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Customer Review

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best comics adaptations ever., 12 Jun. 2009
This review is from: New Spider-Man 1995 - Season 1, Volumes 1 & 2 [DVD] (DVD)
I just got this set in the post this morning, and I have to say, I almost didn't believe it was really getting released until I held it in my hands, so convinced was I that Disney or someone else had a chokehold on the distribution rights. Once again, as with unedited classic WWF pay per view events, we UK-dwellers are treated to something or US counterparts are not. Which is only fair, because they usually get everything first anyway.

The set itself is well presented, although the artwork is a little cheap, and clearly done in a way as to mimic the style of the 90s series. Anyone who has the recent X-Men Season releases will be familiar with this. Unlike those, this one also has a slipcase. A booklet with episode synopses is also included.

I've recently come to realise this show is probably on a par with Batman, as both have their merits and drawbacks. While Batman has the better scores, acting and one-episode plots, Spider-Man has season-long arcs, which when viewed in succession make for great television. That's not to say the acting or music in Spider-Man is crap, by the way. Christopher Barnes is BRILLIANT as Spider-Man (especially in those fleeting moments of extreme rage), and the guests were memorable too, particularly Rob Paulsen's oafish Hydro Man and sexiest-voice-ever Jennifer Hale as Felicia Hardy/ Black Cat (that's Metal Gear's Naomi Hunter for you non-animation-buffs).

The music was great too, but while Spider-Man relied on several repeated (HEAVILY repeated) cues, each Batman episode had a fresh, full orchestral score by some of the best in the business. Another thing about Spider-Man is that even after all these years I find myself being surprised by some of the plot twists, which were even more abundant upon first viewing. Thankfully, John Semper (creative head of the show) was bold enough to change much of the original stories to make them worth animating in the first place. What else? A minor triumph, but the colouring on this cartoon is the best of any I've ever seen. A simple praise. While the show lost its way during the muddled fourth year it had some great episodes in the last series, with one of the greatest resolution-with-cliffhanger endings in animation history. A rare treat in that its much, much better than you remember it.

The first series holds some of the best episodes- the three-parter, "The Alien Costume"- a marvellous introduction for the ultimately underused Venom (a deliciously insane Hank Azaria)- and the two-part "Hobgoblin" are among the best in the show's five-year run. "Night of the Lizard", a pilot of sorts, is interesting in that there's an awful lot more effort put into the animation than in later episodes, as is often the case. The rest of the single-episode stories deal with classic villains including Mysterio, Dr. Octopus (no longer a nerd but a beefy cool guy) and The Chameleon.

The full list of episodes is:

Disc 1- Episodes 1-6
Night of the Lizard
The Sting of the Scorpion
The Spider Slayer
Return of the Spider Slayers
The Menace of Mysterio
Doctor Octopus: Armed and Dangerous

Disc 2- Episodes 7-13
The Alien Costume Parts 1-3
Kraven the Hunter
The Hobgoblin Parts 1-2
Day of the Chameleon

In terms of DVD specifics, the episodes look great presented in their original ratio of 4:3 (not widescreen), but no worse when stretched to fill the screen. The audio is in available in English, German, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, and the subtitles in Finnish and Dutch.

With a pre-order up for the complete (unlike those half aand half X-Men releases) second season on the distributor's website it looks as though Clearvision is motoring ahead with releasing the complete show. There's no better place to start than here, so if you've been a fan for years, want something for the kids or are simply feeling nostalgic, pick this up. Animation from the 1990s doesn't come much better than this, and Marvel have yet to top it.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jun 2009, 01:20:12 BST
Kirben says:
Are Clear Vision still using DVD-5 discs for their Marvel releases?

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jun 2009, 11:09:24 BST
It doesn't seem to specify on the packaging or discs themselves.

Posted on 15 Jun 2009, 23:27:47 BST
Does the original NEW WORLD logo appear at the end of the credits in each episode, or does it have a SABAN logo or no logos?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jun 2009, 13:39:49 BST
Marvel Comics Marvel Entertainment Group, then Marvel Films A Division Of New World Entertainment, then Saban International.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2009, 15:56:31 BST
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2009, 15:58:24 BST
Mikie Cubby says:
ALL CLEAR VISION MARVEL releases are DVD-9! I have all 4 X-Men and 2 of the 90's FF and they are all DVD-9s!!!! I have talked to someone from their department and ALL FUTURE RELEASES WILL BE on DVD-9!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2009, 21:03:38 BST
What does that mean? Better quality?

Posted on 3 Jun 2010, 19:18:11 BST
B. Sular says:
hello there, what did you mean by saying that "no worse when strectched"? If it looks normal when strectched I will order, but If not I won't. could you please advise me?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2010, 21:27:21 BST
It looks fine, the natural image is with the black bars at the side, but I prefer it to fill the screen. It's a matter of taste, some people are dead against, I'm less bothered.

Posted on 21 Jul 2010, 07:16:33 BST
Last edited by the author on 21 Jul 2010, 07:17:47 BST
A. Koshcheev says:
Are this series censored like Jetix's "Biker Mice from Mars: Season 1" (I mean, come on! 19 minutes per episode?), or it's fully untouched?

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jul 2010, 11:01:03 BST
It's uncensored, full-length episodes. Mind you, 19 minutes is around the right time for American cartoons broadcast on kids' networks, when you consider the amount of toy adverts that fill the other 11 minutes.
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Magnum Valentino

Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 576