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WEISMANSWERS 2009-05 (May)

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Brad writes...

You answered my question about Morbius by saying that you could only confirm plans for Hobgoblin and Scorpion, but I guess what I really wanted to know was if you could actually use him at all? I've heard the 90's show had many problems clearing him for the network, not allowing him to use his fangs or say the word 'blood' (opting instead for suction cups in his hands and a desire for 'plasma'.)

Loved the first two seasons and particularly the framing devices used in the second (nice touch with the Opera), anxiously awaiting a season 3.

Greg responds...

No comment on Morbius. Thanks for the kind words.

Response recorded on May 14, 2009

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Bazell writes...

Glad this site is back up and running. I hope you got everything done that you needed during the hiatus.
Spectacular Spider-Man has been, well, freakin' spactacular. As a life long Spider-Man fan and current comic book reader, it is with an air of nerdy sophistication that I lend my compliments to all involved in the process.
Now that my nose is sufficiently brown:

I know that translations from one established medium to another require changes and adaptation, not only in terms of style but content as well. I don't pretend to know much about the official process of adapting a story into a new format, but watching many of these television shows and movies that are based on comic book (or novel) storylines that I am intimatly framiliar with often can leave me... wanting. Even in this current show, clearly many alterations of the original storyline have been made. Certainly some of the changes are for the purposes of pacing, keeping episode count down, updating things for modern audiences, etc. But other changes seem unneceassary in terms of such thing to the casual, yet involved, viewer like me. Now understand, I am in no way asking you to justify changes that have been made to a story I already know. If it was the EXACT same story, then I would know what's going to happen at all times. I am confident that changes you and your team have made have been for the purposes of telling the best Spider-Man story you could, so my question is this: what can dictate the changes you make? Also, I assume you must seek some sort of approval from Marvel or Lee/Ditko or someone... is that oversight strict, or are you given certain measures of freedom? Are there any changes you made that you regret? What aspects of the Spider-Man mythos did you consider sacrosanct beyond the obvious necessities about his origin story?

Thank you, as always, for the time you give us fans.

Greg responds...


Marvel approves everything. But I have to say, they've been great partners -- which of course to me means they seem to love what we're doing! ;)

Changes are dictated by all the things you mentioned above, but in adapting the property, we tried to follow what we came to call "The Five Cs": Make it Contemporary, Cohesive, Coherent, Classic and iConic.

When you lay eyes on any character for the first time, especially the villains, you want the viewer to say, "Wow, yes! That IS Doctor Octopus [or whomever]!" He has to be that iconic, that classic. But at the same time we want to make his look contemporary.

The same notion applies to storytelling. Over forty plus years of continuity (with ideas coming from Lee/Ditko, Lee/Romita and everyone since including Bendis' Ultimate Spider-Man and the Raimi movies, etc.), there's going to be a ton of interesting characters and story ideas, but there's also going to be considerable duplication, a false start here and there, conflicting interpretations, etc. Having the advantage of hindsight when looking at this wealth of material, we strived to make the show more coherent and cohesive than the original.

This in turn helps it feel more contemporary. Storytelling has changed over the last set of decades, and a modern audience is more sophisticated with more stringent expectations. For example, just having every villain (and your hero) created from random exposures to radiation is a bit tough to swallow... on many levels. So -- as arrogant as I know it sounds -- we try to improve on the origins, by weaving characters and plotlines together, by limiting the sources of where someone can get super-powers, etc. Likewise, we may combine two characters that overlap so much that they fulfill the same function. For example, Bennett Brant + Mark Raxton/Molten Man = Mark Allan/Molten Man, or it did for us, anyway. Doing this made things more coherent and more personal to Spider-Man/Peter.

