'Ultimate Spider-Man' Premieres On Disney XD April 1, Kicks Off New Marvel Block

Marvel animation fans are probably well aware G4 has been running anime-inspired cartoons featuring the X-Men, Iron Man and, starting this week, Blade, on Friday nights. However, based on the time slot alone, it's pretty obvious those shows are skewed to an audience slightly older than kids. Lest we forget, Marvel's a Disney company now, so it seems like a no-brainer for the Mouse to air some younger themed Marvel content themselves. That's exactly what's happening this April. Disney XD will premiere a Marvel block of programming called the Marvel Universe on April 1 with the launch of Ultimate Spider-Man. Read more after the jump.

MarvelĀ announcedĀ this on their official website after a press conference at the Television Critics Association Press Tour.

Besides the Ultimate Spider-Man, which features the voices of Drake Bell as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Chi McBride as Nick Fury, JK Simmons reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson, Stan Lee as a Janitor, Clark Gregg back as Agent Coulson and Steven Weber as Norman Osborn, the block will also feature the popular show The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes as well as "exclusive Marvel content, including new animated short-form series, live-action interstitials."

Those last three things sound like they're, basically, just going to fill in the gaps between Spider-Man and Avengers. What would be really cool is if the shows overlapped. Spider-Man should totally be part of The Avengers universe. It's only in the movies where that's not going to happen, thanks to the fact that different companies control film rights to the characters.

Either way, the Spider-Man show has the potential to be really solid. The voice cast is obviously impressive and Brian Michael Bendis, the guy currently writing the comic of the same name, has a hand in it. It'll be about not only Spider-Man as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. working with four other teen superheroes.

Here's the full press release with the info. Is this something you're excited about?

Disney XD will launch Marvel Universe, a dedicated Marvel programming block, with the new series "Ultimate Spider-Man" as its centerpiece, on Sunday, April 1, it was announced today by Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, California. Marvel Universe on Disney XD will be the ultimate place for fans to find exclusive Marvel content, including new animated short-form series, live-action interstitials and the series return of "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!" The block will be home to Marvel's biggest superstars, such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America and many more to introduce dynamic stories of action, adventure and heroism to a whole new generation.

Marsh said, "Iconic Marvel heroes and villains and stories with core values of accomplishment, discovery and growth make Marvel Universe a perfect complement to Disney XD and a destination for parents and kids to experience together."

"Marvel Universe block is an incredible animated ride filled with fantastic action and adventure," said Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television. "The spectacular team of writers and animators capture stories with all the dynamic fun you can imagine. Disney XD is the perfect place for families and Marvel fans of all ages to come together every Sunday."

Acting as the keystone of the Marvel Universe block, "Ultimate Spider-Man" features a teenage Peter Parker juggling the typical growing pains of high-school with the not-so-typical growing pains of being a super hero. As the newest member of Nick Fury's S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, Peter finds himself on a team with four other teenage super heroes.

Produced by Marvel Animation, the series' award-winning creative team includes Joe Quesada (Marvel's CCO), Paul Dini ("Batman: The Animated Series," "Lost"), the creative powerhouse Man of Action Studios (creators of "Ben 10" and "Generator Rex"), comprised of lauded creators Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle; and Brian Michael Bendis (visionary behind Marvel's ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN comic series).

The voice cast includes Drake Bell ("Superhero," "Drake & Josh") as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Chi McBride ("Boston Public," "Pushing Daisies") as Nick Fury, JK Simmons ("Spider-Man") as J. Jonah Jameson, Stan Lee ("Spider-Man") as Stan the Janitor, Clark Gregg ("Iron Man," "Thor," "Marvel's The Avengers") as Agent Coulson and Steven Weber ("Wings") as Norman Osborn.