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Comments for the week ending July 5, 2020

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Great blog! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the information are well written.
social bookmarking sites - [pattywilson613 at gmail dot com]

Oh I see she was.

And thanks Masterdramon for clearing up on whether that was a Gargoyles shout out.

And a Happy Independence day to all!

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Matthew> I mean I'm not sure if it was well known prior to the 2010s, but the Black Cat was originally suppose to be a Spider-Woman villain prior to Drew's series being canceled.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone.
Todd Jensen

Greg stated here that the "homunculi should have their own show" line was not intended as a Gargoyles reference:


Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"It feels like time is passing so quickly. Damn you, Einstein! Your science is crowding in on our kiss!" - Kurisu Makise

I thought about the Jessica Drew part, I couldn't remember if the two of them had any sort of relationship that would qualify it as a shout-out.
And I do think that Jonah's comment was a deliberate shout-out to Gargoyles. Though the first time I saw this I thought it was referencing the tendency to take the kid appeal characters/comic relief and give them their own spin-off show.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

Felicia Hardy's alias, Selena Drew was a duo reference. One is obvious, the less obvious reference is to Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman (though now best known for being Queen Veranke of the Skrull Empire in disguise).
Greg Bishansky

MATTHEW - Yes, I forgot to mention that feature of the ending credits as well, but I really liked it.
Todd Jensen

Thanks Todd, I forgot to mention Cat's alias and the subtle reference to another famous cat-themed thief. Another thing I forgot to mention is that in the end credits the actors list off which characters they play, and which characters the play within A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's a nice touch.
Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

MATTHEW - