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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending June 14, 2020

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MATTHEW - I know the feeling; I like to avoid the commentaries of others until after I've seen the episode and thought about what I've seen, as well.
Todd Jensen

Thanks Todd, I actually decided to avoid listening to the Spectacular Radio segment on this episode. I wanted to do an analysis on my own.
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

MATTHEW - Thanks for the latest review.

I recently got a DVD of both seasons of "The Spectacular Spider-Man", and watched the second season properly at last (I'd seen a few episodes on YouTube, but that was it), so this episode was still fresh in my memory. Which meant that I could more fully enjoy your review this time. I'm looking forward to the rest of your reviews, as well.

Todd Jensen

Watched "Probable Cause" today, this episode occupies an interesting space in the arc as it doesn't quite follow up the Gang War conflict from the last episode. Instead it's a bit more of a lead up to the climax for the next episode and the first real steps to the fall of Tombstone's empire.

Speaking of the Big Man himself, it's been a while since we've seen him. I guess with Doc Ock's new Sinister Syndicate, the return of Silvermane and the presence of Sable, not to mention the reappearance of Venom you kind of lose track of him. This actually brings up the subject of gang rule, conflict and the "evolve or die" narrative that Greg is fond of. We know that he's been running the game for at least twelve years and now faces the risk of stagnation. He may control the majority of ordinary criminals, but there's no guarantee that many won't switch over to Silvermane if they feel they can get a better deal under him. He may have commissioned and benefited from the number of super villains now running around, but he doesn't control them like he used to and Doctor Octopus still controls the majority of costumed criminals to be a threat. This is why he upgrades the rest of
the Enforcers to match Shocker, commissions Osborne to make a new super villain, and plans a huge heist at the Federal Reserve. He knows the importance of manpower and wealth when engaging in what could be a prolonged gang war, but he also knows how important for someone like him to maintain the image of control even if he doesn't have it.

Contrast that with Hammerhead, unlike his boss he doesn't feel the need to evolve (best illustrated that he still acts and dresses like a gangster from the '20s) nor take stock in his position within Tombstone's empire or the bigger picture. He's enjoyed the cushy position of right-hand man for a long time as well as the fact that he could boss around the underlings with ease. But things have changed and people have evolved; "little Sable" can now match him in a fight and the "freaks" he used to be able to intimidate like Octavius, Rhino and Sandman could easily take him apart if they wanted to. And in an act of pure pettiness, he sabotages the Enforcer's getaway thus depriving his boss of valuable manpower, all while not thinking what would happen if the Enforcers or his boss found out about it. All that plus he falls for the same manipulation from Osborne that he had previously used on Marko and O'Hirn. It's that "cut off your nose just to spite your face" thinking that pretty much confirms what I've said about him; that underneath that fancy suit and metal plate is a common thug who doesn't use the few extra brain cells that he was graced with.

This episode really helps confirm the message of partnership that was introduced last episode. Indeed, the biggest advantage the Enforcers have over Spidey is the fact that they not only have numbers on their side, but the fact that they took the time to properly train so they don't attack each other on accident. An accident the Sinister Six know all too well. I like the little details made towards the Enforcers, like how the coloration of their suits is similar to the ones they wore in the very first episode, or that they were designed to enhance their natural abilities. Ricochet speed and agility have him literally bouncing off the walls, and Ox's strength is comparable with your average super villain. The fight between Spidey and the Enforcers shows off that despite all their advantages, their performance is still only as good as their tech. So when their transport is totaled as well as their suits they become an easy catch for the cops.

Continuing the theme of partnerships, over the past two seasons Spidey's slowly worked his way into being an ally to the police, especially Captain Stacy. It's pretty clear that without the help of the police Peter would A) not even be aware of the heist at the Federal Reserve and B) not even caught the Enforcers as they tried to flee. The topic also pops up with the other students and their randomly chosen partners, Gwen and Liz's underlying tension, Mark and MJ hitting it off and Harry's own problem coming to head. It's interesting to see Flash's feelings of betrayal, first at Harry having to leave the country and then when finding out about him playing juiced. I'll be honest, I remember not expecting Flash to be the one to spill the beans because it not only means that he messed up his leg for nothing like he said, but also because he values honest sportsmanship above all else. And hey, that's ultimately the thing that gets Sha Shan's attention.

