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RIP Stan Lee

Good day to you ladies and gents, today I am writing a blog post that I hoped I wouldn’t have to write any time soon, but alas, Stan Lee, a legend in the world of comics and entertainment and beloved nerd and creator for many fans across the world unfortunately died yesterday and even now it feels so surreal. So today I just wanted to share my thoughts on what he meant to me and share my respects.

So every once in a while in life, there emerges an individual who goes on to become someone special and Stan’s one of those individuals. To have such an interesting life journey and career from being in the army to writing comic books and then having what you created reach so many people, and have those properties be taken on by new writers and artists for decades to come, and then, of course, have those creations get adapted into various animated and live-action TV shows and films… All that from one guy and his collaborators. It is truly incredible.

Stan Lee is a man who has fascinated me since childhood, and as I’ve gotten older and learnt more about him through research, written and video interviews and so on, I’ve only appreciated him more and more. I’ve always loved hearing the stories about how he created some of his most notable characters like the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man or the X-Men, how he had the knowledge and guts to tell stories about flawed/troubled individuals that made them relatable to the readers. It just shows that this guy was on the ball and perceptive.

But beyond the wonderful characters, stories and worlds he’s given us over the years, he had such a wonderful personality. Stan Lee always looked like he was having the time of his life in a lot of his old photos working at Marvel, he’s always smiling, and through articles and interviews he’s always come across as a sweet, cool and kind man who had time to pass on his knowledge and had great stories to tell. The guy was fantastic and every time I saw him in an interview he’d always make me smile and laugh because he was also quite funny.

But I think where a lot of people have gotten to know Stan from in recent times is through his cameo work in the Marvel Studios films. Now Stan is no stranger to being part of the properties he’s created. He’s narrated for TV shows and video games, made numerous appearances in live-action films going back to the first X-Men film from 2001, he’s made appearances in the cartoons and has been a playable character in games like Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Lego Marvel Superheroes. He’s been all over the place and I’ve always seen him pop up as it always brought joy to my soul.

And now I would like to share some of my favourites that aren’t from the MCU and probably aren’t as well known.

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

This Stan Lee appearance will always hold a special place in my heart. It was probably the first time I sort of got an idea of who Stan was as a kid. I remember being maybe 8, 9 or 10 years old when I first saw this episode and I thought it was hella cool that Stan Lee, the creator of Spider-Man, made an appearance in the 90’s cartoon show. And every time I saw it since it made me so happy. It is a short yet wonderful moment filled with fun, reflection and humour, and seeing Stan get left on the roof without any way to get down and hoping the Fantastic Four would give him a lift, priceless.

Spectacular Spider-Man

This is a small and probably insignificant cameo for most, but I remember watching Spectacular Spider-Man’s second season and just loving this cameo. Here Stan’s just a guy who states the stuff he hates and I think we can relate to that. But it is the line “Are we being punked? I hate that.” Haha. I’ve always loved it.

Spider-Man 3

This one has always stuck out for a number of people and I’d be inclined to agree, it is such a simple yet beautiful bit of dialogue that perfectly sums up Stan’s positivity and then work that Peter had done up to that point. And it is probably the highlight of that entire film really.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I almost forgot about this cameo until I saw it on my YouTube search. I remember watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during season 1 and thought this was the greatest cameo just because it came out of nowhere and made me laugh so hard. It wasn’t enough that Simmons was giving Coulson a hard time with this fictional story that everyone on the train cart was paying attention to, but for Stan to step in, sympathise with her and then scold Coulson so hard was an incredible moment in time that I’ll never forget. 😛

But of course there are the Stan Lee cameos from the MCU and there are many to pick from, and while a lot of them were just minor appearances, some of them were quite funny and significant. So here are some my favourites:

  • Thor: When he tried to pull Mjolnir out of the ground with his truck and failed.
  • Avengers: “Superheroes in New York? Gimme a break.” Love that line.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Seeing him hanging out with the Watchers was one of the best nerdiest things I’ve ever seen. 😀
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming: When Spider-Man gets scolded by a bunch of people and Stan shouts at him from a window, great moment! 😀
  • Avengers: Infinity War: “What’s the matter with you kids? You never seen a spaceship before?” I frigging loved that line, such a casual thing for an old bus drive to say. 😀 😛

Here’s an epic compilation to check out below:

Anyway, to conclude, Stan Lee, all I can say is thank you for everything that you’ve given me and many fans young and old throughout the many decades that you were with us. And like many I’d like to thank you and Ditko for Spider-Man, he’s one of my favourite characters in fiction and I’ve learnt so much from him and have loved all the heroes, villains and stories that you’ve given Spidey over the years and my life wouldn’t be the same without that character. And also it was an honour to be in your presence in for a moment in time, but meeting you in 2014 was one of my life goals that I never thought I’d get to do and it was one of the best experiences of my life that I will cherish forever.

