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The Falcon's Nest

The Falcon's Nest

90’s Marvel Shows: Spider-Man and Fantastic Four

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In my previous reviews, I discussed the X-Men shows. This time, I’ll be discussing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. (Warning: Spoilers!)

Spider-Man
This show was a big step up from X-Men. Most of the seasons have a storyline throughout and they are for the most part pretty good.

Season 1 doesn’t have a storyline and is just there to introduce Spidey and some of his friends and foes. It introduces Peter’s family and friends including Mary Jane, Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson, and Felicia Hardy. It also introduces several of Spidey’s villains including Lizard, Smythe, Kingpin, Mysterio, Rhino, Scorpion, Doc Ock, Hobgoblin, Shocker, Chameleon, and Venom. It does have a 3-part episode about the black suit/symbiote which I thought was fantastic and might be my favorite episode of the show.

Season 2 has the Neogenic Nightmare storyline which I thought went on way too long and lost a lot of its steam by the end of it. The main villain of this season is Morbius, who I never thought was an interesting character. This season also introduced Blade, the Vampire Hunter. It even has a 2-part crossover with the X-Men. The season did start very strongly with 2-part episodes about the Sinister 6, who are called the Insidious 6 for censorship reasons. They’re a group of villains from the first season hired by Kingpin to destroy Spider-Man. The lineup is Doc Ock, Shocker, Scorpion, Chameleon, Rhino, and Mysterio. Their bickering and arguments are hilarious and ridiculous in the best way. Those 2 episodes were very fun and were probably my 2nd favorite episodes.

Season 3 has the Sins of the Fathers storyline which was much more engaging. The main villain of the season is the Green Goblin who was a very fun and threatening villain. This show also had a lot of guest characters as Spidey teams up with Doctor Strange in one episode to fight Dormammu. He also teams up with Daredevil to fight Kingpin. These may be based on a comic called Marvel Team-Up which featured Spidey teaming up with other heroes. It ends with a massive cliffhanger where Green Goblin opens a portal created by The Spot that sucks him and Mary Jane in.

Season 4 had the Partners in Danger storyline which was about the crime bosses. It also introduced Black Cat, who is greatly focused on this season. Many of the crime bosses clash in this season including Kingpin, Hammerhead, Tombstone, and Silvermane. This season also had what might be the funniest episode of the show, which was about a villain called Big Wheel, a villain who drives around in a giant weaponized wheel. Big Wheel is commonly considered one of Spidey’s stupidest villains, so seeing him in a cartoon was priceless. This season also begins to set up for Harry Osborn to become The Green Goblin, which happens in the comics and sees the return of Mary Jane.

Season 5 doesn’t have a storyline and is a bunch of multi-part episodes. It has a great 5-part episode called The Six Forgotten Warriors, which is about Spider-Man, teaming up with Captain America and a group of other heroes from the 1940s to fight Red Skull, Kingpin, and the reformed Sinister Six. It also has a 3-part episode called Secret Wars, which was an adaptation of one of my favorite comics of the same name. It’s about a man named The Beyonder transporting Spidey to a place called Battleworld to have him fight different kinds of evil to see if he is a true hero. He also allows Spidey to transport some heroes to help him. He calls Captain America, Iron Man, Storm, Black Cat, and The Fantastic Four. They fight Doc Ock, Red Skull, Smythe, Lizard, and Doctor Doom who are different kinds of evil. Doc Ock believes being a villain is a gift, Smythe is only a villain to save his father, Lizard doesn’t want to be evil, Red Skull is a cartoonishly evil but threatening Nazi, and Doctor Doom is an incredibly intelligent villain who wants world domination. Spidey eventually wins the Secret War and everyone goes home except for Spidey. It leads into the Spider-Wars finale which I thought was very good. An evil variant of Spider-Man called Spider-Carnage has made a device to destroy all of time. Spidey and a group of other Spider-Mans summoned by Madame Web. They fight him until they realize that in Spider Carnage’s world, Uncle Ben is still alive. They have Uncle Ben convince Spider-Carnage to give up the Carnage symbiote and stop his plan which works. Madame Web even has Spider-Man meet Stan Lee which was such an unexpected but amazing scene.

This show gets an 8/10. It was a big step up from X-Men and the developers clearly learned from their mistakes.

Fantastic Four
Before I start this review, please note that I only watched the second season of this show, as I read reviews that said the first season was bad and to skip to Season 2. I did try to watch the first season and it was pretty bad and is not worth watching.

Fantastic Four was the third show that I watched and this show was great. This season was very short as it only has 13 episodes. With its short life, it did a lot.

The season kicks off very strong with the Fantastic Four teaming up with Daredevil, which is based on an issue of their comic, Fantastic Four issue #39. The episode also shared the same name as the issue, And the Blind Man Shall Lead Them. The next episode is the first of a three-parter called the Inhumans Saga. The Inhumans are a group of heroes from a secret dimension called Attilan. The members are Black Bolt who has a sonic power, Medusa who has magic hair that she uses to attack people, Karnak who can see people’s weaknesses, Gorgon who is very strong, Triton who breathes underwater, Crystal who has element powers, and Lockjaw who is a big dog who can teleport. The plot is that Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus, is trying to take over Attilan. Maximus is also voiced by Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, The Joker, and Hobgoblin. Maximus is eventually defeated.

The next few episodes introduce other characters like Black Panther, Ego The Living Planet, and Thor. It also has the return of Galactus, Silver Surfer, Super Skrull, Impossible Man, and Doctor Doom The show was very consistently great and had a lot of engaging storylines. My favorite was The Thing’s internal struggle with whether he was good enough for his girlfriend, Alicia.

This show also has what is in my opinion, the best adaptation of my favorite Marvel villain, Doctor Doom. One of the other shows, Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes also has a great adaptation of Doctor Doom. It’s a very close call between them, as both get him very spot-on. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes better demonstrates Doom’s power as he takes on the Avengers and Fantastic Four at the same time and still wins. This version however better shows his ego and how he’s always the one behind the curtain. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes does this too, but he fights the Avengers more head-on. That show also mentions Doom’s plan and goal to rule the world, although I think the Fantastic Four did it better. In many of the Doctor Doom centered episodes, The Fantastic Four don’t fight him and fight whatever Doom creates to destroy them. Doom is often just watching from a screen in his home of Latveria. Doom also mentions several times about how he believes he should be the only ruler in the world and how perfect he sees himself. I also think I prefer Doom’s voice in this show. Doctor Doom is voiced by Simon Templeman who does a great job as Doom. His voice in the show is deep and a little raspy, which I think adds to make Doom seem more threatening. In Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, he is voiced by Lex Lang, who doesn’t have as much deepness in his voice as Templeman does, which on its own doesn’t sound that great, but is still decent. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes does add a slight echo through Doom’s mask. The mix between his voice and echo makes Doom’s voice much better. I think adding an echo would’ve made Templeman’s voice even better if it was added. The echo is something that is now commonly seen in on-screen versions of Doom. This isn’t meant to discredit Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as that show is also fantastic and is better than most of the MCU movies.

This show also has a very good theme song, which I wish was praised more. It was a big surprise as I never hear anyone talk about it.

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