The Spectacular Spider-Man

Season 1 Episode 1

Survival of the Fittest

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 08, 2008 on Disney XD
out of 10
User Rating
149 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

An elderly scientist named Adrian Toomes plans his revenge against Norman Osborn after accusing him of stealing his flying technology. Donning his own flying suit, Toomes takes to the skies to enact his revenge and it's up to Spider-Man to stop him. Peter is concerned that Aunt May is running out of money. He tries to make money for the two by making a deal with J. Jonas Jameson that if Peter can get pictures of Spider-Man in action, Jameson will pay Peter money.moreless

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  • The Spectacular-Spider-Man pilot episode.

    It's the start of the new school year and after a few months of being Spider-man, Peter Parker finely gets his first super villain (well make that four).


    1. It was nice to see some villain introductions for future episodes such as, Norman Osborn (Green Goblin), Otto Octavius(Doctor Octopus), Eddie Brock (Venom), Dr. Curt Connors(The Lizard), Alex O'Hirn (The Rhino) and Flint Marko (Sandman). Fact; Sandman never appeared in the Spider-man:The Animated Series because they were planing a movie about him and Spider-man:The New Animated Series was canned before they got around to it.

    2. It is also great to see Gwen, Flash and Sally in school with Peter.

    3. Good villain (The Vulture), odd chose for the pilot though.


    4. With all the character intros it gets a little crowed and the episode doesn't really seem to have it's feet planted anywhere in particular, so the plot kind of wanders a bit.

    So lets be honest, this isn't one of the better episodes TSSM.

    But this is The Spectacular-Spider-Man so even the bad one are still better then most.moreless
  • Interesting animation, mixed with poor voive-over work, and an odd story, equals one giant flop.

    I will say that I just decided to watch the pilot of this episode because I am a Spider-Man fan, but just because I am a fan of Spider-Man doesn't mean that I have to like everything Spider-Man. For example, this show. In my mind, 'The Spectacular Spider-Man' was a flop. I say this because it was supposed to be a big thing on 'WB's All New Lineup', and to me there was nothing spectacular about it. The plot changes directions all over the place which I am sure makes it hard for kids to follow along with, which is whom this show is aimed towards. It also did not feature wvery good voice-over and had some pretty ugly looking animation.moreless
  • the enforcers hunt the spider the spider hunts the vulture and the vulture hunts the poor buisness guy.(osborn) the name fits perfectly!

    this is a very good pilot! the good thing about it is that spiderman is already origin things cause we all know that.they just show him thrashing 2 theives which later turns into sandman and rhino. lets break this episode down shall we?!?!

    spiderman: spiderman may look simpler and skinnier, but he is better than ever!he could do backflips swing backwards, and other cool things. while in the other versions he looks so choppy and rarely punches people. and the fights are high speed and awesome.and also they use an array f new characters from the beggining from liz to the enforcers.

    fight 1: this is not really a fight. it just basicly the vulture showing of his power to osborn.who just helplessly gets thrown and spun(that would make a nice roller coaster though. while spidey rescues him. you could really feel the speed of the vulture and thats real cool.

    fight 2: alright now we get into a real fight with kicking and stuff. man osborn cant get into his own house without being pursued! anyways while the vulture fight was fast paced and smart, the enforcer fight was the main attraction. the team is made up of brawns,speed and smarts.

    fancy dan being the fast one, ox being the strong one and montana being the smart one and the leader. if they team up they are almost 3 times as strong as spidey.but he manages to defeat them anyways. now the vulture.lets face it hes only a old guy that could fly and his only weapon is his real sharp wings. they should give him control over birds or give him mechanical birds or something. anyways this is an awesome show so far and cant wait for season 2moreless
  • And what a fine pilot it is.

    Considering the plan of using comic book only characters, I'm a bit embarassed that I didn't identify Randy earlier when seeing the episode prior to Market Forces.

    As much as I feel sorry for Peter's rejection from Sally, I couldn't help but laugh when Gwen and Harry commented on it. Either the scene was well written and executed or deep down I'm a jerk. I'll go with well executed scene :).

    Same with the comment above, I had a small laugh when Eddie tell Peter that being a high school student with lack of experience keeps him from getting paid.