RIP Stan Lee and thanks for everything. Excelsior!

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in Films, Life, Media, Television

 

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London Film & Comic Con 2014 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m gonna give you my thoughts on the London Film & Comic Con took place on the weekend just past. So yeah I’ve been travelling to and from London over the last three days going to convention and it has been one hell of an experience. There’s been a lot of stuff going down recently and now I have to try and recall everything that I saw. Here goes nothing. 😛

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Now for those not in the know, this convention was all about films, TV, comics and video games. But it was primarily about the special guests who attended, most people who were going were there to meet the celebrities who were there for talks, photo sessions and doing autographs too. Otherwise you could buy a range of merchandise including, clothes, toys, anime and manga, DVDs, comics, artwork, posters and so on. In addition to that you could also play video games new and old, see the writers and artists in the comic book area or took pictures of the many cosplyers hanging around. So Now I shall talk about my experience day by day.

Friday

On day one I meet up with my friends, we queued for just around an hours around the back of the building before we got inside and I scoped the area to see where everything was. There was a lot of stalls with merchandise, many areas for actors doing autograph signings and loads of people in cosplay walking all over the place. So Friday was just a short session, the convention started at 6.30pm and only lasted for a few hours and was pretty much a taster of things to come over the next two days. It was primarily a day two get your stuff signed or do your photo sessions with celebs or just buy your tickets for events you couldn’t get online beforehand. There was a lot of lines and it was pretty crazy how far they stretched even though it was Friday, not one of the main weekend days. But then at the same time considering who was attending and how big the event has become over the years I am not surprised about people and their commitment to coming so early and in their massive numbers.

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But the highlight of my day was when I met and got a picture with the legend that is Stan Lee, yes THE Stan Lee. I waited in line to have my picture with him for around I think an hour and a half, but then I finally got to take the picture with him and I can say it was one of the most surreal moments ever.

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This was pretty much the highlight of the day and my life. I unfortunately didn’t get to talk to him because we were being hurried along by the staff, but in all honesty I could say anything because I was awe-struck. My heart couldn’t stop racing after I got my picture with Stan. To meet him has been one of my life goals since I was around 7 or 8 years old, but never did I think I would ever get to live my dream so early in my life.

Saturday

Enter day two of my time at the LFCC and since I had couldn’t my photo with Stan Lee the day before and didn’t have any money for autographs, photo sessions or to buy any merchandise, it was my day to relax, take pictures and explore. I entered the main building and there really wasn’t much for me to do so I was kind of bored, but then I remembered that there were some talks going on, I then went to one of the stage areas, but I got told that the stage area I was looking for was in another building. So then I went next door to the other building and found a whole other section of the convention that I didn’t even know was there. Here in Earl’s Court 1 was the comic book area, the ‘Super Stage’ and the video game section too, the stuff I had heard about online, but was poorly advertised at the convention itself. Had I not asked about this second stage area from the staff, I don’t think I would have found this place at all.

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Anyway I had the best time ever in this second building. I got to watch two talks, the first was a fun and insightful talk on the Power Rangers series which featured David Yost (Mighty Morphin’ Blue Ranger), Bulk and Skull (Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy) and Cerina Vincent (Lost Galaxy Yellow Ranger). Then there was the talk on Sherlock which featured Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue talking about the creative process behind the show, its popularity and success and how they should ‘Watch Season 4’ for all their answers relating to the future of the show and characters. And after that there was the cosplay masquerade where there were a lot of fancy cosplayers showing off their costumes, but the most surprising part was when one cosplay couple came as Finn and Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time and the guy actually proposed to his girlfriend in front of everyone and she totally said yes! It was the most surprising and wonderful thing I had ever seen. 🙂 I also got to talk to some great comic book artists and illustrators who were really cool, gave me some awesome advice and had just had a general chin-wag with.

