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[SPOILERS] The true "Big Bad" of "The Spectacular Spider-Man

Discussion in 'The Marvel Animation Forum' started by GregX, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. SpideyFan914

    SpideyFan914 Greatest Poster Ever!

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    I love that What If? game! I didn't even know you regularly read it, Anwar....
    And yeah, I'm still waiting for someone to pull a "What If the Spider Never Bit Anyone?" thing - I already have loads of ideas for it. :p
    But anyway - Marn, as we've told you plenty of times, the purpose of this series is to see Peter Parker's evolution as a person, or "The Education of Peter Parker". Not every story has to be about a man-v.-man conflict, y'know - you can have a story which revolves around the characters involved. Look at Gargoyles, for instance - there is in no way a single "Big Bad" in Gargoyles - if anything, there are four: Xanatos, Demona, Macbeth, and the Archmage. But none of those fours have a reach on every single storyline in the series - in fact, many of the stories incorporate none of those four! And yet, you have previously cited Gargoyles as one of the shows which meets your specifications.
     
  2. Gokou Ruri

    Gokou Ruri Wielder of the dark arts.

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    I understand that, but the thing with those sort of premises is there really is no ending. It falls into the old sitcom trap where the ending is usually just an invitation for more stories, if it's not randomly canceled after an undetermined season . If it ends with Peter graduating high school, he's still going to be learning things, so short of it ending with him dying, or in old age, there's not really a way to conclude shows with a premise like that. With superheroes, the only feasible way I can see to do that is to give them a villain to have a finite confrontation with (basically what the movie adaptions end up doing) or perhaps a precise personal goal they're trying to overcome, and the events of the show contributing to that.

    I only recall saying I like David Xanatos' character, not the show itself (I'm not really a fan of Gargoyles). Maybe I was talking about something else. It's true not every story has to have a hero VS villain angle, but when it comes to children's animation, chances are that's all you're going to find in today's market when it comes to shows with an actual ending in mind. I don't think we're going to see something like a kids show on existentialism any time soon.
     
  3. AlgeaX

    AlgeaX Oh, hello?

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    Not really, most sitcoms fall into the Status Quo is God style of writing where characters and situations are never allowed to progress beyond the strict parameters outlined in the pilot. SS-M by contrast was never afraid to let it's characters progress over it's first two seasons.

    Oh I agree with you absolutely here, the main diffrence is that's what I like about this show, it's more true to life to my mind. It might be your life long dream to marry your high school sweetheart and become a world famous novelist, but even if you achive these things it doesn't mean your life is suddenly over or you'll never have new goals or challenges to face. Like the song says, life goes on.

    Thing is that doesn't really work for a lot of superheroes without messing with the very basics of their characters and central themes.

    Pete became a hero to protect the innocent and try and cope with the staggering guilt of his uncle's death. Even if he permanently took down Tombstone, Green Goblin, Doc Ock & every other member of his rogues galllary he wouldn't stop being Spider-Man because they ultimately have nothing to do with why he's a superhero to begin with.

    Pete's a superhero because he feels morally implicated in any evil act he doesn't at least try to prevent. In a way Spider-Man's first and greatest foe is his own crippling guilt.
     
  4. SpideyFan914

    SpideyFan914 Greatest Poster Ever!

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    Yeah, you pretty much covered up everything.... I have nothing to add....
     
  5. W.C.Reaf

    W.C.Reaf Active Member

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    Marn, here's a question for you since you keep going on about how you want a finite story;

    How would you want to see this series end?
     
  6. Gokou Ruri

    Gokou Ruri Wielder of the dark arts.

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    Well, that would be a bit hard with the way the second season played out. There's a lot of storylines and characters that are disconnected from one another right now. Ideally, if I could jump on at the end of the first season, I'd play it out with Peter more determined than ever to find a way to take him down after his beating from him in season one, as he is the one criminal he just can't beat up and leave for the police. Along the way other villains would get involved, some would turn good (Electro, Venom) other would die after they played their role. But the last stretch of episodes would have the Big Man finally outed and taken down and his empire shut down. I might save the last one of two episodes for a final Goblin showdown, as Goblin would be a lingering threat while this Big Man stuff is going on, but on a more personal level. Venom would also be a threat and Peter would constantly be trying to free his friend and get him to open up, maybe even ending it with Eddie sacrificing himself to save Peter from the Goblin, if he doesn't break free of the Venom symbiote earlier. The ending will basically be all the actual super villains would be gone in one form or another and, if you want to keep the crime fighting aspect of the character, have the last shot be Spider-Man swinging off to stop a bank robbery.

