MORE MARVEL HEROES IN SPIDER-MAN'S SECRET WARS (1997)
WHAT WAS THE PLAN?
With the ‘90s Spider-man animated series drawing to a close, the plan was to include a number of guest stars from Marvel’s other animated shows into the ‘Secret Wars’ storyline that was adapted for the series.
OH. SO WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED?
The Secret Wars story was an adaptation of the comic of the same name published by Marvel during the 1980s, which saw a bunch of Marvel’s most iconic characters team-up in a 12-issue limited series. The animated story followed a similar template as the original comic-book tale, but saw Spidey as the central character teaming up with the Fantastic Four, Storm (from the X-Men), Iron Man, Black Cat and Captain America. The whole story acted as springboard for another Spidey adventure (Spider Wars) and was split into three chapters. Originally at least one of the chapters was to feature the full cast of the X-Men as part of the ensemble and the Hulk and She-Hulk were also set to round out the cast of good guys. As the story also featured a number of villains (Doctor Doom, Red Skull, Smythe etc) the X-Men’s enemy, the villainous Mr Sinister was also set to put in an appearance.
BUT WHAT DID HAPPEN?
The X-Men had previously appeared in two episodes of Spider-man’s second season, but as the X-Men animated series was produced in Canada and Spider-man was produced in the US, it had proved quite costly to fly the entire cast from one country to the other. Despite the episode having already been written, changes were made so that the team’s appearance was reduced to just one member (Storm) and Mr Sinister was dropped from the story completely. As for the Hulk and his cousin She-Hulk, they were bumped from the line-up due to the Hulk having his own show on UPN at the time and so the Hulk never appeared in the animated show at all (although he did get a name check in the very first episode).
WAS THIS SUCH A BAD THING?
In the long run it probably wasn’t such a bad thing that some of the characters didn’t appear, as the Secret Wars story SUCKED! The episodes came at a time when the Spider-man animated series was showing signs of being well past its prime and the three-part Secret Wars story made it official. The inclusion of the X-Men would have been a fun addition, as would have the inclusion of Hulk and She-Hulk, but ultimately the problem was the story and not the cast of characters.
BUT WHAT IF?
If the X-Men, Mr Sinister and ‘the Hulks’ had appeared in the Secret Wars story they would NOT have improved it.
Oh no, oh no, oh no.
No matter how hard you try you can’t polish a turd and Spider-man’s Secret Wars had the tangy aroma of a freshly baked shit.