While the 1960s Spider man The cartoon was the first swinger web TV show, 1994. Spider-Man: The Animated Series brought the character to a wider audience. It was helmed by John Semper Jr.Who works closely with Stanley to adapt the classic Spider-Man story for television. Throw in the outstanding theme song Joe Perry From Aerosmith on Guitar and the rest is history.
The show had a 65-episode run and crossed paths with other Marvel shows made at the time, such as Iron Man and The Fantastic Four. Although some of it has not matured, many of its episodes stand out as some of the best examples of Spider-Man for television, and its influence can be felt in Sam Raimitrilogy ‘s and future shows such as Seal Spider-Man.
10 “Neogenic Nightmares Chapter 1: The Insidious Six”
Season 2, Episode 1 (1995)
IMDb rating: 8.4/10
Kingpin (Roscoe Lee Browne) is losing respect in the criminal underworld due to Spider-Man (Christopher Daniel Barnes). He decided to destroy the Chameleon (Jim Cummings), Dr. Octopus (Efrem Zimbalist Jr), Mysterio (Greg Berger), Rhino (Don Stark), Scorpion (Martin Landau And Richard Mull), and Shocker (Jim Cummings) out of prison to make the end of the hero. At the same time, Peter’s superpowers begin to disappear at inopportune times.
This episode did a good job of building up to the dominant story line of season two. New characters like Silvermane (Jeff Corey) and Michael Morbius (Nick Jameson) are effectively presented while pointing out their later roles. The six villains also get plenty of time to shine, especially near the end when they lure Spider-Man into a trap.
9 “Sins of the Father Chapter 7: The Man Without Fear”
Season 3, Episode 7 (1996)
IMDb rating: 8.5/10
Spider-Man with Daredevil (Edward Albert) to clear the name of Peter Parker, who was framed by Richard Fisk (Nick Jameson) for selling classified information. They recovered a sheet of evidence that could incriminate both Richard and his father, Wilson. When he found out about the theft, the Kingpin put all his resources into hunting down superheroes.
While the team-up between Spider-Man and Daredevil is wonderful, the evil and current TV Kingpin is the real star. Several episodes are devoted to his backstory, which shows that he inherited his violent nature from his father, and passed it on to his son. It ends with Spider-Man finally learning of his existence, and his son in prison, leaving Wilson wondering if his son will take revenge on him like he did to his father.
8 “Sins of the Father Chapter 4: Into the Green Goblin”
Season 3, Episode 4 (1996)
IMDb rating: 8.6/10
Faced with pressure from the Kingpin, Norman Osborn (Neil Ross) accidentally caused an explosion while working on chemical gases. The gas allowed him to gain strength, but also drove him insane. Revealing the identity of the Green Goblin, he tracks down those who wronged him in the past: the Kingpin, Anastasia Hardy (Rue McClanahan), and J. Jonah Jameson (Ed Asner).
The introduction of the Green Goblin comes after three years that saw Osborn being pushed by others and seeing the Hobgoblin (Mark Hamill) in practice. It gives the audience time to get to know Osborn and his relationship with his son, Harry (Gary Imhoff), which makes his fall with the villain even more tragic. The gas that gives Osborn strength also helps differentiate him from the Hobgoblin.
7 “Spider Wars, Chapter 1: I Really Hate Clones”
Season 5, Episode 12 (1998)
IMDb rating: 8.7/10
Having proven himself in Secret Wars, the Beyonder (Earl Boen) and Madam Web (Joan Lee) makes Spider-Man the leader of a team of Spider-Men from other dimensions. They explain that another Peter Parker from Ben Reilly’s home dimension, Scarlet Spider, has merged with the Carnage symbiote. Now working with the Kingpin, he plans to destroy the multiverse.
This episode pays homage to and echoes the popular Clone Saga from the 90s, but isn’t nearly as complicated. The diverse plot allows for some creative ideas, such as Spider-Carnage, or the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin working together. Finally, it’s a great opportunity for Barnes to show off his skills by giving a unique voice and character to all the different Spider-Men.
6 “Alien Costume (Part 1)”
Season 1, Episode 8 (1995)
IMDb rating: 8.8/10
Astronaut Colonel John Jameson (Michael Horton) returns to Earth with a new element called Promethium X, but crashes on the George Washington Bridge. Kingpin hires Rhino to steal Promethium, and Eddie Brock (Hank Azaria) decided to frame Spider-Man, causing J Jonah Jameson to put a million dollar bounty on his head. Meanwhile, the black ooze from the accident bonds with Spider-Man, giving him improved powers.
