Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the second episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man.
If you haven’t check out my review of the first episode read it here! But to summarise it was a pretty good opening to show and showed a fair amount of promise. So here we are with episode 2 that came out in coincidence with the first episode. So does it succeed or fail? Let’s have a look. Oh and by the way I’ll be talking about this episode in a bit greater detail than before so I’ll try to avoid spoilers but ultimately may dive into them. You have been warned!…
Episode 2: Great Responsibility
In this episode we see Spider-Man start his training at S.H.I.E.L.D., we also see the return of the Frightful Four and get introduced to a new group of superheroes in the form of Iron First, White Tiger, Luke Cage and Nova. This episode is a decent continuation from the first episode, but in a lot of ways it falls short of the “awesome factor” that should come with Spider-Man cartoons.
Now as I said before this is the episode where Spidey starts his training at S.H.I.E.L.D., he gets tasked with defeating a set of robot enemies in a set time to trying to make web parachutes in the air and naturally Spidey is cocky and thinks that it’ll be a walk in the park, however he does have a tough time. Later on he is taken to meet Dr. Curt Connors (now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and also sporting a right arm!) who is the person who has designed Spidey’s tech including his new web shooter and this new bike. Now at first Spidey says he doesn’t need the bike, but it is explained that the big is faster than Spidey and it’ll save him webbing and muscle power when cruising around New York. So Spidey tries it out and chaos ensues. We rides it all over the place throughout the Helicarrier and then into the city where it is eventually stopped by Iron First, White Tiger, Luke Cage and Nova. And it is at this point that Spidey says he doesn’t want to be part of a team, even when Agent Coulson (yes the same one from the Marvel live-action films) tries to explain the situation Spidey isn’t having any of it. On his way out Spidey happens to run into Nick Fury and explains why he doesn’t want to be in a team and while Fury explains to Spidey that he has the real-world experience in saving people and the other heroes have the training to make a good combination, Spidey still leaves. It is after this that Spidey runs into the Frightful Four (again under the orders of Norman Osborn and Doc Ock), they engage in battle but Spidey gets into a comprising position until the other heroes come to help him. So then it becomes a battle between Spidey, Iron First, White Tiger, Luke Cage and Nova against the Frightful Four. the heroes eventually take out the villains much to the disappointment of Norman Osborn who tells Doc Ock that he shall not accept failure again. While in school Peter happens to be saved from another day in his locker by a group of teenagers who he eventually finds out are Iron First, White Tiger, Luke Cage and Nova. Peter then hurry’s off to speak to the principle, but then we find out that Agent Coulson is there to and says that Fury wants to keep an eye on Peter using Coulson and the other heroes in close contact of Mr. Parker.
Now sorry for that long story synopsis but there was no way for me to break down this episode without getting a little deeper into what actually happens yo. Anyway this episode continues a lot of the goof points from before like having amazing art direction and very smooth and slick animation even when it incorporates small areas of 3D into the action and foreground objects. I also like the way in which technology is incorporated into the show with electronic billboards, people with smartphones with videos on them and obviously with the presence of S.H.I.E.L.D. there’s bound to be some fancy tech available in their facilities. The characters are also pretty decent too. Having Clark Gregg reprise his role as Agent Coulson in this series is great, he is serious, cool and very funny too. Plus Mary Jane continues to be an interesting character, she even gets a camera (a great nod to Parker’s usual profession) as she now wants to find Spider-Man to get an interview for her journalism studies. The new group of heroes seem to be pretty cool with my favourites being Iron Fist because of his very calm demeanor and great strength and Luke Cage (aka Power Man) because of his great dialogue and badass persona. Stan Lee continues his little cameo role as the janitor from the last episode into this one and I have to say it’s one of the best scenes ever, it’s frigging hilarious (okay it’s not that funny, but you should smirk at least a bit.) Even Drake Bell as Peter Parker/Spider-Man was decent offering some funny lines and being pretty tolerable from time to time.
However the same issues that plagued the first episode are here in the second episode. There are just too many moments of stupid humour in here that is so old, out-of-place and straight up wack yo. It’s like basic slapstick 101 with the old cheesy sound effects and everything, but there’s one problem… It’s not funny! And a lot of this humour comes from silly antics of Peter/Spidey. It is so annoying and frustrating to think that our once great teenage superhero has been rendered into such a buffoon. I’m sorry but that’s just the way I see him, just a smart idiot, who seems oblivious to basic facts, has an overly inflated ego and with Drake Bell’s annoying voice he’s os high-pitched and hard to listen to especially when he’s screaming, argh, painful! I feel if the creators had toned down the level of humour a fair bit then the show would be a lot better for it. I also don’t like how Spider-Man just wants to be alone in the superhero business, sure I can understand why he’s want it that way, but in this episode he just comes across as a big crybaby who doesn’t want his ego to be crushed or want to share the limelight with anyone else which doesn’t make for a cool or even a good-looking superhero in general. There also seems to be an inconsistency in Spidey’s fighting abilities as seen when he is fighting the Frightful Four, I mean sometimes it looks like he has things under control and other moments he’s getting his ass handed to him which sucks. I know he’s only on the earlier side of his Spider-Man career but for me I wish the creators would make up their mind as to how far Spidey can go with his abilities in combat. And lastly while I like this concept of high-tech in the modern world, I hope it doesn’t take over the main core of show. What I mainly mean is Spider-Man before now has been able to get around with his own powers and tech, but now he’s gotten web shooters from S.H.I.E.L.D. and that horrible new bike. I know they justified the reason for the bike, but I still don’t like it, it’s just too clunky for a hero like spider-men to need. Also if Spider-Man keeps getting all this tech from S.H.I.E.L.D. it’ll feel like he doesn’t really do anything on his own without help from Nick Fury and company. I’m just saying I hope Spider-Man will still be able to get stuff done on his own terms in the future.
Overall this was a nice second episode but I have yet to go “Wow this what I want to watch on my TV all the time!” Now I know I shouldn’t expect it from a show that’s just started but I like to think that a good show could hook me in from the first few episodes. The Spectacular Spider-Man got to episode 3 with the Lizard when it had my interest and my heart forever, let’s hope Ultimate Spider-Man can do the same.