Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spectacular Spider-Man Keeps on Swingin'

There really hasn't been an episode of Spectacular Spider-Man that I didn't like. Some episodes are stronger than others, but there has yet to be an episode that I've hated. My favorite episode used to be "Market Forces," which introduced us to Shocker. That's right it used to be my favorite episode, but today, it has been surpassed.

We had to wait a week for "The Invisible Hand" to air, but it was well worth it. In this episode, Alex O'Hirn gets transformed into the rampaging Rhino and he wants payback for all the times Spidey made him look like a chump when he busted up his robberies.

As expected, Rhino is done great justice in this episode. The way he moves, the way he uses his brute strength is just mind-blowing. The Rhino is mostly known for his tough hide (which gave Spidey a lot of trouble in this episode) but one thing I've never seen him do is use his foot to stomp down on the ground and make the earth shake! I thought that was very cool. The way Spidey defeated Rhino was also interesting. Being covered in that suit makes it difficult for his entry body to sweat, so Rhino's face was sweating for his body and this was evident this during his fight with Spider-Man. Spidey caught on to this, lured him underground and used steam pipes to knock him out. Rhino is voiced by Clancy Brown, the same man who provided the voice of Lex Luthor on Superman: The animated Series and the Justice League/Justice League Unlimited cartoons. Needless to say, he did a superb job voicing Rhino.

Rhino spilled some beans on the Big Man after Spidey made him go sleepy-bye. So Spidey went right to the source of his troubles and the Big Man was revealed to be... Tombstone? Yeah, this shocked me as well as anyone else, but I really wasn't complaining. Some are even speculating that Tombstone really isn't the Big Man, but Fredrick Foswell really pulling the strings.

Anyway, when Spidey meets Tombstone he gets a butt-kicking that takes all of 3-4 seconds. In that short amount of time we're shown Tombstone is a very capable man who knows how to handle things. Tombstone offers Spidey a deal. For a large sum of money, all Spidey has to do is "look the other way" and he won't create anymore super criminals to come after him. Now of course this is a no deal thing for Spidey, but Tombstone's next move is something I didn't see coming: he has the cops come in to try and arrest Spidey. Imagine what else Tombstone could do if he can turn the police against the wall-crawler. Yeah, the cops against Spidey is nothing new, but I really like how it was done here.

Not every cop will be against Spidey though. Spidey saved the life of a man during the battle with the Rhino, a man who will no doubt be in his corner when things get bad for Spidey. That man was Captain George Stacy. He finally made his debut in this episode and I can't wait to see how the Spidey/Cap Stacy friendship plays out in this series.

This episode was fantastic not only for the fight with Rhino but for many other reasons as well. A certain redhead who Peter has been avoiding showed up at the end of today's episodes. That's right, Mary Jane Watson has arrived. Not wanting her nephew to miss out on the school dance (and actually telling Betty she was too old for Peter), aunt May arranged for a date for Peter, one he could not back out of since he was already dressed to go and MJ was at the door. When he opened the door to meet what he thought would be his train wreck date, his jaw dropped. MJ greeted Peter with the classic line, "Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot." MJ is probably in a retcon gutter somewhere in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man so it was great to see her in this show. The battle for Peter's affections between MJ and Gwen is about to begin.

We'll have to watch repeat episodes next week and I wonder if the show will be able to top this week's episode but with the Green Goblin coming in 2 weeks, I'm hopeful that they will.


Tommy said...

There is that bit of ambiguity on who is the Big Man for those who know of him from the comics.

Foswell was the one who specifically told Spidey about Tombstone, so I have to wonder if Tombs really is the Big Man...or...Foswell isn't the Big Man yet, but he's planning to topple Tombstone by having Spidey pit against him. Then with Tomby gone, he becomes the next 'Big Man' so to speak.

Foswell was also Patch in the comics, and maybe he'll use that to work his way up the Underworld ladder.

And Tombstone sounds like The Arbiter from the Halo series. Maybe I'll check online and get a name and see if I'm hearing things right. Regardless, it's an awesome voice and you know Tomby wishes he was this awesome in the comics instead of getting beaten around (albeit with web boxing gloves cause of his hard skin.).

Reggie White Jr. said...

I thought the mystery of who Big Man is would be solved by this episode but I get the feeling they thew us a curve ball. Either way, my interest in the mystery has skyrocketed.

The man doing Tombstone's voice is Kevin Richardson. His was voiced by Keith David in ep. 1 but for whatever reasons, he was replaced. I think KD is a very busy man so they probably had to find another guy. KR does an awesome job voicing Tombstone. That beating he laid on Spidey was magnificent.

Tommy said...

Heh, looks like I got my voice actors off.

The Arbiter was voiced by Keith David, who also voiced Goliath from Gargoyles, whereas Kevin Richardson voiced Tartarus from Halo 2.

Reggie White Jr. said...

Well I think Kevin Richardson may be doing a Keith David impression. I could be wrong but if he is doing an impression he's doing an awesome job. I almost can't tell the difference.