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My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.
The shallowest thickskin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented in their sport,
Forsook his scene and entered in a brake.
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's nole I fixÃ¨d on his head.
Anon his Thisby must be answerÃ¨d,
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky;
So at his sight away his fellows fly,
And at our stamp here o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries and help from Athens calls.
Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus strong,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong,
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch:
Some, sleeves -- some, hats; from yielders all things catch.
I led them on in this distracted fear
And left sweet Pyramus translated there,
When in that moment (so it came to pass)
Titania waked, and straightway loved an ass.
*** SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
Okay, two of my great loves have been combined. Spider-Man and William Shakespeare. And, our first episode personally scripted by Greg Weisman since "Intervention" back in the first season. You know it's a Weisman episode because of all the Shakespeare dialogue. You also know it's a Weisman script because of the cast of thousands. ;)
Okay, a new wing has been built at Ryker's Island called the Vault. Considering all the supervillains running around, it would make sense to finally give them their own wing. Not to mention Norman Osborn gets to make a profit off of it. He cranks 'em out and he locks 'em up. The perfect racket.
So, Norman somehow contacts Spider-Man and wants him to break out of the Vault to test security. And then is conveniently called away by Donald Menken... curious.
Meanwhile, at Midtown High, the production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is about to start, and Peter hasn't shown up to watch Liz. More than that, Harry Osborn, who was cast as Puck is missing also. Curious...
So, Norman Osborn and Harry Osborn are both no where to be seen, and the Green Goblin shows up to destroy Spider-Man. And, with an OsCorp Osberry, he manages to take control of security and free all the criminals and supervillains locked up. Bad news, Spidey, very bad news.
While this is happening, Black Cat breaks in to bust out her father, Walter Hardy aka the Cat Burglar. And, as we find out, the murderer of Uncle Ben...
Okay, I may as well discuss this since I know this is going to probably provide a lot of controversy, but, this is very well done. It achieved what "Spider-Man 3" tried to do, and failed miserably at. Either way, Peter still didn't stop him, he looked the other way, and his Uncle Ben paid with his life. This isn't like the movie where the Burglar was not the real killer and the Sandman was. If they had made that Burglar Flint Marko from the get go, I doubt that would have been as controversial.
Sam Raimi, if you're reading, take notes. Watch this show. This is how you do Spidey.
Okay, back to the episode. Among the prisoners are Montana, Ox, Fancy Dan, Rhino, Molten Man, a Mysterio robot, and Silvermane takes charge. Turns out Quentin Beck is still free after all... which was a big surprise.
Speaking of Mysterio, his Homunculi have really grown on me. They amuse me. I particularly enjoyed Jameson shouting out "I love these guys! They should have their own show!" Hmmm... winged creatures having their own show. I believe Weisman would call this an exercise in self indulgence. ;)
By the way, I enjoyed seeing Montana use a lasso. Yeah, it's dated, I don't want to see him use one again. But as a brief nod to the source material, it was fun.
And only Rhino could call Ox "pip squeak."
Did the Goblin ever bother to deactivate Mark's "curse?"
Well, Walter Hardy turns out to be a semi-decent man, as he wants to pay for his crime, stops the criminals from escaping, and remains behind as a prisoner. Black Cat is not happy about this. Period. Sorry, Cat/Spidey 'shippers. I think the ship has sailed for that now.
Although, on that note, it shouldn't be too hard for Felicia to figure out Spidey's identity now, considering how personally he took Ben Parker's murder. Assuming it even registered for her.
This episode was just beautiful. The action. The drama. The Shakespeare? Oh god, the Shakespeare. We need more of it in animation. You can never have too much Shakespeare.
My favorite moment is hard to pick, but... I loved the Green Goblin reciting Puck's monologue. Hey, the Green Goblin is a trickster, and Puck is the original. Gotta love it. That was a geekgasm.
"Up and down, up and down,
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field and town:
Goblin, lead them up and down."
Speaking of Puck, Hobie Brown finally speaks. About damn time, too. I loved his Puck costume and Glory's Cobweb costume.
Flash is still not a very good actor. Not a knock at Joshua LeBar, he is fantastic. I really think Flash has grown more this year than anyone else in the cast. Kudos for that.
