Spider-Man: The Animated Series & The Significance of Firsts
Lets talk about firsts.
We have many in our lifetime: First apartment, first real 'adult' job, first love... and first fandoms.
I believe the phrase "first fandom" has two primary meanings. The first is the earliest piece of fandom that you can recall as an infant or child. This is often introduced by a parental figure or sibling though occasionally it's just something you happened upon out in the vast expanse of endless world - for whatever reason this first piece of geekdom (whatever it may be) imprinted on you and made a lasting impression. The second? The first fandom you seriously fell in love with. You didn't know it at the time but until discovering this fandom your life had been a drought and this fandom was rain. It was seeing colour for the first time. It shaped you in a way no other piece of geekdom had before. If you're lucky, and I mean really lucky, these two fandoms were one and the same.
For me that's Spiderman.
I can't tell you why I loved Spiderman but like a newly hatched duckling imprinting on their mother, the first time I watched Spiderman: The Animated Series I was connected to it for life - and I was only two years old! I grew up watching reruns - as many as I possibly could. I didn't really know or understand comics but something about this show made me feel alive. It was bright and colourful, and the fast paced animation and clever dialogue was rich and engaging. The characters, even the craziest of the iconic villains, felt real. To this day, I still think that my blunt and sarcastic nature was shaped by Peter Parker's iconic quips.
It wasn't until I was a teenager that I began exploring Spiderman outside of the animated show that I had grown to know and love, and that was a whole new world. I read comics, watched the movies, read fanfiction - pretty much anything I had access to, and... I moved on.
For over a decade I didn't revisit the animated series. My early exposure to the series and the impressions I took away from it, from Wilson Fisk having a British accent to Mary Jane Watson being the most annoying of Peter Parker's love interests, continued to influence my take aways from the new Spiderman content I was engaging with but I began to forget about the episodes that had swept me up so deeply.
Then we started a podcast. When we were planning out this first season there were fandoms that I knew Marika would want to include, and likewise she knew that Spiderman would be on the top of my list. I thought really hard what elements I might want to introduce to her. It's not like she didn't know Spiderman but she definitely didn't know Spiderman the way that I did, and whatever I picked was going to be her first.
It was clear - we were going back to The Animated Series.
When the theme song started I realized that once again (right under my nose!) I had been in a drought. The rainfall wasn't as intense as that first time - I know more now and I can see inaccuracies from the comics, I have a deeper understanding of the context of the story lines, and the animation isn't as shiny and new... but this was still rain and Spiderman: The Animated series is always going to be my first.
S1E11 The Hobgoblin, S1E12: The Hobgoblin part 2, S3E4: Enter the Green Goblin
Teas drunk while recording:
Kelly: Plum Delux Currant Conversation
Marika: White 2 Tea Fruit Bomb Lapsang
Teas drunk while geeking: :
Marika: David's Tea David's Breakfast