Cartoon Review: The Spectacular Spider-Man Ep. 17

“Shear Strength”

Last week’s episode seemed to imply that Doctor Octopus was not the Master Planner, as he was in the comics. But, it looks like the writers stuck to the source material as they quickly revealed at the beginning of the episode that the Master Planner is in fact Doc Ock.

While I did question who the Master Planner was, I am not surprised that the writers went with the reveal that the Master Planner is Doc Ock.  The writers did a good job making the viewers who were unfamiliar with the Master Planner being Doc Ock think that Master Planner was someone other than Doc Ock. 

Just as a side note, I also thought it was interesting that we were introduced to another Spider-Man villain before he becomes a villain: Morris Bench, also known as Hydro-Man in the comics. It is interesting that he has some relationship with Norman Osborn as he acted as Norman’s demolition expert. As soon as I saw he was introduced in this episode I started thinking just how cool it would be to see an episode with Sandman and Hydro-Man. It would be awesome if we get something like that later this season.

Now, even though I have been really enjoying the second season so far, one of the things that I have noticed is that these first few episodes have been more focused on the Spider-Man adventures and not on Peter’s personal life. And for the first time this season, we got an episode were it felt like a Peter Parker episode even when Peter put on the costume. Some of the best Spider-Man stories are the ones that focus more on Peter’s personal life and how it relates to his Spider-Man adventures and not just what Peter does as Spider-Man.

It was good to see that for once one of Peter’s friends were not kidnapped because of him being Spider-Man, but for another reason. The fact that Doc Ock kidnapped Gwen in order to blackmail her dad Detective George Stacy into committing a federal crime for him made this episode much more interesting. It made the task of Peter having to save his love interest even more suspenseful as we know the history shared between Detective Stacy and Doc Ock in the comics.

I liked how Doc Ock’s plan messed with all of the city’s power. The writers have definitely built Doc Ock as a huge threat with this episode. It actually follows how Doc Ock was originally Spider-Man’s #1 villain before Green Goblin killed Gwen in the comics. And with how Doc Ock has gathered the Sinister Six to help him in his crimes it will be interesting to see how Tombstone, who we have yet to see this season, reacts to someone invading his turf.

As always, the action in this episode was phenomenal. The addition of having to save Gwen made Spider-Man’s fight with Electro and then with Doc Ock even better. It was awesome seeing Spider-Man use his agility to dodge all the attacks from all of Doc Ock’s arms and how Spider-Man used Electro to help him defeat Doc Ock.

And as a long time Spider-Man fan, it was awesome seeing the image of Spider-Man being stuck under a huge pieces metal. It was a great call back to Amazing Spider-Man #33 where Peter was in a similar situation. And it was cool that this time around it was Gwen, who was knocked out, that inspired Peter to not give up and gave him the strength to power out of the situation. It was a great scene and probably the scene were Spider-Man looked more like how Steve Ditko drew the character.

With that scene it made the end of the episode even more heartbreaking. With everything that happened in this episode it looked like Peter and Gwen would finally get together.  Then we got the rugged pulled from under us. In the end, we end up with Peter and Liz together. That final scene was a bit hard to watch especially with Gwen still on the line asking if Peter was still there on his cell. But that just goes to show you that the writers have done an awesome job getting the viewer emotionally invested in these characters.

Episode Rating – 9.8/10