|SPIDER-MAN AND HIS
COMPLETE SEASON 1 - UK DVD REVIEW
And here we are. It seemed like it would never happen. At the
time of this release this site is 10
years old. DVDs weren't even an expectation when it was created. All I and many others wanted were good quality copies of each episode, uncut.
Still the wait for this show to be released on DVD has been YEARS...and
the great news is that you should be really happy with what they've
done! It is available from
in limited supply. (If they've sold out, try your luck on Ebay.)
The release is broken out as
"Triumph of the Green Goblin" (23:52)
"The Crime of all Centuries" (23:52)
"The Fantastic Mr. Frump" (23:51)
"7 Little Superheroes" (23:51)
"The Prison Plot" (24:04)
"Spidey goes Hollywood" (23:55)
"The Vengeance of Loki" (23:51)
"Knights & Demons" (23:55)
"Pawns of the Kingpin" (23:55)
"Quest of the Red Skull" (23:52)
As you can see, there is little variance in the runtimes. I haven't actually
watched every single episode again to make sure nothing is missing because I
watched a screener copy of the episodes that Liberation sent to me a few
months ago. I didn't feel the need (or desire!) to watch them all again. They
were unedited then. Odds are they are unedited now. Of course, stranger things
have happened. Let me know if you discover something missing.
Everything is relative, right? The picture quality you get here is the best
looking you'll have seen the show...depending on your point of view. Quite a
few episodes seem to have the contrast set too high. Iceman often appears
white (he's a light blue, if you didn't know) and his interior lines are
washed out at times. Flesh tones (people's faces), can be washed out at times
too. The transfers that have been airing on TOON DISNEY here
in the US seem to be better done...but the DVD quality of these episodes makes
them better overall. I find it disappointing...but certainly not a deal
breaker. And don't get me wrong, SOME episodes look really good. I know Liberation
had to make use of the copies that they were given. That may have limited them
severely here. But try to avoid the Wolverine & the X-Men preview
at the beginning; it's so
stunningly clear that it's hard not to be disappointed when you see the
picture quality of this 27 year old cartoon.
Sounds clear to me! Stunningly clear at times. I noticed a 5.1 option on the
menu but haven't had a chance to play with it. After years of watching old VHS
copies of the show, this was pleasantly surprising.
There is only a "restoration" video like the other Marvel/Liberation
videos have had.
This a pretty nice package for such an inexpensive release. The DVD case slips
into a cardboard sleeve. There's a nice booklet with an episode guide. I love
that Liberation used the exact logo for the show on the cover instead of using
Personally I think the artwork and the color scheme are misfires. It's a nice
tip of the hat to the show that they used the green background of the show's
title card on the back of the box...but that's one dingy, unappealing green!
It just doesn't suit superheroes very well. And I think it is little to ask
that the artist draw Firestar's hair, mask and aura correctly.
Nice work. I loved the web transitions and especially love the use of the
background music on the sub-menu screens. Fantastic job.
The Bad News - (Differences from the original airings)
Now...for you completists...there is ONE THING missing: a green title card.
This title card (right) was only shown in the NBC airings and hasn't bee seens since. Spidey's
eye in the pic zoomed toward the camera to reveal the episode title card. I
supplied this to Liberation from the 16MM films that I have. Unfortunately, various
factors such as time and cost prevented it from being included. Apparently, it
would have thrown off ALL of the subtitles which had already been completed.
It IS something I would liked to have seen included. Having the episodes
unedited (beside this 4 second clip) makes it seems like a small concession.
Also, the show originally aired
with a "cold open", meaning ACT ONE was shown, THEN the intro aired.
I don't think I even informed Liberation of the fact. I feel that the large
majority of people who watch TV shows on DVD skip the intro of a show,
especially after the first few episodes. I would have found it annoying to sit
through or pick the remote up to skip the intro at that point into the
episode. Feel free to blame me if you'd like to have seen it that way.
If you're asking where the Stan
Lee narrations are...there weren't any when this season originally aired.
Narrations were later added to the first season episodes when they were re-run
in the second season. The choice was made to keep the episodes original, and I
feel like it was the right one. Though, one day, I would like to see a release
that makes it an option to have the Stan Lee narrations in the first season.
History of this release
After this volume was released, Liberation's UK entertainment division closed
it's doors. The Season 2 & 3 release was printed and released
as was a Complete Series release that simply packaged the previous two
releases together in a box with new artwork. Since Liberaton closed, it
means all three of the releases are in limited supply. At the time of
this writing, another company, Clear Vision, had picked up the rights to the
Marvel Cartoons in the UK. It remains to be seen if they will re-release
any of the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends DVDs. There was a
Dan Gilvezan interview (voice of Spider-Man) that was filmed for a potential Collector's
Edition release that Liberation had mentioned to me. Hopefully Clear
Vision will decide to release it.
Does anything I've written above matter? When it all comes down to it, we've
got the episodes uncut except for a simple title card. The episodes have aired somewhat recently in
this form in the UK...but the US hasn't seen the large majority of these
episodes uncut since their first airing...and I mean the first YEAR they
aired. (Even NBC edited the episodes in re-runs.) So, despite my nit-picking,
I'm thrilled Liberation was the company that got their hands on this show. I
think they've did a fine job and they included me almost every step of the
way. We didn't always agree but I respected and understood every decision