Cartoon Review: The Spectacular Spider-Man Ep. 5

In order to get ready for the the second season of The Spectacular Spider-Man, which does not air until later this summer, I thought I would start by going back and reviewing the first season of episodes in order to lead up to the second season since it has been about a year since they aired. Now I already reviewed the first four episodes of this series over at my other blog, Comic Book Legacy, so I will continue were I left of and start by reviewing the 5th episode of the series. If your interested in reading my reviews for the first four episodes you can click here to read those reviews. Enough talk time for some reviews.

Previously on The Spectacular Spider-Man:
After being bitten by a genetically altered spider Peter Parker was given the powers of a spider that allowed him to spend his summer fighting crime as Spider-Man. Now beginning his junior year at Midtown High School Peter, along with his best friends Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn, has now returned to his regular life of being bullied by local jock Flash Thompson and being turned down by cheerleaders. Little does Peter know that his actions as Spider-Man have now garnered the attention of one of the most powerful people in New York only known as the Big Man who now has plans to eliminate our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

After a battle with Dr. Connor’s, who was transformed into Lizard, Peter has not only lost his internship at ESU but has also lost the trust of his friends Gwen, Eddie, and Harry. Even though Peter now has a job as a freelance photographer at the Daily Bugle will he be able to gain back the trust of his friends or will the old Parker luck continue to plague our young hero?

Episode Title – “Competition”

After getting Gwen and Harry to forgive him for being such a flake lately Harry convinces Peter that they should tryout for the football team. While at first reluctant Peter decides to tryout in order to watch for Harry. At tryouts both Peter and Harry make it to the final cuts but in the end Peter decides that it is not fair for him to be on the football team and instead throws the tryouts and Harry and Hobbie Brown gain the two spots on the football team.

On the Spider-Man side of things the Big Man takes matters to the next level and decides to take ordinary thug Flint Marko and turns him into the supervillain called Sandman for the purposes of distracting Spider-Man from his bigger plans for New York City. In their first fight Spider-Man is no match for Sandman but in their rematch Spider-Man is able to make use of his surroundings and use a cement truck to turn Sandman into a statue.

Even though we didn’t get some scenes at the Daily Bugle “Competitions” was another great episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man and creative team of this show continue to do a great job mixing Peter’s high school life and Spider-Man life. After spending the last two episode looking like a jerk to his friends due to his Spider-Man life it was nice to see that Peter got at least Harry and Gwen to forgive him as I think one episode of him being away from his friends was long enough.

It was fun to see the Peter trying out for the football team and the sequences were Peter thinks of him trying out in his Spider-Man costume and using his webs to get a touchdown was a very fun sequences. Even though the football tryouts brought in some fun scenes with Flash and Kong in disbelief with how Peter and Harry looked to make the team I thought the most interesting thing that was brought into this episode is that we get to see Harry’s mom for the first time. In the comics, both in the 616 and Ultimate Universes, Harry’s mom is barely ever mentioned and we really have never seen her in the pages of Spider-Man so it was interesting to see that she is alive and well in this shows universe. Also while we’ve had hints of Harry’s need to be accepted in previous episodes, “Competition” is really the first time Harry shows his obsession with wanting to be popular in full effect.

Also, I continue to enjoy the nice chemistry that Peter and Gwen have. Out of all the characters that may be even more interesting on this show than there comic book counterpart is Gwen. I really felt bad for Gwen as you can tell that she was heartbroken to hear that Peter already asked Betty to the dance. Though I liked the last scene of the episode with Peter and Gwen eating ice cream cones together as it was a sweet way to end the show.

In just a final note to the high school side of things, I like that the creative team continue to mention Mary Jane’s name on the show without her actually appearing. It is a nice call back to how she was originally only heard of or seen from the neck down when first seen on the Amazing Spider-Man. It also helps to build anticipation for her character’s first on screen appearance as you know she will shake things up once she appears on the show.

For the Spider-Man part of the episode, I like the choice of villains the creative has chosen for these first few episodes as each villain has presented Spider-Man a different challenge and has made him have to defeat each one of them in a different manner. Out of all of the villains we have gotten so far Sandman was one of the more fun villains we have gotten yet as his powers made it tough for Spider-Man to actually win since he could not actually physically hurt him. Even though like every Sandman appearance the animators made Sandman use his powers to create a hammer to pound Spider-Man I thought they used it enough and not make the viewer get bored of seeing him use it over and over again. One of the things that I think should be fun to see is that after his fight with Sandman if Peter starts messing around with his web fluid formula and makes a special batch for fighting someone like Sandman.

Episode Rating – 8.7/10

2 thoughts on “Cartoon Review: The Spectacular Spider-Man Ep. 5

  1. SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN is without a doubt the best animated version of the Web-Slinger ever put to the small screen; I’m praying it’ll be popular enough for a third season.

    The one-season MTV Spider-Man show was entertaining quality and I’d probably put in in second, but a distant second.

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