· Episode Guide
· Episode Reviews
· Character Bios
· Interviews
· Archives
· DVD Releases
· Comic Gallery
· Title Sequence
· Downloads
· Live-Action Movies
· Message Board
· MAA Home Page

Secret Wars, Part One: Arrival
Review by Amazing Spidey, Media By JTalpur

Episode #61 - Secret Wars, Part One: Arrival
Original Airdate 07th November 1997

Spider-Man is transported to an alien world, where he meets the Beyonder, a being who wants to see if good is stronger than evil. He then summons a group of the greatest villains from Earth to this world and tells Spider-Man to put together a group of heroes to fight them, and save the planet.

Written By: John Semper and Karen Milovich
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahchi
Animation Services By: Toyko Movie Shinsha (TMS)
Guest Starring: Christopher Daniel Barnes as Spider-Man, Robert Hayes as Iron Man, Joan Lee as Madame Web, Earl Boen as The Beyonder, Cam Clarke as Mr. Fantastic, Gail Matthius as The Invisible Woman, Quinton Flynn as The Human Torch, Patrick Pinney as The Thing, David Hyter as Captain America, Iona Morris as Storm and Joseph Campanella as The Lizard

Review: Ah, Secret Wars. Often the subject of a love/hate relationship of the show’s fans often based merely upon its title. It’s nothing like the real Secret Wars! Where are all the villains? Why is Spider-Man the leader? Some questions are left for the episodes themselves to answer others are left to the apparently not-so-common common sense.

It’s a translation of Secret Wars in a Spider-Man show. Spider-Man. It’s only logical they would use his villains. It’s the same answer as to why he is the leader. This show did guest stars very well, because it managed to find a great balance between developing the guests’ character and having the story take place in Spidey’s world. The Daredevil episodes, for example. Spidey’s villain, but he has a great connection to Daredevil, and in turn, the guest had a connection to Spidey, as he was Peter’s lawyer.

I especially liked the somewhat slower pace of the episode. Whilst it’s true a lot of the episodes had a lot crammed into them, I occasionally like seeing a nice slower paced episode. I was especially impressed with The Beyonder’s explanation of his fascination of good vs. evil. I loved Spider-Man selecting his team. Whilst there were a lot more people in the original Secret Wars line up, most of them were horribly underdeveloped, and came across as horribly 2-dimensional. I can understand why he chose whom he did. Since this line up is often the subject of much controversy, I thought I’d go though each of them.

The Fantastic Four – As Spider-Man himself explained, he has never faced, or even met, Dr. Doom. Knowing how dangerous Doom is, Spidey would’ve been foolish to ignore the FF, as he put it, they’ve fought him, and won. These episodes did a fairly good job with the FF. Ironically, only the most annoying of the FF voices returned, but the news ones weren’t bad at all. I still miss Beau Weaver and Chuck McCann, but Sue’s ‘replacement’ was a lot better, in my opinion. The designs were pretty cool. Spider-Man once again used different designs from the FF’s own show, taking a more modern root with their costumes. The Thing was slightly jarring to look at, and Johnny’s flame was orange instead of his bright red, but overall, The Fantastic Four worked here.

Iron Man – “My friend, Iron Man”. The weirdest choice, as there was no real specific reason for Iron Man to be here, other than the fact there were friends. Perhaps Spider-Man felt he needed someone he could trust, especially since he wasn’t sure if the FF would help him or not. Iron Man is basically as he is in his own whoop ass show (season 2, for those not in the know). The armour is the same as his one in ‘Carnage’ but still looks really cool. A nice detailed design that actually looked good every single time it was used. It’s also worth nothing here that the animation in this episode was on par with the first season. There was some really beautiful stuff here.

Captain America – Again, he helped Spidey defeat Red Skull. It’s also obvious from the previous ‘6 Forgotten Warriors’ arc that Spidey considers Cap something of a legend. Hell, it even got him out of the vortex that held him prisoner. His design was fine, both here and in ‘Six Forgotten Warriors’. I would’ve preferred the colours to be a little brighter, but well…it could’ve been worse. Cap’s appearance here also became a great foil to Spider-Man and Black Cat’s relationship, I especially enjoyed their little would be romance.

Storm – The hardest to justify, as Spidey’s experience with her in ‘Mutants Agenda’ was brief, to put it bluntly. It was pretty odvious she was only used here for her powers. She was the only X-Man to be used, because her voice actress was in LA at the time, whereas the rest of the X-Men actors were Canadian and would’ve had to be flown in from L.A, which proved too expensive for Fox.

As you’ve probably gathered, I really enjoyed Secret Wars. I love part one, but dig part 3 just that little bit more.