John Semper Jr., Producer and Head Writer for Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994 to 1998) runs a Facebook page devoted to one of the best comic book-based shows of all-time. He's filled it with production artwork, character model sheets and even behind-the-scenes information.
Why Hobgoblin came before The Green Goblin:
John Semper Jr.: The short answer is that the first person hired as the head writer on the series made the decision to introduce the Hobgoblin first, for reasons that are only known to him. In fact, from what I understand, he was NOT going to have the Green Goblin appear in the series AT ALL! Based on his decision, an entire line of HOBGOBLIN toy figures was created for release just before the financially crucial (to the toy company) Christmas sales period. By the time my predecessor was fired from the show and I was hired to replace him, it was too late to stop the creation of the Hobgoblin toys. Despite my protesting and cajoling, I could not get the powers-that-be to agree to let me start off with the Green Goblin BEFORE the Hobgoblin, so I was stuck having to introduce the Hobgoblin first. Given all of that, I think I did a pretty good job of having it all make logical sense, but for comic book purists (like myself), I still would have preferred to begin with the Green Goblin. We all can agree, however, that the voice performance of MARK HAMILL did an excellent job of making the Hobgoblin fun and interesting!
Peter Parker resembled Nicholas Hammond, the actor that starred in The Amazing Spider-Man (1977 to 1979), but that was just a coincidence:
John Semper Jr.: He was based on detailed instructions given by Stan Lee to Producer Bob Richardson, who then drew the design himself. Stan wanted to "update" the look of Peter Parker. When we first started working on the series, Peter looked like Romita's version of Peter. But, one day, Stan woke up on the wrong side of the bed and decided he wanted a new look, and so this was what was created. Nobody was more surprised by the change than I was. Any resemblance to Nicholas Hammond is purely coincidental.
How to spot an inferior Spider-Man adaptation:
John Semper Jr.: When writing Venom's character, it was always hard to remember that he never spoke in the singular. He only spoke in the plural. The first thing I noticed in that flawed "Spider-Man Unlimited" series that followed ours was that they had Venom and Carnage in the first episode, and both were speaking in the singular. That's how I knew right away that the writers of that short-lived series hadn't done their homework. (And let me state for the record, that my series and that "Unlimited" series are NOT connected in any way, shape or form.)
Stan Lee was nervous Mary Jane Watson didn't appear in the pilot:
John Semper Jr.: Stan cornered me one day and he was adamant that Mary Jane had to be the ONLY woman in Peter's life in the series. But I knew that I wanted to build up to that famous Mary Jane entrance and opening line, "Face it Tiger, you just hit the jackpot." And, let's be real -- if Peter wasn't torn between two or more women, then he just wasn't the Peter Parker we had all come to know and love. He certainly wasn't the Peter Parker I had grown up with in the comics. So, I ignored Stan's initial protest and developed the relationships that you ended up with in the series. And, to Stan's credit, once he saw how everything was playing out, his initial fears were put to rest and he was 100% behind everything I did. After all, I was only emulating what he had done years earlier in the comics with great success.
Bruce the Gargoyle was NOT a Batman reference:
John Semper Jr.: One that I come across from time to time is that "Bruce," the inanimate stone gargoyle that Spider-Man occasionally "chatted" with up on the top of a building, was named after "Bruce Wayne" (aka Batman). That is WRONG. I named Bruce the Gargoyle after my late, good friend, Bruce Hepler who was an accomplished, Emmy-nominated film editor here in Hollywood.
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