Sunday, April 27, 2008

Seeing Green

You'll never guess who crashed the party on yesterday's episode of Spectacular Spider-Man. Well if you saw the episode, I guess you would know. Or if you looked at the above picture, you probably know who I mean.

Quick history lesson. The Green Goblin made his first appearance way back in Amazing Spider-Man #14, 1964. Much like The Joker in the Batman comics, the Green Goblin has caused Spider-Man a lifetime of misery and grief. The episode "Catalysts" introduces Spidey's greatest foe.

I assumed Alan Rachins was going to voice the Green Goblin since he provides the voice of Norman Osborn, the Goblin's alter ego. I also assumed the Goblin sounded Irish from the promo that was on the Kids WB website. Well, I've learned not to assume too much. Steven Blum stepped up to the plate to voice the Goblin and he hit a home run right out of this solar system. Blum makes the Goblin sound like one nasty, sinister little monster, despite his elf-like looks. The way his words came out, his sadistic sense of humor, his maniacal laughter, Blum nailed the Goblin's personality.

In the spirit of the early Lee/Ditko comics, the Goblin was a force to be reckoned with. Spidey had to stay on his toes to keep from becoming a would-be victim of the Goblin. Chairs, tables, Spidey threw everything at Gobby except the kitchen sink and he just shrugged it all off. I really like how they handled the Goblin's weaponry in this episode. Gobby was packing his trademark pumpkin bombs (which echoed laughter upon impact, a very nice touch), razor bats, and one of my personal favorites, gloves that fire stun beams. Really, this is one goblin you don't want to mess with.

Other things that happened in this episode was the introduction to John Jameson, son of Jolly Jonah Jameson. On top of bringing out more nicer qualities that we've yet to see in JJJ in the series thus far, John aided Spidey in saving lives by altering the web-head to the location of a bomb Gobby hid as a backup plan at Tombstone's party. If this was the writer's way of portraying John as a hero, I tip my hat to them.

There was also Ned Lee's idea to do a story about the man behind Spider-Man's mask. Jonah thought it was a lousy idea because the readers of the Bugle probably wouldn't want to read about Spidey if he turns out to be an everyday guy (love the irony in this and how its lost on JJJ), but Robbie tells Ned to go ahead with it. Interesting. Maybe Robbie will meet up with Captain Stacy and discuss who Spider-Man could really be? Or does Robbie already have an idea who is behind Spidey's mask? Either way, I can't wait to see more development on this sub-plot.

Due to Glory Grant taking Kenny Kong back, Harry gets heartbroken and has a drink of something called the Gobulin Formula. No, I didn't spell that wrong. Apparently there's a difference between the Goblin and Gobulin formula. But (and this is something someone on the Toon Zone forums mentioned) this may not be the first time Harry has chugged the stuff. Ever wonder how he got so good at his pigskin game in "Competition"? He was probably sipping the green juice then. Looks like Harry could be getting hooked on the stuff and is a nice way of paying homage to Harry's drug addiction from the comics in the early '70s. Clever writers.
Right up there with Gobby in this episode was my favorite redhead, Mary Jane. Little Ms. Watson is a modernized version of the party girl she was when she was first introduced in the comics. Vanessa Marshall brings a sensual quality to MJ, which I think makes for a nice contrast to the bookish Gwen, who I might add was none too happy to see Peter walk in with such a babe on his arm. Yes, I felt for Gwen, she even left the gym for a bit when she saw Peter with MJ, but in Peter's defense, he did change his mind about going to the formal and although Gwen almost asked Peter, almost isn't actually doing it.

Peter more or less stole Harry's popularity thunder when he walked in with MJ. Flash, Rand, Harry, Glory, Sally, everyone's jaw hit the floor when the two walked in. Talk about priceless.

Typically to Peter's luck, he had to leave the dance to go fight the Green Goblin and take photos. Was MJ upset? Hardly. In fact, she was very understanding and her smirk when Peter left has lead some viewers to believe MJ may be well aware that Peter is Spider-Man, which I think would be so awesome. When Peter returned, most kids had left and Peter thinks he's blown it. Again. Surprise, surprise, MJ stayed there to save the last dance just for him. The only two left in the gym, the two have a final dance as the episode ends with a spotlight on them turning into a Spidey mask. She may be a party girl, but she has a heart. This is the best on-screen version of MJ. Period.


Tommy said...

I loved the fight scenes with the Goblin. Just flat-out awesome!

It was also cool how Mary Jane dealt with all the stuff going on.

Another bit of food for thought: John Jameson showing up may be a link for the symbiote to show up.

He says something to Jonah that causes him to shift the credit to Spider-Man. Maybe he was going to space soon, or something to that effect?

spideyfan said...

This is a funny episode, this show makes my stomach flips of all the funny stuff in there.

As I alway say commending this show: "An Excellent Mix of Character, Fun, Depth & Romance" This outmatches the 90s series a dozen times.

I agree that it's no chance that Harry is the Goblin, there's no way he'd be a Goblin because he's angry of Glory & Kenny and attacks the crime boss of N.Y. to take his place.

I absolutely hope Ned would back down on his decision before uncovering the truth because it'll give the show a deep scar I won't like at all.

just like his first appearance in the comics: A fight story with no origin or face for the Goblin's alter Ego.

Tommy said...

Another reason why Harry isn't the Goblin is the scene at the end.

He's still got the punch stains on his hands, so even if one could argue that he changed back to his formal clothes, the hands/forearms still being stained wouldn't add up unless he never changed at all.

Reggie has it pinned. The formula he's taking is likely akin to his drug addiction in the comics and it likely did benefit him during those try-outs.

Reggie White Jr. said...

I agree with you guys, Gobby was AWESOME here. Gave us a ruse to throw us off the trail but anyone who really knows the OG Goblin knows it isn't Harry.

Speaking of Harry, well, I can't take credit for making the connection to the Gobulin formula and his football tryouts, someone else on message boards brought that up.