Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the fifth episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man. (By the way sorry for my lateness, I swear I’ll get back up to date soon!)
Oh my god, I swear this show is just trying to annoy me now. I thought that shows were meant to get better as they progressed, but since the second episode the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon has continued to plummet into mediocre territory. I don’t understand how a Spider-Man show can be this frustrating to me, but somehow the Ultimate Spider-Man excels at being bad in so many ways down to its poor humour, weak story development and constant butchering of the Peter Parker/Spider-Man character.
So the story in this episode is as follows:
“When Spider-Man meets his idol Iron Man, he receives a specialized gift: the Iron-Spider suit. However, when Spider-Man tries to master the suit’s abilities, the relationship the web-slinger has with his team is put on the line by the relationship he is developing with the armored Avenger. Spider-Man must also deal with the Living Laser.”
To be honest after the failure of the last episode, I was really looking to be impressed in this episode. The story overall was passable but nothing overly amazing and that’s pretty bad considering the quality of the Spectacular Spider-Man‘s story which was consistent throughout both seasons. In this episode Spidey and his team battle the Living Laser, and you’d think that after a few episodes they’d have started building bridges and start forming into a team right? However that’s not the case at all. If anything Spider-Man is still trying to do this whole solo act and the team can’t seem to fully gel with Spidey’s personality and style of fighting which is causing even more conflict. And for me it’s really frustrating to see how this show continues to produce episodes that aren’t nearly as captivating the comic book origins it comes from.
Things get worse when Spider-Man gets a new armoured suit after meeting Iron Man (his idol) and it causes Peter’s arrogance to grow even more than usual because of the advanced tech’s powers and so Spidey’s total lack of logic puts him at odds with the rest of his teammates. The conflict in the team, while necessary for this episode I though came a little too prematurely and I wouldn’t expect to see something like this until around halfway through the series with a much more serious incident causing the team to potentially split up, but this show seems to be content with giving us stories that are potentially good only for them to be sub par. Now I understand that some teams take a while to come together especially if they have conflicting personalities, but the fact of the matter is that these guys have been around each other for a little while now and there doesn’t seem to be any sign proper progression or change since they were linked up in the second episode and for that’s not good nor is it encouraging for the show’s story and characters.
In terms of characters, my god, besides Iron Man and Iron Fist to some degree, all of the other main cast members are just tragic. White Tiger is still a bossyboots, know-it-all character, Nova is still as annoying as ever and when it comes to Iron Fist and Power Man, they are just there, while they do offer up some important dialogue, overall they still haven’t been taken to the max yet. But the main offender is Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I have never seen such an arrogant, clueless and reckless interpretation of Peter Parker, it’s like I look at him and just shake my head in shame. It’s like the creators of this show just wanted to completely change the Peter Parker character and separate him from all of the good aspects that made him awesome in the comics. He is actually just an idiot, he may talk smart on the odd occasion but it’s all for show, he seems to lack basic knowledge, has no modesty and never things about how his actions affect others. He’s just tragic.
As I said before the only saving grace about this episode in terms of characters comes from the appearance of Iron Man voiced by Adrian Pasdar (reprising his role as the character from the Iron Man anime). He was the wit, charm and intellect that comes from the world of the comics and he is a refreshing site in this episode. Adrian Pasdar makes a very nice Tony Stark/Iron Man and carries the character well.
At least the animation is still consistent in this show. The art and animation are solid, fluid and well-done. Having Iron Man in the show allowed for some interesting and dynamic sequences, also with the Iron Spider in the episode we got some interesting action scenes too. And while there was a lot of good action sequences throughout this episode, I don’t believe its been fully utilized or taken to the maximum. With all the intricate detail and quality that this show it’s predecessor the Spectacular Spider-Man, its frustrating to know that the overall that the visual quality has nothing special about it. The Spectacular Spider-Man had a much less detailed art style and animation quality and yet it produced some of the best animation that Spider-Man has every seen in the world of animation especially in the action and fight sequences and its interesting use of choreography. the Ultimate Spider-Man has none of that creativity and it just comes across as a show with talent, but not that much to be fussed about.
One other thing to note that was good about this episode was the cameos from not only Spider-Ham, I got a personal little chuckle out of that because my nostalgic memories seeing him in comic book form, but also the cameo of the Super Hero Squad from The Super Hero Squad Show, though I don’t watch that show regularly it was nice reference.
In the end this episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man has been the second hardest one to watch (the most being the previous episode) purely because it had an absurd amount of potential and it wasn’t completely capitalized on. There doesn’t seem to be any proper character development for any of the members of the team and this version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man continues to be an oblivious idiot barely relating to his comic book roots. Unfortunately it should be noted that this is the best episode since episode 2 and that’s purely based on Iron Man’s involvement and the use of the Iron Spider suit. The Ultimate Spider-Man really needs some better material or I reckon it should be shut down.