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Why no Season Three for Spectacular Spider-Man

Discussion in 'The Marvel Animation Forum' started by GL Zeeguy, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. W.C.Reaf

    W.C.Reaf Active Member

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    I didn't say it was all bad, just that season 1 was horrible. The animation was great and the character designs were well done (though I don't like how they chose to redesign certain characters), but the writing was terrible in season 1. There were some good ideas but they were squandered and badly executed. As I said they were trying too hard not to be BTAS instead of being there own thing. They even said the way they did Mr Freeze was to make him a one-dimensional stock character because they didn't want to try and top of excellent version from BTAS.

    Regardless season 2 onwards kept getting better and better and it did turn into a great show. The writing got a lot stronger and the plots a lot tighter. Characters were more fleshed out and given more depth, and actually developed. I also liked that each season had its own theme to it, so even though it was an episodic show each season was different.

    I'd probably rank it above TNBA but below all the other Batman cartoons (from the 90s onwards since I haven't seen the earlier shows). The show is great but overall I think the others are better.

    The Mask of the Phantasm movie had the cops going after him and the TNBA episode "Over the Edge" showed what'd happen if Gordon went after Batman. Not the same as The Batman but they did play with the idea a bit.
     
  2. JTMarsh

    JTMarsh Wing Commander

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    Corporate Shenanigans + Bad Timing = The Untimely Demise of The Spectacular Spider-Man, easily the best written Spider-Man series to date. Sad, really.
     
  3. Sketch

    Sketch not like those other old guys

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    Sony may indeed be the problem with getting Spectacular Spider-Man back on TV but it's still listed on DXD's show pages and Marvel uploaded the show to iTunes and Netflix (half the show anyway).

    Pretty sure DXD can air it because they bought the rights to air it but it's possible Sony does require a fee for airing it.
     
  4. macattack

    macattack I see you!
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    Or like The Batman. [/rimshot]

    Look, I have a ton of problems with The Batman, even after the show "improved" in later seasons. It is like the show had no ambition beyond being a 22-minute toy commercial and not being BTAS. There were some moments when the show seemed to want to strive towards being more (any episode involving Clayface and the redo of Poison Ivy) but it never wound up taking those steps towards being more. Like the staff was always holding back, never letting the show truly become something memorable.

    And USM has a similarly slick look to The Batman and may be driven by not being Spectacular Spider-Man, considering how quickly Marvel wants to write that show off. Could the same thing be happening here? Time will tell, the show's premiere is coming up pretty soon.

    And that to me is a recipe for disaster. You must always try to top the show that came before you. Even if you stumble and fall it is better to have tried and not gotten there than not try at all. If you don't try, you're not going to wind up with something all that good. It'll just be lame and driven by that character's lame recognition.

    You can even apply that to genres. If you're doing a racing series featuring humans competing against aliens on a foreign planet, and you consider Oban Star-Racers to be the benchmark for that, your goal should be to try to top Oban in the ways you feel are important. That's not only what helps differentiate your series from what came before but what can potentially give your show the juice to transcend it.

    USM should be being written to transcend the show that came before it, Spectacular Spider-Man. Marvel seems to be pretending that the previous show does not exist. That is a bad approach IMO. You must try to outdo the series in some way to make it stand out. USM instead looks like it might go The Batman route, trying to be a toy commercial with the SHIELD stuff Spidey's getting, and Spidey might be getting a lot of characters shoved into his series to try to promote them and sell a lot of action figures. Which is fine IMO but you need to do it naturally in terms of a story. The story and characterization will sell the figures better than relentlessly pitching the stuff in the viewer's face.
     
  5. W.C.Reaf

    W.C.Reaf Active Member

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    That might be why they're not re-airing it. It does make some business sense.

    Well Marvel wants people to not think about SSM because that'll help them sell USM. You might be right, but I think they've chosen the "quirky comedy team-up" theme to specifically get away from SSM as much as possible and cash in on Brave and the Bold's premise. I still think Marvel should've called it "Spider-Man: Marvel Adventures" naming it after a title that was a bit quirky, comedic, and had team-ups, but they just cancelled the Marvel Adventures line so they can't make a cartoon promoting a defunct comic. Instead name it after a comic that is seemingly nothing like the show. :rolleyes2:

    Anyway I don't think it'll necessarily be like The Batman, and may not be as toy orientated as you suggest, but trying not to be SSM is probably on their minds.
     
