DXD’s ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ Swings … And Misses

What would Spider-Man look like as strained through the juvenile, rapid-fire-joke filter of “Family Guy?” Disney XD’s “Ultimate Spider-Man,” unfortunately, seeks to find out.

Paired with the animated “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and premiering April 1 — all rather transparently to help cash in on, and beat the drums for, the upcoming Avengers live-action movie — “Ultimate Spider-Man” has an odd, Spidermanborscht-belt comedy quality to it, while pairing Spidey with teen versions of several established second-tier Marvel heroes (Power Man, Iron Fist, White Tiger, Nova), creating a sort-of alternative to DC’s “Teen Titans.”

If only they were that interesting. Instead, the group — assembled by S.H.I.E.L.D., with Chi McBride providing the voice of Nick Fury — spends a lot of its time bickering during the premiere. Granted, such squabbling is a Marvel staple, but here it plays like a bad episode of one of Disney XD’s live-action efforts aimed at tween boys.

The studio and channel are being shrewd about using Disney XD as a platform to showcase animated versions of Marvel characters, just as DC/Warner Bros. has done on Cartoon Network. Still, this high-profile misfire with “Spider-Man,” creatively speaking, doesn’t bode well for Marvel’s efforts to straddle the line of catering to kids without dumbing down venerable properties that plenty of adults know and love.

Admittedly, that’s a difficult challenge, but by that measure “Ultimate Spider-Man” is both a nice-looking swing and a pretty clear miss.

And as George of the Jungle used to say, watch out for that tree.


Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Voices News from Variety