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'Ultimate Spider-Man' Episodes 1 & 2 Comparison and Analysis

There's a new Spider-Man animated series. Find out how it compares to the comics. SPOILERS.

After a hiatus from animated television, Spider-Man is back on the small screen. Ultimate Spider-Man airs Sunday mornings on Disney XD and has many comic book creators such as Paul Dini, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Kelly and Steven Seagle involved with the show.

Over the years we have seen numerous animated incarnations of the web-slingers adventures. Some, like the recent Spectacular Spider-Man, have been fairly close to the comics. With the first two episodes of Ultimate Spider-Man, "Great Power" and "Great Responsibility," we're seeing a whole new game for Spider-Man. We'll give a quick run through of some of the differences and similarities. There will be spoilers below if you haven't already watched the episodes.

== TEASER ==

The Daily Bugle

You can't (and shouldn't) have a Spider-Man show without the Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson. Jameson is around this time and is still spewing his rants over what a menace Spider-Man is.

The newspaper does exist in this animated universe but there's more to it. Jameson now has the Daily Bugle Communications at his disposal to wage war against any costumed menaces running around.

This is similar to what we can expect in The Amazing Spider-Man movie as seen when Captain George Stacy spoke out against Spider-Man recently.

Spider-Man's Career and Friends

We don't start out with the obligatory origin. Everyone should know by now that he was bitten by a radioactive spider and gained the proportional strength and ability of spiders.

In this version, he's been Spider-Man for a year. That means he's had his share of adventures. He's a little rough around the edges but has had a good amount of experience.

As for his friends, Mary Jane and Harry Osborn are his best friends. Peter is still in high school and unfortunately Flash Thompson is in the picture as well. You can imagine what that means for Peter.

Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.

What does Nick Fury have to do with Spider-Man?

As in the Ultimate Universe, Nick Fury knows Spider-Man's secret identity. He wants Spider-Man to become part of SHIELD. He knows he has potential but is still a 'newbie.' He may be able to stop criminals like the Trapster but left a bit of a mess. He points out that heroes like Captain America could have stopped the threat with no damage to public property. He also mentions that not all heroes were perfect right from the beginning. With some training, Spider-Man could be a better Spider-Man. He could become the Ultimate Spider-Man.

New Tech, Part 1: Web Shooters

Peter was brilliant in being able to design and build his web shooters. Fury offers him the opportunity to have high tech web shooters. This is the 'next gen' version. Spider-Man is reluctant to have anything to do with Fury's offer. The new shooters are "too big and too clunky" in his opinion. Of course he doesn't give them back right away (partly due to their camouflage ability).

Spider-Man's Enemies

You can't have a Spider-Man show without his enemies. That's where Norman Osborn comes in. He, as usual, has a deep interest in Spider-Man. His reason here is he wants to learn everything there is to know about him in order to create an army of Spider-Men for the highest bidder.

Osborn is working with a certain multi-armed foe of Spider-Man who is only seen in the shadows.

Other villains are sent after Spider-Man, including the rest of the Frightful Four (Spider-Man had already defeated Trapster). Wizard, Klaw and Thundra are on deck to take on Spider-Man. Peter has to figure out how they discovered that Spider-Man possibly goes to his high school (as in the original ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN comic) and how he can get away to defeat them.

Mary Jane's Career Interest

What does Mary Jane want to do with her life after high school? Does she want to be a model or an actress? Nope. As in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, MJ has a taste for journalism. She wants to report the news. This has Peter a little concerned as he fears she will uncover his secret since they've known each other since they were five.

It doesn't look like Peter will be taking pictures of himself to sell to the Bugle. At least not yet. He's going to be busy with school, training with SHIELD and fighting the bad guys.

Aunt May Isn't Old and Frail

As in the Ultimate comics, this version of Aunt May has some spunk to her. She works during the day, she does yoga, takes cooking classes and bowls on a weekly basis. This gives Peter the chance to pretty much come and go as he wants and needs to as Spider-Man.

Spider-Man's Peers

This show isn't only going to feature Spider-Man. If he takes Fury up on his offer to be trained by SHIELD, he'll be working with other teen heroes. Nova, White Tiger, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have all been trained by SHIELD but don't have the experience that Spider-Man does. This is where they can help each other.

Obviously there is a difference from the regular comics as these heroes are all teenagers now. It should also be noted that this Nova unfortunately is not Richard Rider. This is the Sam Alexander version that appeared in POINT ONE and will soon arrive on Earth during AVENGERS VS. X-MEN.

These teen heroes won't just be hanging around a SHIELD Helicarrier all day. They'll be transferring to Peter's school, which happens to also have a new principal, also known as Agent Coulson.

Curt Connors and SHIELD?

We all know Curt Connors becomes the Lizard. It turns out that he's SHIELD's resident tech genius. This is quite a departure as Curt was more about genetics rather than technology. What about his missing arm? You'll have to watch the episode to see about that and any possible connections to becoming the Lizard.

