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WEISMANSWERS 2009-03 (Mar)

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Chris England writes...

Is there going to be a Season 3 of Spectacular Spider-Man??? And if so, what Villains are U planning to introduce?

Greg responds...


We don't have a pick-up yet, but I hope we get one eventually. If so -- and if I'm still in charge, the only two villains I'm confirming are Hobgoblin and Scorpion. But obviously there will be more.

Response recorded on March 27, 2009

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Ed Reynolds writes...

Hey Greg,

Been meaning to thank you for putting my letter into Bad Guys #3. I don't always post issue rambles because by the time the comics cross the pond you usually have a lot queued up (and I don't always have time to read them through to make sure I'm not saying the same old things). Until the trade, suffice to say I've been having a blast with 'Bad Guys'.

But I wanted to talk about 'Spectacular Spider-Man' Season One. Which I adore. It is, again, old news, so I've tried to boil down a season's worth of rambles into eight specific, personal observations/comments/questions/recollections/gripes/quips/geek-outs.


Whisper it, but in a way I'm sort of glad the show is "limited" (ha) to the Spidey cast. Kingpin -- despite being born to ASM -- never felt to me ideal as a Spidey villain. The best Spidey villains are weird, lurid, misshapen, often animalistic and generally have some kind of duality. Kingpin's great but he's... a big man who's a big man. But Tombstone? He looks unusual, but he's smart, he's collected, he's got great lines and conveys a real sense of power. I love the "I've already peeked under the mask" discussion in "The Uncertainty Principle". And he has a terrific voice actor (with a nice warm-up by Keith David too). I'm sure if Kingpin had been on the table this show would have delivered up a great iteration, but Tombstone as The Big Man just has a real electricity to me. Alongside Green Goblin, he may be my favourite of the villains.


The episode I fell in love with the show. It just encompasses all the spheres of Peter's life. His troubles at school, his money troubles, the Bugle, his relationship with Harry and Gwen and May; plus lots of Norman and the Hammerhead. The conspiracy to create supervillains reminded me of the kind of interconnectedness we'd see on 'Gargoyles'. Along the way, we get Shocker, a villain I'd no recollection of at all but who has such fun lines, and Marko and O'Hirn who are a hoot. There are plenty of great banner episodes this season, but I want to single this out because it's not such an obvious candidate but is still jam-packed with tiny, human stories, with emotion and humour and a bit of a moral lesson too. (For the same reason, "Economics 101" is my favourite arc all told.)


I love all the episodes individually in this arc, especially the last two which get me misty-eyed in places (which isn't too hard cos I'm a huge sap, but still). But my vague problem with the arc for a long time was that it feels like a zero sum game where Peter is the object of the story and not the subject.

Through a sequence of terrific luck the symbiote smashes into John's ship, ends up in the ESU lab (which has been trashed twice in two months) and when Spidey arrives just in time to foil Black Cat and Chameleon, it hitches a ride. Dicey, but I'm in there. Then the symbiote makes Peter think things he'd never normally think (but are amplifications of his id?) and wins fights for him. Pete realises the thoughts aren't his and, duh, removes the symbiote. A valuable lesson learnt? Well, he was grateful for "this amazing woman" looking out for him in episode 1, and doesn't seem especially more clued into where his friends are at in episode 13. He embraces his spider-side at arc's end too when he sees May in the hospital and asks the fantastic question, "shouldn't my first responsibilities be to the people who rely on Peter Parker?"

I appreciate playing the symbiote as kind of lubricant for a host's id makes sense in light of Venom. It's much better executed than the last film (which I hated), and produces a slew of amazing scenes. But it still feels a bit of a cheat somehow...

It does work for me though as a contrast to Eddie who has all Peter's knocks -- lost parents, lost job, lost 'bro' -- and makes the wrong choices. (I was a bit sad we didn't get a chance to see Eddie's memories like we saw Pete.) And as I say, the episodes individually are brimming with wonderful moments.


When this Venom was revealed at the end of 'Intervention' my brother wowed. It took me until next episode to get on board 100% because the tongue action felt extreme even for Venom but I love Cheeks' version of the character. I love that he's chunkier, wider, that the horror trappings are used to interesting effect (such as the chest-mouth) rather than just being lots of icky goo and slimy teeth. Cheeks and all the character designers really rock their subjects in this show. Electro is just genius, taking a silly-looking design, preserving what makes it classic and rendering it utterly cool. Betty feels really fresh. And I'm a big fan of the ethnicity-switches -- just in terms of distinguishing the cast at a glance, making Liz Hispanic is great sense, and Ned Lee has a memorable look whereas I just plain don't recall what Ned Leeds looked like, despite having read issues with him not so long ago.