    Relating to the comment on the podcast, as a fellow sap (I have a box of Shojo Manga for crying outloud), I too enjoyed Peter's dialogue about having Aunt May at the end.moreless
  • Spiderman takes on the Vulture, who is determined to settle scores with the father of Peter Parker's best friend.

    A great opening to the series. It skips the origin of Spiderman (which we all know but is recapped in the show's opening title sequence) and gets right into the heroics. The Vulture was never the most exciting, or interesting, of Spidey's many villains, but the character is handled very well here. There is plenty of action, the voicework is well done, and the flavor of the comics is almost entirely carried over. There are a few tweaks here and there. Peter, for example, seems to have zero romantic interest in Gwen Stacy, who was at one point the great love of his life in the comics. Overall, however, this is a marvelous incarnation of Spiderman.moreless
Robert Englund

Robert Englund

Adrian Toomes/Vulture

Guest Star

Keith David

Keith David

Big Man

Guest Star

Clancy Brown (I)

Clancy Brown (I)

Ox/Alex O'Hirn

Guest Star

Benjamin Diskin

Benjamin Diskin

Eddie Brock

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

  • QUOTES (35)

    • (Spider-Man breaks off one of Vulture's wings while riding his back)
      Vulture: My wing! I can't steer!
      Spider-Man: Yeah, but you're still airborne. How does that work exactly? Yo, Vulty! Your humpback is humming! (Punches into Vulture's battery in his back)
      Vulture: (As they begin to descend) You idiot! You've doomed us both!
      Spider-Man: You so have not been paying attention. (Web swings)

    • Spider-Man: Only one thing I know for sure... I can't let Harry lose his dad the way I lost Uncle Ben.

    • Spider-Man: (After landing on the Vulture's back) Surf's up!

    • Vulture: (While fighting Spider-Man in the air) Why do you defend that thief Osborn? (Slashes at Spider-Man's chest, tearing his costume)
      Spider-Man: Uncool! Do you know what these spider suits cost?

    • Spider-Man: (Catches Ox from falling by his hands with webbing) Now, I know you can tear right through that... (Ties up Ox to a flagpole, leaving him dangling high above the streets) but I wouldn't recommend it!

    • Spider-Man: (While Ox has his arms locked tight on him) Look, pal, if you needed a breath mint, you just had to ask!

    • Spider-Man: (To himself while at the Osborn's house) Not one thing's gone right, and now the Amazing Spider-Man is reduced to... sneaking around... for his shoes!

    • Peter Parker: (To himself) Okay, nothing went as planned today. Understatement of the year. But, I'm still Spider-Man and still undefeated. (About Aunt May) And I still have this amazing person watching out for me. Tell me there's something better... go ahead, try.

    • Peter Parker: It's an honor to meet you, Dr. Connors.
      Kurt Connors: You look familiar, son. Weren't you the boy who that was bitten...
      Peter Parker: By the science bug... you know it!

    • Spider-Man: Woah! Beaky, don't fly away mad!
      Vulture: The name is Vulture!

    • Spider-Man: Uh, look, Beaky, I admire anyone who dresses up as their favorite animal, and better still, you can fly. So I gotta ask: you heard the one about great power comin' with great responsibility?

    • Vulture: Spider-Man? I thought you were a myth?
      Spider-Man: Man, I need a new press agent.

    • Vulture and Norman Osborn: Who are you?!
      Spider-Man: Why, I'm your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, of course!

    • Vulture: Wh-What is this? These skies are mine now!
      Spider-Man: He may be right. I really just rent.
      Norman Osborn: What are you babbling about? Put me down!
      Spider-Man: Dude, you are the bossiest damsel in distress I have ever rescued... also the ugliest, heaviest and the first.

    • Spider-Man: (After Vulture tosses Norman Osborn) Woah, guys, you play hot potato hard core!

    • Vulture: You will announce to the world that Adrian Toomes is the genius behind "Tech Flight," you will pay me all that I am owed and you will publicly apologize for stealing my invention!
      Norman Osborn: I never apologize, old man!
      Vulture: I may be an old man, but I'm not a patient one!

