The amazing history of Spider-Man theme songs

A new Spider-Man cartoon is on the air, so here’s a refresher on Peter Parker’s decades on TV…

In case you didn’t know, there’s a new Spider-Man cartoon on the air titled Ultimate Spider-Man. Drawing inspiration from the comic series of the same name, it picks up on the storyline of Peter getting some SHIELD training to make him the best darn Spidey he can be. Of course in the comics that choice ultimately lead to his death, but we’re betting that won’t happen until at least season 3.

Here’s an extended trailer for it:

It’s obviously aimed at a younger audience than, say, DC’s recent PG-13 direct to DVD releases, but don’t count it out yet. Creative leads on the show include Ultimate Spider-Man comic mastermind Brian Michael Bendis and DC Animated Universe co-creator Paul Dini, along with several other well-known comic creators. And the perfect J Jonah Jameson, JK Simmons, reprises the role for the cartoon. Of course, Spidey is voiced by Drake Bell of Drake & Josh fame, so lets not get too excited.

My early impression are mostly positive, as it takes the world mostly seriously, with fun cartoony moments that remind me of the Teen Titans American anime. Plus, if this series can finally make Nova famous with the masses, it has earned a free pass in my book.

But did you know Spider-Man has been on TV for almost fifty years? That’s right, he has spun webs in about a dozen shows, and some were insanely better than others that were excruciating to watch. See all the intros in one helpful video:

Here’s a short ranking of all those Spidey shows from best to worst: Japanese Spider-Man cause it’s insane, 1994 Spider-Man cuz of good stories with shitty animation, 1967 Spider-Man because of the theme song, Spectacular Spider-Man cuz better animation, MTV Spider-Man cuz good stories with dated CGI, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cuz Ms Lion, Spider-Man 1981 cuz no Ms Lion, Spider-Man Unlimited is a shitty costume and unneeded reboot, 1970s Live Action Spider-Man is an abortion.

How could you possibly disagree with that ranking? Why not tell me in the comments?

22 thoughts on “The amazing history of Spider-Man theme songs

  1. I actually quite liked Spectacular Spider-Man. It was a bit lighter but the animation and voice acting were pretty good.

  2. 1994’s animation isn’t THAT terrible (thats the first fox one correct?) Also i liked cgi one because it reminds me of the ultimate spider game hat had cel shading, which was a very fun time. why not write an article about spiderman games next. so many to choose from!

  3. I really liked the 94 one to so much that I have them all, great storylines in them. That live action one looks terrible

  4. It may be obvious from the name, but I’m a huge Spiderman fan. I’ve seen all of: 1967, 1994, Unlimited, MTV, Spectacular, and English live action. I’ve also seen most, but not quite all, of the episodes for the other ones (including Japanese, though I watched it subtitled.) I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of all of them. I’m sure that, objectively, some of these were bad, but I can’t see the faults. I’m too biased.

    I’m really enjoying the new show. It’s just one more take on a character I seem to love in any incarnation.

    That said, Spectacular and 1994 are my favourite (but that 1967 song, man… I sang that on public television when I was like 5 years old… it’s a classic.)

    I’d be interested to hear what some people’s favourite episodes or moments were (Venom Saga, 1994 for me.) Maybe they could talk about that on the show? I know they did a Spiderman and Football show, but I’d love to hear a show just on Spiderman. He’s what got me into comics and the like, and a big part of what kept me there.

    …wow. I never have posts this long.

    In Summation:
    Yay Spiderman!

  5. I’m not saying that this was a bad post, but I really didn’t learn anything about Spider-Man. The title was kind of misleading, just sayin’.

  6. I had VHS tapes of the MTV spiderman a while ago and loved them to death, never knew much about the series until I was reminded of it here and did some searching. Dat dated CGI, fantastic.

  7. Everything was looking good for that new show until Spidey started talking. HOLY SHIT DRAKE BELL IS ANNOYING.

  8. The ’90s Spider-Man never grabbed me as a kid except the Lizard episode, which I think was the first episode. I was still thankful that my childhood at least had its own incarnation of Spider-Man. Fox censors went overboard with it though. The Punisher episode(s) were laughable.

    Spectacular, though, was just awesome all around.

  9. I gotta check out spectacular but I just revisited the 1994 series and it was really good, I wish power rangers held up as well as spider-man did >_<

  10. At first I was like “Hey- the 1994 version didn’t have bad animation!”
    Then I got to it into the video and yeah… didn’t remember the CG new york.

  11. To be fair the intro is probably the most you see of the horrible CG buildings in the 94′ Fox Spider-man, it was mostly used during scene transitions accompanied by a voiceover to show that Spidey went somewhere, but still I groaned inside every time it was shown… god… so dated. …and did I just see Ultimate Venom with a mullet?

  12. And did The Gang from It’s Always Sunny write the Spectacular Spider-man theme? Spider-man! Ayaaaaaiiiiiaaaaaa! Fighter of the Lizard Man! Ayaaaaiiiiaaaaa!

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