Another quiet triumph of the show. I've not read that much Spider-Man but I don't really recall the original Martha doing much except crying (and dying, apparently). But this one's a smart, professional woman and mother with a tough love attitude and a bit of cynicism next to Curt's dreamer. I particularly like her scenes with Gwen.


I was delighted they put all the episodes on UK Itunes. Less delighted that two had the sound a second out of sync and a handful more have occasional colour glitches. More delighted that they refunded me for the faulty episodes. Less delighted that several months on, they still haven't been fixed. Bleh. But episodes 4, 6 and 8-13 look stunning...

7. DVDs

I have mixed feelings about the idea of the edited-together movies. Granted, I LOVE the way the arcs play... but week-to-week. A climax and a new arc always just around the corner. And the end-of-episode mask is one of my favourite staples of the show. And the titles! I remember a bunch of words and phrases I first heard on cartoons or comics as a kid. "Frozen assets" I first came across as the title of a 'Ducktales' episode for example. "Introspective" was a word I first heard on 'Gargoyles'. I hope today's kids carry these titles with them like I did. "The Uncertainty Principle" is a particularly clever one if you buy into "it was Norman all along" theory: in the process of looking for something ("I know you're Norman Osborn!") it changes. And "The Invisible Hand" -- genius!

I hope the box set has some cool extras. I'm keeping my fingers crossed especially for commentaries and the audio/storyboards for cut scenes which weren't animated.


One thing I love most about the 'Gargoyles' universe is that these tiny little background characters turned out not just to be footnotes but rounded, interesting people just waiting to step into the spotlight. People like Vinnie and the Jogger and Sarah. SSM has a bunch of these that have caught my attention:

- The family with the fair-haired comic-reading boy and purple-dress girl who appear repeatedly, not least in the title sequence. Spidey rescues the mother in "The Invisible Hand" (the music and direction on that scene are excellent, btw -- I got a real adrenaline buzz from it!)
- Norman's bald heavies with dark glasses.
- The couple Spidey webs together in "Reaction"; the guy at least turns up in "Nature vs Nurture".
- Tombstone's bodyguards.
- Hammerhead's driver!

Plus, characters I don't think have recurred but who I think were pretty nifty:

- Gobby's goon in "Catalyst".
- Aunty Em's nephew who'll rob the piggy bank but won't touch the cookie jar (hilarious!).
- The Big Man's goon with the binoculars who follows Spidey in "Market Forces".
- John's space shuttle crew -- one of them looks like she could be related to Glory.
- The kid who videos Spidey in "Interactions".

I know you've declared an intention not to make any new "named" characters though. So will these guys be nameless wonders until a precedent crops up, or the Blue Fairy puts them in ASM; or is there a chance for any of them to break out if the show survives long-term?

For that matter, do they ALREADY have names from the canon? I know a couple more of the school's background characters get names and identities in Season 2, I've seen plausible speculation for someone on the second list, and I have my own Big Theory for someone on the first list.

Also, is Benny at the Bugle from somewhere or is he a tribute to your son?

Thanks for a great, great series Greg (and to everyone else involved). I really hope the show gets picked up and as many of the team as possible can come back.

Greg responds...


1. I still hope to do Kingpin some day, but I'm very glad things worked out the way they did. Now, if we ever do get Kingpin, we'll have TWO great characters.

2. Thanks. It's all part of a whole to me.

3. Well, without the symbiote, we'd be missing two VERY significant revelations for Peter, i.e. Peter would not have learned without it. 1. His decision to pour the gene cleanser down the drain is a revelation. 2. His own feelings for Gwen is a revelation.

4. Thanks. We're beyon happy with Cheeks' stuff. And I'm feeling pretty good about the choices we all made.

5. Thanks, we like Martha too. Of course, much credit should go to the wonderful Kath Soucie, who provides her voice.

6. Ugh.

7. Well, the business plan for the DVDs changed at some point, so the second and third releases contained only the as-aired episodes, despite the fact that we edited movies for the first five arcs. They also plan to release a season set this summer.