    • Harry Osborn: I'm just surprised you're not hanging at the school paper. Aren't you their star photographer or something?
      Peter Parker: Not anymore. Someone else can take pictures of Flash prancing around the gridiron. I'll be too busy racking in the green.
      Harry Osborn: Is this part of the same reality where Sally Avril's your...
      Peter Parker: A minor setback. But, at least this lab job solves the Parker money problems.

    • Norman Osborn: So what's this about a lab job?
      Peter Parker: At ESU working with Kurt Connors.
      Norman Osborn: Connors, huh? Quite an opportunity... (To Harry) Don't suppose you were considered for the honor, Harry.
      Harry Osborn: (Disappointed) No, sir.

    • Norman Osborn: Boys, come out here! I couldn't help overhearing.
      Peter Parker: I'm sorry, Mr. Osborn, I...
      Norman Osborn: Don't you dare apologize, son. I never do.

    • Montana: And you want the Enforcers to wrangle up this here Spider?
      Leader: No, Montana. I want you to squash it.

    • Flash Thompson: Lucky you didn't try this with my girl, Parker. If your geek sweat got within one mile of Liz...
      Peter Parker: Back off, Flash. I won't be your punching bag anymore. Things have changed.

    • Harry Osborn: Ugh, Pete, where are you going?
      Peter Parker: (To himself) To face my destiny. Peter Parker's a wall crawler, not a wallflower and my life is about to change.

    • Harry Osborn: So, you ready for the torture that is "M Cubed?"
      Peter Parker: It'll be different now.
      Harry Osborn: Really? Cuz you spent half of sophomore year stuffed in a locker...

    • Harry Osborn: Hey, Pete!
      Peter Parker: Harry, Gwen! How'd summer treat you?
      Gwen Stacy: Science camp was fun...
      Harry Osborn: Yeah, well the "World Tour" stunk. My dad spent the whole trip locked in the boardroom, so I spent mine locked in boredom.

    • Scientist: I am sorry, Adrian...
      Norman Osborn: Don't you dare apologize, doctor. OsCorp has nothing to apologize for.
      Adrian Toomes: Nothing to... (Astonished) Osborn, you stole my work!
      Norman Osborn: That's dangerous talk, Mr Toomes... dangerous and unsupportable. Listen you old buzzard- you've been at this for decades without one success to your name. If you never accomplished anything as a young man, who'd believe you created "TechFlight" as an old one?

    • Spider-Man: Okay, so Marko, now tell me- the new Spider Signal, too much? It's my first night trying it out and I'm just not sure it's screaming "friendly neighborhood Spider-Man." I mean, as a guy with a lot of experience getting thrashed by, well me, I really value your opinion.

    • Peter Parker: (Coughs) Hey, Aunt May! How's the most beautiful girl in Forest Hills this morning?

    • Aunt May: It isn't getting any easier, Anna. We're almost out of money.
      Anna: But, May, I'm sure Ben left...
      Aunt May: Ben Parker was many, many wonderful things but financial wizard, he was not.

    • Flint Marko: Ahh no, not again!
      Spider-Man: Yep, again. (Laughs) What is this, Marko, like the third time this summer?
      Alex O'Hirn: Just wait till I get my hands on ya, you skinny little creep!

    • Spider-Man: It's my last night before school starts, and I could really use some action... (Bank alarm rings and he swings into action)

    • Peter Parker: (To the viewers) Tell me there's something better. Go ahead, try. "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" by Peter Benjamin Parker. I can sum it up in one glorious, hyphenated word: Spider-Man!

    • Spider-Man: I am the spectacular Spider-Man!

    • Norman Osborn: Toomes?
      Vulture: Not Toomes now. I'm what you called me, I'm the Vulture.
      Osborn: I called you a buzzard!
      Vulture: (Surprised) What?
      Norman Osborn: You can't even get the name right!

    • Montana: (About Vulture) We're flying with the freaks now, boys! I got no idea what that big bird's about but I'm mighty glad he's keeping our bug busy.

    • Spider-Man: (While kicking Vulture out of the air) Trick or treat! I mean, you are celebrating Halloween in September, right? Or... am I not one to talk?

  • NOTES (18)

    • Disney XD Premiere Date:
      March 23rd, 2009 @ 7:30pm (ET)

    • This episode can be seen on "The Spectacular Spider-Man: Attack of the Lizard" DVD.

