Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spectacular Spider-man Review

Episode 25: Opening Night

This episode of Spectacular Spider-man had quite a lot in it. This series has been great at really adding a lot to each episode but this episode was much more stuffed then usual and it works for the most part, until the very end sadly.

First off I want to mention the brilliance in how they handled using A Midsummer Night’s Dream so effectively. When I first heard that was the play they where doing I chuckled to myself as while I hated reading it in Middle school, I now have a lot of affection for this story and it’s my favorite Shakespeare play.

It was used very well here as we got little moments that sort of tied to how the characters in the prison and how the actors in the play may have felt. Use of quotes was great and it just did a great job of showing respect to the play and integrating it so well into the story without making it feel forced.

One thing that really confused me about the setting of Spider-man in a prison is…well, why the hell would he be so stupid as to agree to do this test on the play night? You’re Spider-man! In a prison full of people who hate you! You really think something isn’t going to go wrong?

Now I at least appreciate a decent explanation of why Spidey is in jail, testing the new super cells. Still, it’s a really big night for your girlfriend…I think the test could wait until tomorrow.

Peter just is having the worst luck with his relationship with Liz, I mean seriously, the only way this relationship could be more of a train wreck is if Venom eats her.

I loved Green Goblin in this episode. The writers have really handled him by making him really fun yet at the same time very threatening. It feels very close to the Mark Hamill Joker of Batman: The Animated Series. I know some people may like a more serious and dark Goblin but I love this happy and funny version.

Also having him rhyme was just awesome. More rhyming Goblin please!

Black Cat was great in this episode, everything from her…*ahem* I guess “playful” is a safer term for a kids’ cartoon then sexy. Anyway, from her playful attitude to her more serious sorrow at the end of this episode. It was great finally seeing her get some development here and we are starting to feel more for her and see the human beneath that mask.

Also you know the Parker luck, especially with women? Yeah it’s in full swing here. Man, it just sucks to be Peter Parker. You find a great girl like Black Cat and her dad just happens to be the guy who killed your uncle. That just sucks man. I’ve had some bad relationship luck but that one takes the cake.

This was a pretty interesting twist but what really makes it work is how we humanize Felicia’s father. We don’t see the scumbag monster like we did in the comics. The comics always treated the killer of Uncle Ben like he was the worst person in the world and we all should just hate him and not question anything else about him.

Here we see he really wasn’t a horrible person, just what he did was horrible. He didn’t take any pleasure in killing Uncle Ben and it haunts him still and he feels horrible for it. So much that he actually knows he belongs in jail and accepts that. It was a brilliant twist for the character and it really blew me away, especially with how well the lines where delivered so the emotion of the character really hit hard.

One thing though, did Spider-man give up his secret identity or something? He is pissed at her father and it’s obvious that he mentions that this doesn’t make them even so it would be safe to assume that you figure “Spider-man pissed over Uncle Ben = Spider-man being related to Ben” but I guess maybe that was glossed over.

Seeing all these villains together was a lot of fun. Mostly seeing the little purple gargoyles again! I love those little guys. I’m calling for a spin-off starring them.

Most of the villains where handled well but really they where all just there as cameos when in comparison. Though I did like the nice touch of seeing Molten Man sad to be fighting Spider-man again. A nice little twist for the villain that he really doesn’t like being a villain at all.

Now for the ending, this was my biggest problem with this episode. Goblin says he’s going to go take care of Spider-man, he has him on the ropes and then Black Cat shows up so he just retreats while giggling like the lunatic that he is.

Why? The only real reason is of course that the writers didn’t have enough time to fit in a big fight at the end so they just had him run away. It was really annoying and I was really excited to see a rhyming Goblin fight Spider-man! How fun would that have been? Even if he was tired of the rhymes, we could have gotten some more at the end!

Then there was that final moment between Spider-man and Black Cat. Ouch. I feel bad for Spider-man but at the same time Black Cat’s love for her father outweighs his obvious reason for staying in jail so she can’t see what good he’s doing.

I hope this doesn’t damper their relationship for season 3…assuming there is a season 3 (make it happen Disney!) as she’s a character I really like and with Peter now girlfriend-less (Spoiler for season finale?) I can’t help but hope that Black Cat could become a more important character.

This episode was greatness, about as great as greatness can be great. While it had some little bits that bugged me this is just more proof that this is one of the best cartoons out there right up with the greats. A great episode that shouldn’t be missed.

Score: 8.5 Out of 10 

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