‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’
While everyone enjoys the might of Marvel Studios today, in the ’90s, Marvel Comics faced far darker times, and even potential bankruptcy. One of the few bright spots was Spider-Man: The Animated Series, starring NYC’s favorite web-slinger (along with just about every Marvel character you could ever hope to cosplay as). After four years, Peter Parker marries his beloved Mary-Jane, only to discover she’s actually a clone, and the real MJ had been thrown off a bridge into an inter-dimensional portal by Green Goblin. Marriage is hard.
Spidey rushes off to save his wife (who he never really married, because Goblin) but we never find out what happens. The series ended up an unfortunate victim of Marvel’s then-tumultuous business dealings. Seeking to make cash, the series was licensed to Fox to help Marvel sell their toy line. Marvel’s Ari Avad ended up at odds with Fox Kids’ Margaret Loesh, who ordered the series canceled to get at Avad. So as it turns out, Spidey’s greatest nemesis wasn’t J. Jonah Jameson, but disgruntled, dueling TV execs.
Plans for Spidey to find MJ in colonial England were shelved, and series writer John Semper Jr. later apologized for traumatizing viewers with the finale, realizing that the implication MJ was never rescued wasn’t actual, proper closure. As for Marvel, it was rescued from doom and morphed into a powerhouse, Disney-owned uber-studio. Many Spidey-fans still celebrate the series, despite realizing that Marvel’s got Avengers tunnel vision, and will never turn back the clock to save Cartoon Spidey’s fair, red-haired maiden.