So, the Goblin loses his temper and attempts to kill Spidey, but is driven off my both him and the Black Cat. Somehow, I don't see Cat doing him any more favors.
I guess we'll see soon if the Goblin messed up by revealing his return too soon. Yes, he nearly nailed Spidey, but he obviously went into that confrontation half-cocked. But, I am sure that next episode the gloves will be off. No matter who is under the mask, his (or her, it could be Emily) last name is Osborn. Spidey knows about that connection and will have to be eliminated.
One more episode to go. Spider-Man versus Green Goblin. I both eagerly anticipate it, and at the same time, I dread it. The show still hasn't been picked up for season three, and I don't want "Final Curtain" to be, well, the final curtain.
So, where was Harry? Who is the Green Goblin? What will happen to Peter and Gwen? If this is indeed the final curtain, then I am sure it will be a very memorable one.
*** SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
Actually, Jonah's line wasn't a Gargoyles reference. I really would like to do an "HOMUNCULI" spin-off series. Three little robot monsters on the loose in the world. I think it would be great fun.
(You heard it here first.)
**spoilers for season two for "The Spectacular Spider-Man"**
Loved what you've done with Sandman on this show's first two seasons. I hope you have more plans for him if there's a season three.
As for Sandman's old partner Rhino, will we see another solo Rhino story on your show someday? We saw one for Sandman in season two, so why not one for Rhino too?
Finally, do you think Robert Englund could come back as the voice of Vulture next season if you decide to use him? Englund has done an excellent job on this show.
**end of season two spoilers**
1. We'll just have to see.
2. I see no reason why Robert wouldn't come back. Do you know something I don't?
Hey Greg I have a question conserning black cat on spectacular spider-man. At the end of the episode Opening Night which was a awsome episode written by you Greg. Anyway at the end black cat said that she'll never forgive Spider-man for letting her father stay in prison is there any chance in a possible season 3 we'll see diffrent dynamic next time spidey and black cat face each other ?
That's where we left off. That's where we'll pick up again -- if we pick up again.
OK, some SS-M questions:
1. Exactly, what *does* Rand see in Sally, anyway? Multitudes of fans are dying to know.
2. You said in an interview (can't remember quite where I read it) that it was Sean Galloway's design for JJJ that cinched the deal for him. What was it about that particular design that convinced you?
2. I wouldn't say it was his Jonah that clinched the DEAL for HIM. It was his Jonah that clinched SEAN for ME. It's hard to answer your question articulately, but basically it just felt SO Jonah, and yet contemporary. He just seemed to capture the essence of the character.
Well, what can I say about this one? Heeee's baaaack... with a vengeance.
*** SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
There's a new Big Man in New York City. His name? The Green Goblin. With Tombstone now under surveillance and cut off from his empire, and Silvermane and Doc Ock in prison... all thanks to his machinations, the Green Goblin is stepping up to the plate and painting the town green.
In the comics, the Green Goblin was this character who always, in spite of his bizarre costume, would have me on edge whenever he showed up. You never knew what he was going to do next, except you know it would be evil and painful. Well, considering how this episode is I am going to be on the edge of my seat throughout the next two.
Liz's brother, Mark Allan, is in trouble. Big trouble. I've often said that one of the worst things you can be is a gambler. It's maybe only slightly better than being a drug addict. It's stupid and the consequences are dire. The only sure thing about gambling is the price is not worth the risk... and not worth the minute victory.
I gambled only once in my life, at the 2005 Gathering of the Gargoyles in Las Vegas. I spent, maybe an hour playing Black Jack, and when I was up $100, I stopped. I never went back. Yes, I won. But I felt it. I felt how easy it was to sink into it, and walked away.
Mark, well... he ended up owing money to a bookie and hood named Blackie Gaxton, who as we saw in the last episode worked for Tombstone. And now, he's working for the Green Goblin. And what does Gobby want? A guinea pig for a new supervillain. You all know where this is going...
Mark gets his powers, courtesy of Norman Osborn's new scientist, Miles Warren (whom I expected). The poor boy thinks he's done, is even given $100 and sent on his way. Well, here comes the tragedy. He can't control his new powers at all. The Green Goblin is in control of him. And now, he's become the Molten Man, and he's at the Goblin's beck and call.