New Tech, Part 2: the Spider-Cycle?

Yes, Spider-Man might be getting a new set of wheels. Why would he need a ride when he could web-sling across the city? It's pointed out that webbing cost money and also the Spider-Cycle could actually get him there faster. Spider-Man just has to learn to drive and control it. He doesn't even have a learner's permit (he does in live in New York City after all).

As with all SHIELD vehicles, it's not your average mode of transportation. It has some heavy duty features that will really amp up Spider-Man's career. We'll just have to see if he decides to keep it. There's also the matter of where would he park it. I'd imagine parking in New York is as much of a problem as it is in San Francisco, if not worse. It does change Spider-Man a bit but that seems to be a possible part of the show. We'll have to stay tuned to see if he keeps it and what other gadgets he uses.

That about wraps up the first two episodes. What did you think of this incarnation of Spider-Man? Hopefully you had a chance to catch them. I'd imagine Disney XD will show the episodes again before next Sunday. Be sure to check your cable guide and set your DVR or alarm. You won't want to miss out on the other events from these episodes as well as what's coming up on the next one.

147 Comments Refresh
Edited by VictorGrey

Cool, missed the episodes though, will have to see it sometime though.

Posted by CombatSpoon86

I thought they weren't bad for the first two episodes. I thought it would be very cheesy or stupid. But I liked it. I'll still be around for this.

Edited by Cafeterialoca

Dead honest? I didn't like this show. I thought it was very unfunny and that the plot was really hollow.

BTW, Earth Mightiest Heroes blew BOTH of these episodes out of the water!

Posted by Arachnokrypt


Posted by Inverno

* Sigh * Where do I even begin...

I am not interested for this series for a simple reason. It will be the same as Spetacular Spider-Man and when you least expect, it will be cancelled. And you have to be introduced to the same villains over and over and over again, argh... I can't pull myself to watch a series like this again.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I really need Disney XD :(

Posted by G-Man

@CaioTrubat: I'd say because Disney and Marvel are more involved (rather than Sony), it has a chance of sticking around longer (no pun intended).

Posted by MrMiracle77

If Seth Mcfarlane made a pg-rated superhero cartoon, this is pretty much what it would be like.  It's a nice, humorous complement to the more serious Avengers:EMH.

Posted by Video_Martian

I don't know why, but I REALLY wanna watch this show...

Also, is that Thundra?!? I love Thundra!!! <3

Posted by blur1528

@CombatSpoon86 said:

I thought they weren't bad for the first two episodes. I thought it would be very cheesy or stupid. But I liked it. I'll still be around for this.

My thoughts exactly.

Posted by Old_Comic_Lover_50

Sweet can't wait to see Bucket Head....true believer's know who I mean...

Posted by VioletPhoenix

This show was so funny! And I'll definitely be tuning in, it's so good.

Posted by CurbsideProphet

It took me a bit to adjust to Nova and the young-uns, but I managed, and it's been great so far.
Iron Fist looks to be my favorite of the other four.

Posted by The Stegman

It came out already?? drat! missed it!

Posted by Night Thrasher

Definitely not as good as SSM but I will watch for two reasons

1) not overly bad, just not overly good

2) the Marvel mini's are Waaaaaaaaaaay better than the DC ones. The new dubbed old SM episodes are actually pretty funny.

Posted by NightFang

This is kind of my favorite version of Aunt May ever.

Posted by csl316

The light-hearted nature of the trailer is a little off-putting, but I loved the 90's series as a kid and Spectacular SM surpassed all my expectations.

I should see this, and I'm curious where it'll eventually go.

Edited by sjestus

Found it hilarious! "Fwip fwip!"

Also, the voice actors were really good.

Posted by Duo_forbidden

Imo, this show....has potential. I wasn't comepletely blown away by it. I do like how this series is somewhat a blend of the mainstream comics and the Ultimate Universe. I'll keep watching it because, I do like the guest appearances of other superheroes.

Posted by kennybaese

I'll definitely have to look into this. Seems like they're leaning into the SHIELD thing pretty hard. I wonder if Parker's parents are going to play into the show. Maybe that's why Fury is so interested in him.

Teen Cage and Iron Fist are also an interesting choice. I like Nova. I have no idea who White Tiger is though.

Posted by EnSabahNurX

Meh the style is good but the writing was annoying. There was too many jokes in such a small period of time that it just felt flat to me. Idk I'll check the next episode but so far not impressed

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

What did you think about the Teen Titanesque clips, like Spider-Man versus Trapster drawn on lined paper with big heads or his imaginations about being on par with Cap or Iron Man (and then his arms go droopy), or the big Scott Pilgrim sound efffect when Spidey hit Trapster, stuff like this:

Did you guys like those little slips into his imagination? My brother didn't like them, or how silly it seemed. Like the food fight scene, I guess.

Posted by TenEyedMen

The jokes were really weak, the fights were bland, the voice acting was obnoxious....ugh. This was just bad.

