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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Marvel's Spider-Man is a retelling of Peter Parker's evolution into the web-slinging hero. It focuses heavily on how he balances his alter-egos of superhero and average teen. Despite being his town's regular savior from the likes of The Vulture and other villains, Peter has his share of relatable troubles, as well, notably money and caring for his aging aunt after her husband's death. As such, Peter is an unusually "human" hero with whom viewers will sympathize, especially when unscrupulous people (often posing as friends) take advantage of his integrity. Many scenes show characters engaged in conflict, battling with superpowers in some cases and weapons in others. Often Peter faces a choice between saving himself and helping others, raising moral quandaries for viewers.
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What's the story?
MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN opens just weeks after Peter Parker's (voiced by Robbie Daymond) fateful arachnid bite genetically modifies him and turns him into an unwitting superhero. But even with his powers growing by the day, Peter finds a sizable learning curve to becoming a superhero. And then there are the demands of his new placement at Horizon High, a school for teens gifted in the sciences where Peter meets a new mentor, the brilliant scientist Max Modell (Fred Tatasciore). Meanwhile, Peter's best friend, Harry (Max Mittelman), recently was ousted from Horizon on false accusations of academic dishonesty, inspiring Peter to help him uncover who's behind the stunt and why.
Is it any good?
If you're wondering whether Spidey's popularity can possibly support yet another animated series, don't worry: It can. This one picks up a few weeks into the development of Peter's new alter-ego, so he's still learning the ropes -- er, webs? -- of his powers. And that trademark red-and-blue bodysuit? It doesn't even exist yet, so the Peter you'll meet is still swinging into action in sweats and goggles. But as has always been the case with this hero in particular, it's his humanity that endears him to viewers, and they'll get a lot of that here.
For the casual Marvel fan, Marvel's Spider-Man is a fun, action-filled series that pays homage to the character's comic book beginnings throughout the episodes. Those with a solid working knowledge of the Marvel universe as a whole, though, will find an underlying web entwining Spidey's story with other villains' and heroes' and helping make this a promising addition to the Marvel franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this iteration of Spider-Man compares to that of other shows and movies. What characteristics stand out in Marvel's Spider-Man more than you've noticed in others? Does the fact that he's flawed make him more or less appealing to you?
How does Peter make decisions when he's faced with them? Is he always selfless, or do his own concerns ever outweigh the greater good? What broader themes of compassion and kindness do his dilemmas raise? Why are these important character strengths?
This story suggests that friends can become enemies in the blink of an eye. Have you ever experienced this kind of manipulation? What issues cause problems among your peers? How do you cope with them?
- Premiere date: August 19, 2017
- Cast: Robbie Daymond, Fred Tatasciore, Max Mittelman
- Network: Disney XD
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Superheroes, Book Characters
- Character strengths: Compassion
- TV rating: TV-Y7-FV
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: September 26, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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