The Spectacular Spider-Man is animated television series that was created by Greg Weisman.
The show premiered on March 8, 2008.
- Peter Parker/Spider-Man: Bitten by a genetically altered spider, Peter donned a spider costume and sought to fight crime after allowing a burglar to escape, only to have that same criminal - later identified in this series as Walter Hardy - later kill his Uncle Ben. He learned that "with great power comes great responsibility", a phrase that now drives him to act as a super hero.
- Gwen Stacy: Gwen is the daughter of police captain George Stacy, and is one of Peter Parker's best friends and intellectual equal. Initially, she is fairly shy and unconcerned with her appearance; she gradually comes to resemble her comic book counterpart toward the end of the series.
- Harry Osborn: Harry is Peter's friend and is the son of industrialist Norman Osborn. He constantly lives in his father's shadow and considers Peter a good friend, though at times also resents him for earning Norman's respect, which Harry has never been able to do.
- J. Jonah Jameson: Jameson is the loudmouth, egotistical publisher and editor of the Daily Bugle, a major tabloid newspaper. Showing excessive pride in his son, John Jameson, he is obsessed with exposing fraudulent claims to heroism, and is therefore always demanding pictures of Spider-Man so that he can continue his smear campaign against the vigilante.
- Mary Jane Watson: Mary Jane is the niece of Aunt May's friend, Anna Watson. She attends the Fall Formal as Peter's date before ultimately switching schools to be at Midtown. Mary Jane befriends Peter and Gwen, and is initially determined to stay single, desiring to be a "free agent."
- Flash Thompson: Flash is a star football player at Midtown High. While he idolizes Spider-Man, he frequently bullies and harasses Peter Parker, believing him to be a "stuck-up egghead," despite the fact that they had originally been friends when they were much younger.
- Liz Allan: Liz is a cheerleader at Midtown High. She is initially the girlfriend of Flash Thompson and shows great resentment towards Peter. As the series progresses, her true feelings become apparent as she demonstrates a much more open and accepting side.
- George Stacy: George is Gwen's protective father and a police captain. He is open-minded, believing in Spider-Man (whom he apparently knows is Peter) when others like J. Jonah Jameson dismiss his vigilante activities.
- Norman Osborn: Norman is Harry's father and the head of Oscorp. A ruthless businessman who believes himself incapable of failure and never apologizes, Norman is involved in many shady dealings with the Big Man.
Season 1 is divided into four arcs, The Lizard Arc, Tombstone Arc, Goblin Arc, and the Symbiote Arc. Each arc contains three episodes, except for the Venom arc which has four. A lot of enemies are introduced in this season, all with their own plot and backstory.
Also divided into four arcs, the 2nd season has the Master Planner Arc, a second Venom arc, the Gang War arc, and the second Goblin arc. This season really progresses the relationships between the characters, even bringing less known characters into bigger roles, as well as the villains.
The show's creators were striving to reach 65 episodes. 26 episodes of The Spectacular Spider-Man were produced in total. The series stopped production with a renewal dependent upon the ratings for season 2 on the U.S. Disney XD channel and the sales of the DVDs. If the third season were to have gone ahead, producer Greg Weisman stated that Scorpion and Hobgoblin would have made their appearances.
On September 1, 2009, the television rights for Spider-Man were returned to Marvel by Sony. The effect this had on The Spectacular Spider-Man's future was unknown. At the time, President of Marvel Animation Eric Rollman further stated that "no decisions have been made either way" regarding the fate of the series. Newsarama reported that the series' cancellation occurred just after The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment in December 2009.
On April 13, 2010, Marvel announced that a new series based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series will be aired on Disney XD April 1, 2012. The same day, Greg Weisman told IGN: "I've heard nothing directly from Marvel, but I think the Ultimate Spider-Man announcement makes it fairly clear that Spectacular is over." Marvel Animation and Sony also commented on this to Marvel Animation Age, confirming that the series has ceased production.