In 1995 when the new Spidey TV series was launched, producer
John Semper said in an interview with a popular comics magazine
that the 1967-1970 Spidey TV cartoon was badly done and that
the early 1980s cartoon was rubbish.
For the producer of the 1990s series to take such digs at
his predecessors just invites the same harsh criticism of
his Spider-Man. I concur with all of the prior negative
comments about it. It looks and sounds like any superhero
cartoon of the 1990s, characterless and computerised, full
of soap opera and very little fantasy, and what's with the freaking ray guns being used by police and villains alike? Is Spidey a futuristic or contemporary hero? I always understood that Spidey's adventures, however fantastic, are supposed to be present-day.
They may have used the voices of actors like Efram Zembalist,
Roscoe Lee Browne, Martin Landau, Joseph Campanella, Mark
Hamill, and Ed Asner to give life to the characters, but the
look of the series and the overabundance of computer generated
backgrounds and gratuitious action sequences with dull incidental music denies it any real flair or individuality. There's more
audio-visual sophistication in a minute of the 1960s episode than in the 4 1990s ones combined. Gray Morrow's backgrounds bring New York City to abstract life while the techies of the 1990s only succeed in making New York look like a Nintendo game.
Also, this DVD is not without its flaws. There's aliasing around many of the lines both on characters and on backgrounds, and the 1960s episode could have done with some digital clean-up. I saw a shadowy "Place Commercial Here" at a break halfway through the
episode plus a lot of film grain.
Let's see more of the 1960s Spider-Man with a proper DVD release.
Now's the time for it with Spidey flying high at the movies.