Having said all that, it was EXTREMELY important to us that the characters remained Classic and Iconic in the writing as well as the visuals. I STUDIED these characters and all the source material intensely. I tried to get down to the core essence of each character, i.e. what made him or her who he or she was to the reader. Flash is a bully, who deep down is actually an honorable guy. He's a guy who starts out as Pete's nemesis (and ironically Spidey's biggest fan) and eventually becomes both a decorated war veteran and one of the few people that Pete can count on. We knew we were starting with High School Flash, but we wanted to plant seeds of the guy we knew he'd become.

On the other hand, I studied Shocker. Great powers. Fun battles. Iconic costume. Secret i.d. = a cypher. Yes, we know his name, but there's nothing about Herman that makes him special. So in an attempt to make our universe more cohesive and coherent, I combined Montana with Shocker. I don't make that decision likely, and I do get that this bothers some folks, but it really felt like it worked in the context of our series, and Marvel agreed.

Another example: The Green Goblin was introduced as a mystery. Stan and Steve kept us guessing as to who was the man behind the mask for years. That mystery seemed FUNDAMENTAL to the character. And yet we knew that the audience knew that Norman Osborn was the Goblin. So how do you create a fundamentally necessary mystery when the audience already knows the answer? The solution was misdirection. Many people still guessed or assumed that Norman was the Goblin, but some people were fooled (at least briefly) and because I was NOT above making Montana into Shocker, seeds of doubt were planted. There's been (thankfully) a lot of positive feedback on our second season finale. And many people said something along the lines of, "Even though I knew it was Norman Osborn, you still kept me guessing." That's exactly what we hoped would happen.

This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other examples. But it should give you something of a window into our very exacting process.

Response recorded on May 14, 2009

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Hello Greg,

While I was looking in the GargWiki for information about the Olympians, I saw that you wanted to know the Ancient Egyptian name for the Egyptian pantheon.

The word which can be translated as "god" is _netcher_ or _netjer_, feminine _netcheret_ or _netjeret_, plural _netcheru_ or _netjeru_. TCH and TJ are just ways to spell the CH sound at the beginning and end of English "church," without confusing it with the German or Greek CH. As with every Ancient Egyptian word, the vowels were never written down, so the vowels in netjer and netjeru are speculatively added to make N-TJ-R and N-TJ-R-W pronounceable.

Netjeru refers to all the deities, including large numbers of minor deities who are servants to the greater deities, and who are often referred to in English as "demons" or "spirits." Netjeru sometimes also include other beings: deified mortals, the _akhu_ or souls of the dead, and divine beings like Ammut and Apophis that were not worshipped. Netjeru can also include the _bau_, which are "manifestations or emanations" send forth from a deity.

I do not know if netjer was also used to refer to gods of other religions, but I'm guessing it was.

What I have told you comes from Richard Wilkinson's "The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt." In my non-expert opinion this is one of the best books on Egyptian Mythology that I have seen for the non-specialist.

Greg responds...

Wow, that's seriously helpful, both the info and the reference book. I'm definitely buying that book! Thanks.

Response recorded on May 14, 2009

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Anonymous writes...


Can we see th Chameleon in season three?

Can we see the Lizard in season three, too?

Will Sandman be back in season three?

Will Rhino return for a third season?

Do you have plans for Doc Ock be in more than one episode for season three?

Is Venom going to be back for season three?

Can Mysterio be back in season three?

~ Thanx

Greg responds...

And again, no comment. NO COMMENT on what's planned for Season Three, beyond the arrival of Hobgoblin and Scorpion. Those are two BIG spoilers. And I'm not giving out any others.

Response recorded on May 14, 2009

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BackLash writes...

Hello sir,

1. In episode 9 "The Uncertainty Principle, who was that "cheerleader" in the ping wig and green jacket, hanging out with Flash and the "girls"?
2. How come Montana is the Shocker in the show?
3. If there is later seasons, will Bluebird or Prowler make appearances?

Greg responds...

1. Uh... honestly, it's been so long since I saw that episode, it's hard to remember which guy was wearing the pink wig. Was it Rand? Kenny? Hobie? Tiny?

2. I've addressed this. Check the archives.

3. No comment.

Response recorded on May 14, 2009

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Branden Harvey writes...

