Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cartoon Review: The Spectacular Spider-Man Ep. 4

"Market Forces"

It has been enjoyable to see Peter interact with his high school friends. Each character has quickly been established for new fans to understand each character personalities and also for older Spider-Man fans it is interesting to see how the writers of this show are combine different versions of these characters personalities from various Marvel Universes. And this episode did a nice job showing the reprecussions of Peter's actions from the last episode as his Gwen, Eddie, and Harry are still mad at Peter for bailing on them.

But still for some reason this show felt like it was missing that one thing that is needed to complete the Spider-Man Universe: The Daily Bugle. Even though we have had some nice comedy from Peter as Spider-Man and with his supporting cast at school the true comedy gold of any Spider-Man comic, cartoon, and film always comes from Peter's interaction with the Daily Bugle staff especially from J. Jonah Jameson. Out of all of the Spider-Man characters the one character that never changes no matter the universe is Jonah. The writers really did a great job showing just that angry, never stop for a second attitude that he has as the editor of The Daily Bugle that makes him funny. It was funny seeing him kick Peter out for just being a kid in his newspaper office and than makes Betty Brant go get him once he is told by Betty that he just kick out the kid who took the Spider-Man pictures. It was something that was quick but funny Jonah comedy.

Also it was interesting to see that the writers address the age difference between Peter and Betty. In the early Amazing Spider-Man comics Betty was actually Peter's first girlfriend but the age difference between the two characters, even though the reader kind of had an idea that Betty was between 18-20 years old and Peter was 16 years old when they went out. It was nice to see Peter try and get Betty to go with him to his school dance as his date only to be shot down.

Speaking of the dance we also got the mention of a certain redhead in this episode for the first time. It was a nice callback to the original way Stan Lee introduced the character as she is only mentioned by name only.

Up until this point the writers have stuck to the original villain with only a few deviations to their origins but not their name. So it was a nice change of pace that the writers combined two characters to make one as Montana from the Enforcers became the Shocker instead of him being Herman Schultz. I have to admit I have always liked the Shocker character and the animators did a great job with the fights between Spider-Man and Shocker. In the first fight Shocker was able to show off some nice power as he completely dominated the fight which gives him some credibility instead of being a joke like his Ultimate Universe counterpart. And it was good to see Peter use his mind and some clever quips to make Shocker beat himself.

With Peter finally having a job, him having to make amends with his friends, the mention of a certain redhead, and Norman commissioned to make some villains for Spider-Man fight to so he doesn't get in the way of the Big Man's plans these next few episode look to be better than what we have already seen from this young cartoon.

Episode Rating - 9/10