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Outside of that I was just playing video games all day! I had a go at all the retro arcade machines I could get a hold of which included Pac-Man, Tron, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Defender, Frogger, Mario Bros. and some Sega driving game. I think it is fair to say that I pretty much sucked at a lot of those games as I lost a lot, that being said I wasn’t bad at Dig Dug, Tron and Defender. Another gripe I do have with those machines is that the arcade sticks or buttons were definitely old as some were stiff and unresponsive which made precision a tough thing to pull off. I tried out Super Mario Kart which was a lot harder and slippery than I remember and play Star Wars Episode V: Return of the Jedi on Super Nintendo and it was frigging hard as hell. But where I found my jam was with Super Smash Bros. Melee. Man that was such a good time, I got to play a little more competitively and while I did get my ass handed to my twice by this really good guy, I pretty much murdered people in my other two matches which felt great. I was doing so well that people who came over were commenting on how good I was and the other players formed a temporary alliance to take me out, but they still failed! I was so beast! XD

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Sunday

So on the final day I came down a little later in the day and just hanged around in the comic book and video game sections again because there was nothing for me in the other place, that and it was super packed and sweaty lol. Again I got some really cool advice from artists and illustrators and then went back to the gaming section for some fun. I played some Tron and Dig Dug again, also tried this super hard Star Wars game on NES and it was pretty much impossible. Once again I was totally in the thick of it when it came to Smash Bros and besides one match when I went up against some really hardcore guy who played as Mario, I pretty much murdered everyone as Captain Falcon all over again. Spectators loved me and the other players once again hated me and wanted me dead, but I still killed them. I felt so badass. 😀

I pretty much left around 5pm as I had another event to attend to later on but I ended the day with a great level of satisfaction knowing that my time had been well spent at this convention. 🙂

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In conclusion London Film & Comic Con was one of the best three-day weekends I’ve experienced in a while. While it was a tad unorganized and over-crowded at times, I can’t deny that I had a kick ass time. I met some wonderful artists, played loads of video games, saw a good few famous people and met Stan Lee, I’d say it was a pretty awesome convention and I’m definitely interested in returning and trying out a few others across the UK in the future.

So what do you think of London Film & Comic Con? If you went what did you think and if you didn’t go would you consider going next year? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next review.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Films, Media, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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LATE Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “T.R.A.C.K.S.” Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the interweb, time for my review of episode 13 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. entitled “T.R.A.C.K.S.” So it seems like this show is finally getting somewhere and the future is looking brighter with all the talk surrounding episodes 14 and 15. I went into this episode hoping that AoS could keep that momentum up. Plus it has Stan Lee in it too, how can it fail right?  Luckily I was right.

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As usual in these reviews I’m just gonna present the plot and then say what I liked and what I didn’t like. Cool? Okay let’s keep going.

The Plot

In this episode Coulson and his team head to Italy and it there where they will attempt to confiscate an important device on a train. This device is being delivered to Ian Quinn and the team hope to intercept it in order to get to Quinn who in turn will get them one step closer to the Clairvoyant.

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What I Liked

Well bloody hell, this was awesome. Simply put this is the best episode the show has produced. Now this is what I’m talking about and I’m so annoyed I hadn’t watched this sooner.

There was so much to love where do I begin? The story was great with everyone getting screen time, loads of cool action scenes and some good connections from the past and foreshadowing to the future.

Firstly let’s talk about this plot, it starts out simply enough with the mission on the train with all of the team taking on different personas and that lead to some great humorous moments with May and Ward, Fitz and Skye and Coulson and Simmons. The pairing of Coulson and Simmons was priceless, Simmons’ rehearsed backstory and full-blown monologue on the train was hilarious, but the icing on the cake was from Stan Lee, HE WAS FRIGGING HILARIOUS! I swear that man is godly and just makes everything better, his dialogue and timing was just perfect. The team’s mission is compromised when their electronic communication goes down and everyone gets separated and while we’re stuck with just Coulson and Ward, we learn of the happenings with the rest of the team via flashbacks that took during the communication break down. The non-linear style of storytelling is done very well and it is great how each set of characters had stuff to deal with and all holes were filled up.

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Then there’s the point when Skye infiltrates the house where Ian Quinn is, and in the basement she finds our old friend Mike Peterson in a recovery chamber. Everything just gets more and more interesting as Mike is released and Quinn tries to get Mike to kill her but he refuses because it’s not his mission. It was at the point when Quinn shot Skye when this episode went from being really good to being frigging awesome, never did I think anyone would get messed up in such a way. But AoS stepped up and showed its audience it ain’t fucking around no more, it was an unexpected and dramatic moment that just made me love the villainy of Quinn even more. And let’s not forget Mike now awake but very different so much more lethal than before, he shows a lot of promise in this new role with his kick ass new leg.

