Spider-Man fans may have to wait until 2011 for the next installment in the popular film franchise, but until then, they’d be wise to check out the web-slinger’s latest animated series, “The Spectacular Spider-Man.” Though the show is gearing up to begin its second season on March 23rd, those who missed the first batch of episodes can catch up with the release of the second and third volumes on DVD. Volume One’s “Attack of the Lizard” may have already set up the overarching story of the first season, but Volumes Two and Three are far more entertaining thanks to the inclusion of so many classic Spidey villains. After numerous appearances as a pair of petty thieves, Flint Marko and Alex O’Hirn are finally transformed into Sandman and Rhino, respectively, while Dr. Octavius assumes his own supervillain alter ego after the Green Goblin lures him into a trap. And just who is the Green Goblin? All I’ll say is that it’s not who you think it is, making his real identity the first major shake-up from the official canon.

Reminiscent of the great Marvel shows of the 1990s, “The Spectacular Spider-Man” is hands down the best superhero cartoon on the air. An interesting blend of the comics (both old and new) and the Sam Raimi-directed movies, purists may be irked by some of the changes that have been made, but kids will love it nonetheless. Unfortunately, the series can currently only be purchased in these silly three-episode volumes, so unless you have the money to spend on all four Season One DVDs (which will run you about $60), you’ll want to hold off for the inevitable complete set.

Click to buy “The Spectacular Spider-Man: Volume Two and Three”