This is an amazing start to the three part symbiote arc Spider man. It wastes no time in establishing the parties at play while foreshadowing what is to come. The images are among the most iconic in Spider-Man media, including a violent dream sequence in which Peter’s two halves fight him, and he wakes up in a black suit.
5 “Sins of the Father Chapter 10: Venom Returns”
Season 3, Episode 11 (1996)
IMDb rating: 8.8/10
Killer Cletus Kasady (Scott Cleverdon) is captured by Spider-Man and given a room with Eddie Brock, who mourns the loss of his symbiote. Brock is approached by Baron Mordo (Tony J), who returned the symbiote in exchange for Venom stealing the laser from Stark Enterprises. Meanwhile, the symbiote reproduces on its way to Earth, so Mordo fuses it with Kasady, creating Carnage.
“Venom Returns,” manages to combine the characters Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and its Iron Man effectively. Much time is dedicated to Eddie’s life since first becoming Venom and the development of his relationship with his therapist, Dr. Ashley Kafka (Barbara Goodson). His return as Venom is only eclipsed by the incarnation of Carnage, and while he may not be as violent as his comic counterpart, Cleverdon’s performance is appropriately maniacal.
4 “Sins of the Father Chapter 14: The Turning Point”
Season 3, Episode 14 (1996)
IMDb rating: 8.9/10
Currently in a relationship with Mary Jane Watson (Saratoga Ballantine), Spider-Man tries to get out of the great battle Madam Web is preparing for him. She refutes his statement claiming that the two-headed monster will return soon. Meanwhile, the Green Goblin has purchased a device that can create portals and uses it to learn Spider-Man’s identity.
This episode adapted the classic “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” and while they made changes for censorship, it didn’t take away from the heart. It builds to a showdown at the George Washington Bridge with the Goblin toying with Peter about who he will target and when. Presuming Mary Jane is dead, Barnes unleashes a mesmerizing performance that taps into Peter’s rage.
3 “Alien Costumes (Parts 2 and 3)”
Season 1, Episodes 9 and 10 (1995)
IMDb rating: 8.9/10
While trying to clear his name and retrieve the stolen Promethium X, Spider-Man finds his temper short one day. He discovers that his new costume is an alien symbol that brings out his negative emotions. He was eventually able to remove it, but the symbiote’s bond with an enraged Eddie Brock, turned him into Venom.
Just like part one, these episodes do a fantastic job introducing Venom’s origins. The Promethium X story was wrapped up in episode 2, giving viewers a memorable clip of Spider-Man going on a rampage while chasing the Shocker of all the villains, and Peter’s triumphant separation from the symbiote. Episode 3 is entirely dedicated to Spider-Man and Venom’s battle, both physical and mental.
2 “Sins of the Father Chapter 11: Murder”
Season 1, Episode 10 (1995)
IMDb rating: 8.9/10
After Venom and Carnage steal a laser that can open interdimensional portals, Mordo, Dormamu (Ed Gilbert) Carnage tasks with collecting enough human souls to allow him to enter the world. Venom refuses to continue working for them, and after speaking with Ashley, decides to remove the symbiote. However, Ashley’s soul was taken by Carnage, so Eddie became Venom again to help Spider-Man and Iron Man (Robert Hayes) to save her.
“Murder” has plenty of action and drama, with a temporary body count as high as the Fox censors will allow. It continues Eddie’s development from the previous episode by showing that he cares more about Ashley than his powers. The ending is appropriately tragic, with Eddie sacrificing himself to defeat Dormamu and Carnage.
1 “Spider Wars, Chapter 2: Farewell Spider-Man”
Season 5, Episode 13 (1998)
IMDb rating: 9.1/10
After some close calls, Spider-Man defeats Spider-Carnage and stops his bomb from detonating. However, he escaped into the home of Armored Spider-Man, planning to destroy multiple realities at once. Spider-Man mainly chases him and goes to see the world where Spider-Man is loved and respected all over the world.
While the episode ends on a cliffhanger that still angers fans to this day, there’s no denying that it’s the best episode for its emotional breakdown. To stop Spider Carnage, Spider-Man tracks down a living Uncle Ben, who talks to his human counterpart. It’s a raw moment of a hero using their greatest inspiration to defeat their greatest darkness.
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