I'm Just Sayin'…#80: April Firsts, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Young Justice and more

Heydi-hey everybody, we are back with our latest edition of…

And just to get it out of the way, I got some bad news, and some good news. First, the bad news: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN is not coming back.

…sigh. I had a really bad feeling about this the moment the program was pulled from network television after its, well, spectacular first season. It was the first time I had good reason to wake up early on a Saturday morning in years! I tried to see the logic in the move to Disney XD, but it just felt like the show’s days were suddenly numbered.

And sure enough, it was – replacing it, will be ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN:

The official description: Ultimate Spider-Man will tell a coming of age story, where hapless Peter Parker evolves from a naive teen hotshot to a true hero who comes to terms with his origins and abilities. Along the way, he will have to navigate challenging relationships with mentors and super-colleagues, and emerge with a better understanding of his parents’ legacy and his own destiny. Disney XD will be the primary worldwide platform for the all new series that launches in Fall 2011.”

Well, okay but…seems like you had that already. Just sayin’. Oh wait, I’ve got a little more, courtesy of “Spiderfan001″…

“Eric S. Rollman, president of Marvel Animation, offers his own description of the TV series…

‘Ultimate Spider-Man will be a unique journey exploring our favorite web-slinger as he teams up with other fan favorite Marvel Super Heroes in never before seen stories with a new life filled with great challenges, new friends, intense action and character growth.'”

So…tell me – does it sound to anybody else, like Marvel decided to dispose of this…

…its best animated series to date…brought to you by the guy who sixteen years ago came up with this…

…which I mention only so that you can have a proper frame of reference for what we’ve lost, just so that Marvel and Disney XD could instead give us what sounds a lot like this…

…except with Spider-Man? I wish I had the words, I really do…

Now that we’ve gotten the bad (face-palmingly bad) news out of the way, here’s some good news – Greg Weisman won’t be out of work for long, because look what’s coming soon to Cartoon Network!

 

Talk about landing on your feet! And how nice is that Robin costume design?!

As described on Aintitcool.com: “In Young Justice, being a teenager means proving yourself over and over—to peers, parents, teachers, mentors and, ultimately, to yourself. But what if you’re not just a normal teenager? What if you’re a teenage super hero? Are you ready to join the ranks of the great heroes and prove you’re worthy of the Justice League? That’s exactly what the members of Young Justice—Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis—will find out, whether they have what it takes to be a proven hero. This all-new series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and based upon characters from DC Comics. Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is the executive producer. Brandon Vietti (Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman Doomsday, The Batman) and Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, The Spectacular Spider-Man, W.I.T.C.H.) are the producers.”

So once again one universe’s loss is another’s gain, and there’s something to look forward to in the coming year. It’s a shame, really – for a short while, Marvel had their very own answer to Paul Dini…and now DC has two. I guess that’s the way the webbing dissolves, sometimes…

Incidentally – I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to convey how glad I am to be enjoying FANTASTIC FOUR again, but I will say this: comparing Jonathan Hickman’s writing on that book to Mark Millar’s, is like comparing tangerines to Cheeto’s. Both are orange, but only one of them’s good for you.

Speaking of my favorite target from Glasgow, Millar’s already moved on from his fantastic fail…KICK-ASS is in the theatres – your mileage may vary, on that one – and he’s already come up with a new comic under Marvel’s ICON imprint: NEMESIS:

Description :  “CIVIL WAR? Nothing. KICK-ASS? A warmup. What if the smartest, toughest costumed bad ass in the world was totally evil? Meet Nemesis. He’s systematically been destroying the lives of every police chief in Asia, and he’s now set his sights on Washington, DC. Between you and me, the police don’t have a chance. Do not miss the book that EVERYONE will be talking about by the creative team that made CIVIL WAR the biggest book of the decade.”

So, there you have it – all the violence of the 90’s…

…combined with the finest in writer/artist self-aggrandizement that pinnacled in the Twenty-Aughts to bring you…

…that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of twenty years’ worth of annoying comic book trends also known as, “What if Batman was a bad guy?” If it looks like a familiar concept, well…

…you wouldn’t be wrong. Although, in all fairness, NEMESIS asks a far more specific question: “what if Batman wore all white and was a bad guy?” So there is that…

Last but not least, I would be remiss if I didn’t join in with everybody else at the Nexus, as we’re all chiming in on this month’s theme – “April Firsts.” This time around, we’ve been talking about that one comic that pulled us in and made us into fans. This was a tough one for me, because I couldn’t think of just one particular comic. I had a couple pop into mind, such as MARVEL TAILS – STARRING PETER PORKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-HAM from 1983…

 …although as much as I love anthropomorphic superheroes, that wasn’t it. Of course, I was later moved by more mature fare, like SUPERMAN #22 from 1987…

…and BATMAN #424 from 1988…

…but as strong an effect that they had on me – I was 8 and 9 years old for each respective comic, and I still have them in my collection to this day – I admit I was too young to appreciate either story for what they were. And that was because I still saw it as disposable entertainment; I didn’t fully appreciate the medium, yet. Not as deeply as I would…

…after I first learned of these.

What made me a passionate comic book fan, in all honesty, wasn’t any specific comic. It was THE OFFICIAL MARVEL SUPER HEROES TRADING CARDS – these handy, accessible, kid-friendly guides to some of comicdom’s richest characters.

More than anything else, collecting and trading these cards with my fellow fifth-graders (and I still have a fat binder of them somewhere in my parents’ home!) taught me to care about these superheroes.

They taught me which stories mattered to which characters, they taught me what the characters were about; with something as simple as a Win/Loss stat, they taught me a very real-world lesson: that sometimes, the bad guys come out on top!

Before then, I just assumed that the heroes always triumphed in the end!

Suffice it to say – this was an insanely brilliant idea. I can’t imagine a better way to get a kid into comic books using a medium that they love, such as trading cards. I can only wonder sometimes just how many thousands of people who read comics now, do so because of these.

AND NOW, JUST CUZ I FEEL LIKE IT…

 

Alright that’s it from me this go ’round – I’ll be back atcha with more next time and until then, I’m Greg Manuel and I’m just sayin’, is all…

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