Saturday Morning Cartoon Reviews for 6/27/09

The Spectacular Spider-Man

Ep. 14 – “Blueprints”

Finally after a year of waiting we finally get new episodes of The Spectacular Spider-Man here in the States. Even though other countries have already seen the second season of The Spectacular Spider-Man (just another reason to hate Canada) for some reason we here in the US had to wait much longer for new episodes. So because of that any of my Canadian brothers and sisters, as well as anyone else who may have seen the second season, I please ask not to spoil what happens in the second season of The Spectacular Spider-Man.

Anyways, even with the year long wait, The Spectacular Spider-Man does not miss a beat. “Blueprints” starts off right after the big kiss of Peter and Gwen.  And as last season took place during the fall semester of Peter’s junior year in high school it looks like season two will be taking place, at least the start, in the winter. With this episode being placed in the winter it allowed the writers to address what Peter will do in the cold winter of New York City as he designed his Spider-Man costume for the summer. It is a small thing for the writers to comment on and they were able to use this uncommon superhero problem in order to give us some great comedy with Peter having to fight in the snow and dive in freezing cold water to save a person.

And speaking of fighting, while this episode didn’t really provide the excellent type of fight scenes that we have been accustom to on this show, Mysterio still provided an excellent challenge for Spider-Man to deal with. It was different from most of the physical battles that Spider-Man had to deal with in the first season.  Mysterio was super committed to his “magic” angle. Mysterio being so committed to being called a sorcerer lead to some great lines by Spider-Man.

Also, it was good to see that the writers used Quentin Beck who they introduced back in the Chameleon episode where he was Chameleon’s lackey. It shows that the writers have long term plans for this show. And I liked the introduction of The Master Planner, who turned out to be Doctor Octopus in the comics. It will be interesting to see if the writers go with Doc Ock or another Spider-Man villain as the true identity of the Master Planner. If it is not Doc Ock then my second guess would be Hammerhead since it looked like he was a bit frustrated working for Tombstone in the first season.

Of course we cannot leave out Peter’s personal life.  The writers continue to find ways to make Peter’s personal much more interesting. With the kiss it looks like we may be getting a love triangle between Peter/Gwen/Liz which should lead to some awkward conversations. Also, it will be interesting to see what happens with the introduction of Miles Warren.  We all know the deep history Peter, Miles, and Norman share.

Overall, this first episode was an excellent start to The Spectacular Spider-Man’s second season. Here is hoping for an excellent second season.

Episode Rating – 9.3/10

Ep. 15 – “Destructive Testing”

In the second new episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man, we got to see the introduction of Kraven the Hunter. With Mysterio and Miles Warren being introduced in “Blueprints” and Kraven being introduced in this episode it looks like the only major Spider-Man villain left to introduce is Scorpion. And I say if we get another Sinister Six episode this season it would just not feel right if the Scorpion is left out. 

Kraven’s intro in this episode was well done until the last half of the episode. The intro to Kraven’s character in this episode in Africa was one of the best intros to a character that we have had on the show. In those few minutes we got all the information we needed to have about Kraven’s character. It did a good job setting Kraven up for his fight with Spider-Man later in the episode. Kraven’s hunting skills where well fleshed out in his fight with Spider-Man.  Even without any powers, Kraven gave a nice challenge for Peter as Peter had not had to fight someone as highly trained as Kraven.

Also, I love the little montage of Kraven hunting down Spider-Man by using his lion to track down Peter’s scenet at all the locations that Peter frequents.  All the scenes were great, but my favorite was the small scene at the Daily Bugle. Even in a silent scene, Jonah is somehow still able to steal the show as we see that he is the only one not scared of Kraven and his lion.  Instead, Jonah just rants on like he usually does. It is rare a character can pull that off but Jonah did.

Now even though I liked that we are already seeing the villainous side of Miles Warren; I did not like the change to Kraven’s character. It is one thing if they would have just given Kraven super powers, but to transformer him into a full blown genetic lion/tiger kind of takes away from how serious I can take him as a hunter. Just something about Kraven’s appearance did not feel right.  I also found the ending to be a bit rushed.  It did not feel like much of an ending.

Continuing Peter’s personal problems, it does look like we may not be getting the Peter/Gwen relationship as soon as we would like to see as Liz seems to be putting a wrench in that relationship. And knowing how as comic fans we are usually given the relationship we don’t want to see; based on these two episodes I am guessing that Peter and Liz will get together. That would suck if the writers go in this direction since the writers have done a great job developing Gwen’s character. Though, with Flash being injured, I would not be surprised if the injury is used to get Flash and Liz together.  I hope that is the case.

Again, the balance between Peter’s personal life and his life as Spider-Man were well done in this episode. The only negative to this episode was what the writers decided to do with Kraven’s character which did take away from some of the enjoyment of the final fight of the episode.

Episode Rating – 7.8/10

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