhero Shows' list that I made back in August, let me just reiterate that Spectacular Spider-Man is my favourite superhero show, bar none (Batman The Animated Series took the #1 spot purely because I was trying to view it all objectively).
Ultimate has a long way to go before it will compare with Spectacular, unfortunately.  That's not to say it's bad, it's passable at worst, but its start was nowhere near as strong as Spectacular's.
In simple terms, things I liked:
-Flashy but relatively simple effects animation for a lot of the 4th wall humour
-Animation is pretty good, lacking in the fluidity that Spectacular had but that's to be expected with the more complex designs.
-Some jokes made me chuckle a bit

Things I didn't like:
-Spider-Man's voice. The more I hear of Drake Bell, the more I just hate the voice. When I heard it first, I actually liked it...this is backwards to how things usually go, but I just can't say I'm liking it. Sooner or later, I'm sure it'll just be there and not bother me, but for now it's irritating.
-Spidey's banter wasn't very clever.
-Slapstick sound effects were overdone.
-Most of the humour was really flat.
-The voice cast in general I'm not liking too much actually. Harry's voice really threw me off when I heard it for the first time and still just doesn't sound right in my head. I like Norman's voice though.
-The writing in general for the 'high school life' segments. I've never been able to figure out why high school settings and student interactions were portrayed the way they were in 90's sitcoms because, in my experience, high school was nothing like that. And the high school scenes in this show scream 90's sitcom to me.
-No theme song.

Yes, the con list is longer than the pro list, but I don't think that makes the show a miss.  There's potential here and I expect the show will get better.  The premier just seemed to want to pull out all the stops on every front and it became an unsorted mess; I think it's safe to assume that the show will turn down its dials now that it's passed the 'first impression' stage.

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