The show is great. I LOVED both seasons (especally Final Curtain). I have a few questions:

1. SPIDEY SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If Norman framed Hary in The Uncertainty Principle, how come Harry was switching back and forth between himself and the Goblin persona?

2. SPIDEY SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In First Steps, how was Eddie able to make a web when he didn't have the symbiote on?

3. How long will it take after you get the ok for a third season to produce the season and make it available for television?


Greg responds...


1. Huh?

2. He created a web-shooter, since he had all of Peter's memories.

3. About ten months, give or take.

Response recorded on May 13, 2009

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Anonymous writes...

Hello Mr.Greg Weisman i want to give some compliments about Spectacular Spider-Man.
Doctor Octopus is one of my favorite Spider-Man Villains(others are Venom,Green Goblin,Lizard And Carnage).I like him very much in your show.In 90's animated series he was good,but later was just henchmen for Kingpin like much villain in 90's show.In your show he is very cool and evil character.In all of his episodes best were Reaction And Shear Strenght(that's my opinion)and there he was 100 percent EVIL(Like he should be).I also liked how in Group Therapy he showed interested in Symbiote,and in Gangland he said that criminal empire should be run like a science.You should make storyline where Dock Ock wants to test Symbionte or Become Monster-Ock(Like one of Spider-Man Games) in Season 3 or 4.Also for some reason i think that he employed Chameleon to steal Symbiote in Persona.
Idea to make episode arcs In Spectacular Spider-Man was brilliant,and Big Three(Venom,Doctor Octopus,Green Goblin)has 2 their own arcs.Venom has Symbiote and Venom arcs.Green Goblin Got First Green Goblin Arc and Return of Goblin Arcs.Doctor Octopus has Master Planner Arc And Gang War Arc.And they are like Main Villains in your show and they done worse things than any other villain.I don't like that some fans are saying that some episodes are fillers,but i don't think that way.Good luck developing storylines in future.
And i have one question.Do you plan to add another crime lord to Spectacular Spider-Man?

Greg responds...

To me, none of our episodes are filler. Certainly, none were INTENDED as filler All serve multiple purposes and hopefully tell a great story. But I'm biased, obviously.

Response recorded on May 13, 2009

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Kyle Tonarella writes...

hey greg not really a queation just wanted to show you a video where the nostalgia critic added lyrics to the gargoyles theme.


Greg responds...

Yeah, I'd seen that. But thanks.

Response recorded on May 13, 2009

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Sage Vega writes...

Hey Greg, I'm Sage. Here are my questions, I'm a huge fan of thh new spider-man show and I've watched the first season 5 times. I haven't seen the second season yet, but I was wondering... On season 3, could you add the Spot into the frey. Because He's my favorite funny bad guy, Besides he might give Spidey a big headache by goofing around with him a lot.

Greg responds...

I know this must sound obnoxious, but I'm NOT taking requests. Doesn't mean Spot won't appear; doesn't mean he will. (I'm not going to reveal that at this point.) It just means I have an overall plan already, that's been constructed with some intricacy. I can neither pull nor replace a thread without the whole thing unravelling. Sorry.

Response recorded on May 13, 2009

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anonmous writes...



**Fine, don't blame me if you get spoiled.**

...Or maybe you can. It's your call.

[EDIT; WHOOPS!! Somehow part 2 got approved before part 1. That was most certainly not my intention. Sorry about that.]

Anyway, hello, sir. Nice to see you're taking questions again.

I've seen all the episodes for season two. It was an excellent season, but to be honest, it was also a disappointing one. I'd like to share my thoughts on this season's episodes, if I may, and tell you what I loved, what I didn't care for, and what episodes I thought were the best/worst of the new season...

