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Spider-Man The Animated Series: Each Season, Ranked




The decade of the ’90s was a fantastic era for superhero television and movies. The Batman franchise was in full swing; the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, Spawn, Steel, and Blade all graced the screens of theaters everywhere. In television, superheroes were getting their footing with iconic shows such as: X-Men The Animated Series, Batman: The Animated Series, and the ever-popular Spider-Man The Animated Series; all making an impact on popular culture.

One of the best known and best received of the television shows was Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Following everyone’s favorite and friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Spider-Man: The Animated Series ran for five seasons, introducing some of Spidey’s most iconic villains, while also telling some of Peter Parker’s best stories. Scoring fantastic ratings and reviews across multiple critics sites (8.5/10 on IMDB and 90% on Rotten Tomatoes), the show brought Spider-Man to a whole new generation of fans. Here is each season of the spectacular show, ranked.

Related: Best Animated Spider-Man Series

Though starting out strong with an arc surrounding the Sinister Six (a group of Spider-Man’s most notorious villains) and stories involving Spider-Man and the X-Men (who also had their own animated series at the same time!), season two took a decline with later episodes. With stories such as “Tablet of Time

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”, “Ravages of Time”, and “Shriek of the Vulture” closing out the second season of the animated series on a whimper. As with the rest of the series, and other animated shows, the second season continued to take inspiration from a deep history of Spider-Man comics.

Coming after the incredible third season of the animated series, season four did not do as well as its predecessor. But, unlike season two, season four continually got better and better with each episode and arc that came and went. There was a fun and exciting focus on vampires, with the living Vampire, Morbius, and the vampire hunter, Blade, getting featured in a handful of fantastic episodes. Then, some deep drama, with Harry Osborn discovering Spider-Man’s identity, and the shocking return of Mary Jane Watson. It should be noted that no season of Spider-Man: The Animated Series was bad, but some just shone brighter than others.

The final season of the show was also one of the better seasons. Starting strong with the marriage of Peter and “Mary Jane” (it is revealed that this Mary Jane is actually a clone, not the real person). It then immediately followed into the acclaimed storylines: “Six Unforgettable Warriors” (bringing in other heroes from the Marvel Universe), “Return of Hydro-Man” (the most dramatic episodes of the season, where MJ being a clone is revealed), and the highly acclaimed adaptation of Marvel’s Secret Wars (from the ’80s, not the modern 2015 Secret Wars by Jonathan Hickman). Secret Wars saw Peter go through a gauntlet of Marvel’s top bad guys such as Red Skull and Dr. Doom, in order to see if he really was a hero. Then, the series finishes off with “Spider Wars”, in which our titular hero defeats a Spider-Man from another universe who bonded with the Carnage symbiote.

The season that introduced the show, and its world also did one of the better jobs in making the show successful for its audiences. Season one came out of the gates swinging, introducing Dr. Curt Connors (The Lizard), and having him fight Spider-Man in the first two episodes. The season only continued to get stronger, introducing famous Spider-Man villains such as: Hobgoblin (surprisingly the first of the Goblins to be introduced in the show), Kraven the Hunter, and even the relatively new character, Venom (Eddie Brock). With the high point of the first season being the “Alien Costume” trilogy episodes, where Peter Parker gets the black suit, realizes it is Venom, then gets rid of it, and in doing so, creates the new rival Venom with Eddie Brock. Season one was able to establish its hero, its villains, its world and its lore, all in thirteen popular episodes, guaranteeing itself more seasons and more stories