Some Final Thoughts: We get a little more depth into the characters of Officers Cater and DeWolff. The latter is another case of "blonde Caucasian who has been race-lifted" in this case to Native American like her actress Irene Bedard. It's funny that in the show she's the biggest critic of Spider-Man where in the comic she took over as Spidey's friend on the force. Carter on the other hand shows off hints of his own character from the comics. I always wondered how Tom Wilson would do if he continued his character's comic arc...

I haven't talked much about Sally Avril but I like that Peter acknowledged his first episode crush and just how shallow it was. Grey DeLisle's Brooklyn accent is so delightfully obnoxious, it takes work to make a character you love to hate. The fallout of the revelation with Harry actually shows a darker aspect about him, while show does the hint about Green Goblin it ultimately takes him down a more insidious path. And finally, we see more of Norman's machinations this episode, besides his subtle nudging regarding Hammerhead we also get a reference to who will take over Octavius' role of creating super villains.

Favorite Lines:
Tinkerer: So Ox, if Montana's Shocker and Fancy Dan is Ricochet, what do we-
Ox: Ox.
Tinkerer:...That works.

MJ: A date, but not a "date-date."
Cop: Are we on a ride along, or a "ride along-ride along"?

Spider-Man: What a revoltin' development this is.

Shocker: Never did like to see a poor, dumb animal suffer.
Spider-Man: Like say, Bre'r Rabbit?

Sally: Peter!...Wait, how come you're still alive?!

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

I welcome back Greg Weisman to discuss the middle chapter of the Criminology arc. We discuss preventing villains from decaying, the differences between juggling an ensemble show vs a non-ensemble, our shared love for everybody’s favorite cheerleader, Sally Avril; and so much more.



Greg Bishansky

Hm, I should have done some fact-checking first. I see Marina didn't mean he dropped a spoiler, but that Peele "dropped the ball", as in he couldn't convince Disney to make a movie. Or maybe she means he at least dropped mention of it again recently in a Twitter exchange he had with Greg. Anyways I linked another article to amke name, which again might be old news to the rest of you.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

Wow, I am shocked and pleased to see the number of familiar faces from years ago, still frequenting this CR! I still keep an eye out for Gargoyles news, and saw this interview from a few days ago that might already be known by those here (or maybe you know more, such as the spoiler Marina Sirtis said that Jordan Peele dropped recently about a Gargoyles return. I had my suspicions that Disney might do this, after the show saw a surge in popularity after being slotted on Disney+ right after The Mandalorian. Anyways, the article is linked to my name below.

I hope the Disney execs are smart enough to involve Greg again.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

Hey we should do a 20th anniversary gargoyle gathering it just poped into my head
Chuck straw - [dvdking83 at comcast dot net]

Hi Mr. Weisman. I have a question for you:

I don't know if you are aware, but in the "Early Warning" episode of Whelmed: The Young Justice Files (back in Oct. 2019) the host quoted you on something you told him in conversation. This is something that used to happen now and then, but lately it happens in almost every episode: "Greg texted me this", "Brandon emailed me that", "Greg/Brandon told me whatever", etc.

So, looking at your 2-year-8-month-and-15-day backlog of 1172 questions, I'm wondering: why are you giving BTS information to this one person while the rest of your fanbase has to submit questions and wait months (at least) or YEARS (worst case and more likely scenario) for an answer???? It must be really cool to be so intimate and chummy with one's idol, and I bet the host feels super important and validated, but this is some double standard bullshit!

Are you aware of this? And if you are, how can you be okay with it? Don't you think this is unfair? You have thousands of fans who support your work whichever way they can, but 99.9% of them have never even met you in person, let alone exchanged emails or text messages with you.

If I make an entire podcast dedicated to kissing your asses, will I earn the same privileges? Will I be able to ask all my questions without a waiting queue? Will I get to hang out with you, have lunch together or exchange personal contacts?

(Originally I posted this on AskGreg, but then I decided I shouldn't have to wait 2 years for an answer, for all the reasons above.)


A little bit late to the conversation, but since Matthew posted his review of "Accomplices", here's the conversation Greg Weisman and I had it on my podcast, "Spectacular Radio":


The podcast discussing "Probable Cause" should be up in a few days, and if you check the archives, we've been going through each episode one by one.

Greg Bishansky

ACK, ignore! I forgot I'd already posted this week.
We must be brave.

Avernus, Dis, Minauros, Phlegethos, Stygia, Malbolge, Maladomini, Cania and Nessus.
We must be brave.

Two cubed.
Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!


Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

We must be brave.

"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka


Todd Jensen

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]