Part 1 of reviews

This was one great episode. I loved how this was an introduction to Mysterio that didn't just adapt "The Amazing Spider-Man", vol. 1, #13, which was Mysterio's comic debut. It was good to see the Connors back and that Peter gets a second chance working with them, and thanks to Norman Osborn of all people! Loved Stan Lee's cameo, it was great to see everyone back, and the look of Mysterio was awesome. Also, loved, loved, LOVED the saloon fight with Spider-Man and the army of Mysterio robots. It's good to see that Mysterio is actually a hand-to-hand fighter against Spidey in addition to being the master of illusion. Mysterio never fought Spidey on the Fox Kids Spider-Man series, which I always hated, but here, Mysterio is just great. The gargoyle Homunculi robots that Mysterio used were also great. Can't go wrong with those little critters. The ending with Spidey not recognizing Quentin Beck had me laughing and the Tinkerer appearance was also nice. Great to see Beck escaped going to jail by using a robot double. And Master Planner makes himself known when he talks with Tinkerer on the phone. Very nice. As for Osborn's final scene, never thought I'd think seeing a guy picking the pieces off a cracked egg could be so dang creepy in all my life. So, Osborn's mentoring Peter now, huh? Does Osborn suspect something about Peter and wants to keep a closer eye on him? Hmm...

My only major complaint with "Blueprints" is the voice of Mysterio. We all know Beck is a better sfx maestro than an actor, but come on! His voice is too over the top and way too hammy, even for Mysterio. I was expecting Xander Berkeley to have a voice for Mysterio that was gruffer, kind of like the voice he used for the evil sheriff he played in "Shanghai Noon" or something like that. I hope in season three that Beck takes acting lessons and gives Mysterio a better voice. Just because Mysterio looks a bit silly, wearing a fishbowl helmet and all, it doesn't mean he has to SOUND silly too. This isn't a complaint against you personally, but I think someone should fix this and tell Mr. Berkeley to change Mysterio's voice to make it less cheesy.

"Destructive Testing":
This was a great, GREAT intro for Kraven. This is my favorite version of Kraven to date. The addition of Calypso was also wonderful, as I hated the Mariah Crawford version we got on the 90s series. Debra Whitman pops up, Miles Warren gets some more focus, and Kraven gets an upgrade. Uh...okay, I didn't like the latter being in this episode. It was simply too quick to change Kraven. It's not that I didn't like the idea of it, but I thought this should have been done later in the season or the next season, but still, it was nice to see Miles Warren give Kraven his new powers and lion-like look. I just wish we saw Kraven look human a bit more first. I mean, we barely got a chance to get used to normal-looking Kraven, and then he looks like an animal with his next bout with Spider-Man. And the part where Calypso and Kraven are together at the end just felt...wrong. Granted, it's nice to see Calypso is still with Kraven given his new appearance, but it looks a bit cartoony and is the supervillain version of Beauty and the Beast. I swear, I was expecting Cogsworth and Lumiere to pop up and break into a kiddie song. Still, it was a great episode overall, and another great tease for the Master Planner.

This is my fourth favorite episode of the season. Everyone's wondering whether or not the inmate Cletus with the red hair and Santa hat is really Cletus Kasady/future Carnage, or maybe a relative of Beavis. Regardless, the cameo is nice and this episode is simply wonderful. I didn't buy, though, that Electro was suddenly liking being a villain, but then I didn't get that part of "group Therapy" in season one. In "Group Therapy", Electro wants a cure from Doc Ock when at the dinner table but throughout the episode, he insists people call him Electro? Weird. The reforming Doc Ock was nice and I liked how Dr. Kafka stood up for him, even if she did get zapped down by Electro by intervening. I thought the Sinister Six would attack all at once again, but alas, no such luck. It's also bizarre that Shocker is not included to join the team, but perhaps it's due to Shocker working for Hammerhead/Tombstone. Remember, in "Group Therapy", Montana tells Ock that Mr. H says they're available. Also, I like Mysterio's voice when he talks normal, like when Mysterio talks to Rhino about why Tinkerer couldn't be a member of the Sinister Seven that Master Planner mentions. Once he's fighting AS Mysterio, though, he still hams it up. Oy. Despite this, I especially love the introduction of Blackie Gaxton here. It's nice to see classic Spidey characters introduced, especially for the first time on an animated series. I really hope we have a Doctor Octopus/Gaxton meeting in the future. I loved seeing Peter and everyone from his school ice skating and the team-of-two Sinister Six pairings. Seeing Peter burn his tongue on his hot drink and have him try to quip as Spidey was just priceless. Spidey has some of the funniest lines ever in this episode, and my favorite is when he sees Jameson with the Santa cap on ("Lock your chimneys, folks."). The Rhino and Sandman pairing was my favorite, and Rhino's reaction when he realizes Spidey's tricked him had me rolling ("I hate you...so much."). It was neat to see that Master Planner had Tinkerer free five out of the Six members, though I wished Rhino was arrested rather than Mysterio so we'd see Doc Ock lead the original Sinister Six. The best part was with Tinkerer breaking out Doc Ock with his own tentacles, and Doc Ock screaming "NOOOOOOOO!!" in horror just gave me goosebumps. Finally, the ending was very nice when Peter gave Aunt May her present. Great work.

