Ultimate Spider-Man

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Ultimate Spider-Man TV Poster Image
Popular with kids
Hero finds super strength and responsibility with new peers.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 20 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Ultimate Spider-Man is meant to entertain rather than to educate, but the story offers kid-friendly themes about friendship, teamwork, and using your unique talents.

Positive Messages

Ultimate Spider-Man's main theme is teamwork, reflected in Spider-Man's evolution from a "lone ranger" type of crime fighter into one who works within a group and under a leader's direction. It's not an easy change for the snarky teen, but it shows strength of character that he's willing to try it for the sake of being a more effective hero. Other positive messages relate to friendship, integrity, respect for authority, and courage.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As teens and heroes go, Peter's a very likable guy. He values his friendships and respects the parental figure in his life. Spider-Man is always the first to put himself in harm's way to protect both friends and strangers, and he's willing to acknowledge his weaknesses so he can work to improve them. He also relies on the guidance of his aunt and his mentor to help keep him on the right track.

Violence & Scariness

Comic book-style fighting, with bodies hurled into walls, cars crashing, and buildings tumbling. Villains and superheroes use less-traditional weapons like sound waves and webs to take down their enemies, but guns play a role in many of the exchanges, too.

Sexy Stuff

There's some chemistry between Peter and Mary Jane (and at least one shared kiss), but they keep their relationship on a friendly level.

Language

No cursing, but there's marginal language like "butt" and "shut up," and teens often call each other names like "jerk" and "dork."

Consumerism

Spider-Man is a heavily marketed character/brand, thanks to the multiple TV shows, movies, and comic books on the market.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ultimate Spider-Man follows Spider-Man (and his alter-ego, Peter Parker) as a rookie crime fighter who joins forces with a team of other teen heroes to more effectively battle villains. This incarnation of the legendary webbed hero's story offers high-flying action, colorful heroes and villains, and snarky humor that kids will love, plus some positive messages about teamwork, accepting change, and fitting in with a new group of peers. As with all superhero cartoons, clashes between good and evil do turn violent, but the cartoonish style of the exchanges and the lack of injuries lessen the impact on kids.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMrChuck99 March 21, 2016

Words like Jerk, tool and dork

This is the spiderman who uses the words like jerk and dork. This is definitely not a role model for my son who is 7.
Parent Written byarmywife June 28, 2014

Bad attitude

This show is fine if you like your superheroes who call people names like "tool" and "dork." This spiderman has no respect for others. I c... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 19, 2020

Ultimate Spider-Man vs. the Sinister Six

This is like my favorite show ever. I don't see why everyone hates it. It has a lot of funny stuff in it. It introduces new heroes that at least I did not... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMrinank May 23, 2018

Full of superhero comedy

A very good show. Has positive messages and role models. Some bad words are used but it's fine.

What's the story?

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN picks up the story of 16-year-old Peter Parker (voiced by Drake Bell) one year after the death of his uncle and his transformation into the infamous wall-crawling hero. When he's approached by Nick Fury (Chi McBride), the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., about joining his crime-fighting team, Peter agrees for the benefit of some formal training. At S.H.I.E.L.D., he meets Nova (Logan Miller), White Tiger (Caitlyn Taylor Love), Power Man (Ogie Banks), and Iron Fist (Greg Cipes), all slightly more experienced heroes who assume their own alter-egos to join Peter at Midtown High School and keep their fingers on the pulse of the town. Though Peter's not an immediate fit into his new team, he and his new comrades must find a way to work together to thwart the villains who target them, including Norman Osborn (Steven Weber) and Doctor Octopus (Tom Kenny).

Is it any good?

This action-adventure cartoon adds a fresh chapter to the familiar story of the beloved teen hero, using Marvel Comcis legend Nick Fury as a mentor figure for the cocky amateur Spider-Man. Bringing Peter into the fold of the S.H.I.E.L.D. training program isn't an easy process, and the young apprentice has a lot to learn about accepting criticism and being part of a team. And all of this goes down while he's working to keep his identity a secret and trying to survive the pitfalls of high school, which means there's no shortage of action or humor. 

Naturally, violence is the biggest concern in Ultimate Spider-Man, but the fact that the players are masked villains and wall-scaling heroes takes the edge off the fighting. There's no blood, minimal weapon use, and few injuries. What will stick with kids are the lessons Peter learns about growing up and taking on responsibility under the guidance of his mentor and with the help of his new friends.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about heroes in Ultimate Spider-Man. Do you have any personal heroes? What makes them special to you? How do you try to imitate their behavior? Would it change your opinion of them if you saw them doing something wrong?

  • Kids: How do Ultimate Spider-Man's characters make good use of their individual skills? Does working together make them stronger than they are when they're alone? What special talents do Peter's non-hero friends and family have? How do they influence him in a positive way?

  • Peter keeps a big secret from his friends and family. How does it affect him to stay silent about his identity? Do you think he would improve his relationships if he told them the truth? What kinds of secrets are too important to keep from your parents?

  • How do the characters in Ultimate Spider-Man demonstrate courage and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love superheroes

Character Strengths

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