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**SEASON TWO SPOILERS OF "THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN"**
**BIG SPOILERS -- SERIOUSLY**
**FINE, DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU**
Hello, I said I'd be back.
Here's part two of my episode reviews for season two...
So we get Frederick Foswell as Patch, Black Cat's cameo return, a bidding war between a bunch of supervillains, the introduction of Kingsley, and the debut Silver Sable...and voiced by Nikki Cox, no less! Man, you guys know how to throw a party! I didn't even mind that Silver Sable turned out to be Silvermane's daughter. Seeing Doc Ock at the auction with Vulture, as well as his tentacles around two lovely ladies, was a nice addition and Ock even convinces Rhino to go out and get the chip. I'm just surprised Vulture didn't speak. When we get Kingsley, he acts like Roderick one minute and then his twin brother Daniel the next. I'm guessing he's actually both, since we only have Courtney B. Vance credited as "Kingsley" in the credits. Not only do we get to see Spider-Man fight Hammerhead (finally!!), but we get a brief Rhino/Spidey team-up! Best of all, said chip is a fake and the real one is with Norman Osborn! Osborn's taking a long walk down a dark path now and I love every second of it.
I hate to say it, but this was kind of a filler episode for me. I mean, we've got the Shocker back and the Enforcers. But did the Enforcers really need costumes too like the Shocker? One of the reasons I love the Enforcers in the comics is because they are normal looking foes. They're not supposed to wear super-powered villain costumes. This is why I do not like Montana being the Shocker in this series. Herman Schultz may not be as memorable as Otto Octavius or Norman Osborn in the alter-ego department, but he's the Shocker. He's just a crook who wants to steal cash and keep a professional reputation, but keeps getting foiled by Spider-Man. Having Montana as the Shocker is, no disrespect intented, just wrong in my opinion. To me, it's not the Shocker, it's Montana in a Shocker costume and with Shocker's gauntlets. This isn't as bad as the Rheinholdt Kragov Electro that the Fox Kids Spider-Man show gave us, but any deviation from a classic Spider-Man foe, especially in terms of their alter-egos, doesn't sit well with me. That's just how I roll. Besides, I especially did not care for seeing Fancy Dan as Ricochet. Ricochet was my favorite Spidey identity-turned-Slingers member and seeing someone with the name Ricochet as a villain made me cringe. The episode itself also seems a bit out of place to me. We had the start of the Gang War arc with the bid on the chip, and Gang War's conclusion comes up next. In between that, we get -- Shocker, Ox and Ricochet? That took me out of the story a bit, because it seems a bit out of place in this particular arc. I think, at least, this should have happened before the bidding war, because this is an odd choice for the middle of the Gang War arc, especially since most of the villains involved (Doc Ock, Tombstone, Silvermane, etc.) don't even show up in this episode. Also, we have focus on quite possible the worst villain that Spider-Man has faced on this show: Sally Avril. Seriously? Well, at least she did seem concerned about Peter in the episode when she thought he had died, even if it was for about two micro-seconds. However, I did love what happened with Flash in this episode. I'm really loving how much Flash has grown in this season and how he's been handled. Kudos, all. Stan Carter's dark comments regarding Spidey not going "far enough" against villains was a nice addition. And you have got to love that ending with Harry...
I never thought I'd love the opera so much in my entire life. We get Silvermane making his debut, AND his cyborg armor look to boot. I love the return of Silver Sable, but was disappointed she didn't do as much as she did in "Accomplices". Despite this, I liked how she was trembling when in Hammerhead's presence. It shows that Hammerhead is also growing as a criminal to fear, like the other crime lords here. Doc Ock, in particular, also shines here, and I love, love, LOVE what you've done with him in this episode. Next to "Shear Strength", THIS is the Doc Ock I know and love: brilliant, cold and extremely dangerous. His attack on the defenseless Silvermane and his hatred for Spider-Man during their fight scenes are wonderful to watch, and Peter MacNicol simply cannot appear in enough episodes as the voice of Ock. One moment I loved was when Doc Ock was shouting with rage in his final fight with Spider-Man in the sewers after he was kicked against the pipes. Seeing Ock continue to attack Spidey with just such fury shows just how frustrating and how hateful that Ock finds our heroic Spider-Man.
Please, please, PLEASE say we'll see Doc Ock in multiple episodes next season.
