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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Original Animated Series
Season 3 - Volume 2


Starring (voice): Paul Soles, Peg Dixon and Paul Kligman
Clear Vision
RRP: £14.99
Certificate: PG
Available 01 April 2010

This release incorporates the final seven episodes of the original Spider-Man animated series. The running time is 2 hours, 25 minutes. One of the episodes is split into two separate tales. Those of you who have read my reviews of the previous releases in this particular series will remember my preference for the split episodes, because generally the brief plots can't sustain a 20 minute time slot. Shorter and punchier tales are the order of the day. Season one was in this format, and Volume 1 of season 3 returned to it. However, the stories here are a little stronger, but negated by returning villains for the pure and simple purpose of re-using much of the same animation that has been seen before. There doesn't appear to have been any remastering conducted on the picture and sound, and in Up From Nowhere there is a dark shadow across the print which to all intents and purposes resembles the ear piece from a pair of glasses.

In Up From Nowhere, Dr Atlantean uses alternative technology to threaten the world above the ocean depths and trap New York within a bubble; in Rollarama, SM enters a realm of sentient plants in a bid to stop a destructive growing tumbleweed (yes, really!); in Rhino, the human battering ram steals gold to fashion a statue of himself (I'm certain this episode has already been included in a previous release); in The Madness of Mysterio, the ex-movie special effects and stuntman attempts to defeat SM by means of post hypnotic suggestion; in Revolt in the Fifth Dimension, SM protects the data from an entire alien library from an evil force (this is arguably the best of the bunch here); in Specialists and Slaves, SM is sent on a diversion so that the Radiation Specialist (I'm sure he was called something else last time) can return to take over New York's only experimental nuclear reactor; in Down to Earth, Peter Parker travels to the North Pole to investigate the landing of a meteor from space, only to be confronted as SM with a primitive tribe, fantastical creatures and an active volcano; and in Trip to Tomorrow, SM regales a young boy with tales of his escapades.

This series holds fond memories for me from when I was young, but the central storylines are pretty basic and sometimes... just out there mad as a box of frogs. I would say that it just about outstayed it welcome. Whilst the 1990s animated Spider-Man lasted significantly longer, it had much more intricate and interwoven plots. One more point about the Original Spider-Man: why did almost all the villains have green faces?


Ty Power

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