  6. suss2it

    suss2it Active Member

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    I've only seen season 1, but I strongly disagree. Armored Adventures is very character and plot driven. But obviously when you're dealing with Iron Man, multiple armours are bound to show up, that doesn't automatically make it a toy commercial. And yeah it's kid-oriented, but so is almost every other superhero cartoon. But much like a lot of other superhero cartoons, there are more mature elements going on. Crimson Dynamo's first episode for example. His crew left him to die, so that they could live.


    That's kinda what they're doing with Ultimate Spider-Man. The book is now called Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and stars a completely different character. And the cartoons never really promote the comics anyway, they usually get their own tie-in comic, which is what's happening with Ultimate Spider-Man.
     
  7. GL Zeeguy

    GL Zeeguy Member

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    Point taken. The only problem that I really had with The Batman, I guess, was how Detective Yin just up and disappeared after the second season. I mean, in the first and second seasons, she was introduced as a major part of the supporting cast, becoming a working partner and friend for Ethan and then moving on to fill that role for Bruce. I mean, she seriously stepped up in season 2 and became essentially the only ally that Batman had in the entire department and I really enjoyed the evolution of her character from how she was portrayed in season one. So....to scrap all of that as soon as Gordon shows up, to me, seemed a little unfair and unrewarding as a viewer. But other than that, I have no beef with the show.

    Anyway, lets stow this conversation for later. I think it might be overstepping a little to be talking about a DC show on a Marvel forum.
     
  8. Medinnus

    Medinnus Moderator
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    Meanwhile, back on topic...kinda.

    So, Marvel series are all various interpretations/extrapolations of Marvel 616 canon, to one degree or another. Likewise, the artistic designs. For example:

    In SSM the Vulture is Adrian Toomes, whose flight tech was stolen by Oscorp, or something like that. The Vulture has a red-black design which is more or less the Terry Dodson redesign from MK Spider-Man.

    While SSM is owned by Sony, the Terry Dodson Vulture and the lore is all pure Marvel, right? So is there any legal reason why they couldn't write a Moo-Tastic Spider-Man episode that is essentially SSM with enough cosmetic tweaks to satisfy legal infringement?

    Or in other words, when you don't own the cancelled series, can you make a sequel series that is clearly a sequel series?
     
  9. W.C.Reaf

    W.C.Reaf Active Member

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    That's where lawyers come in and determine if Sony could sue. Even if they couldn't it's a little bit too close for comfort and I doubt Marvel would risk a legal battle with Sony over a Spider-Man cartoon.
     
  10. Dragnatek

    Dragnatek Well-Known Member

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    True but to use your The Batman comment with the exception of the season one Mr. Freeze episodes Greg's episodes were much better then most of the show. Even when a show is generally bad you can still have a writer or two pulling out some really good episodes with the otherwise lack luster material. Greg was just one writer on The batman and really when a show is written by a lot of writers and has no set story line you have to look at the show in an episode to episode basis and Greg's episodes of the Batman were quite good.
     
  11. Pepperidge

    Pepperidge Active Member

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    Right now we're trying to push for a TSSM complete series Blu-ray release (and hopefully complete season 2 DVD release) through the Facebook group, but there's a question I've been pondering which still hasn't been answered.

    According to this report, Sony has apparently sold all merchandising rights to Spider-Man. Would this include the rights to release their own shows on home video or online streaming? If so, then TSSM hasn't just been swept under the carpet, it's currently crawling around with its skin ripped off.
     
  12. W.C.Reaf

    W.C.Reaf Active Member

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    Damn. It'll be like the Spider-Man: TAS DVD rights all over again, where it kept getting shuffled about and no one knew who owned what.
     
  13. macattack

    macattack I see you!
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    No it's pretty clear that Marvel got the rights to Spectacular. I guess Marvel is just shelving it because they didn't produce the series. It's gotta be a blow to Marvel's pride that Spectacular is the most critically-acclaimed animated version of Spidey produced and Marvel had no say or influence in how it was made and so Marvel's probably trying to erase any mention of its existence.

    I mean, I don't even see the DVDs in stores anymore, they seemed to vanish overnight a few months ago where I live.

