With DC Comics adapting superheroes like Batman and Superman into films and tv shows from the 1970s to the early 1990s, it looked like Marvel was on the way out unless the company upped its game. After the success of the 1992 series, X-Men, Marvel proved that it could still hold its own against its biggest competitor. To show X-X-Men wasn't a one-hit wonder, the company launched the animated show, Spider-Man in 1994.
Although Marvel has had success in the past with previous animated shows revolving around the wallcrawler like the 1967 version of Spider-Man as well as Spider-Man + His Amazing Friends, the 1994 version's ratings went through the roof. Not only did it air in over 20 countries, it was the top-ranked show in Germany, Portugal, and Spain. Despite the fact that there's 11 television shows of Spidey (with another on the way,) the 1994 version is considered to be the best one.
At first, the show's success doesn't seem that surprising. Of course it was a hit. It's Spider-Man for crying out loud!
But making the show was no picnic. As incredible as the cartoon was, the stories behind making it are just as entertaining. Such as...
10. Some Of The Writers Knew Nothing About Spider-Man
Nowadays, you would struggle to find someone who hasn't heard Spider-Man's origin, but when the show was green-lit, some of the writers didn't know the first thing about Peter Parker. .
Weirdly though, it worked to the show's advantage. To make sure everyone was on the same page, the writers discussed storylines for up to ten hours per day. The supervising director, Bob Richardson looked at each episode as a mini-movie so it was packed with adventure but the characters needed to develop.
Because some of the creators weren't familiar with Spidey's powers, stories, or supervillains, they focused on something else - relationships. They thought it would be a good idea if every character had a different relationship with Spider-Man versus Peter Parker.
For example, Flash Thompson bullies Parker, but is a huge fan of Spider-Man. Aunt May loves Peter Parker but is scared of Spidey. Robbie Robertson admires Parker as a colleague, and respects Spider-Man as a hero.
J. Jonah Jameson though, is nasty to Parker and loathes Spider-Man, etc.
From such a solid foundation, the writing team were able to grow alongside the audience and the character's abilities, arguably stumbling into the perfect recipe for success.