Character-wise everyone was on-point. Clark Gregg finally started acting like the badass agent we know and love from the films with a much more serious and assertive tone with tiny moments of humour sprinkled in. Ming-Na Wen as May was definitely the star of this episode as she was given some great moments to be the coolest agent ever, beat the living daylights of several men and kill a dude with a knife, so aggressive! And I just add, in that suit she was wearing on the train, BLOODY HELL, so sexy, I swear I am totally in love. Brett Dalton is definitely getting more likeable in his role as Ward with more moments of humour, especially that scene with him and Coulson trying to figure out the holographic science table thing, that was funny. Iain De Caestecker continues to be funny and awkward as Fitz and Elizabeth Henstridge is still the most interesting, versatile, funny and endearing characters on the team. Also the return of J. August Richards as Mike was awesome, so emotionless and aggressive, love it. Also David Conrad has gone from being fairly boring to being frigging awesome as Ian Quinn, he seems more sly, despicable and cruel, this is the kind of villains the show needs.

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The action in the episode was also great with Ward, May and Mike getting some great moment scenes. Firstly Ward’s fight in the close quarters of that train carriage was kick ass, nicely choreographed, then May’s assault on those mean where she was being held was so frigging cool and then there was Mike under the order of the Clairvoyant taking out all those Cybertek people, badass!

What I Disliked

As for the stuff I didn’t like, there wasn’t much really besides the convenience of the hyperbaric chamber being nearby when Skye was dying, it’s a minor nitpick though.

Conclusion

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In conclusion “T.R.A.C.K.S.” is the best episode of AoS by a long shot, everything came together so well thanks to the non-linear storytelling, amazing action and the dramatic tone of the episode thanks to some unexpected twists and turns. Now the show is in a great place and I’m glad I never gave up on the show, if it can keep this momentum up then we could see the birth of an amazing TV show.

Rating: 9/10 (This is the kind of show that I’ve always wanted)

So what did you think of “T.R.A.C.K.S.“? Whatever your thoughts drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya again for episode 14! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Stan Lee Says He Won’t Cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy

Howdy ladies and gents time for some film news yo and as I said in my last blog post it is time the second half of my news related to the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film. The following information comes from superherohype:

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“It was bound to happen sooner or later, but that doesn’t make it any less unfortunate. Speaking with Dweebcast (via CBM) Stan Lee has confirmed that he won’t make a cameo in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy.

“No, I’m afraid not,” Lee said. “This is the one group I didn’t create. I didn’t write Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m not even sure who they all are. I can’t wait to see the movie.”

Lee is credited however with co-creating the character Groot, who Vin Diesel will voice in the upcoming film, though the character was substantially different in his debut than how he is interpreted in Guardians of the Galaxy.”

So we go from a great news story to a sad one. Well this is indeed disappointing. Stan Lee’s cameos in Marvel films are always a highlight for me and while he’s obviously not appeared in all Marvel productions, it is always a bit sad when he’s not around, but since there is a legit reason for his disappearance I’ll get over it, maybe *snob*.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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Stan Lee to Appear on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Okay ladies and gents of the interweb, time for some more Marvel news, except this time it’s about Agents of .S.H.I.E.L.D. and one of the most legendary men in life, Stan Lee. The following information comes from superherohype:

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“The king of cameos is at it again! The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Stan Lee will make an appearance on Marvel Entertainment’s live action TV series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in an episode that will air February 4th. Though Stan wouldn’t reveal what role he’s playing in the episode, he did describe it as a “big one.” You can see the first image of Lee on the set with the show’s executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen and stars Elizabeth Henstridge and Clark Gregg below!

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What role do you want to see Stan Lee play in the series?”

Well this is a decent surprise. While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a good show, it is hardly making the right kind of movements and traction that a new TV show needs to. So while the addition of Stan Lee won’t exactly change the show’s quality from okay to insanely awesome, it is something I welcome with open arms because let’s face it, Stan Lee is one of the most godly people in existence and to have him making any appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe whether it is on the big or small screen is a good thing. As for what role he’ll play, I don’t care really, as long as it serves a function and is funny then I’m down. But if I were to speculate he may be a random supporting character or possibly a member of S.H.I.E.L.D., either would work for me. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Media, Television

 

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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 2 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the second episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Rating: 6.5

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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