This is my opinion of the top ten episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series. This is not a definitive list. Feel free to add your top ten lists in the comments below. This list is also in no particular order.
- The Alien Costume, Part II: This in my opinion this was one of the best episodes of season one. This episode wasn't the standard hero vs. villain story that most of the season one episodes followed. In this episode Spider-Man was fighting himself, or rather the alien symbiote that was turning him evil. Also Spider-Man almost committed murder! You don't see that in many episodes, not just in Spider-Man: The Animated Series but in all other Spider-Man cartoons. This episode also led into the first appearance of one of Spider-Man's most famous enemies, Venom.
- The Mutant Agenda/Mutants' Revenge: Since this was really one story split into two halves I am putting both episodes in the number two spot. I will be doing this with other multi part episodes on this list. This two part episode was amazing. It was a crossover between two of the best Marvel cartoons from the 90's, Spider-Man: The Animated Series and X-Men: The Animated Series. One of the pest parts of the episode had to be the part where Spider-Man and Wolverine teamed up to save Beast from Herbert Landon. These two characters couldn't be more different and it was fun seeing their two personalities clash. Wolverine is a no nonsense anti-hero and Spider-Man is more of a joking, lighthearted character. The only thing that could have made this episode better would be if an X-Men villain made an appearance such as Magneto or Mister Sinister.
- Duel of the Hunters: Duel of the Hunters was the final episode in a three episode arc that began in the episode Morbius. Spider-Man was fully transformed into the Man-Spider in this episode and Punisher continued hunting him down. It was also fun to see Kraven the Hunter again but this time he was helping Spider-Man. While Punisher was still attempting to kill Spider-Man, Kraven arrived in New York City to save him. It was also really fun to see Spider-Man as a monster spider. This episode was interesting simply because it was different.
- Framed/The Man Without Fear: This was another great team up episode, this time between Spider-Man and Daredevil. This episode had so many great things going on. Peter Parker was framed for treason, Daredevil guest starred, and Spider-Man finally learned that Wilson Fisk was a powerful crime lord called the Kingpin. Finally, after 2½ years Spider-Man learned that Kingpin had been opperating a criminal empire from the shadows. Also part two had two flashback scenes that revealed Daredevil and Kingpin's origin. I also have to add that Kingpin's origin was changed from the comics. . . and it was way better.
- Turning Point: Turning Point was based on one of the most well known Spider-Man stories, The Night Gwen Stacy died. Despite the fact that the producers couldn't really kill any of their characters they found a great way to tell the story with the inclusion of the portals leading to another dimension. Spider-Man had lost his one true love, Mary Jane Watson, because of the Green Goblin. Spider-Man even came close to letting Green Goblin go into the other dimension as revenge! This was a very important episode because Mary Jane's disappearance dominated the rest of the series.
- The Return of the Green Goblin: This follows up on the events of Turning Point and what a great follow up it is. Harry Osborn blames Spider-Man for the disappearance of both his father, Norman, and Mary Jane Watson. Harry who had always been portrayed as a friend to Peter Parker began to feel hate for Spider-Man and became the new Green Goblin. Gary Imhoff did a great job as the insane, new Green Goblin who took up the mantel from his father, Norman, who was trapped in limbo. It was also nice to see Spider-Man taking Harry to Ravencroft to get help. Spider-Man interacted differently to this villain because of his friendship to him. Harry was alsways an annoying character but this was a great episode.
- Tablet of Time/Ravages of Time: This was a very fast paced episode. There were also so many characters. It was cool seeing Kingpin, Silvermane, Hammerhead, Lizard and others in this episode. This episode also introduced Tombstone who was implied to be a zombie! The main plot involved Kingpin and Silverman trying to get their hands on the Tablet of Time which was a mystical object that could restore a person's youth. Peter also began to date the main villains daughter without knowing she was Silvermane's daughter. I could go on and on about all of the cool stuff that happened in this episode but I better stop before I start rambling.
- Six Forgotten Warriors: The second and fifth seasons had some of my favorite episodes. The five part Six Forgotten Warriors arc definitely belongs on this list. This was a great story. I really liked how these episodes introduced nearly forgotten superheroes from the 1940's when Marvel was called Timely Comics. These heroes included Destroyer, Miss America, Thunderer, Black Marvel, and Whizzer. In the previous season Captain America had a very brief cameo in one of the episodes, but in this we finally got to see him team up with Spider-Man and fight the Red Skull. Some of my favorite moments from this arc include Peter learning that his parents were traitors, the old school heroes, and how Ben Parker learned the lesson that "with great power comes great responsibility." Another really awesome thing about this story arc was that we finally got to see Electro who could not be used in the previous four seasons because James Cameron was going to use him in a Spider-Man movie that of course never got made. A really awesome story arc.
- Secret Wars: Secret Wars often has a love/hate relationship with the fans of Spider-Man: The Animated Series. I think the reason for this is because it's really out of the norm for this series since it takes place on an alien planet. I love this episode because where else are you going to see Spider-Man, Storm, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Cat, the Fantastic Four (Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and Thing), Lizard, Red Skull, Doctor Octopus, Alistair Smythe, and Doctor Doom in one episode. one of my person favorite arcs the series did.
- Spider Wars: I don't think there could have been any bigger and better way to end Spider-Man: The Animated Series then by having Spider-Man, along with alternate reality versions of him, save all of reality. This was an awesome two part episode and we finally found out what Madame Web was training Spider-Man for three years after she was first introduced into the series. I also really like the surprise twist toward the end of part two where Ben Parker (from an alternate reality) saved the convinced Spider-Carnage not to destroy the multi-verse. A lot of people hate that Spider-Man never found the real Mary Jane. However, it was implied that Spider-Man and Madame Web did eventually find her so I don't get why people didn't like the ending. One of the other cool things from this episode was that Spider-Man got to meet his creator, Stan Lee. Another fine episode from the series.
- Make a Wish / Attack of the Octobot: This two part episode was pretty good. It was nothing special but it was a very interesting story. Basically Spider-Man is placed under Doctor Octopus' control and they commit robberies together. Then there is Taina who was the real hero of the story. Because of her Spider-Man is able to snap out of Doc Ock's trance and defeat the villain. This episode also introduces Madame Web who begins training Spider-Man for the ultimate battle which would come in the series finale, Spider Wars.