Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Spider-Man - The Venom Saga

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Christopher Daniel Barnes as Spider-Man/Peter Parker/Additional Voices (voice)
Sara Ballantine as Mary Jane Watson (voice)
Edward Asner as J. Jonah Jameson (voice)
Linda Gary as Aunt May Parker (voice)
Rodney Saulsberry as Joseph 'Robbie' Robertson/Additional Voices (voice)
Hank Azaria as Venom/Edward Brock (voice)
Roscoe Lee Browne as Kingpin/Wilson Fisk (voice)
Joseph Campanella as Dr. Curt Connors (voice)
Maxwell Caulfield as Alistair Smythe (voice)
Jim Cummings as Shocker/Herman Schultz (voice)
Jennifer Hale as Felicia Hardy (voice)
Michael Horton as Man-Wolf/John Jameson (voice)
Jim Cummings as Shocker/Herman Schultz (voice)
Michael Horton as John Jameson (voice)
Don Stark as Rhino/Alex O'Hirn (voice)
Scott Cleverdon as Carnage/Cletus Kasady (voice)
Ed Gilbert as Dormammu (voice)
Barbara Goodson as Dr. Ashley Kafka (voice)
Robert Hays as Iron Man/Tony Stark (voice)
Tony Jay as Baron Mordo (voice)
James Avery as War Machine/Jim Rhodes (voice)
Tony Jay as Baron Mordo (voice)
Joan Lee as Madame Web (voice)
Dawnn Lewis as Lt. Terri Lee (voice)

Special Features:
Stan Lee's Soapbox

Five Exclusive Episode Introductions By Stan Lee

The Venomous Web -- Venom's Origin Is Revealed By His Creators

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Spanish Language Track
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is the description from the DVD cover:

"The Spider-Man™ legend continues with an epic battle against one of Spidey's greatest foes. When an alien element falls into the wrong hands, a lethal new criminal is unleashed. Experience all the high-flying animated action and spine-tingling excitement of this spectacular clash in Spider-Man: The Venom Saga. After rescuing the pilot of a space shuttle carrying two strange meteors, Spider-Man notices a black stain on his costume and a disturbing change in his behavior. Soon, the evil stain consumes his entire costume, and America's favorite Super Hero™ awakens to find himself on the run from both the authorities and his arch-enemies. Will Venom™ be the one to finally ground the Webslinger, or will Spider-Man be able to defeat this powerful new force?"

Spider-Man - The Venom Saga is not rated.

The Series:
Just like the other DVDs featuring the animated Spider-Man series, this one is a lot of fun, especially for comic fans. This set contains a number of the episodes that feature fan favorite villain Venom. They take a lot of liberties with the origin of the character, but all in all it remains very faithful to the comics. The Venom Saga even goes so far as to include the origin of Carnage. While his beginnings are a bit different from the comics, it's still cool to see him appear and wreak havoc in Spidey's life.

One of the big appeals of the series for me, as a comic fan, is that you never know which comic character will pop up next. Besides featuring Venom and Carnage, also look for guest appearances by Iron Man, War Machine, Shocker, Rhino, and other characters. Dormammu and Baron Mordo even make cameos in the Carnage episodes. (I wasn't crazy about the show having Venom and Carnage being thugs for Baron Mordo, but I guess you take what you can get).

Another highlight of the series is the large number of recognizable names doing the voices. Besides Edward Asner as J. Jonah Jameson, you also have Hank Azaria as Venom/Edward Brock. You may know Azaria better as the voices of Apu, Moe, and other characters from The Simpsons. Robert Hays from the Airplane movies also stars as Iron Man/Tony Stark.

If you're any kind of comics fan or Spider-Man fan, then this is one DVD you won't want to miss. I've always thought that Sony could pull Venom out as a new villain when the movies start losing popularity, and this DVD will give you a sneak peek at his origins if you don't already know them.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD:

Stan Lee's Soapbox - Stan Lee talks about anything and everything in this short feature. He discusses protesters dressing up as Spider-Man in the UK, Spidey merchandising, the appeal of Venom, and more.

Five Exclusive Episode Introductions By Stan Lee - Lee introduces each of the episodes. He discusses the characters in the episodes, the stories they feature, and other stuff.

The Venomous Web -- Venom's Origin Is Revealed By His Creators - This should actually say 'creator' since Venom creator and comic writer David Michelinie is the only one that speaks. He appears in voice only and throws out a number of factoids about Venom, his powers, and origins.

The Bottom Line:
Spider-Man and Venom fans will definitely want to add Spider-Man - The Venom Saga to their collections. It features action packed stories, tons of Marvel characters, and a lot of adventure.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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