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**SEASON TWO SPOILERS OF "THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN"**
**BIG SPOILERS -- SERIOUSLY**
**Fine, don't blame me if you get spoiled.**
...Or maybe you can. It's your call.
[EDIT; WHOOPS!! Somehow part 2 got approved before part 1. That was most certainly not my intention. Sorry about that.]
Anyway, hello, sir. Nice to see you're taking questions again.
I've seen all the episodes for season two. It was an excellent season, but to be honest, it was also a disappointing one. I'd like to share my thoughts on this season's episodes, if I may, and tell you what I loved, what I didn't care for, and what episodes I thought were the best/worst of the new season...
Part 1 of reviews
This was one great episode. I loved how this was an introduction to Mysterio that didn't just adapt "The Amazing Spider-Man", vol. 1, #13, which was Mysterio's comic debut. It was good to see the Connors back and that Peter gets a second chance working with them, and thanks to Norman Osborn of all people! Loved Stan Lee's cameo, it was great to see everyone back, and the look of Mysterio was awesome. Also, loved, loved, LOVED the saloon fight with Spider-Man and the army of Mysterio robots. It's good to see that Mysterio is actually a hand-to-hand fighter against Spidey in addition to being the master of illusion. Mysterio never fought Spidey on the Fox Kids Spider-Man series, which I always hated, but here, Mysterio is just great. The gargoyle Homunculi robots that Mysterio used were also great. Can't go wrong with those little critters. The ending with Spidey not recognizing Quentin Beck had me laughing and the Tinkerer appearance was also nice. Great to see Beck escaped going to jail by using a robot double. And Master Planner makes himself known when he talks with Tinkerer on the phone. Very nice. As for Osborn's final scene, never thought I'd think seeing a guy picking the pieces off a cracked egg could be so dang creepy in all my life. So, Osborn's mentoring Peter now, huh? Does Osborn suspect something about Peter and wants to keep a closer eye on him? Hmm...
My only major complaint with "Blueprints" is the voice of Mysterio. We all know Beck is a better sfx maestro than an actor, but come on! His voice is too over the top and way too hammy, even for Mysterio. I was expecting Xander Berkeley to have a voice for Mysterio that was gruffer, kind of like the voice he used for the evil sheriff he played in "Shanghai Noon" or something like that. I hope in season three that Beck takes acting lessons and gives Mysterio a better voice. Just because Mysterio looks a bit silly, wearing a fishbowl helmet and all, it doesn't mean he has to SOUND silly too. This isn't a complaint against you personally, but I think someone should fix this and tell Mr. Berkeley to change Mysterio's voice to make it less cheesy.
This was a great, GREAT intro for Kraven. This is my favorite version of Kraven to date. The addition of Calypso was also wonderful, as I hated the Mariah Crawford version we got on the 90s series. Debra Whitman pops up, Miles Warren gets some more focus, and Kraven gets an upgrade. Uh...okay, I didn't like the latter being in this episode. It was simply too quick to change Kraven. It's not that I didn't like the idea of it, but I thought this should have been done later in the season or the next season, but still, it was nice to see Miles Warren give Kraven his new powers and lion-like look. I just wish we saw Kraven look human a bit more first. I mean, we barely got a chance to get used to normal-looking Kraven, and then he looks like an animal with his next bout with Spider-Man. And the part where Calypso and Kraven are together at the end just felt...wrong. Granted, it's nice to see Calypso is still with Kraven given his new appearance, but it looks a bit cartoony and is the supervillain version of Beauty and the Beast. I swear, I was expecting Cogsworth and Lumiere to pop up and break into a kiddie song. Still, it was a great episode overall, and another great tease for the Master Planner.