The only Doc Ock complaint is the sudden lack of the new chip. What happened here? Suddenly, Spidey removes the power pack again when Ock's knocked on the ground and Ock's tentacles no longer work. Did I miss something here? When Ock returns for season three, PLEASE say he'll get TOTAL mental control over his tentacles. This is the most annoying method ever for defeating Doc Ock, moreso than Spider-Man firing webs over Doc Ock's goggles/sunglasses. Ock is in serious need of improvement on your show.
However, I'll forgive this incident for the sheer joy for the next two highlights: Spider-Man's rematch with Tombstone, and the reveal of the new Big Man in the finale. The Green Goblin is back in style, just as crazy as ever. If Gobby's maniacal laughter at the finale doesn't give you chills and get you excited for next week's episode, I don't know what will.
In all, this is my second favorite episode for season two. Brilliant work, guys. I applaud you all.
My fifth favorite episode of this series. The introduction of Molten Man is wonderful, we get some great moments for Liz and Mary Jane, and we also get a bit of the Green Goblin. We even get Blackie Gaxton back, to boot! The personalities for the characters really shine here. I really felt bad for Mark here after all that's happened to him. When Liz shouts at Peter and then breaks down crying, you feel sorry for her. I also felt bad for seeing Mary Jane standing by herself when Peter comforts a sobbing Liz. I hope M.J. gets much more focus in season three...or in the current Marvel Comics, but that's another matter.
This wasn't a bad episode, it was very entertaining. But it's not one of the better episodes this season, either. I loved seeing all of the imprisoned villains together, especially since we saw Beck with inmates back in "Identity Crisis", hence my forshadowing mention earlier.
[Wait, did I really just say "hence"?!? What am I, a senior citizen?!?]
I loved seeing the Rhino, the Enforcers (thankfully without their costumes), Silvermane, and Molten Man. I especially love what you did with Molten Man here. You sooooo have to bring him back when there's a new third season. However, I didn't care much for the reveal of the imprisoned Quentin Beck as a robot that tranformed into Mysterio, though it does explain why Tinkerer didn't break out Mysterio at the finale of "Reinforcement". Despite this, the Mysterio gargoyles pop up again and are as fun and funny as ever, so I'll forgive it. I won't be so kind, though, on the reveal of Uncle Ben's real killer. Black Cat's father?!? Ugh. No offense, but this brought back bad memories of "Spider-Man 3" for me. We didn't need someone with a name or a history to be the guy who fatally shot Uncle Ben, or someone who felt haunted about doing it. In the comics, it's a nameless burglar. It's more effective. Sometimes, less is more, and it should've been that way here. Granted, it gives a new twist on the Spider-Man/Black Cat relationship, but here, it felt forced and unneeded. Though it's going to be interesting to see what Black Cat does next time she shows up. I did like her characterization here, and I really LOVED what you did with the Green Goblin. At this point, I honestly didn't care if it was Norman or Harry behind that mask: I simply wanted to see more of him. His rhyming, his hacking into the Vault, his fight with Spider-Man...it's just pure brilliance. We also get a great, long overdue moment on this show: Hobie Brown finally speaks!! However, I must applaud you with J. Jonah Jameson. He's just pure gold in this episode. I especially love his scenes in this episode, from his joy in seeing Spider-Man imprisoned to his quip about Mysterio's robots getting their own show. But the best is saved for last, indeed...
Seriously...this is the best season two episode!! Everything here is just brilliant. From Peter's break-up with Liz Allan to the "is he or isn't he" guessing game of the man behind the Green Goblin's mask, this show had more twists and turns than any other episode. I have to admit, I love your portrayal of Donald Menken. Think you can reprise the role next season? Anyway, what's so clever here is that you can totally buy the idea of ANY of the suspects being the Green Goblin, from Donald Menken to Harry Osborn to Norman Osborn. I must admit, I knew Chameleon would appear in season two, but I had no idea how cool and important his role here would be...or the big reveal of Chameleon's REAL first appearance on your show.
On one hand, it could've been Harry. I thought this show was going to have Norman somehow transfer the Goblin personality from Harry into himself with his staff to spare Harry of what he'd done in season one. This would've given Norman the edge he needed over Tombstone and Hammerhead without having to apologize for what had happened to Harry, kind of like a selfish "what was a curse for Harry has been turned into a blessing for me" angle. Given how Harry had acted in "Competition" and "The Invisible Hand", or how he kept blacking out after taking Globulin Green, you could believe that he had with a split personality and was the Green Goblin. Maybe when he was Harry-Goblin, he listened at the door about Hammerhead threatening Osborn with Octavius' knowledge of Osborn co-creating Rhino and Sandman before he entered to tell his dad about his latest accomplishments since he was now a football player and that he had a date to the Fall Formal. Of course, we all know Goblin later traps Octavius and turns him into Doc Ock, even if that wasn't his intention. It also would've explained Harry's angry outburst and attack on his father when he blacked out in "The Uncertainty Principle".
