Marvel Has A Spider-Man Animated Series Problem

By Christopher Isaac | Published

spider man animated series

Ever since X-Men ’97 got announced, fans have been unable to resist asking if that meant we might also be getting a Spider-Man ’98 to continue the ‘90s Spider-Man: The Animated Series. As it turns out, we are indeed getting a new Spider-Man cartoon, but it will be focused on Spider-Man’s early days and called Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. It might even very well be a good cartoon, but the problem is, so many people already had their hearts set on their Spider-Man nostalgia fix and it is going to make it hard for the new show to get a fair chance.

Marvel Should’ve Anticipated This

It is surprising that Marvel has put itself in this situation, as they are usually very good at catering to the fans. It is not like Spider-Man: The Animated Series was a complete show and Marvel had no reason to anticipate fans would want it to get a sequel series.

The original cartoon infamously ends on a cliffhanger with multiple storylines still not wrapped up. It would have made perfect sense to at least plan to give it one more season in the form of a revival.

This really seems like something that Marvel should have anticipated. If they knew X-Men: The Animated Series was popular enough to warrant a sequel series, how could they not know fans would also want Spider-Man: The Animated Series to get a follow up?

X-Men ’97 got approved for a second season very quickly, so Marvel definitely seems to want to give fans what they want. But now they are left in an awkward position.

Their Options

One scenario is that Marvel can forge ahead with only doing Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and just accept they will be inundated with constant comments asking where the continuation of the ‘90s cartoon is. The other option is that Marvel can additionally launch a continuation of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, but then Marvel is effectively competing against itself and risks splitting their audiences between the two shows.

A Meaningless Cameo Or A Hint About The Future?

It definitely seems like Marvel has further plans for their ‘90s era cartoons judging by the cameos that occurred in X-Men ’97. The Spider-Man: The Animated Series versions of Peter Parker and Mary Jane were some of the characters that appeared briefly.

That could have just been passing fan service, but it seems more likely it was an acknowledgement that the characters are popular enough that fans would be really excited to see them. If that is the case, it feels like a revival has to be on the horizon.

Why Not More Than One Series?

It is not unheard of for there to be multiple Spider-Man projects going simultaneously. We have the live-action Tom Holland films still going while the animated Spider-Verse films continue to be released. But live-action movies and animated movies arguably target different demographics.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and a sequel to Spider-Man: The Animated Series running at the same time could be oversaturating Marvel’s animated market when it has only just begun. And oversaturation has been a common criticism about their live-action movies, to the point they officially announced they are cutting back on their releases.

What Will Marvel Do?

It is a conundrum that has no easy answer but now Marvel has to find a solution. Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man is already seeing feedback of fans being disappointed that it is not the Spider-Man they want. Marvel basically has to do a sequel to Spider-Man: The Animated Series at this point, but will it kill Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man before it even gets off the ground?

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