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How Come Spider Man Won't Grow Up In Animation?

Discussion in 'The Marvel Animation Forum' started by SweetShop209, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. SweetShop209

    SweetShop209 Well-Known Member

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    Spider Man is one of the most iconic Superheroes where, among other things, he's the first teenage superhero to stand on his own and not be someone's sidekick. However, I've recently discovered that his teenage lifestyle was only in the early days of the character, and that most comics after that portrayed him as an adult out of college, with a job, and married. There's actually some interesting potential to explore a fully grown up Peter Parker. However, it seems like animation is not kind to him, given how almost all of the cartoons focused on a teenage/college aged Spider Man, and the ones that made him older (like the 1999 and 2003 cartoons) were commercial failures. Spider Man as a young hero is very well known, and I have no problems with that, though I do wonder why animation almost always keeps him young and not lot him grow up? Give your thoughts below.
     
  2. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Hero Fan
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    The only post-college depictions of Spider-Man I can really think of might be Unlimited and Disk Wars (I can't remember if he graduated in TAS). Marvel never seems too comfortable with aging Peter too much, as we've seen when they didn't let him become a parent or magically annulled his marriage, etc. The old favorites can never become too old, so they can remain marketable, and with Spidey already being one of the kids in that bunch, we probably won't see a version that goes past 25. Spider-Man is by far their largest property, and kids are their largest market, so with these cartoons being made to push merchandise, they'll probably continue to push his status as a kid to continually reach to kids. I think he'll always be kind of looked at as the number one teen superhero. Maybe someday we can see a grown Spider-Man but it might depend on what happens with a movies first.

    What would've been ideal for me would have been if Marvel still made PG13 animated movies and they were able to make any with Spider-Man. It will be interesting if they use Peter in next year's animated movie though it might be a teen version as it was in the Ultimate comics.

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  3. Frontier

    Frontier Moderator
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    We didn't really start to see a younger Spider-Man in a prominent way in media until The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, which was also around the height of popularity for Brian Michael Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man run starring a teenage Peter Parker.

    So I think that, and Marvel's own emphasis on "youth" being an important part of Spider-Man, have made them re-emphasize him as a teenage, high school, hero even if he's been in college or an adult longer then he ever was in high school in the comics.

    Obviously with the movies prominently featuring a teenage Spider-Man in the MCU, that will likely be the version of the character Marvel is most focused on promoting, though it will be interesting to see how Tom Holland's Peter growing up over the course subsequent films will effect things. Spectacular was also planned to have Peter grow up over the course of it's run as well.

    We do still get a rare appearance from an older Spider-Man now and again. Rick brought up Unlimited and Disk Wars, and the upcoming PS4 Spider-Man game will also feature an older Peter Parker as Spider-Man.
     
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  4. dumbfoolkid5

    dumbfoolkid5 Active Member

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    If they want a young Spider-Man, why not Miles Morales or Gwen Stacy?

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  5. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Keeping Spider-Man as a teenager helps to make him more marketable and relatable for the kids. While it would be interesting to have an older version of Spider-Man dealing with more adult conflicts, I don't think that they're interested in doing that given that he's popular with kids. Even Ultimate Spider-Man was out of high school and still acting more like a young teenager than a young adult. Besides that, I thought that the comics got rid of his marriage, unless that has also been undone by this point.
     
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  6. SweetShop209

    SweetShop209 Well-Known Member

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    Regarding Miles, I'd say it's because he's not as iconic or recognizable as Peter Parker, and I'm pretty sure he made his animated debut on Ultimate Spider-Man because that show starred Peter Parker.

    Regarding Gwen, I'm pretty sure the girl show ghetto is why she's not the star of her own project. As far as I can tell, Marvel (both animation and live action) has never had a project starring a female character
     
  7. ShadowBlinky

    ShadowBlinky Never A Good Bot

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    There was a Spider-Woman cartoon in 1979; it only lasted one season, however. There was also an Elektra movie from 2005, but it didn't do very well at the box office. Other than those two (as far as I know), you're right!
     
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  8. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Hero Fan
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    There has been the Jessica Jones and Agent Carter tv series as well, and Captain Marvel is still on the way but definitely coming. With the animated shows, I'm not sure if they're as worried of a female hero bombing as they are of not pushing as much heroes as possible, so we continually get team shows and team up movies. Peter Parker Spider-Man really is the only big "solo act" when it comes to animated shows, and he's only been solo as far as the name is concerned.

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    #8 Rick Jones, Sep 25, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  9. Frontier

    Frontier Moderator
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    I wonder if kids would really not respond well to an older Spider-Man.

    This might be me coming from having gotten into the character through the 90's show, where he was in college, but it never really bothered me back then.

    And it's not like the older ages of Batman, Superman, and such have ever prevented kids from getting into them, though there's usually a character that stands in for kids there (Robin, Jimmy, etc.).

    Obviously a younger Spider-Man is more relateable to kids, but at the same time I think kids would like a Spider-Man of any age so long as he kept the costume and kept doing cool stuff :).
     
  10. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Hero Fan
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    I don't think his age would really be that big of a deal for kids though it's really hard to tell. I know when I was a kid, I was exposed to college aged Spidey in the cartoons and both a married Spider-Man and teenaged Spider-Man in the comics (which were available on a larger scale) but today, kids are really only exposed to teenaged Spidey in both the cartoons and movies. When the suit and mask are on, it probably doesn't really matter if he's 14 or 38, black, white or latino but they really need to take a chance with it before we could really tell if it would all reach kids the same way.




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  11. Checkerboard

    Checkerboard THE HOME OF THE TOP TOON STARS

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    Because majority of people sadly want and expect him to be young. And some even feel the need to keep reverting him back to school. He's become somewhat of a stereotype in his own sense. Be a clumsy funny nerd, attend school, lose his uncle, gain powers, start from scratch, etc. That's why I found Spiderman Unlimited extremely refreshing.
     
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  12. RoryWilliams

    RoryWilliams Well-Known Member

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    Aside from the general desire to keep him relatable to the kids in the audience, the fact that young Peter is the dominant pop culture image of the character contributes as well. Ultimate Spider-Man was launched around the same time as The Amazing Spider-Man, which had him back in high school, and now the new show was launched to tie into Spider-Man: Homecoming, which did the same thing.
     
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