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FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2008


Andrew Robinson got all the toys to play with as writer of "Group Therapy," this Saturday's episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man on The CW 4Kids.

The episode continues the story of the black suit and pits Spider-Man against the Sinister Six.

The Continuum caught up with the writer for a quick question-and-answer.

The Continuum: How'd you get involved with the show?

Robinson: I've known Greg Weisman for... well, more years than I care to be exact about, but let's just say since high school. And I've been writing for animation for a while, but I had never worked with Greg until a couple of years ago, when he hired me to write a few episodes of a show for JETIX called "W.I.T.C.H." My recollection is that when Spider-Man came up, he suggested that I put my name in the hat for approval from Sony, Marvel and KidsWB, and thankfully I made the cut. And I'm thinking it didn't hurt that he knew I was a comic book collector.

The Continuum: How many episodes have you written? Are you working on Season 2 also?

Robinson: I did three episodes of Season 1 - "Market Forces," (Shocker), "Catalysts" (Green Goblin) and "Group Therapy." And I wrote three episodes for Season 2.

The Continuum: What do you like about this incarnation of Spidey?

Robinson: Wow. Umm... well, of course, I love that I can prove to my folks now that all that time and money "wasted on comic books" actually DID help prepare me for a career. Apart from that, I feel like this Spidey is the fortunate beneficiary of Greg's encyclopedic intimacy with the stories and characters, and his having been able to take what he regarded as the best elements of all the previous incarnations and blend them into this new reality. I love that we've rebooted the mythos and made it completely contemporary, from Peter's relationships, to the pan-ethnic look of New York, to the measured, technologically cutting-edge and logically interconnected creations of his rogues' gallery. I like that our boy's learning the ropes of life and of heroism here, and he makes mistakes as both Peter and Spidey that make him feel like a real person - not to mention the fact that he has to use his brain a lot. And he's funny. Visually, I give huge props to the artists and particularly the directors; I've never seen an animated show that - per Greg's and Victor Cook's desire from inception - moves like this one does. Best-directed and most fluid action sequences ever, bar none. I could go on, but I'm hoping that clinches my spot in the rotation for season 3.

The Continuum: How was it to write the Sinister Six? Was it hard to give everybody screen time?

Robinson: It's actually kind of hard to TYPE "Sinister Six," so you can imagine how tough it was to WRITE them. It was great fun, but it was actually a little tougher than I expected. And yes, giving everyone enough screen time is one thing, but it's also making sure that you're capturing each character's established speech patterns and rhythms, not to mention their fighting styles, in that limited amount of time, while keeping the story moving. And making sure Spidey didn't beat anyone the same way twice, of course.

The Continuum: Anything special viewers should watch out for Saturday?

Robinson: Four words: "Aunt May. Table dance." Nuff said? Okay, I'm kidding...Brrrr.. Nobody wants to see that. Well, almost nobody. Uh...without giving away any spoilers, this is the second episode of the Venom saga, so viewers should watch out for some major action as we learn just how far the black suit can take Spidey.

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