There are now as many Spider-Man animated TV series as there are Spider-Man movies, enough to fill a multiverse, and they all have their best moments. Spider-Man has been on the small screen for more than 50 years. There have been 9 animated television adaptations of Wall-Crawler’s adventures from the comics, all featuring unique versions of Web-Swinger, his friends, family, and enemies.
Various studios have been able to produce their version of the Marvel flagship character with mixed results. Some have some spectacular behind-the-scenes stories, regarding their creation, changes they were focused on making, and eventually the endings of some of the shows. Everyone has amazing moments for their screen time.
9 Spider-Man: Unlimited (1999) – “One is the loneliest number” (7.2)
Spider-Man: unlimited is the most unique incarnation of all Spider-Man cartoons, for better or for worse. It was the sequel to the iconic ’90s series and suffered from contractual restrictions imposed by Sony Pictures, which bought the rights to Spider-Man in 1999. The show was canceled after a never ending season.
Sony’s contract restricted Marvel and Fox from using supporting characters or stories that Sony planned to use in their upcoming movies and TV shows. Fortunately for Fox, this did not include Venom and Carnage, who were regulars on the series. The best episode of the series revolves around Venom and his alter ego, Eddie Brock. The two are separated and it’s up to Peter Parker to reunite them to save Eddie’s life by donning the symbiote himself.
8 Spider-Man (1981) – “The Capture of Captain America” (7.6)
the Spiderman the 1981 series is often overlooked. It was released the same day as Spider-Man and his amazing friends, a program that children of the 80s and 90s seem to have closer to home, for its funny cartoon adventures. Spider-Man 1981 opted for a faithful adaptation to the comics of the time. His animation style and character design were reminiscent of John Romita Sr and Spidey’s adventure work from the 1970s newspaper strips.
“The Capture of Captain America” is the most popular episode of the show. The episode focuses on Peter Parker’s boss, J Jonah Jameson, and his attempt to honor Captain America at an event hosted by the journalist. Red Skull finds out about the event and kidnaps Cap with the intention of changing his mind with him. It is up to Spidey to save Cap from the Red Skull, which he does by disguising himself as Captain America.
7 Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (2003) – “Mind Games” (7.8)
Sony’s purchase of the rights to Spider-Man ended Fox’s time with Wall-Crawler. MTV’s 3D CG version of Spider-Man was Sony’s first attempt at an animated Spider-Man show. The show coincided with the release of the blockbuster Sam Raimi Spider-Man films. It was intended to act as a bridge between the films in the franchise, in the same vein as Clone wars and the Star Wars prequels.
The show had a stellar voice cast that included Neil Patrick Harris as Peter Parker / Spider-Man and Michael Clarke Duncan, who reprises his role as Kingpin from the 2003 film Daredevil. The best episode of the series is part 1 of the finale of the show, where Peter Parker meets the mysterious Frank Elson, Spidey faces off against the Gaines Twins, while Silver Sable and Pterodax escape from prison.
6 Spider-Man (1967) – “The origin of Spider-Man” (7.9)
Spiderman (1967) is Spidey’s original animated show, arriving just five years after the character’s debut in Amazing Fantasy # 15. It seems fitting that the most popular episode in this series is the one revolving around the origin of Spider-Man.
This show remains relevant to this day for its nostalgia value and meme ability. Images from the show paired with comic captions have been iconic to fans on social media as well as fellow Animated Spidey’s. Josh Keaton has a YouTube series where he voices the show’s memes and it’s spectacular.
5 Spider-Man and his incredible friends (1981) – “Along Came The Spider” and “The origin of Spider-Friends” (8.0)
Spider-Man and his amazing friends it is one of two Spidey shows to debut in 1981. It is obviously the most popular, beating its counterpart. Spider-Man joins his fellow teenage superheroes, Iceman and Firestar. The show follows the trio’s adventures in typical campy cartoon fashion expected from the ’80s.
Two episodes are rated 8.0 on IMDb, the highest of the series. “Along Came The Spider” is an episode inspired by the impressive story of Spider-Man No More from the comics. After a battle with The Shocker that seriously injures Aunt May, Peter goes into a depressed state and contemplates giving up as Spider-Man. In “The Origin of Spider-Friends”, Stan Lee tells the story of how the three main characters became friends.
4 Ultimate Spider-Man (2012) – “The Spider-Verse Part 1” (8.6)
The last Spiderman It is Disney’s first attempt at an animated Spider-Man show, inspired by the popular comic book line of the same title by Brian Micheal Bendis and Mark Bagley. Like Spider-Man and his amazing friends, the Ultimate Spider-Man is joined by other teenage heroes, who differ from season to season.
The show featured a variety of wall-crawlers and web slingers beyond Peter Parker. The most notable introduction is Miles Morales, who first appears in Spider-Verse history before becoming part of Spidey’s Web-Warriors team. The first part of this story is the highest rated episode in the series and it’s easy to see why. Watching Peter Parker chase the Green Goblin through different dimensions is a next-level thing.
3 Marvel’s Spider-Man (2017) – “Generations” (8.8)
Marvel Spider-Man is the latest animated adaptation of the character, as well as Disney’s second, which replaces The last Spiderman. The previous Disney series ended on such a positive note with a satisfying conclusion that it was clear it had to end. However, modern Spider-Man comics, including those made after the The last Spiderman show created stories that were perfect for adaptations. This meant a new show had to be made and comics like Superior Spider-Man were adapted.
This series focuses on Peter Parker’s adventures at Horizon High with the Spider-Team and other teenage superheroes at school. This Spider-Man is more suited to the MCU version, someone who is still learning what it takes to be a hero. Season 3 subtitled “Maximum Venom” alluded to an exciting development for Peter and his schoolmates, with hints about a possible Young Avengers team, to come in future episodes. This season presents the best episodes of the series, which seems to be going from strength to strength.
2 Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994) – “Spider Wars: Goodbye Spider-Man” (9.2)
Spider-Man: The Animated Series of the 90s is the most remembered and one of the most beloved series of Spider-Man and in animated superhero shows in general. One reason for this is because, like Spider-Man’s own character, the show spans across generations. Thanks to the timing of its release, the reruns, and now the broadcast of the show has been a part of many Spidey fans’ childhoods. Unlike others on this list, it was given a long run, and while it’s not completely timeless, most of the show still stands.
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) there was the Marvel Animated Universe (MAU). The MAU was run by the Spider-Man series, similar to Iron Man in the MCU. The MAU had a wide range of shows and crossovers. The best episode of this series was a crossover episode, as well as the end of the show. In many ways, Spider Wars: Farewell Spider-Man was the original ending.
one The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008) – “Nature Vs Nutrition” (9.2)
Spectacular Spider-Man feels like a loser when it comes to animated Spider-Man shows. It seems to have been lost in the crowd of Spidey content, yet those who have discovered it rank it among the best Spider-Man content out there. The shame is that the show was stopped in its prime, when television rights reverted from Sony to Disney during its run, and Disney decided to make a show of its own rather than continue this version. On the bright side, it was recently added to Netflix.
The highest-rated episode comes from the season 1 finale and sees the anticipated showdown between Eddie Brock’s Venom and Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. What makes this showdown more intense than previous versions of other shows is that this one is based on the Ultimate version of Eddie Brock. This version has a stronger relationship between the two, Eddie is a close friend of Peter’s family and is seen as an older brother. Venom is the result of their father’s previous work being reworked. All of this leads to a fitting finale to the first season with promises of greatness to come.
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