CCI: The Spectacular Spider-Man

Last Friday's Comic-Con International discussion panel focusing on Kids' WB!'s "Spectacular Spider-Man" animated series started off slow with a litany of thank yous to everyone involved with the show and not on stage. "I feel like I'm at the Oscars with all these thank yous," joked moderator Michael Vogel. Things picked up quickly, though, with a highlight reel of season one, news about the upcoming DVD release, and clips from season two.

Vogel, director of animated programming for Sony Pictures Television, was joined by panelists including supervising producer Greg Weisman ("Gargoyles"), supervising producer/supervising director Vic Cook, character designer Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, voice director Jamie Thomason, Spider-Man voice Josh Keaton, Eddie Brock/Venom voice Ben Diskin, and Vanessa Marshall and Robert Englund ("A Nightmare on Elm Street") who voice Mary Jane Watson and The Vulture, respectively.

After thanking everyone associated with the show, Vogel thanked the fans for their support and feedback, saying "We all obsessively read the fan sites every Saturday after the show airs to see what worked and what didn't."

Keaton described the recording sessions as "geek summer camp," while Englund gushed that the great thing about voiceover work is that "you can show up in pajamas or shorts!" Marshall performed the line that "got her the role of MJ" several times, much to the delight of audience and panelists alike. "Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot," she growled seductively to deafening applause. Diskin explained that the voice of Venom is draining to perform, as it is actually two slightly different tracks, not quite in sync.

Weisman announced that season one would be released as four DVDs, each one collecting a three or four-episode arc. "We tried as much as possible to write and art direct these as movies and we've cut them together to play as movies," he said. The first arc will be "The Attack of the Lizard" and will come out in September. The DVDs will include additional footage that was cut either for time or content.

In season two, scheduled to air in March of next year, viewers can expect to see some new villains, including Mysterio and Craven the Hunter, plus some returning villains like Venom, The Vulture, the Sinister Six, Molten Man, and Doctor Octopus. Additionally, supporting characters will be explored in greater depth, and there will be arcs for Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, and J. Jonah Jameson. Weisman also revealed that Stan Lee will have a cameo appearance in the first episode of season two, voicing a character that resembles him, in a nod to his appearances in recent Marvel film adaptations.

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