This is my fourth favorite episode of the season. Everyone's wondering whether or not the inmate Cletus with the red hair and Santa hat is really Cletus Kasady/future Carnage, or maybe a relative of Beavis. Regardless, the cameo is nice and this episode is simply wonderful. I didn't buy, though, that Electro was suddenly liking being a villain, but then I didn't get that part of "group Therapy" in season one. In "Group Therapy", Electro wants a cure from Doc Ock when at the dinner table but throughout the episode, he insists people call him Electro? Weird. The reforming Doc Ock was nice and I liked how Dr. Kafka stood up for him, even if she did get zapped down by Electro by intervening. I thought the Sinister Six would attack all at once again, but alas, no such luck. It's also bizarre that Shocker is not included to join the team, but perhaps it's due to Shocker working for Hammerhead/Tombstone. Remember, in "Group Therapy", Montana tells Ock that Mr. H says they're available. Also, I like Mysterio's voice when he talks normal, like when Mysterio talks to Rhino about why Tinkerer couldn't be a member of the Sinister Seven that Master Planner mentions. Once he's fighting AS Mysterio, though, he still hams it up. Oy. Despite this, I especially love the introduction of Blackie Gaxton here. It's nice to see classic Spidey characters introduced, especially for the first time on an animated series. I really hope we have a Doctor Octopus/Gaxton meeting in the future. I loved seeing Peter and everyone from his school ice skating and the team-of-two Sinister Six pairings. Seeing Peter burn his tongue on his hot drink and have him try to quip as Spidey was just priceless. Spidey has some of the funniest lines ever in this episode, and my favorite is when he sees Jameson with the Santa cap on ("Lock your chimneys, folks."). The Rhino and Sandman pairing was my favorite, and Rhino's reaction when he realizes Spidey's tricked him had me rolling ("I hate you...so much."). It was neat to see that Master Planner had Tinkerer free five out of the Six members, though I wished Rhino was arrested rather than Mysterio so we'd see Doc Ock lead the original Sinister Six. The best part was with Tinkerer breaking out Doc Ock with his own tentacles, and Doc Ock screaming "NOOOOOOOO!!" in horror just gave me goosebumps. Finally, the ending was very nice when Peter gave Aunt May her present. Great work.
Another brilliant episode, and we even get a cameo by Morris Bench/future Hydro-Man. Best of all, we learn the voice of Bench is Patrick Star himself, Bill Fagerbakke! PLEASE say he returns to voice Hydr-Man next season!
So Doc Ock is the Master Planner? Wonderful! I don't care how he managed to keep in touch with everyone from Ravencroft, especially since that place needs MUCH better security anyway. This was Doc Ock at his best and much, MUCH better than how he's been portrayed in the comic books in years. Mysterio, you need Doc Ock as your acting coach after his convincing performance in the previous episode. THIS is how you fool people. So Ock wants to gain control over the internet and he's got no problem with abducting Gwen Stacy so that he can force her father into getting him what he wants. I also love the new chip you gave Ock that grants him new control over his arms, though I still feel to this day he should have had complete mental control over his arms anyway once his harness was fused to his skin in "Reaction". Anyway, we get Tinkerer, Vulture, and Electro thrown in for good measure. The fights between Electro and Spider-Man and then Ock's fight with Spider-Man were very well done and exciting. You guys know how to keep a guy hooked with good fight sequences. Best of all, we get to see Spider-Man to reenact the same famous scene where he lifts the debris off of him from "The Amazing Spider-Man", vol. 1, #33. You guys actually improve upon that iconic image when Spidey's own might tears part of his outfit when he's lifting the machinery off of him. My only complaint in the episode is that Doc Ock didn't take Electro with him when he escaped. They have a bit of a mentor/pupil relationship, and Electro himself even says he worshipped Ock in "Reinforcement". Did Doc Ock leave Electro behind because he was upset with him for trashing his lab after he ordered him to stand down, or did he merely not want to risk being caught by Spider-Man by not picking Electro up when he was making his escape? Or maybe he was just so eager to ditch Spider-Man in his ruined lab and leave him to die that he forgot? Whatever the reason, it kind of gave me pause. Thankfully, Spidey took him out when he left with Gwen so we know we'll see more of Electro in the series. In all, it's one of the best episodes of the season -- and the series. It's my third favorite for season two.