The Goblin has one simple demand, kill Spider-Man. Not distract him, like Tombstone was attempting to do. Kill him. As we can see, the Goblin is looking to be a more dangerous Big Man than his predecessor. Helps when you're psychotic.
Oh, and I don't think you need to be a genius to figure the Goblin had no intention of letting Mark out of his clutches even after he killed Spider-Man.
Meanwhile, Mary Jane and Liz are concerned, and like Spidey, track Mark down. Poor Mary Jane, she got more attached to Mark than she expected. Things do not end well.
So, Molten Man is defeated, and taken away. Mary Jane and Liz have been emotionally wrecked, and the Goblin is just cackling his green head off and plotting his next move.
Peter tried to salvage his relationship with Liz, but, the writing is on the wall... there's not much there to salvage. But, watching this, I can't help but wish them luck.
Gwen Stacy has kept her new look, and damn she looks fine (but, I do miss the glasses). Harry is a lucky guy... um... too bad the writing on the wall here spells doomed as well.
Of course, I would fail at life if I didn't bother mentioning Miles Warren here. Even with my knowledge of the character in the comics, it's still shocking to see this jackal slowly getting worse and worse before our eyes. When we first met him, he seemed, well, normal. Next episode he is profiting off of Kraven, and carrying guns on school property. Then, he seized administrative control of the lab from the Connors, but he was right, security under them has been lacking. But here... supervillain in the making. This jackal is probably the most vile character in the series.
As for the story. Greg Weisman combined the characters of Mark Raxton (he was Liz's step-brother in the comics) and Bennett Brant (Betty Brant's brother) into one. Bennett was a gambler who fell into debt with Blackie Gaxton and was killed over it. In a way, I think this is more tragic and I cannot help but be reminded of the "Gargoyles" episodes, "Metamorphosis" where Elisa Maza's brother, Derek is transformed by David Xanatos into a bat-winged, feline mutate named Talon.
Two episodes left to go, and, honestly, and this is saying how well done this show is, but... I'm actually scared for the cast. It just feels like nobody is safe. usually on TV, especially in cartoons, the cast is safe. You don't have that feeling of dread because tragedies are usually not allowed to befall them. But, here? We're approaching the season finale, and that usually means a shake-up is coming, and here I think it will be a tragic one.
The Green Goblin is back... and I have no idea what he's going to do next. God help them.
*** SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
Hey, if we can keep you uneasy, then I think we've succeeded.
I have a question about Elisa and I did check the archives before asking. Where in Manhattan is Elisa's apartment located?
We generally thought of it as being in Soho.
Hello again, Greg!
I apologize if my last comment about Robbie, Jean, and Stan in Spectacular came off as overly critical. That was absolutely NOT my intention! "Silly" was definitely the wrong word to use in regards to the use of Jean and Stan in the series. I really am looking forward to further development with those two, and I especially love the occasional dark asides we get from Stan.
In regards to the Master Planner arc: definitely a stellar job overall, especially "Shear Strength" which instantly became my favourite episode in the series. Jen and the staff definitely get major props for putting so much intensity and passion into that episode.
There was one thing I was a little unclear on throughout the first arc of season 2:
- Was Tinkerer the one who constructed those androids that Mysterio used, or was it Beck? Or were they provided by someone else?
One other thing: I just love the way that you-know-who uses "Master Planner" as his crime lord name. I hope that continues into the future!
*** SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
It's Valentine's Day, and, well... to everyone like me who hates Valentine's Day, this episode is a treat.
We've got a trio of villains this time. Tombstone, Dr. Octopus and Silvermane call a summit at the opera at, what looks like, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Ock, Silvermane, and the Tombster all decked in fancy tuxedos. Silvermane nearly toasting to a Valentine's Day Massacre made me choke... awesome Al Capone reference there. This was fun to watch. Tombstone, Silvermane and the good doctor all think they're in control, but not at all realizing they're being played.
After Norman Osborn's little speech in the previous episode, Hammerhead has gotten very ambitious, and has trapped these three right where he wants them. Playing them all... but, who is actually playing who? Hammerhead is receiving notes from someone else. Now, who'd want these gangsters and supervillains to destroy each other? I have to say, I loved seeing Tombstone flustered.
