To promote the debut of Ultimate Spider-Man this weekend, Disney XD has released this featurette that mixes previously unseen footage with plenty of self-congratulatory back-slapping. Rob has discussed at length his concerns about the series on TR previously, and I tend to agree with his feelings that the “humor” and hammy voice acting are going to be the biggest obstacles here. With Paul Soles, Dan Gilvezan, Christopher Daniel-Barnes, Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Keaton each bringing something unique to Peter Parker/Spidey before him, Drake Bell is going to have an uphill climb in making the character(s) his own. Further complicating his job are a fantastic supporting cast: Chi McBride sounds great as Nick Fury, and it’s the best kind of fanwankery that Clark Gregg and J.K. Simmons are reprising their respective movie roles as Agent Coulson and J. Jonah Jameson. Stan Lee does voicework here as well, though I suspect that his Stan the Janitor will be the Ultimate Spider-Man equivalent of Miss Lion. As for the animation, it looks like a fusion of the styles featured on The Spectacular Spider-Man and the Marvel anime toons (in other words, pretty great). So how will this turn out? My Spidey sense tells me we’ll find out this Sunday. That’s not exactly profound I know, but at this point I honestly can’t predict what the finished product will be like.
Chris Cummins is a pop culture writer and Archie comics historian who has contributed to The Robot's Voice, Den of Geek US, Philebrity, Geekadelphia, Uproxx, and Unicorn Booty. He is the co-producer and co-host of Nerd Nite Philadelphia, and is regularly involved in producing and hosting New York Super Week events. In 2014, Chris began Sci-Fi Explosion, a mix of live performance, trivia and funny clips celebrating the weirdest in science fiction that regularly travels around the United States. He wrote the introductions to the compilations Archie's Favorite Comics From The Vault and (with Paul Castiglia) Archie's Favorite High School Stories. You can find Chris on Twitter at @bionicbigfoot and @scifiexplosion.