    And you know what could've been even more embarrassing for Marvel? Apparently Sony & Greg Weisman had permission to use other Marvel heroes and they hadn't chosen to use them yet. In this interview (http://www.comicmix.com/news/2008/0...n-the-spectacular-spider-man-animated-series/) Greg pretty much outright states that he was planning on getting the Human Torch involved in later seasons. So imagine what could have happened if they had been able to get season 3 going and other Marvel characters started showing up and if people liked their portrayals! EPIC embarrassment.

    In that sense, no wonder Marvel killed Spectacular. It's all about pride.
     
  14. W.C.Reaf

    W.C.Reaf Active Member

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    Where does it say Sony had permission to use other Marvel characters? All that was said in the interview was that he wanted to use Human Torch, not that he could. He said many times that he wanted to use other Marvel characters (just not too many to avoid "guest star of the week" syndrome) but they couldn't use any because of rights issues. He's also said he had ideas for Cyclops, Beast, Human Torch, Captain America and Professor X guest star stories if the rights were made available (note the "if allowed"), but having ideas and being able to use them are two different things.

    Stop seeing conspiracies everywhere.
     
  15. Medinnus

    Medinnus Moderator
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    Its amazing how many fans seem to think that Marvel/Disney is run by a bunch of egotistical 14 year olds. No wonder editors like TomB get fed up and short-tempered with all the whining, accusations, and emotive projections that go on in and around the SSM fanbase.

    Deals happen over months. Series happen over months, sometimes years.

    * The deal Sony cut to sell its Spider-Man merchandising rights are not put together overnight; Sony sold them so not all of its business divisions would post horrendous losses this last year. They probably happened over the course of the entire year, and could have fallen through at any moment. They are also probably the reason there was no SSM media release in Q4 2011; part of the t&c of the deal.

    * Marvel Studios would have been idiots to stall the development of USM until they knew one way or another whether they were getting SSM back. It makes natural sense - and probably Sony was contractually obligated to give Marvel first refusal - for Marvel to try and regain as many of the rights to their own properties as possible, to a degree -- how embarrassing would it be if the deal had blown up and Warner had bought the rights? -- but Sony could have priced themselves out of the market or in some other way made the deal too onerous for Marvel to make, and then they'd have NO Spider-Man for 2012.

    A certain segment seems to always want to insist that its all about creative ego, when that is hardly ever the case. The people who negotiate and sign those deals often have nothing to do with the creative side of the house. I've worked with these guys - they're pretty darn sharp, but they don't care if SSM was a flop or a hit; what they care about is whether or not it has legs, and as part of the Spider-Man brand, it surely does. Are they going to suddenly rush a Season 3 into production? No - thats just idiocy speaking. when they're already in the middle of USM.. They aren't going to split the brand appeal between two shows like that, and compete against each other. If anything, they'll likely release SSM DVD/BluRay around the time when USM launches, in support of their new property - that's where the toys are going to be, that's where the DTV potential will be.

    Its not ego. Its making a plan and executing to plan; good business practice.
     
  16. Pepperidge

    Pepperidge Active Member

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    While I agree that macattack is being downright nutty, I don't feel that this is accurate. Why would Marvel want TSSM "back" when it was never theirs to begin with? They didn't put a cent into production of the series. And while I know all too well that the people who negotiate these deals are not connected to the people who make creative decisions, I don't think we should underestimate the value both sides would place in homegrown productions. Remember, this is Disney we're talking about here.

    As much as I'd like to endlessly speculate about the details behind closed door dealings we'll never be privy to without law degrees and time machines, I'm still much more concerned about simply finding out whether or not Sony still has the rights to release TSSM on home video.
     
  17. macattack

    macattack I see you!
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    I believe I phrased my words poorly.

    When I said that it's about pride, I didn't mean it as a good or bad thing (or about "egotistical 14-year-olds"). Marvel feels that they have something to prove with USM. They want, and need, USM to do better than Spectacular did, because Sony's series had such acclaim and Marvel had virtually nothing to do with it. Thus, they are keeping Spectacular shelved even if they have the rights 100%. They need USM to be better remembered than its predecessor.

    Marvel is investing a lot into making USM a success and they can't have Spectacular remaining on people's minds. That's why they are taking the exact opposite approach as Spectacular did in places (such as the whole "guest star" routine, USM is all about the guest stars while Spectacular avoided it). That's also why the "Marvel DNA" buzzword is everywhere. Spectacular wasn't Marvel DNA, it was Sony DNA. Marvel is playing up the fact that they are responsible for USM so if USM turns out to be a great cartoon they can say that the best cartoons come from the Marvel creators themselves. That's why comic book people are so involved in this series.