Meanwhile, across town, Peter, Liz, Gwen, Harry, Mary Jane, and Mark are dating as a group over at a hotel Liz owns, so, free food... very sweet deal. But, as usual, Peter and Gwen would obviously rather be with each other, which Liz notices, as does Mark. They are joined by Flash, Sha Shan, Rand, and Sally... and hilarity ensues. Gotta love Flash demanding that Peter prevent him from saying something stupid.
I have to say, I loved Mark and MJ's statements on just what a sham Valentine's Day actually is. Sums up how I've always felt about it.
I loved the battle scenes in this episode, with an opera soundtrack in the background. Tuxedos and opera... and carnage. Classy. Very classy. Of course, Peter is forced to take off so Spidey can arrive, and, at long last, take these three down. He takes down Silvermane, then Doc Ock, and finally, the re-match we've been waiting for... Spider-Man versus Tombstone.
Throughout the battle, Tombstone calls Blackie Gaxton for help... there is interference. Octopus calls Kraven... again, interference. At this point, it's become clear, this is bigger than a stooge like Hammerhead. Another hand is at work here.
Can I say again how much I love the opera soundtrack? Opera. Gangsters. Supervillains. It's "The Godfather" in spandex.
Tombstone is taken down, and L. Thompson Lincoln is exposed as the Big Man of Crime, and hauled off in handcuffs. Of course he fires Hammerhead, and tells him to "expect his severance package soon." Nice!
While I know some people are complaining about it, what I like about this show is the shifting status quo. Tombstone doesn't remain the unknown crime lord. It avoids the problems of the 1990's Kingpin in that particular cartoon... nothing ever changed there, same old same old, and every villain worked for him. Here, on the other hand, Tombstone's situation is allowed to change. And that's one of the reasons why this show is so rich.
Of course, Tombstone makes bail. Nothing to convict him on, but that doesn't mean his life isn't about to get a whole lot more difficult...
... Especially at the end, where we learn who the true mastermind behind all this was. With Tombstone knocked out, there is a power vacuum in the criminal underworld. And, being no slouch, Tombstone figured it out. In the words of Michael Corleone, "our true enemy has yet to reveal himself," well, he finally does
"Guilty, guilty and oh so very guilty of being the new Big Man of Crime?" And with a maniacal laugh worthy of so many others, the Green Goblin ushers in his new dark reign which looks to close out this season.
This episode was just brilliant, and I think may be my favorite of the series run so far. But, we've got three more to go.
*** SPIDEY SPOILERS ***
Ah, the benefits of opera...
Hello again, Mr. Weisman. I hope you're doing well. I just wanted to ask two quick questions, if I may:
1.) There is something I've wanted to know for a long time and I kept forgetting to ask you. In the trailer for season one of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" and in the series' opening credits, Spider-Man had a blurry red-and-blue spider-sense look. On the show, though, the spider-sense look features the same wavy lines around Spidey's head like in the comic books. Why did the look of spider-sense change? Do you know?
2.) What are your feelings on the currently-retconned marriage of Spider-Man and Mary Jane? I am one of the Spidey comic fans who has quit reading the book due to "One More Day"/"Brand New Day", but how do you feel about the Spider-Marriage? Do you like it? Do you miss it?
On the subject, in case anyone is interested, I started an online petition last year to restore Spider-Man's marriage to Mary Jane back into continuity in "The Amazing Spider-Man" comic books. To read and/or sign it, go here:
Thanks for your time, Mr. Weisman, and I hope you have a good day.
1. You know, I don't have what you're describing in front of me, but I don't think we were inconsistent.
2. No comment.
1 - Any Man-Wolf plans in mind for season three or another season? Think Frank Welker could do the voice for Man-Wolf?
2 - Hope to see more Doc Ock. Wish he'd interacted with Mysterio and more with Kraven in season two, but I know you can only do so much every season. Maybe next season we can see them together on-screen?
3- Now that Hobie Brown finally spoke on your show, think the voice actor for Hobie will return for more episodes next season even if he doesn't become Prowler?
4 - Hope we see more of Mysterio in season three. And the REAL Mysterio, not a robot of him. I also love his gargoyle robots. They were a hoot in "Opening Night". (My favorite gargoyle line: "Pistachio!")
**end o spoilers**
1. No comment on my plans, but as much as I love Frank, I'm not sure why I'd recast the part, when Daran Norris is so great.
2. No comment.
4. Those weren't gargoyles; they were homunculi.