Also on ABC Family will be Mockingbird, a story about Bobbi Morse – Hawkeye eventually married her in the comics – a freshmen in college (perhaps Stanford in California) who gets contacted by S.H.I.E.L.D. and becomes a secret agent. Basically, the thrust of the show is, “College student by day, secret agent by night,” and according to Jeph Loeb, it’ll be like J.J. Abrams’ Felicity meets J.J. Abrams’ Alias. That's a lot of J.J. Abrams going on there.
Next was the animation portion of the panel, where Loeb debuted some of the very first footage of Ultimate Spider-Man (written by Paul Dini and the Man of Action team – Joe Casey, Joe Kelly – with additional help from Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, and more). Some things of note about the footage:
- As we reported previously, the Ultimate Spider-Man show is full of humor and the webcrawler himself even breaks the fourth wall (in a style that seems like a cross between Modern Family/Ferris Bueller).
- Drake Bell is voicing Peter Parker/Spider-man (and doing a pretty damn good job of it, too).
- Some of the jokes are reminiscent of the humor from Batman: The Animated Series, which makes sense, because Paul Dini wrote for both.
- Spider-Man battles Venom, Doombots, Doctor Doom himself, and the Green Goblin (voiced by Steven Webber).
- Nick Fury (voiced by the awesome Chi Mcbride) is Peter’s mentor in the series.
- Agent Coulson (voiced by Clark Gregg, the same actor who plays Coulson in the movies) has taken on the role of Peter’s principal to watch over him – this seems to imply that the animated Ultimate Spider-Man shares a universe with the movies.
- J. Jonah Jameson is voiced by J.K. Simmons, the man who played the character in the Raimi series.
- Stan Lee is the school janitor at Peter’s school.
- There’s a lot of forced perspective shots where Peter is punching at the “camera” or shooting his webbing toward us, the audience.
Frankly, of what little we saw, the show looks pretty excellent. The sense of humor and writing are top-notch, the cast and the acting are excellent, the characters and stories utilized looked good enough, and the visual quality of the show was a least two or three steps above Marvel’s Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
If there’s anything less-than-glowing to say about the footage, it’s that the animation retains a bit of that stilted Americanized anime quality due to the overuse of camera pans, push-ins, zooms, and tilts, as opposed to pure animated movement. Indeed, it doesn’t yet feel as energized as the wonderful (but canceled) Spectacular Spider-Man – then again, some deemed that show to be too cartoony.
After the footage, Clark Gregg joined the panel as a special guest and talked about how excited he was – as a comic book fan – to be a part of the not only the Marvel movies, but also Ultimate Spider-Man. Basically, he was the one who asked the producers if he could play Coulson in USM as well, and of course they said yes.
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