Hello again geeks and welcome to the Guide to Geekdom
I’m sure everyone knows about The Superman Curse; if not go check its own Wikipedia page. That’s how famous it is folks. What you may not know about is The Spiderman Curse. A curse is plaguing Spiderman and it has gone mostly unnoticed by the public view. So I’m here to show you The Spiderman Curse.
The curse itself is very simple: Almost every Spiderman TV show will end horribly. ‘But that seems more like a point a view and not an actual curse’ the reader asked wistfully, well that’s where you would be wrong. Now the reason I say almost every is because this tradition didn’t really start until the 90s Spiderman animated series. Maybe it’s because they knew how to end on a good note back in the day I don’t know.
Spiderman the animated series (1994 – 1998)
Wasn’t this an awesome series? Personally this was the series that truly introduced me to the world of Spiderman, and it was awesome. From the kickass opening to the amazing story lines pulled straight from the comics to the great voice acting, this series had it all. What you may not remember was how it ended.
The series ended with the 5th season, 2 part finale Spider Wars. Spider Wars has Madam Web dragging Peter through different dimensions with a small army of alternate Spidermen in order to fight alternate Spiderman that had gone rogue, Spider-Carnage. After saving reality from the evil Spider-Carnage, Peter is sent to our reality where he gets to meet Stan Lee. After that fun little insert, Peter goes off into an interdimensional portal with Madam Web in the hope of finding Mary Jane (who was currently lost in dimensions at the time). This is where it ends.
This is where our 5 season journey ends, with Spiderman hurtling through dimensional space looking for Mary Jane. They had assumed they would be coming back for another season and ended it on a cliff hanger. Little did they realize that they would be cancelled and replaced by a more bizarre series. The creators of the show would later go on to say that Peter would have found Mary Jane in good ol’ London but it’s a bit of an odd way to go out for this beloved series.
Spiderman Unlimited (1999 – 2000)
Let me talk a moment about Spiderman Unlimited. This was a series that came out around the time when it cyberpunk dystopian futures were really in. Around the same time Beast Machines and Batman Beyond also came out. Marvel decided to jump on the band wagon by creating Spiderman Unlimited where Peter ends up on an alternate futuristic Earth mostly run by anthropomorphic citizens. This series only lasted 13 episodes. While it was a major flop, I’m actually a major fan of the series (if you get the chance, check it out its pretty good) and always wanted to know how it was going to end, which will never happen.
Spiderman Unlimited ends on episode 13, Destiny Unleashed. Venom and Carnage have been working on a bomb for the Synoptic and the High Evolutionary (our two major villains of the series) which will release a symbiotic mind control upon the planet. This does happen.
The episode ends with the bomb going off and Peter stuck in a collapsing building. THE SERIES FREAKIN ENDS RIGHT HERE! What bullshit is this. It was never followed up or concluded. We are forever leaving this series with the world ending and Spiderman dying. Way to go cliff hanger.
This was another failed Spiderman series that came out in 2003 (this one also only lasted 13 episodes). Though it has the uniqueness of being fully digitally animated (its fair animation, Iron Man Armored Adventures wasn’t much better). This series was supposed to be a follow up to the first movie and depict Peter in his college years. Trying to be in the same universe as the movie it even included an episode with Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin from Daredevil.
The series ends with the 2 part finale, Mind Games. The episode focuses on the Gaines Twins, who have vast mental abilities, and Kraven the Hunter kidnapping Mary Jane and trying to take down Peter. Peter of course defeats them but Mary Jane almost dies because of this, causing Peter to give up his life of Spiderman and throw his costume into the river.
But of course we all know that Peter is going to realize that he should be Spiderman and that with great power comes…………oh wait no, this is where it ends. This is where the series ends. We leave this series with Peter giving up Spiderman. You can just accept this because the series never got a follow up or another ending. This is it. Hilariously though, Spiderman 2 was announced the same day that this aired.
The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008 - 2009)
The Spectacular Spider-Man came out in 2008, and was actually a pretty successful telling of Peter in his high school years. This series was the first to successfully streamline the Spiderman story in a way where we met his entire supporting cast, major villains, as well as writing a good overall plot thread. The entire series actually feels like one big story arc and I applaud the writers for it. That being said it ended poorly.
The series ends on the season 2 finale, Final Curtain. The episode is about Peter and the Goblin trying to end their conflict once and for all. It’s a brilliant episode with amazing action sequences and revelations exploding out the wazoo. It’s a really good episode and I’m not going to ruin all the revelations for you if you still want to go check out this episode, but I will tell you how this ends, so spoiler alert. Spiderman knocks the Goblin into a pumpkin grenade turret which explodes and everyone presumes the Goblin has died. The real ending killer is that during the episode Peter and Gwen have decided to break off their current relations so that they can be with each other. Peter leaves his girlfriend easy enough but Gwen is dating Harry Osborn at the time. Harry overhears their plan and decides to use his father’s death as a form of blackmail to get Gwen to stay with him. We also find out that the Norman is still alive and is leaving the country to live the good life.
This is literally where the series ends. A big part of this series was Peter’s social life and how it was affected by his life as Spiderman. This series has some amazing writing and fairly good animation, but to end on this note is a bit sad. They had full plans for coming back for another season and even mentioned plans for it at several conventions, but they were cancelled so that Marvel could start producing a new Spiderman series about Peter in his high school years (why?).
Marvel wanted to create a new Spiderman series that would go alongside the new Spiderman reboot film while at the same time capitalizing on one of their most popular story lines, Ultimate Spiderman. This was highly unnecessary. The Spectacular Spider-Man was influenced by the original comics, the film trilogy, and the Ultimate Spiderman series. It was doing a pretty damn good job of doing so. But to be honest folks, I really don’t think the series would have made it that long in the first place. Marvel decided they wanted a teenage Spiderman series to come out with their new movie, which probably won’t be out till 2012. By then The Spectacular Spider-Man would have most likely been in its 5th or 6th season when the writing gets poor and show dies. If Marvel really wanted to capitalize on their new movie the best thing to do would be what they did. It’s just sad that a good series had to die because it came out at the wrong time. I don’t exactly have high hopes for the ending of this new animated series, but let’s hope that Marvel has finally figured out their problem and will go out on a good note this time.