"Shear Strength":
Another brilliant episode, and we even get a cameo by Morris Bench/future Hydro-Man. Best of all, we learn the voice of Bench is Patrick Star himself, Bill Fagerbakke! PLEASE say he returns to voice Hydr-Man next season!

So Doc Ock is the Master Planner? Wonderful! I don't care how he managed to keep in touch with everyone from Ravencroft, especially since that place needs MUCH better security anyway. This was Doc Ock at his best and much, MUCH better than how he's been portrayed in the comic books in years. Mysterio, you need Doc Ock as your acting coach after his convincing performance in the previous episode. THIS is how you fool people. So Ock wants to gain control over the internet and he's got no problem with abducting Gwen Stacy so that he can force her father into getting him what he wants. I also love the new chip you gave Ock that grants him new control over his arms, though I still feel to this day he should have had complete mental control over his arms anyway once his harness was fused to his skin in "Reaction". Anyway, we get Tinkerer, Vulture, and Electro thrown in for good measure. The fights between Electro and Spider-Man and then Ock's fight with Spider-Man were very well done and exciting. You guys know how to keep a guy hooked with good fight sequences. Best of all, we get to see Spider-Man to reenact the same famous scene where he lifts the debris off of him from "The Amazing Spider-Man", vol. 1, #33. You guys actually improve upon that iconic image when Spidey's own might tears part of his outfit when he's lifting the machinery off of him. My only complaint in the episode is that Doc Ock didn't take Electro with him when he escaped. They have a bit of a mentor/pupil relationship, and Electro himself even says he worshipped Ock in "Reinforcement". Did Doc Ock leave Electro behind because he was upset with him for trashing his lab after he ordered him to stand down, or did he merely not want to risk being caught by Spider-Man by not picking Electro up when he was making his escape? Or maybe he was just so eager to ditch Spider-Man in his ruined lab and leave him to die that he forgot? Whatever the reason, it kind of gave me pause. Thankfully, Spidey took him out when he left with Gwen so we know we'll see more of Electro in the series. In all, it's one of the best episodes of the season -- and the series. It's my third favorite for season two.

"First Steps":
At first I thought, "A solo Sandman story? Why? We could be seeing a new villain introduced instead and we just saw him in 'Reinforcement'." Of course, that was BEFORE I saw this episode, and man, it was a gem. I was pleasantly surprised with this one, with Spider-Man mocking Sandman for still comitting the same petty thefts he did as Flint Marko when he could be using his powers for so much more. It also gives us a great line, where Spidey quotes "With great power comes great..." and Sandman adds "Gullibility!!" before punching him. We also get more out of Hammerhead, which is cool because I love Mr. DiMaggio's scenes where he voices Sandman and Hammerhead together. We also get Sha Shan, and on this series, Sha Shan's voice actress is none other than "X2" co-star Kelly Hu! Sweet! The video segment moments for Flash's birthday party were nice, though I'll never think of the nickname "Flash" Thompson the same ever again. I'm a bit surprised this one got through the censors. Anyway, the best moment at the party, to me, was Rand's reaction with Sally when they were filming. I know you guys mean well, but MAN, I dislike Sally. How this girl will eventually become Bluebird is beyond me at this point. Sandman has some great moments of his own, especially the moment on the beach with the little girl and her sand castle. The ending was nice, though I still cringe at the memories of the sand-giant Sandman from the terrible, terrible "Spider-Man 3" film. However, Sandman's return at the episode's end and Eddie Brock's re-appearance in this episode made it all worth it. And now that Eddie has his symbiote back, we're gonna have a heck of a good time with Venom...

