TV Shows
Published December 4, 2019

How ‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ Adapted 'Secret Wars'

Swing into this spectacular series!

Fans of Spider-Man: The Animated series love the show for a variety of different reasons, one of them being that the show was the first to tackle SECRET WARS for the small screen! 

The 3-part arc of the series — starting with "Secret Wars Part 1: Arrival" and ending with "Secret Wars Part 3: Doom" — re-introduced us to the familiar SECRET WARS, while also inverting the storyline for the animated Spider-Man. These episodes also set up for what would become the series finale of Spider-Man: The Animated series. 

Whether you’re familiar with The Animated Series or know SECRET WARS from the comics like the back of your hand, here’s what you need to know and remember about the series as you dive into these Season 5 episodes! 


What happened in Secret Wars?

The war between good and evil began when the Beyonder became fascinated by the heroes of Earth-616. Honestly, who wouldn’t? The Beyonder took it to the extreme when he teleported a group of heroes and villains, against their will, to the aptly named Battleworld to fight each other. The hero side included the Fantastic Four (minus the Invisible Woman), the X-Men, the Avengers, Spider-Woman, the Hulk, and…Magneto? His presence is questioned, and as a result, Magento left them and became neutral. On the villain side, there was Kang the Conqueror, the EnchantressKlaw, Ultron, and Galactus. Yes, planet-eating Galactus. Like Magneto, Galactus separated himself from his group and became a neutral party.

The prominent events of the war included the introduction of Julia Carpenter, the second Spider-Woman, Spider-Man getting a cool, new black suit (which may or may not have been an alien symbiote), Colossus breaking up with Kitty Pryde, the villainesses Titania and Volcana were created, and She-Hulk temporarily replaced the Thing on the Fantastic Four while he explored the galaxy for a year. SECRET WARS was 12 issues and had multiple tie-ins.


Spider-Man’s Adaptation of Secret Wars

The animated series took some creative liberties with the multi-hero story. For one, the war was set up between Madame Web and the Beyonder, under the guise of good versus evil. It served as a test for Spider-Man to see if he could lead the Spider-Men against Spider-Carnage, who wanted to destroy all the universes. Spider-Men from other universes teaming up to stop a common foe? That sounds familiar...

The roster for the heroes greatly decreased (Captain America, Iron Man, Storm, all members of the Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man) as did the villains (Red Skull, Doctor Octopus, Doctor Doom, the Lizard, and Alistair Smythe). Black Cat would be added to Spidey’s team, and the Lizard would eventually defect to that side as well. Additionally, Spider-Man didn’t meet the symbiote here as that storyline was adapted in season 1 (“The Alien Costume” Part One - Three). When the heroes won, their memories, except Spider-Man’s memories, were wiped of everything that transpired. Were they really winners if they couldn’t remember that they won? The adaptation was divided into three parts.


The Ways They Stayed the Same

In both versions, the Secret War took place on the alien planet, Battleworld. Another aspect that remained the same was that Doctor Doom briefly stole the Beyonder’s power to use for his own benefit. Good to know that his boldness didn’t change.

In addition to SEACRET WARS, the series has adapted tons of stories from the comics throughout its five-season run. To watch these awesome stories in action, check out Spider-Man: The Animated Series on Disney+!

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