Saturday, June 7, 2008

Back to Red & Blue

You gotta love Spider-Man's black costume. Its simple, sleek design has been a fan favorite for more than 20 years. It looks just as cool in the cartoons as well. As sweet a costume as it is, I'm always happy to see the web-head return to the classic red & blue tights, which is what he does in the Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Intervention."

This episode moves at a slower pace than others but considering the heart of it is Peter's inner conflict with the symbiote, I think moving slower was the right choice here. This episode was written by Greg Weisman, the show's producer. He hasn't written an episode since "Survival of the Fittest," the series premier episode, so it really was a pleasure to see him return to the writing helm.The good news is that aunt May, despite suffering from a heart attack in the previous episode is doing fine. The bad news is, the bill is pretty huge and this puts Peter in a foul mood. Mary Jane, Gwen and Liz all try to comfort Peter but he just blows them off, which does not go unnoticed by Flash. Things go sour for Eddie as well. With the loss of the symbiote, Eddie loses his job, making him even more furious with Peter. When Eddie confronts Peter on this, he just shoves him aside, literally, much to Eddie's surprise. This is when Flash shows up and I expected a fight to break out. To my surprise, Flash doesn't give Peter any grief and he's well aware that things are going badly for Peter, stating that even Sally feels for him. Can you say "Whoa!"? I thought Spidey taking up Tombstone's offer to lay off crime fighting was shocking but this is even more of a shocker.

The way they handled Peter's inner battle with the symbiote and getting rid of it was brilliant. We're treated to heartwarming and heartbreaking black & white flash back scenes of how Peter became Spider-Man. This of course means we get to see uncle Ben and he's every bit the man who helped to shape Peter into the Spider-Man we know him to be. There are lots of homage moments in these scenes. Peter jumping from a car that's about to hit him and then sticking to a wall, fighting Crusher Hogan, Spidey purposely letting the bugler go to spite the fight promoter who cheated him, etc. Very excellent stuff. Even better was uncle Ben' talking to Peter through his mind battle, encouraging him, telling him all the good he's done, the new friends he's made and this is all done through quick flash backs from episodes of this season. This is topped off with an awesome homage to the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #100. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

Spidey returned the suit to Dr. Connors lab, which made Eddie happy. Until Spider-Man froze the symbiote, knowing what it is. This further fuels Eddie's hatred and the symbiote can sense this. Eddie lets the alien out and it exposes him to Peter's memories. Now Eddie knows that Peter is Spider-Man and he's going to use every ounce of hate in his body to crush the wall-crawler.
We finally got some real MJ/Gwen interaction in this episode. Gwen was sitting alone for lunch so MJ came to keep her company. MJ says that Gwen really likes Peter. Gwen tries to hide it by saying she likes Peter as friend but that isn't what MJ meant when she asked her. So Gwen finally admits to liking Peter. Gwen is afraid to risk her friendship with Peter and MJ is aware of this. In another surprising turn of events in this episode, MJ tells Gwen that she'll need to step up and put herself out there if she wants to be more than friends with Peter. I really want to see where Gwen goes with this. And props to MJ for being a good friend.

Next week will be the season finale and we all know who Spidey will be up against. I've been very impressed with this cartoon and I've no doubt the final episode of this season will live up to the show's name. Keep on swinging, Spidey!


spideyfan said...

My favorite episode so far from this show.

Sally felt sorry? For Pete?
Peter called Flash by his real name: "Eugene"

Venomised Peter did to Eddie what I wanted to see him do to Eugene.

At least I get what you mean by homage to the cover of Amazing Spider-Man 100.

Well job reviewing the episode bro.

Tommy said...

I just saw my recording of it.

Wow. Simply, wow.

The only negative I have, is that the show reminds me of what the comics are sorely lacking.

Reggie White Jr. said...

The REAL Spider-Man is in this show. Man, Greg Weisman and his crew are making the writers of Amazing Spider-Man look like scrubs.

spideyfan said...

How detailed the origin is, this is what the comics lacked.

Do you find something else the show has and is scarce in the comics tommy?

Tommy said...

I'd have to say, Eddie's motivations are better set up in this series than they were in the comics.

The way the fights are set up show an inventive use of Spidey's webline too. It feels more like an extension of Spidey and is incorporated into his fighting style nicely. If that was used in the current Brand New Day storyline, Freak would not have come to be, as that Pete would have caught him in a second.

Something that the series will likely do as it continues, is truly grow and reflect that in the characters. The stuff in BND is a weird limbo state to me, which, while it does have some good moments, doesn't make as much sense to me. I've heard that they were shooting for some sort of era of Spidey, but I'd be hard-pressed to say which one, as there's a certain way I'd see the characters at any point in the timeline, and BND seems at odds with that.