"Growing Pains":
I thought the transformation of John Jameson was kind of quick here, but who cares? This episode is brilliant. Not only do we get John Jameson playing hero (and later villain to Spidey) as Colonel Jupiter, we get Venom! The Venom moments were some of the best I've ever seen, with Venom's framing Spidey while in the black costume were nicely done. I'm a bit surprised that electricity is what stops John Jameson and that he's still a bit insane after what happened to him, but heck, we get a real reason for Jameson to genuinely hate Spider-Man. I assume he'll be bringing in Mac Gargan in the future to get revenge on Spider-Man for what he did to his son. I feel bad for John Jameson and hope he changes back to his own, sane self...even if we all want him to go through the misfortune of becoming Man-Wolf at some point in the future. To top it all off, we get quite possibly the best cliffhanger ending of all, where Venom breaks into the Bugle and announces that Peter is Spider-Man in front of his shocked co-workers!

"Identity Crisis"
Okay, seriously...great, great, GREAT work here, guys. This episode made me wish that this, THIS, was the Venom we got for "Spider-Man 3": ruthless, persistent, vile, and wanting nothing more than Spider-Man dead. I loved everyone's reaction to Ned Lee's question that Peter Parker could be Spider-Man. To me, the Connors and Aunt May had the best reactions, though Norman's simple "No." comment was effective and creepy. Maybe he already knows and won't tell anyone? Anyway, we even get a Quentin Beck cameo in prison during Ned's interview that foreshadows a later episode! Sweet! We also get Flash Thompson helping Spider-Man out and the return of Dr. Connors' gene cleanser. That's the only part of this story I don't buy. THAT is how Venom gets defeated? Granted, I know that Venom's vulnerability to sonic vibrations is how Spidey got rid of the symbiote and that it's unlikely we'll see Venom's weakness to fire animated. But really, what does this do to the symbiote? Does it mean it can't bond to Brock anymore? Does it change it so that it becomes a red symbiote for Carnage? Sigh. Season Three can't come fast enough to show us what the future holds for Eddie Brock and the symbiote. Although, I love how Eddie wanted the symbiote back and it's a bit heartbreaking that he has to hold onto his hatred in order to get the symbiote back because, otherwise, it wouldn't return to him and Eddie would feel that he'd have nothing left. Poor Eddie. Poor, INSANE Eddie, but poor Eddie nonetheless. However, I'm quite sure we haven't seen the last of Eddie Brock as Venom. He's too popular to keep away for long and the "Spectacular" version of Venom is my favorite of all time. Here, he's truly showcased as to why he's one of Spider-Man's most popular, deadliest and greatest enemies that the hero has to face off with. In the end, Peter's secret is safe and Captain Stacy makes his first hint he may know Peter's secret. Oh, man, that was just wonderful! I'm going to bet that, as of now, the only ones who know for sure that Peter is Spider-Man are Captain Stacy and Mary Jane Watson. I'm pretty sure M.J. knows already, like how she knew from nearly the beginning in the comics.

I'll mention the other episodes shortly...



Greg responds...

Again, no new chip in Ock. This is the same chip that fused to his spine from the beginning. It's always given him complete control over his arms. But that doesn't explain what POWERS the arms.

Response recorded on May 12, 2009

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