    • This is the first Spider-Man animated series to include the villain Flint Marko/The Sandman since Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends (1983).

    • "The Spectacular Spider-Man" is the first ever Spider-Man show to feature Gwen Stacy as a regular character.

    • Daran Norris reprises the role of J. Jonah Jameson from the 2000 "Spider-Man" video game.

    • Dee Bradley Baker reprises the role of Dr. Curt Connors/the Lizard from the 2000 "Spider-Man" video game the 2001 Playstation sequel game "Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro."

    • The two police officers seen speaking about Spider-Man are Stan Carter (aka the Sin-Eater) and Jean DeWolff, making it both their first appearances in a Spider-Man animated series.

    • Spider-Man's line "I can't let Harry lose his dad the way I lost Uncle Ben." was almost left out of the episode. Greg Weisman and Vic Cook had to work to keep the line in.

    • As in the older comics, as well as "Brand New Day," Spider-Man uses web shooters of his own invention, rather than the organic webshooters from the movies and the comics of recent years.

    • Unlike most incarnations of the Vulture, who wears a green jumpsuit, this incarnation wears black with red, matching his recent appearances in the comics. This is because producer Greg Weisman wishes to use less characters with green as the dominant color.

    • Whenever an episode ends, the background changes into Spider-Man's mask.

    • For the start of this series, Peter's two friends at school are Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy. In the comics, Peter met these two in college and eventually befriended them.

    • In this series, Eddie Brock is an assistant of Dr. Connors at Empire State University and a freshman college student. He's also an old high school friend of Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker, who he helped out when Flash Thompson was picking on Peter.

    • Spider-Man
      Spider-Man first appeared in the comic book Amazing Fantasy #15. He was unique to the fact that he was young enough to be a sidekick and was pictured as a real person with real problems in life. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, "puny" Peter Parker developed Spider powers. Desiring to make money, he becomes an amateur wrestler to get the cash he needs. One night, a robbery took place at the promoter's office and Peter, being selfish at the time, refused to help. The police were at his home and his uncle was shot by a burglar. Desiring revenge, Spider-Man went after the crook to find it was the thief at the wrestling ring, the one he refused to help catch. Blaming himself for his uncle's death, Peter learned the hard way of what his uncle taught him, "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility."

    • During the airing of this episode, Kids' WB! ran a promotion for the "Kids' WB Spectacular Spider-Man Sweepstakes." In the promotion, four villains were "webbed" by Spider-Man. The two villains, Vulture and Electro, could then be used to help win the sweepstakes on their official website.

    • The following characters are named, in order, in the opening title sequence:

      Peter Parker
      Gwen Stacy
      Harry Osborn
      J. Jonah Jameson

    • The Vulture
      First appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #2, Adrian Toomes was a former electronics engineer. He built a harness designed with wings on his arms for flight. It also enhanced his strength and increased his lifespan. The Vulture was the second super villain Spider-Man ever faced in the original comics.

    • This show gets its name from a series of Spider-Man comics by the same name. The first series of The Spectacular Spider-Man comic books went from 1976 to 1998. The second series went from 2003 to 2005.


    • Episode Title: Survival of the Fittest

      The title of this episode refers to the phrase applied by Herbert Spencer in 1864. It relates to competition to survival or dominance.

    • Peter constantly refers to himself as "The Amazing Spider-Man." This is the name of Spider-Man's first and currently ongoing original comic book series.

    • Eddie Brock is introduced as a good friend of Peter and Dr. Curt Connors assistant, similar to that of their Ultimate comic series.

    • In the opening credits for the show, one of the photos of Spider-Man is the exact same pose from his comic debut: Amazing Fantasy #15.

    • Spider-Man: You heard the one about great power comin' with great responsibility?

      This is a reference to a famous line that Uncle Ben told Peter before he died.

    • Gargoyles:
      The stone gargoyle that Spider-Man webbed to pull and fall looks exactly like Broadway from Disney's animated series, Gargoyles. Gargoyles' writer Greg Weisman wrote in this episode, while Keith David, who voices Big Man, also voices Goliath. During the first scene, at the beginning of the episode, there is a line of gargoyles that Spider-Man passes. The gargoyle on the far left has a beard and resembles the elder gargoyle Hudson.