8. Keep your eyes peeled for the couple he webbed up in "Reaction". Their story is NOT over. And the kid who tried to get the picture of Spidey in episode 2 has been revealed in episode 17 as: THE MANAGER OF THE SILVER SPOON!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Anyway, some of them have or will get names from the canon. Some never will. But I do think having recognizable faces and unexpected connections are fun for the audience. Well, in any case, they're fun for me, so I'm gonna keep doing it. As for Benny... well, Benny and Erin (and Vic's kids Hannah and Jack) are, uh, from the canon, of course. Really Marvel, they are! Honest! Put the paddle away!!


Response recorded on March 27, 2009

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Jesse B. writes...

As I've been following the second season on Teletoon for the past few months, "The Spectacular Spider-Man" has been the first thing to come along in my entire life that has actually made me look forward to waking up Sunday mornings. That alone is no small accomplishment. What is an even greater accomplishment is that the first two seasons of this phenomenal show have established a new definitive interpretation for the character. While the series hasn't quite finished here in Canada, I will still highlight the fact that the event that ends the second season has effectively made these twenty-six episodes equivalent of the original Lee-Ditko run of The Amazing Spider-Man. For decades those issues have been the central foundation upon which all interpretations of Spider-Man have drawn from. These first two seasons, however, have shattered that foundation and created a new standard for the character. Even if SSM is not continued (heaven forbid), I sincerely hope that all future incarnations use the first two seasons of your series as their basis. I simply can't accept anything less at this point.

I have a few comments and questions from season two which I had hoped to share with you, but I'm sure that you'd rather keep your column free from major spoilers as the series airs in the States. As such, I'll submit more questions as each arc airs on Disney XD. For now, here are a couple of more general things:

1) I realize that this series has an enormous cast to juggle, but what on earth happened to Robbie Robertson? I don't think any major character has gotten the shaft as badly as he has! He has some interplay with Jonah, but we don't see any scenes of him interacting with Captain Stacy or even his own son! Is this going to be rectified soon?

1)Is it just me, or are Jean DeWolff and Stan Carter the only two cops in the Midtown area? I understand the need to to build familiarity with those characters for future stories, but their overexposure has been a bit silly. I also noticed in one episode that Jean referred to Stan as “Sarge”, which got me thinking: what are the current police rankings for these two characters? Jean would have to be a lieutenant by now if there's any hope of her becoming a captain within the span of this series, but her comment gives me the impression that this isn't the case.

That's all for now! Here's hoping that season 3 has a pick-up by the time you reply to this message!

Greg responds...

Thank you for the kind words. They are very gratifying, truly. But I can't agree that we've SUPPLANTED the original Lee-Ditko run. In fact, that seems patently preposterous. I'd hope any future incarnation of Spidey would return to the source material, as we did on this show. A copy of a copy quickly loses any sense of true definition. No matter how good we may think the original copy was.


1. Uh... look... I don't think Robbie got short shrift if one views the series with any sense of proportion. Granted we have a LARGE and quite wonderful ensemble. But this is NOT an ensemble show. This is a show about Peter Parker. Period. Keep in mind we have less than 20 minutes of new content per episode. With that as a given, the storylines we choose to deal with and depict on screen must effect Peter, either directly or indirectly OR they must be about us laying pipe for things that will eventually effect Peter down the road. I like to think in our limited screen time, we find moments to characterize a TON of characters in small ways that are independent of our lead. But that's gravy. At this point, Robbie's life isn't intersecting much with Peter's life. And I can't spare screen time for a conversation between Rand and Robbie that's ONLY about Rand and Robbie. And of course, this doesn't just apply to Robbie. I'm sure everyone's got his or her favorites, and in some ways there isn't a single character that hasn't gotten short shrift. In fact, there isn't a single character that I wouldn't like to spend more time on. If these were one hour episodes, we'd have a lot more breathing room. But they're not. And, yes, I can already here someone out there saying, "Hey, I could have done with less of [fill in the blank] in order to afford more time with [fill in the blank]." But the obvious problem there is that one man's [fill in the blank] is another man's [fill in the blank]. All I can do as head of story is try to keep my eyes focused on the main goal: THE EDUCATION OF PETER PARKER, and then try to do as much justice to everyone else as I can.

