Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the sixth episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man.
So after two disappointing episodes I really didn’t have much hope for this show, but to my surprise episode 6 was actually good. It wasn’t perfect by any means and has a long way to go before it actually starts to impress me like The Spectacular Spider-Man or Spider-Man: The Animated Series, but it has to be noted that this is the best episode since the series premiere yo.
So what’s the story this time around? Well it goes a little something like this: “Taskmaster goes undercover and infiltrates Peter’s school to seek out Spider-Man. Peter and White Tiger must put their differences aside and work together in order to save their friends from a foe capable of duplicating their physical fighting skills.”
The story in this episode was good because it was a little more grounded and in line with what I would expect from the comics, at least from the Spider-Man perspective. I like how Doc Ock is still hiring people to go after Spider-Man, plus it’s nice to see a villain with a little back story which adds a lot more weight to Taskmaster and makes him more memorable than the other forgettable enemies that Spidey and co have gone up against before. The story was also good for pairing up Peter and White Tiger. Both of them are on opposite ends of the spectrum and never seem to stop squabbling, but in this episode they were forced to work together and it was great to see them actually move past their petty differences and work together. It really helped moved this episode along. However outside of those specific points the story wasn’t anything incredible, it was fairly simple and the execution good have been better if the writing was a sharper and witty and not so childish.
When it comes to characters there’s only three main people who matter; Spider-Man, White Tiger and Taskmaster. Everyone else irrelevant. Well technically some of the supporting do have some moments in the episode but they really do pale in comparison to the main three people in this plot. So let’s start with Peter/Spidey, he was alright. He’s still as silly as ever, but in this episode he did show off some level of creativity which was great and so Spider-Man-esque, however as usual for every smart thing Spidey does it is offset but some stupid jokes or action which is poorly timed. Now White Tiger, up until now she has been one of the most annoying characters because of her know-it-all attitude and her constant moaning at Peter for not following S.H.I.E.L.D. protocol and training and blah blah blah. and even though she did a fair amount of that in this episode, she actually was helpful and in a few ways a little sexy too (I don’t why she just was!). My only gripe is that at one point she references a quote from Men In Black and it didn’t go down well for me. I won’t say what it is, but for me that kind of line only works when it comes from Will Smith. Fact. And when it comes to Taskmaster he was pretty cool, best villain that Spidey has come up against so far. He is cool, calm and collected and his ability to mimic his opponents moves makes him a formidable enemy. He seems smart and that was illustrated well throughout the episode up until near the end where he seemed to get a bit sloppy in my opinion.
In terms of the other cast, while Iron Fist has some screen time he takes a backseat to the rest of the action. Luke Cage is barely even in the episode. Nova, well he isn’t there at all which in my opinion is a great thing! Agent Coulson was nice in the episode though at little underused and put in some silly situations thanks to the writers of the show. Harry was there but barely used and Flash Thompson was actually jokes in this episode, at one point he was trying to look cool in front of Spider-Man but it totally wasn’t work and the reason it made me laugh was due to the fact that it’s in Flash’s nature to do things like that. so props to Flash he was actually decent for once. Oh, one other person that has to be mentioned is Stan Lee, he role as the janitor was great, while it’s not his best part, he had some very nice moments that the comic book fans will like.
When it comes to the visual presentation there still a level of quality that doesn’t stop. Again as I have said before, well this show looks the part and has the highest quality of any Spider-Man animated TV show it has yet to show me anything truly amazing or spectacular. The Spectacular Spider-Man was all about style and quality and it delivered some of the most dynamic action sequences and fight scenes that Spider-Man has ever seen, it was all about choreography and it excelled in it. Even the 90s Spider-Man show had some impressive scenes when it came to the fight scenes. Unfortunately the Ultimate Spider-Man seems quite content with just giving us nice-looking action and fight scenes, but nothing that truly blows us away. The Ultimate Spider-Man has yet to impress me in the animation department.
While the Ultimate Spider-Man is still rough around the edges, it still has quality buried within its off-putting exterior. The choice of storyline, use of characters and animation was pretty good this time round and for the first time the was some ACTUAL character development! This episode also had some nice references to the comic titles The Amazing Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man, which I thought was a nice touch though wasted on a show like this. So there may actually be hope for this show yet.