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Ugh... sorry to post two in a row, really sorry. But I posted my review of "Identity Crisis" before "Growing Pains" by accident.
*** SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
Another Sunday, another episode of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" come and gone. And, as far as episodes go, I almost wish there was a bad one so I could stop heaping praise on this show, it gets a tad predictable. But, a great show is a great show, and I'm glad we have one. Good stuff
Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.
Okay, the quote may not be Shakespeare as all the auditions were, but I think that sums up this episode quite well. Our tangled web is being weaved by Venom. He is deceiving the city into believing Spider-Man has become a criminal.
I've spoken my thoughts and opinions on Venom in previous reviews, but I have to say that I like this Venom. I like this Venom a lot, and I hate that I do. But, really, this is what he should be. He is the evil Spider-Man. None of this misunderstood, lethal protector of the innocent garbage. This Venom is completely obsessed with Peter Parker and doesn't care who he hurts to get to him. Which is really what he was in his first two appearances, before Marvel decided they had a cash cow and turned him into something else entirely.
Now, the main plot of this issue is loosely based on Amazing Spider-Man #42 where John Jameson was infected by alien spores and gained power, and at his father, J. Jonah Jameson's insistence, he attempted to hunt down Spider-Man. That very same issue also marked Peter Parker meeting Mary Jane Watson for the first time, complete with the popular phrase "Face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot." But, obviously we already did that in the first season.
I enjoyed the treatment of John Jameson here. I think a lot of people thought the creators of this show would jump right into Man-Wolf with him, but nope, they chose to adapt a fun, if somewhat forgotten story from Lee's run. But, considering how this episode ends, with John at Ravencroft lusting for more power, I can foresee a Man-Wolf down the road.
This episode also marked J. Jonah Jameson's return this season. Yes, we got a brief glimpse of him in "Destructive Testing" but it was a brief glimpse and with no lines. Here, well, Darran Norris is still in top form. I love his take on this character, and I just love how Jameson is written. What I enjoy the most about this Jameson is how his hatred of Spider-Man has slowly built up. First, Spidey was just some mook in a costume who sold papers. Second, Spidey participated in trashing the offices of the Daily Bugle... okay, that was Rhino's fault, but still. Then Spidey, without meaning to, upstaged John Jameson's heroic landing of a doomed space shuttle. Now... as far as Jameson is concerned, Spidey is responsible for John being a mental case. Well played, Weisman.
The whole cast auditioning for St. John Devereaux's play was enough to tickle the Shakespeare geek in me. And looking at the cast list at the end, the play is "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Let's see who I can make out... some of the name's are obscured by Devereaux's arm.
Puck..... Harry Osborn
Titania.. Sha Shan Nguyen
Oberon... Kenny Kong
Cobweb... Glory Grant
Hermia... Mary (I assume Jane Watson).
and all the way at the bottom... O'Reilly (I assume Seymore) and below him... Greg Weisman. LOL, I love these little Easter Eggs.
The ending of the episode, well, I love a good cliffhanger, and you can't get a bigger one than Venom bursting into the offices of the Daily Bugle and announcing that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. What, I have to wait a week? Aw well.
Another spectacular one.
*** SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
For the record, it wasn't my idea to put my name on the cast list. (Though, of course, I approved it.)
*** SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
Last week on "The Spectacular Spider-Man". The nefarious Venom revealed Spidey's secret identity to J. Jonah Jameson... CLIFFHANGER! How will Spidey get out of this one?
Will Jameson not believe a big, drooling monster?
Will Spider-Man sell his future marriage to Mary Jane and unborn child to Mephisto after Aunt May gets shot by the Big Man's operatives?
Let's find out...
Again, I have to ask... why didn't Venom ever try this in the comic books? Yes, yes, I know, he wanted to have Spidey all to himself, but that explanation never flew for me. It works for the Green Goblin, because Norman enjoyed the game more than anything. There is a reason he revealed his own identity to Peter Parker after he unmasked Spider-Man. In Norman Osborn's sick mind, it was all a twisted game, and Peter was probably the only real honest relationship he had with another human being (scary as that sounds). But Eddie Brock always blamed Spider-Man for destroying his life, and wanted to return the favor, and yet... he never even came close to pulling the trigger.
And that's why I like this Venom. I like this Venom a lot. He knows Spider-Man's secret identity, and he exploits it. And he almost did it. He almost pulled it off. That trick with the gene cleanser was good. Reveal Spidey's identity, take away his powers, and leave him at the mercy of the entire world. I'm sure the Big Man would have had Aunt May shot within the hour. Not to mention Doc Ock, Vulture, Rhino and Kraven are still at large.
But more than Venom, I think Flash Thompson really shines in this episode. He saved Peter's ass. Twice. He really is Spidey's biggest fan, and I think the ending proved that fact is not sad.
I did like all the reactions to Ned Lee's interview. Norman Osborn said "No" (Alan Rachins gets hauled in for a one syllable word), but I am not entirely convinced he meant it. The Connors just laughed, but gave it serious thought. None of Peter's classmates believe it... although I suspect Mary Jane knows. Gwen laughed (then almost kissed him... curses). I don't think Jameson believed it, but he'd be a fool not to follow up on it. I don't think Ned Lee believed it either, but he was doing his job like a good reporter. But, if George Stacy doesn't know, then I am brain dead.