1. (You used the number 1 twice...). Stan is a sergeant. Jean is an officer. And, yes, I'm aware of the repercussions of that statement. As for your objection, I don't know what you expect me to say. Rather than agreeing that how we're executing this is silly, I think your objection is, well, silly. We've seen other cops. Alan O'Neil, Vin Gonzalez to name two that I actually CAN name. But of course, we're always going to start with Captain Stacy, Jean and Stan. Again, with limited screen time, why would I want to split the very, very few moments of characterization that I have for cops among so many that in effect no one gets any real screen time. And frankly how unrealistic is it that when 90% of our adventures are set in the Midtown area of Manhattan, that we have our two cops on the Midtown beat show up? We've tried NOT to use them when the adventure was clearly happening outside of Midtown. Have they been in the background in some of those cases? Maybe. We only have the budget to design so many characters, so if we needed to fill out a scene with cops, they may have been included even if they didn't belong. But they certainly didn't have any lines in that case.

I just reread the above, and it reads harsh - and given your praise of the show, vaguely churlish, even -- which isn't my intention. But the simple fact is the show can't do EVERYTHING. It has to pick its shots. I remember reading that Joss Whedon always felt bad about how little he used Buffy's dad. And he had 22 hour-long episodes per season. If it's any consolation, when we start any new season, we have index cards on the board for EVERY member of our large and growing cast as a reminder to track what is going on each of their lives. When those moments intersect with Peter (again directly or indirectly or with a view toward the future) I promise, we'll find some way to fit it in. That's the best I can offer.

Response recorded on March 27, 2009

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Jack-Pumpkinhead writes...

Dear Greg,
First off, le me say that I am ecstatic to see you back answering fan questions. This kind of connection with fans is why you and Bill Willingham are two of my favorite writers. Now then, on to a question or two;

What kind of cases did Bluestone and Hacker work in the FBI? From what I've seen on TV and what my mom has told me (she's a forensic scientist), the FBI has numerous smaller bureaus for fraud, kidnapping, behavoir analysis, etc.

Greg responds...

I'm not answering that at this time.

Response recorded on March 26, 2009

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Marjorie writes...

Hi Greg,

Just finished season two of Spider-Man, and it was amazing. My question is, how do things look for season three? Do you have the green light yet? And more importantly, is there anything the fans can do to help the show out? I plan to buy the DVD sets when they're released and I tell all my comic book friends about it. Anything more we can do?

Greg responds...

If you have a Nielson Box (and even if you don't, but especially if you do), watch the show on Disney XD, so that our ratings soar. Buy SpecSpidey DVDs and Hasbro toys. We're all hoping for a third season pick-up, but it hasn't happened yet. (The ratings for Monday's airings should be out today. Hopefully, they'll help not hurt our cause.)

Response recorded on March 26, 2009

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Landon Thomas writes...

In 'The Mirror', I appreciate the real-world reason why the human-form Manhattan Clan gargoyles look the way they do, namely that they more or less represent their respective voice actors. But I also like the cohesiveness it gives the Gargverse when you give a canon/in-show reason for something. In that spirit, when Goliath turns into a human analogue, why does he have darker skin--or appear to be of a different racial group--than the others who appear to be more Scottish?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on March 26, 2009

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Okay, so the second season of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" will be airing hear in the U.S. in March. However, Canada premiered it today. I saw it, and now I'm reviewing it. How did I see it? ::shifty eyes::

Okay, it's snowing, and I am reminded of why I'm glad I live in Los Angeles and not New York City anymore. I hate that weather. Spidey is pondering what to do about Gwen, when all of a sudden he's attacked by Venom. But wait, wasn't Eddie Brock separated from the symbiote at the end of season one? Yes. This was a nightmare. But a really cool one.

And this week's villain is both one of the cheesiest, and a personal favorite of mine. Mysterio, and I love this take on him as a faux sorceror, complete with "Gargoyles" style Latin incantations. I just love the way he's talking in this. Summoning tiny little gargoyles and holographic wyverns.

"It seems Mysterio is the master of talking about himself in the third person." -Spidey. Yeah... that's Dr. Doom's job.

Spidey jumped into the freezing East River, and I'm getting chills just thinking about it.

Is that Miles Warren? Keep the lecherous old creep away from Gwen, please. We all know what that will lead too.

And Peter gets reinstated in the Conners' lab. Money talks, all Norman Osborn needs to do is speak. I love how he's now playing mentor to a reluctant Peter Parker. This is going to be interesting.