    I think that approach to an ending would satisfy the aspect of Spider-Man's guilt, like AlgeaX mentioned (he still fights crime and is motivated by his guilt, you could have that be a driving force of why he wants to stop the Big Man depending how it was written) and also the whole 'story' element (his goal of stopping the super villains, in this case Big Man, or if you made another show it could be any other villain you wanted). If you wanted to take it to the extreme and pull a Tim Burton and have the guy who shot Uncle Ben be part of Big Man's empire (rather than Black Cat's father like in this show) then I guess you could do that, but I don't think that's necessary There's a lot of different ways you could approach that subject. Basically, the show would be about him taking down the villains, but the character himself is about fighting criminals in the end, if that makes any sense.
     
  7. SpideyFan914

    SpideyFan914 Greatest Poster Ever!

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    Well, I don't think it's a bad idea, but I don't think it's for this show. It sounds kind of anime-ish, where each episode leads directly into the next. And it's hard to see that could all be related to Peter Parker's life - one thing I like about this show is how the Peter Parker plots and the Spider-Man plots are almost always mixing together and intertwining. Again, not a bad idea, just not for this show.
     
  8. AlgeaX

    AlgeaX Oh, hello?

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    Interesting, though personaly I'd prefer the overall arc of the show to focus more and Pete's personal development as a character; learning to be both a hero and a responsible adult while dealing with challenges both mundane and supervillanous that life throws at him.
     
  9. Thorn

    Thorn Ball of Tape

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    I don't know, I find the whole Overcoming the Monster-esque stock-plot structure to be confining in its self-containment and narrow in its focus. It doesn't allow for the world to be wider, for Spidey to be just a green kid with extraordinary luck and not the one fated to defeat the villain. It doesn't allow for the villain to have more shades than villainy, or have his own set of monsters that need fending off, much less the idea that in a more metropolitan setting, as the series already made explicit, nothing ever ends where criminal empires are concerned. Also it always seems that, in plots like this, especially in videogames, secondary and tertiary character development is highly modular, never too entwined in the main narrative because it needs to be an optional sidequest, and/or not draw the focus away from the ever-present mission. I dunno, I think this more open structure allows for young Peter to prioritize things organically, stressing over a date to the dance as much as he does his fights. Life's problems don't really come in visually obvious, steadily increasing waves until a final boss battle. Rather, they're loaded into a baker's dozen of tennis ball shooters, pointed right at you, mounted at various heights, programmed with a randomizing algorithm, with the lights on dimmers so you hardly ever see the balls coming. You have one racket. You're expected to juggle the rest.
     
  10. SpideyFan914

    SpideyFan914 Greatest Poster Ever!

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    Exactly! And that's why I want him to forgive the Cat (Walter) only in the very last arc of the series (possibly the last episode, but that might be a tight squeeze)!

    Good explanation, though I can't make heads or tails of that metaphor. :p
     
  11. Gokou Ruri

    Gokou Ruri Wielder of the dark arts.

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    I tend to find the opposite true when it comes to villains. If they're focused on more, then they can be fleshed out more and have more shades to them; but if they share the spotlight with other people and only get one or two episodes a season and are otherwise not related to the show, we don't really know much about them. For a supposed big bad, we really don't know much about Norman, let alone more minor characters like Chameleon or Mysterio, outside of 'they're bad guys and want power'. If Norman had more of a focus on the show, then we could see him interact with others more and be fleshed out more, but most of the time, he gets less than a minute every few episodes outside of the 'Goblin' arcs, and for 99% of those he was written ambiguously on purpose so even that doesn't really count as focusing on him. Since his identity is now outed, if there was another season it would open up for some actual focus on his persona so he can start being written as an actual character rather than an ambiguous mystery, but for the first two seasons he hasn't had much focus in the way of depth.
     
  12. SpideyFan914

    SpideyFan914 Greatest Poster Ever!

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    Huh? Norman Osborn has been characterized perfectly - we actually know everything about him. What kinds of developments could we possibly see more of?
    And even minor villains are quite thorough in this series.... Vulture, Electro, Sandman, and Molten Man are some of their more developed characters, though we've also seen satisfactory development for Rhino, Tombstone, Mysterio, Kraven, Sable, and Silvermane (and Silvermane only notably appeared in one episode alongside six other villains, so that's saying something!).
     

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