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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.