Granted, I knew Norman Osborn would likely be the Goblin this season, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how tricky and how evil he actually was. I mean, you see him break his own son's ankle, for crying out loud! Norman is slimy, unapologetic and cares for no one, not even his own son. He just takes what he wants and doesn't care who he hurts.
My sole problem with this episode is Green Goblin's faked death. It was simply too early to have Norman Osborn believed dead by his son and the public, especially since I simply wanted to see more of him next season. At least we could've had Norman find out Peter's secret identity before episode's end. I mean, Norman goes from wanting to turn Harry into a man he could be proud of and then suddenly leaves New York under the alias of the blond Mr. Roman when everyone thinks he's deceased? I know Osborn's just planning his next move, but I didn't think he'd need to let anyone think he was dead to do it. However, given Harry's own dark turn when he guilts Gwen into sticking around as his girlfriend after previously learning he found out Gwen intended to leave him for Peter, I'm sure Harry's going to go down a dark path of his own that may lead him to the Green Goblin mask one day.
I'm also gonna guess that one of Goblin's "pumpkin head" henchmen is gonna be Hobgoblin or Jack O'Lantern. Maybe it's a currently-unnamed Jason Macendale working for Goblin? And with Tombstone being watched and Hammerhead MIA, maybe Frederick Foswell trades his Patch identity for the position of the new Big Man...
I've also got some guesses as to who the Hobgoblin could be, early as it may be:
- Donald Menken. We thought he could've been Green Goblin, so he might be a Hobgoblin suspect too.
- Chameleon. Heck, we thought he was Norman Osborn on season two and if Harry hadn't realized Chameleon's apology mistake, we wouldn't have even thought he was an imposter.
- Norman Osborn. What better way to have the time to improve his own equipment and costume when everyone thinks you're dead, even your own wife and son?
- Harry Osborn. Hey, he was the Hobgoblin in "Ultimate Spider-Man", so why not here too? And it'd be a great way to have him avenge his thought-dead dad by attacking his own best friend, even if he doesn't know it...yet.
- Ned Lee. He's working on stories of Spider-Man and the Green Goblin for the Bugle. I also buy he's the original Hobgoblin in the comics a lot more than I do that Roderick Kingsley was the real Hobby all along. Speaking of which...
- Roderick Kingsley. The obvious man behind the mask, but given how manipulative he turned out to be and just how long it took us to find out who the original Hobgoblin really was, it may not be so easy for us to think Roderick would don the Goblin mask in season three.
- Emily Osborn. Where DOES she disappear to, anyway? And besides, it'd give her something to do on the show besides silently cut her dinner with a kitchen knife.
For season three, I'm betting we see Venom back, more of Mary Jane, Man-Wolf, the debut of Hydro-Man, and maybe even the origin of Jackal. But these are merely guesses.
Now, I don't want my comments on season two to sound too mean or even make you think I didn't like season two at all. Far from it. I love this show. I just got disappointed with it, is all. Besides, you've got to take the bad comments with the good. If everyone told you how brilliant it was all the time, then you wouldn't learn about what people didn't like about it, or how to improve on your faults and become a better writer out of it from what you've learned. Season two was nowhere near as bad as seasons two, four or five of Fox Kids' "Spider-Man" series, but it wasn't as good as season one of "Spectacular". Regardless of my rants and criticism, I honestly hope you and the rest of the writers and directors return for a season three. "The Spectacular Spider-Man" is my favorite animated series ever, Spider-Man or otherwise. It simply cannot end at season two, but it also can't continue without the current cast and crew. You're what makes this show so great, and you all do brilliant work. I genuinely hope this show gets its planned 65-episode run...and much more.
Thank you so very much for your time, sir. I'm honored to chat with another fellow Spider-Man fan such as you.
**END OF SEASON TWO SPOILERS**
**END OF SPOILERS**
Spidey didn't remove Ock's chip, he removed Ock's power-pack. Ock DOES have total mental control of his tentacles thanks to the chip imbedded in his spine. But something still needs to power the tentacles, and that's the power pack.
And Norman didn't BREAK Harry's ankle, he twisted it. Not that I'm defending the act, just trying to be specific, since this casual misconception seems to have become common currency.