Ultimate Spider-Man, by Brian Michael Bendis, is easily one of the greatest ongoing comic books of all time. Known for the quality, consistencyand frequency with which it was published, USM is almost entirely responsible for the era of Marvel that comic book fans have been living under for the past ten years.
This therefore likely has something to do with why they’re in the process of producing an Ultimate Spider-Man animated series for Disney XD in 2011. Recently, Newsarama spoke with series producer, Paul Dini – known for the Emmy Award-winning work he did on Batman: The Animated Series – about his work on the forthcoming USM cartoon.
When asked about the show in general, Dini said:
“Yup. [Ultimate Spider-Man is] going ahead. Having a great time on that, and I’m working with some old friends from the Batman days on that. Coming up with a look for the Spider-Man show, I think it’s really going to take people by surprise. It’s going to take people by surprise as much as the Batman show in the early 90s took comic fans by surprise. And yet at the same time it feels very right and it looks very right. And I can’t really say anything more about that or Jeph Loeb will be after me.”
It’s surprising, frankly, that the look would be so surprising. Does this mean that it won’t be reminiscent of the comic book? Ultimate Spider-Man fans know that while Mark Bagley is the artist most associated with Bendis’ never-ending opus – #1 through #111, the longest continuous run for a creative team on any mainstream Marvel comic book – Stuart Immonen and David LaFluente have also enjoyed successful runs on the book. And despite each look being unique, they were none of them what I would deem…surprising. Leastwise, not for the character.
The worst part about this interview is just hearing the name “Jeph Loeb,” who single-handedly tore apart Ultimate Marvel with his bare hands. In fact, just about everything he’s touched since he started writing for Marvel has been beyond atrocious. I’m talking Wolverine #50-55, Hulk, Ultimates 3, Ultimatum, Ultimate X, New Ultimates, and so forth. Perhaps he’ll be better suited to the television side of things, but I’d feel better if I never had to hear his name in the same paragraph as Ultimate Spider-Man ever again.
It’ll be interesting to see how well this animated iteration of Spider-Man stacks up against the previously awesome (then canceled) Spectacular Spider-Man, which, for all intents and purposes, was an Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon without the name. But to quote Shakespeare, an Ultimate Spider-Man by any other name is just as awesome and entertaining.
The Ultimate Spider-Man animated series hits the airwaves fall 2011 on Disney XD. Keep an eye on the main page for more news as we get it.