At first I thought, "A solo Sandman story? Why? We could be seeing a new villain introduced instead and we just saw him in 'Reinforcement'." Of course, that was BEFORE I saw this episode, and man, it was a gem. I was pleasantly surprised with this one, with Spider-Man mocking Sandman for still comitting the same petty thefts he did as Flint Marko when he could be using his powers for so much more. It also gives us a great line, where Spidey quotes "With great power comes great..." and Sandman adds "Gullibility!!" before punching him. We also get more out of Hammerhead, which is cool because I love Mr. DiMaggio's scenes where he voices Sandman and Hammerhead together. We also get Sha Shan, and on this series, Sha Shan's voice actress is none other than "X2" co-star Kelly Hu! Sweet! The video segment moments for Flash's birthday party were nice, though I'll never think of the nickname "Flash" Thompson the same ever again. I'm a bit surprised this one got through the censors. Anyway, the best moment at the party, to me, was Rand's reaction with Sally when they were filming. I know you guys mean well, but MAN, I dislike Sally. How this girl will eventually become Bluebird is beyond me at this point. Sandman has some great moments of his own, especially the moment on the beach with the little girl and her sand castle. The ending was nice, though I still cringe at the memories of the sand-giant Sandman from the terrible, terrible "Spider-Man 3" film. However, Sandman's return at the episode's end and Eddie Brock's re-appearance in this episode made it all worth it. And now that Eddie has his symbiote back, we're gonna have a heck of a good time with Venom...
I thought the transformation of John Jameson was kind of quick here, but who cares? This episode is brilliant. Not only do we get John Jameson playing hero (and later villain to Spidey) as Colonel Jupiter, we get Venom! The Venom moments were some of the best I've ever seen, with Venom's framing Spidey while in the black costume were nicely done. I'm a bit surprised that electricity is what stops John Jameson and that he's still a bit insane after what happened to him, but heck, we get a real reason for Jameson to genuinely hate Spider-Man. I assume he'll be bringing in Mac Gargan in the future to get revenge on Spider-Man for what he did to his son. I feel bad for John Jameson and hope he changes back to his own, sane self...even if we all want him to go through the misfortune of becoming Man-Wolf at some point in the future. To top it all off, we get quite possibly the best cliffhanger ending of all, where Venom breaks into the Bugle and announces that Peter is Spider-Man in front of his shocked co-workers!
Okay, seriously...great, great, GREAT work here, guys. This episode made me wish that this, THIS, was the Venom we got for "Spider-Man 3": ruthless, persistent, vile, and wanting nothing more than Spider-Man dead. I loved everyone's reaction to Ned Lee's question that Peter Parker could be Spider-Man. To me, the Connors and Aunt May had the best reactions, though Norman's simple "No." comment was effective and creepy. Maybe he already knows and won't tell anyone? Anyway, we even get a Quentin Beck cameo in prison during Ned's interview that foreshadows a later episode! Sweet! We also get Flash Thompson helping Spider-Man out and the return of Dr. Connors' gene cleanser. That's the only part of this story I don't buy. THAT is how Venom gets defeated? Granted, I know that Venom's vulnerability to sonic vibrations is how Spidey got rid of the symbiote and that it's unlikely we'll see Venom's weakness to fire animated. But really, what does this do to the symbiote? Does it mean it can't bond to Brock anymore? Does it change it so that it becomes a red symbiote for Carnage? Sigh. Season Three can't come fast enough to show us what the future holds for Eddie Brock and the symbiote. Although, I love how Eddie wanted the symbiote back and it's a bit heartbreaking that he has to hold onto his hatred in order to get the symbiote back because, otherwise, it wouldn't return to him and Eddie would feel that he'd have nothing left. Poor Eddie. Poor, INSANE Eddie, but poor Eddie nonetheless. However, I'm quite sure we haven't seen the last of Eddie Brock as Venom. He's too popular to keep away for long and the "Spectacular" version of Venom is my favorite of all time. Here, he's truly showcased as to why he's one of Spider-Man's most popular, deadliest and greatest enemies that the hero has to face off with. In the end, Peter's secret is safe and Captain Stacy makes his first hint he may know Peter's secret. Oh, man, that was just wonderful! I'm going to bet that, as of now, the only ones who know for sure that Peter is Spider-Man are Captain Stacy and Mary Jane Watson. I'm pretty sure M.J. knows already, like how she knew from nearly the beginning in the comics.
I'll mention the other episodes shortly...
**BIG SPOILERS OVER
**END OF "SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN" SEASON TWO SPOILERS**
Again, no new chip in Ock. This is the same chip that fused to his spine from the beginning. It's always given him complete control over his arms. But that doesn't explain what POWERS the arms.