Amongst all the Avengers announcements at San-Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios also gave an update on the latest adventure for their signature wall-crawler. No, they did not announce Spider-Man 4, but the studio did take the time to share a first glimpse at the upcoming Spider-Man: Freshman Year.
The animated Spidey series will follow Peter Parker as he comes to grips with his newly acquired powers in what looks to be an alternate universe from the mainline MCU. This series is part of Marvel Studios' blossoming animation division, which features new shows like What If...? and even revivals of classics like X-Men '97.
Though Tom Holland will not be voicing Peter in the Disney+ show, Marvel did mention plenty of familiar (and some not so familiar) faces that will be appearing in the project.
Meet the Cast of Spider-Man: Freshman Year
As a part of the Marvel Studios Animation Panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios pulled the curtain back on Spider-Man: Freshman Year.
This first look included a glimpse at the villains that will appear in the project including, Unicorn, Scorpion, Tarantula, Butane, Otto Octavius, Carmela Black, the Rhino, Speed Demon, and Chameleon.
Unicorn is a relatively obscure Marvel Comics character, who seems to have been genderbent for Freshman Year and can fire energy from the top of their head in the comics. Scorpion is a classic Spidey villain that has been teased in the MCU, but dons his full armor and robotic tail for his animated incarnation. Tarantula appears to be based on the Maria Vasquez version of the character as indicated by the long blades mounted to her fists, but Freshman Year's take lacks the comics' vibrant spandex costume.
Butane takes his name from a D-list villain from the comics, but appears to be a completely different interpretation that has arm-mounted flamethrowers. Many know Otto Octavius better by his villainous moniker Doctor Octopus, and appears in a suit directly inspired by his classic comic costume.
Carmela Black is the name of a villain who takes on the Scorpion mantle at one point in the comics, which could be a tease of where the character is headed in the Disney+ series. Similarly, Rhino appears without his mechanical or rubberized suit in Freshman Year, so it's possible the criminal will acquire an upgrade.
Speed Demon is a slight departure from his comic incarnation, sporting robotic leg attachments to achieve his super speed rather than having powers himself. Chameleon is notable for being the first villain that ever crossed Spider-Man in the comics, so could do the same in the show.
These big bads will also be joined by Norman Osborn, who will serve as Peter Parker's mentor in the project. A classic Spider-Man villain both in the comics and on the big screen, it is yet to be seen whether this version will evolve into the Green Goblin.
Norman will not be the only Osborn in the project either, as Peter's longtime comic book best friend, Harry Osborn, will appear as well.
One villain (or villain-adjacent character) not listed, but still shown off was the scientist Bentley Whitman, who eventually takes on the villainous persona, Wizard.
Along with these first peeks at the various villains set to show up in the wall-crawling cartoon, they also offered up a few action shots from Freshman Year. The first of these included a cameo from Marvel hero Doctor Strange as he stands alongside Peter Parker, some sort of dastardly force.
Another showed Spidey in his homemade suit going up against the hot-headed baddie Butane.
One had Spider-Man on his back looking up at the villain Speed Demon.
And the last showcased a dinner between Peter and Norman Osborn, with no context as to if it was an amicable meal or something a little more sinister.
A Fresh Look at Freshman Year
This was really the first look that audience members got at the upcoming Spider-Man: Freshman Year, and while it did not include anything in motion, it did not disappoint. Canonicity questions aside, Freshman Year looks like a Spidey fans dream and the next essential Spider-Man cartoon.
The fact that its rogues' gallery is going as deep as it seemingly does should be encouraging. This series is not just stopping at the big names like Norman Osborne and Otto Octavious, but instead opts to also include lesser-known adversaries of the web-slinger.
And it isn't even just about the villains that are there today. The fact that Marvel Studios: Animation is including names like Bentley Whitman means they are really going to flesh out this world. While a character may debut as someone who is not a threat, that does not mean they will be the same person maybe a season or two down the line.
Sure, this is not technically the MCU fans know and love but is one that is seemingly just as vast with just as many colorful personalities.
Spider-Man: Freshman Year is set to debut on Disney+ sometime in 2024.