Late Saturday afternoon, the brain trust behind the new “Spectacular Spider-Man” cartoon met for a Q&A panel at WonderCon in San Francisco. The panelists previewed scenes and story elements from the second season of the cartoon which will be soon be airing on Disney XD. Among them was series creator Greg Weisman (“Gargoyles,” “The Batman,” “Kim-Possible”), Supervising Producer Victor Cook, character design artist Sean Galloway and Josh Keaton, the voice of Spider-Man/Peter Parker.
Before any of the creators took the stage, however, they treated the audience to footage from the new season. The video began with Peter Parker being interviewed under a spotlight, accused of being Spider-Man as a result of his fight with Venom. Jameson then commissions a young reporter to interview everyone who’s ever interacted with Spidey or Parker in order to track the wall-crawler down.
Among the montage of interviews were returning characters and new ones, including:
- The Shocker
- Tricia Helfer returning as the Black Cat
- Ricochet, familiar to comics fans from the eponymous marvel series “Slingers”
- The Vault being toured by Norman Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson and a voice that may have been Tombstone’s
- Pumpkin henchmen that could have belonged to Mysterio
Finally, the video ended with the last interview: Captain Stacey. In it, Stacey claims Spider-Man wears his mask not to hide something, but to protect something. It was then revealed Stacey was actually talking to Peter himself, implying he may know Peter’s secret.
As the panelists took the stage, Weisman apologized that Bulgaria and Canada were already seeing season 2. “Those of you who are patient and let Disney XD catch up with Canada and Bulgaria… you’ll be well rewarded,” Weisman promised.
Weisman then teased new elements in the second season. “Lot of great new villains,” he promised. “We have a lot of returning villains too. Almost every villain will return.” Among the new characters for the show: Silvermane, Silver Sable, Kraven the Hunter, Molten Man, Mysterio and Master Planner. He also promised “a few other surprises that I’m not going to scoop.”
As for new story elements in season 2, Weisman promised it would be as packed as the first season. “We have a great Venom arc, a great Green Goblin arc,” he said. As the moderator pressed, Weisman also revealed that there would be a gang war plotline spanning season 2 and maybe even spilling over into season 3. “It might involve Tombstone, Hammerhead, Doc Ock, Silvermane… controlling a number of different factions in New York City,” he teased.
Weisman then reminded the audience that though the writers have plans, the show has yet to get the official pick-up for season 3. “We have tons of ideas for season 3 though,” Weisman said. He then urged those with Nielsen boxes to watch the show.
“It’s going to be a big year for Flash, Jonah and John Jameson [and] a big year for Peter and his love life,” Weisman teased. He also commented that what was great about the show was the level of content they could pack into each episode. “Our episodes are just jam-packed with action, with romance, with dialogue, with comedy. Every second something is happening.”
Keaton addressed how much he enjoyed the finale for the first season. “It was an origin story without being an origin story,” Keaton said. “But it gave you a lot of insight into who Peter Parker is.”
Galloway explained how he designed Venom, seen in the series’ final arc. Venom starts with the “Spider-Man 3” costume and gradually morphs into the Venom from the comics.
At this point, the moderator opened the floor to questions.
One fan asked about the move to Disney XD.
“Kids WB had the series and then Kids WB went away,” Weisman said, explaining that Kids WB gave up its time to CW for Kids, which did air the show, but now the show would be moving.
Weisman then talked about the difficulty of bringing Peter through new life experiences and filling the show with villains without “forcing it.” Like Ultimate Spider-Man, from which the show takes some inspiration, though much is happening in Peter’s life, it’s happening over a very short amount of time. “We’ve done two seasons, and we only went from September to March. But we don’t want to rush things before their time,” Weisman commented.
One fan asked what Galloway’s favorite character design was and Weisman, at least, had a favorite of his own. “Shawn did a lot of great work early on but the thing that really grabbed me was his Jonah,” Weisman said, adding that’s when he knew Galloway was right for the series.
One fan asked about the variety of characters in the show and Weisman spoke about his methodology for characters in the series, namely, that every named character in the first season’s scripts were taken directly from the comics. “If we felt the character was important enough to deserve a name, we wanted to take them from some source of canon,” he explained. These sources of cannon included the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko run, later comics, the films, and Brian Bendis’ “Ultimate Spider-Man.” “Trina, the coffee shop barista is actually from Brand New Day,” Weisman revealed.
One fan asked if the character in the insane asylum in one shot of the show might be Cletus Cassaday (AKA, Carnage)? “Let me get this straight,” Weisman joked. “You saw a Ravencroft Asylum guy with red hair named Cletus and you thought you knew who that might be? That’s a stretch.”
One fan asked what Weisman’s plans were for season 3. “At a minimum? Hobgoblin and Scorpion.”