Spider-Man: Maximum Venom “Spider-Man Unmasked” Review

Marvel’s Spider-Man cartoon finally returned with “Spider-Man Unmasked” after two months since its last new episode aired back in June. The inconsistency in how long of a break there is has certainly not helped the momentum of Maximum Venom. Though like most things it is understandable that the break happened due to current real world events and the things that went on behind the scenes with Marvel TV’s shake-up before the Maximum Venom season aired. That said, let’s take a look at what “Spider-Man Unmasked” meant for the future of this cartoon.

One of the big running plot lines for the Maximum Venom season has been the fate of Max Modell as he was up for review due to all the things that have happened at Horizon High School. In continuing that plot line we saw Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, and Anya Corazon sticking up for their mentor. Given how much of a focus the superhero adventures have been on this season of the show it was a nice change of pace that the personal life of these characters was a major focus.

Given the title of this set of episodes its easy to figure out that Peter’s identity would be revealed to someone. The way that was worked into Max’s story did create a lot of interesting potential story threads. Because while Peter does indeed unmask and reveal his Spider-Man identity it is not out in the public. But even though Peter didn’t go fully public with his identity it does put into question if that is the direction the show is going given how there has been a focus on Spider-Man’s standing with the Avengers and other heroes.

At the same time it does set up Doctor Connors to have a bigger role moving forward. Unlike past versions of Doctor Connors this version does seem to be set up as being a villain, even before becoming the Lizard. Though hopefully the set-up for what Peter’s identity reveal meant to his status at Horizon High School doesn’t mean we will go down a predictable route for where the rest of the season is going. To much points to the predictable being what will be the thing that happens but I do want to give the show’s staff the benefit of the doubt.

The one thing of all of this that did not work as well was how Peter, Gwen, and Anya came out looking once Peter did his big reveal. Gwen and Anya’s anger with Peter not telling them his secret before hand should’ve meant more. But the fact is, the staff of this show has done a poor job consistently having Gwen and Anya be part of the show, especially since they became Ghost-Spider and Spider-Girl, respectively. If we saw Peter interacting with Gwen and Anya more the close friendship this episode tried to put over would’ve made this sub-plot work better.

The only character that actually looked good in all of this Spider-Man Family drama was Miles. Unlike Gwen and Anya, Miles has been a consistent presence, especially this season. Seeing Miles have Peter’s back and defend him with Gwen and Anya did work in remind the viewer that they’ve become best friends over the course of this show’s three seasons. This Maximum Venom season, Miles has really stepped up and shown to become an important part of the show.

It was also good to see Mary Jane Watson back in the spotlight as we continue to see her connection with Peter slowly growing. The way this version of MJ is designed and acts around Peter reminds me a lot of MJ from the PS4 Spider-Man game. Which is actually refreshing as it changes the dynamic between these, allowing the bond to form in a more relatable way.

With how much of a set-up “Spider-Man Unmasked” was for the remainder of the season it’ll be interesting to see how Swarm and Rhino’s appearance factors into the final episodes. Everything points to the previously mentioned Doctor Connors being the big end boss of the season. Seeing where things go from here.

Episode Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

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