I loved the battle sequences between Spidey and Mysterio. He's so cheesy, he's great. That's what's great about Mysterio, you can just go crazy and have fun with him.

Mysterio shouted "Fulminos venite!" and lightning struck. That made me happy.

The climax, when Spidey unmasks Mysterio, and has no idea who he is had me in stitches. Quentin Beck is more of a ham than Anton Sevarius. Like Mason said, "actors..."

"As the waaaaiiiiiter..." Beck needs to go back to acting school.

Liz is all over Pete, and he hasn't spoken to Gwen yet. Uh oh.

"I figured Jonah would never unclench enough to..." Was there an edit here? Feels like it.

And why is Norman peeling an egg so creepy?

Spot the voice actor: Stan Lee as... himself. Well, Stan the Dock Worker. Loved that.

Greg Weisman as, I assume, Donald Menken... he was Norman Osborn's bespectacled assistant in the comics for a time, and a Hobgoblin suspect. Nice Owen Burnett impression, Greg.

The Tinkerer finally speaks, and he's Thom Adcox. I love Thom, and I'm glad to hear him here. But if the Tinkerer drops his pants and kisses Electro, I'm going home. ;)

Nice cliffhanger with the Master Planner. Either he's Doc Ock like in the comics, or he's the Chameleon. We'll see. I'm hoping for Ock.

A good beginning for the new season.

Greg responds...


There was no edit. Pete was simply interrupted.

Response recorded on March 26, 2009

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Arthur Jr. writes...

Hey Greg, the second season had aired in Canada in January and I was able to see it on YouTube. You even did a good job when you joined the cast as Donald Menken.

Cletus Kasady and Morris Bench were featured in Season Two. While Cletus was featured as an inmate at Ravencroft in "Reinforcement," Morris Bench (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke) was Norman Osborn's demolition expert as seen in "Shear Strength."

If you get the okay to have Season Three made, I'd be interested in your plans for Scorpion and Hobgoblin. Courtney B. Vance was casted as Roderick Kingsley. If you plan Scorpion, I'm guessing Farley Stillwell (the one who created Scorpion on request of J. Jonah Jameson) will also be included.

The spores John Jameson was infected with in "Growing Pains" did occur in the comics. Sometime after that, he found the Godstone (an other-dimensional ruby) on the moon which caused him to turn into Man-Wolf when it grafted onto his throat. When I asked a Man-Wolf-related question which you answered "no comment" to, I was hoping that you might be able to get Frank Welker to provide Man-Wolf's vocal effects since Dee Bradley Baker is already doing Lizard if the Man-Wolf is used in your proposed Season Three.

Greg responds...

Was there a question in there?

Response recorded on March 26, 2009

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Demonskrye writes...

Approaching an old question from a different angle.

If you were to tell us right now what Titania whispered to Fox, would we understand what she meant? Or is it something that requires some background information, without which only the two of them would understand it?

Greg responds...

A casual viewer might not immediately get it, but I think a longtime fan would... and would at this point be thoroughly disappointed.

Response recorded on March 25, 2009

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Anthony Tini writes...

************* SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN SEASON 2 QUESTION *************


If it's not too much trouble, and you have the script handy, for fun it would be cool to see Mysterio's Latin dialogue and its English translation if you wouldn't mind typing that up for us fans of the Latin language. Thanks.

Greg responds...


Dormite! = Sleep!

Denique diatem efficacem inveni! = I have finally found an effective diet!

Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere! = I believe Elvis is alive!

Dormi! = Sleep!

Fulmina venite! = Come lightning!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas! = Thank you for not smoking!

Chelicerata. = Spiders (etc.).

Dormite! = Sleep!

Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere! = I believe Elvis is alive!

Elvem! = Elvis!

Dorm-- = Slee--

Nullae satisfactionis potiri non possum! = I can't get no satisfaction!

Denique diatem efficacem inveni! = I have finally found an effective diet!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas! = Thank you for not smoking!

Fulmina venite! = Come lightning!

Fulmina veni-- = Lightning co--

In toto ancto es! = You're in for a world of hurt!

Dormi! = Sleep!

I won't pretend I personally know for a fact that all of the above is 100% accurate, but we did consult multiple sources on both translation and pronunciation. It's as accurate as we could make it.

Response recorded on March 25, 2009

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