Aunt May's reaction had me in stitches.
Good to see the gene cleanser come back. And out of Venom's gut mouth also... I love that thing.
"Brock's lost it, Venom is like, twice his size!"
Eddie begging Peter to help him get the symbiote back at the end is just... sick.
I assume Brock is on his way to Ravencroft. Roommates with Electro, John Jameson, and Cletus Kassady (God, I hope that doesn't go where I fear it will).
Miles Warren is officially the slimiest character in the series. I would not be surprised if he was planning to oust the Connors as soon as he got the job. I hope we eventually see that jackal get what's coming to him.
And finally Flash Thompson as Bottom... the role he was born for. He was just the last one to find out. I did like the cartoonish ass head.
Good episode... once again, the team knocks it out of the park.
*** END SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
Thanks. We try.
I was just wondering...I have a very general question. How is it you or any of us know how well a cartoon does. I mean, is there a website that shows a show's ratings? I was interested in knowing how spectacular Spiderman, or any show for that matter, is doing in popularity and there seems to be little out there when I search. Great work on spectacular spiderman by the way. Best cartoon ever.
I learn about the ratings from my bosses. I would think they're published SOMEWHERE, but I couldn't tell you where.
I have a question regarding Gargoyles 2198. You mentioned that the Delilah from that time period would know that she is descended from the Delilah of 1996. Since Gargoyles raise all the hatchlings as children of the Clan, how would she know? Wouldn't the generation gap be far enough that the members of the Labrynth clan would not care or even know?
Since we had season finale arcs for the symbiote/Venom and the Green Goblin, are you open to the idea to a Doctor Octopus season finale storyline?
Also, I hope we see more of Mary Jane Watson next season, please. Yeah, we know Venom said that Peter loves Gwen most on this show, but I'd love to see more of M.J. with Peter. And more Anna Watson, too. Mary Jane's Aunt Anna has kind of been a no-show lately.
I hope we see more of Tombstone. Kevin Michael Richardson does a fantastic job on the show. Hope Calypso and Molten Man return, too.
By the way, will we ever hear Harry Osborn's mom speak on the show?
I'd like to say thanks so much to you and the rest of the writers and crew of this show. "The Spectacular Spider-Man" is the best Spider-Man TV series I've ever seen. Hope that everyone on the cast/crew returns for many more seasons.
Thanks. We hope so too.
I was just wondering, how many pages is a script to one of the episodes to the Spectacular Spider-Man?
First season, we had a 38 page maximum. Second season we had a 36 page maximum, and we were often (if not quite always) still too long. It's somewhat frustrating, but the end result is hard to complain about.
Not so much a question, but a comment. A thanks, really.
I HATE, HATE, HATE Venom. With a fiery passion. I dislike the character more than healthy, I'm sure. But I'd like to thank you and your staff of writers for not only providing me with a Venom I could really love, but making the Venom arc of the second season my favorite story arc of the entire series. The framing devices for each episode were excellently done, and Eddie himself proved to be a formidable antagonist who actually utilized the knowledge the symbiote gave him.
So thank you very much. There's little I love more than seeing initially weak characters finally written to their full potential. Great work. This is why you're one of my favorite people ever. Also, whoever wrote those episodes. I'll have to go back and check.
P.S. Although this is largely a post praising your show's Venom, I'd also like to take a moment to say that my favorite character in the show is Electro. I think he's been handled beautifully and I love the transition his character took from "pissed off villain" to "This is all I have." At least, that's how I saw it. I'm eagerly awaiting a hopeful season three and hoping that Electro, among other villains you're planning, shows up and gets fleshed out more.
Thanks for another great cartoon series, Mr. Weisman.
The Venom arc was written by Kevin Hopps, Nicole Dubuc and Andrew Robinson. I was blessed to have a great writing staff (including also Randy Jandt and Matt Wayne) on the series.
Planning more "flesh" for all our characters, as screen time allows.
I just want to now do you have a final say in how a character or story ends up in spectacular spiderman or does someoneeles besides marvel get the last word in the show.
Marvel, Sony and the network (Disney XD, these days) do have ultimate say, but I can't say there have been a lot of conflicts with any of those companies. Otherwise, Vic Cook and I make all final decisions. Story is more my area, so I'll take responsibility for whatever winds up on screen in that department.
hey greg first of Ithink spectacular spiderman is my favorite show ever. 2nd love gargoyles I like the little brodway cameo in episode one of spidey I just wanted to ask you said that spectacular spiderman is sorta in a 1962 marvel comics reality so only the characters that were aroud then are aroud now.Now I hear season two is set to end in march (the timeline not reality of corse)and I did some reserch so would that mean Ironman would exist at the end of season 2.I know he won't make a cameo or anything Ijust like the idea that he is around and I think every one will nerd out if they see somthing like Pete saying somthing like "it's the latest from stark industries" or something like that. ps I live in canada so I got to season 2 is awsome.
You know I don't have my Spider-Man notes with me at the moment, so I can't confirm or deny your assumptions about Iron Man. But I can confirm that the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and Ant-Man are all active at this stage, and that Professor X is just beginning to set up his school with his first couple of students (Cyclops and Beast).
I have another question regarding Oberon and Titania. Before the beginning of the Gathering and Titania offered to be his wife again was Oberon considering asking her to marry him?
One assumes they had had some conversations about this before, with him asking her, and she demuring...