Posted by monitor_earthprime

for those that missed, the first two episodes come on everyday this week. Unlike DC and Cartoon network, Disney reaires there shows plenty.

To me this seems more like New Warriors or Young Avengers training to become the next Avengers. I like the show and I am happy that we are getting characters that either never showed up in the media or very little. This is a bonus and I like that factor. i cannot wait till next Sunday for the next episode.

The Cartoon mash isn't worth it to me. If Marvel/Disney wantes to compete with DC and there DC Nation, they need to do some real orignial cartoon shorts. I would love to see mni-toons based on Howard The Duck, Power Pack, New Warriors, Avengers Academy, New Mutants, even Slapstick, The Impossible Man, and Pet Avengers would be better that the Mashups.

Posted by Jedted

So Jameson is now Bill O'Reilly?

Posted by Mega_spidey01

i thought iultimate spider-man was pretty great show pretty fast paced though. the avengers is good as usual.

Posted by ThexX

i liked it 8.5/10

Posted by jubilee042

what happened to iron fist's cleavage

Posted by Ferro Vida

I hate Iron Fist's hair. So. Much.

Posted by kindleaustralia1


This was a very funny and interesting show. I really liked it.

Thanks for sharing this post.

Posted by BoyWander

hm... I will keep watching because the show could turn out great. I'm not sure about it yet. If they give Spider-man his back pack like in the Ultimates universe I'll watch for sure just cause I love that feature. I enjoy that they're keeping with some of the Ultimates, but at the same time giving it their own flare. While at times it gets hammy or kinda stupid there were some things that made me laugh. I like that they hinted to the Iron Spider costume.

Also I hope I'm right about this, but if Norman's gonna do what I think he's gonna dot hen maybe we'll see Ultimate Spider-Woman come out of a clone saga. I hope so.

Posted by InnerVenom123

@TenEyedMen said:

The jokes were really weak, the fights were bland, the voice acting was obnoxious....ugh. This was just bad.

Posted by FoxxFireArt


Marvel Kids is also streaming the series online. That's where I watched it. I can PM you the link if you can't find it. I don't think they'd like people posting links to only shows in the comments. Even if they are the official versions.


I checked the episodes out. It's not that I think it's bad. Just a tad too comedic for it's own good. The humor is often so childish that it makes me wonder if this cartoon was just made for a younger audience than me and that's why I don't really get the appeal.

Not sure if this makes any sense, but this feels less like the comic -- which is surprising considering how many comic guys are working on it -- and more like a Disney show. Not that I have anything against Disney shows. I loved KIM POSSIBLE.

Posted by Seraphim84

The show was cute, but maybe shooting a bit below my demographic so far. I don't wanna watch "ol' kooky Spider-man messes up and can't handle X today". That's what I liked about Spectacular. It was a young show, but the fighting in it was brutal.

Posted by The Poet

I'll check this out...

Posted by krspaceT

I do not have Disney XD.....

Posted by primepower53


Posted by Ms. Omega

I loved it.

Posted by KRYPTON

It is now one of my favorite shows

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
@TenEyedMen said:

The jokes were really weak, the fights were bland, the voice acting was obnoxious....ugh. This was just bad.

I hate this show, I wont be watching any more of it.
Edited by Deadcool

So... the new Nova is named after the the dead son of Jeph Loeb, that is so damn sad...

Posted by Eyz

This is all looking pretty cool so far!

Looks like a mix of classic Marvel, Ultimate comics, and the current Marvel movies! I like it^^

Posted by MB25

This show was completely absurd...i dont know what they were thinking! it was like a mix of the old Teen Titans show and Ren and Stimpy...Young Justice takes a long dump on this and the Avengers show

Posted by BlueLantern1995

I'm interested... and will give it a shot. Hopefully its online now, unlike my Avengers series.

Edited by YotaruVegeta

When Nova revealed his identity, I had no idea who that guy was, but I looked it up on a site you maybe are familiar with, and Ultimate Spider-man isn't Richard Rider either, so I thought the writer of this article would've been used to that. ;)

@VictorGrey: I watched it on Disney's site.

Posted by shiro11

This show felt like I was watching a updated version of spider man and his amazing friends. It really can't compare to sensational.

Posted by Lurkero

I still just want a show (miniseries even) about Iron Fist. but I guess I can settle for another Spider-man.

Posted by Phaedrusgr

Spider-cycle? What's next? Spider-mints? Man, Peter isn't Bruce, neither Tony. He doesn't need a spider-cycle, unless he wants to go to another city or something like that, but since he's more of an urban character, it makes no sense. Anyway, I think that the whole thing is pretty decent and solid enough.

Posted by n25philly

It has potential, but in the first two episodes they were just trying way too hard to be funny which most of the time simply just didn't happen.

Posted by GundamHeavyarms

@MrMiracle77: Im glad to see that I'm not the only one who thought it was a superhero version of Family Guy. I like the show so far. I hope it does well.