    This series could potentially define Marvel animation for a long, long time. Heck, Hulk and the Agents of SMASH, from what little has been revealed, may have a similar tone to USM. USM is the prime building block for the first generation of Disney-supported Marvel cartoons, and if USM does not work for whatever reason Marvel is going to have to blow up the formula and start over. And now that Marvel has a corporate parent, they can't afford for there to be too many failures. Or said corporate parent could make heads roll at Marvel.

    There is a lot riding on USM here, and Marvel seems to be proud of their creation (and understandably so). They don't want comparisons to Spectacular, especially if USM isn't well-received. They want Spectacular forgotten. They need Spectacular forgotten.

    It is smart business strategy, if a bit cruel. It puts USM front and center in people's minds and keeps Spectacular out of it. And if USM works out, then Marvel is right to proceed in this strategy.

    And this is what I was getting to with "pride". If Marvel keeps Spectacular on the air in the months before USM premieres, and if (BIG if) the audience decides that USM is not a good cartoon and they want more Spectacular instead, that's gonna suck for all involved in USM. Because what does that mean? That some third-party company and some dude who never worked on Marvel characters before can make a better cartoon than the actual people who make the comics? Imagine how Marvel would look! It's best for Marvel if they keep Spectacular sidelined and forgotten as much as possible in the event (however likely or unlikely it is) that USM does not perform to expectations.

    And you know what? The target audience won't even care about this. When USM premieres, Spectacular's premiere will be four years ago, and it lasted approximately four or five months on a widely available channel. The goal for USM is for it to last years, and help make DXD a widely available channel itself. The oldest of the 6-11 demo who watched Spectacular have aged out of the demo, and what they think and feel is not Marvel's concern for USM. And the youngest, who are now in the older part of the 6-11 demo, aren't going to remember Spectacular that well or even care that much if they do, because now USM is here and Spider-Man is Spider-Man.
     
    #57 macattack, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2011
  18. Medinnus

    Medinnus Moderator
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    If I had a nickel for every time I... but I digress )

    I disagree. Some people -- people who take pride in their work, and want their own tenures to be memorable -- might feel a need to make USM the best cartoon it can be, but I don't see a necessary correlation with someone trying to make USM seem to be more than it will be by pulling down SSM.

    This is where the bulk of my contention lies; Marvel had nothing to do with it? Marvel bloody well created just about every character of note in the show, and to be honest, aside from some small flourishes, didn't do anything profoundly different with the Peter Parker character, the villains, Oscorp, et cetera. Don't mistake me - I have enough nickels! - I thoroughly enjoyed the way they spun the stories. There were some new students introduced.

    But lets not forget - Stan Lee (et al, as I have no intention of debating the relative contributions of others to the Spider-Man mythos) created it, established the basic characters for the important heroes, villains, and supporting cast... All Stan Lee. So to say Marvel had nothing to do with it (and that's begging the question of any communications between Marvel and Sony - and I'd be surprised if there was no communication) is patently false on the face of it.

    Pure opinion. Prove it, else - granted, you're allowed your own opinion, but not your own facts. Who is this "They?", and cite your source. Explain the difference between an nigh-malicious "need" and good-willed "want", and again, where are you getting your facts in support of the allegation? You're assigning malice and bad will where I really, really doubt it exists.

    Got news for you. Outside of a pretty small fanbase, few remember SSM. There is no great army of fans with an outcry to restore SSM to its "rightful place". Heck, I didn't find out about SSM until it appeared on Netflix. The small number of people who will express a comparison, let alone one overwhelmingly in favor of SSM such that they sneer at USM will be insignificant from Marvel/Disney's perspective.

    If USM is, as you say, all about the Benaja..err...guest-stars -- and that all by itself is unproven, except in that they will have guest stars -- I think its more borrowing a page from Batman: Brave and the Bold, which was a dramatic change from the myriad franchises that had gone before (and allowed them to enhance the brands of several of their C-class characters). I honestly don't think that SSM was on their radar, any more than the other Spider-properties that had gone before, except not to attempt to replicate them.

    No sir -it is "everywhere" because a small toss-off marketing buzzhype hit the nerves of people who refuse to let it die. I have seen that phrase used by Marvel once; "everywhere" demands a more wide usage.\

    Bullhockey. SSM is almost pure Stan Lee DNA, and if that's not the defining characteristic of Marvel, I don't know what is. I think the comment was meant to be applied more to DC animation, which has the DC DNA of being these huge iconic mythic godlike characters, rather than flawed mortals with feet of clay - the penultimate Marvel definition of almost all of their heroes.

    Marvel is trying to defend their value to Disney; if you've ever seen a corporate acquisition before, the signs are pretty plain. I've been through several - WhoWhere? was bought by Lycos, Worldcom was bought by MCI and was bought by Verizon, and now my development unit is being re-assigned to the newly-acquired Terramark - where we have to prove our value and track records, as they say, One More Time.

    Leaving my (poor) opinion of Hulk & Agents of S.M.A.S.H., I doubt it'll be very similar to either USM or AEMH. Doing things that are too similar is foolishness when you're trying to figure out what works; they've got AEMH as a baseline success to work with.

    If you go down a serious/silly spectrum:

    1 - Super Hero Squad
    2 - USM
    3 - Hulk: The Gamma Sitcom
    4- Avengers: EMH
    5 - Anime Marvel

    Thats assuming they bother with SHS - I'm sure they have the ratings figures from CN in any case, and if they add Gargoyles in as a baseline, they'll have a good idea of what works well in the market for their target demographics and what doesn't -- and THAT information is Pure Gold for Disney going forward.

    Failure is relative. Many properties which bomb in the USA do well elsewhere, or earn out in the cult market, or in the third-party licensing.

    There is NOT a lot riding on USM here; the value of Marvel was the brand equity of the top franchises, not Marvel Studios. Even if mediocre, it'll do better than that abortion of an MTV series, and with a new movie coming out its entire expense could be considered a marketing write-off. :D

    After all, promoting the Avengers (et al) brands was the sole justification for the expense of two seasons of 26 episodes, so support their blockbuster movies and their sequels. In the overall Disney budget, Marvel Studios' total annual budget just isn't that impressive, especially since you can make some pretty serious minimal ROI projections.

    NOW you're getting it. The small cadre of SSM "true believers" isn't big enough to warrant the expense to appease/exploit. How good SSM was, or wasn't, isn't even on their radar, one way or another. And that - while perhaps brutal - is what TomB was getting at when he said it'd run its course. I don't think he meant that there hadn't been stories to tell, but rather the show franchise is dead and not worth the cost of revival.
     
  19. Kumori MC

    Kumori MC Member

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    I have a few rather unnecessary questions which basically answer themselves.

    1. Did any of these forum shootouts ever, EVER provide a significant change in the world of Marvel animation? [Or rather, does online fan *****ing ever get results?]

    2. Regarding SSM and USM, why does it have to be one or the other?

    The basis for the last question is the amount of thinly-veiled insults directed at this still-unaired show and not-so-thinly-veiled fangasming over the now dead SSM.

    3. Similar question regarding Hulk ATAOS: why toss comments about it when there's virtually nothing known regarding the show save for the characters and the title? It's like discussing that single image DC released of Beware the Batman - something known as not "judging the book by it's cover" but "burning the book due to its protective bag."
     
  20. W.C.Reaf

    W.C.Reaf Active Member

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    Well that's a blatant misunderstanding of what macattack was saying. Of course Marvel created and owns all the characters in SSM, but there's a difference between owning the characters and working on the show. macattack is saying, rather accurately, that Marvel did not work on SSM. The only thing Marvel did was approving what the crew were doing and signing-off on the show, essentially saying yes or no to what the crew were planning to do. e.g. Originally Rhino was going to be African in the show, Marvel vetoed that.

    He's not saying Marvel didn't create the characters, as that'd be silly, just that they had, virtually, nothing to do with creating the show.

    And again, misunderstanding what was said. I'm certain macattack was using "DNA" the same way Marvel used it, as in to go "Marvel comic writers/artists are working on this" again talking about the creators working on the show and not the creation. "Sony DNA" is that people working for Sony had more a hand in SSM than Marvel did.

    It was a bit poorly worded and mishandled the use of the term "DNA", though that was probably intentional due to Marvel's misuse of it.

    Not a clue. That's one mystery of fandom I could never solve, why must fans always have to choose one or the other? Star Wars or Star Trek, Marvel or DC, Coke or Pepsi, why can't fans like both? Hell if I know. There have always been factions in fandoms that don't like what is perceived as competition on their fandom. That's just the way it is.
     

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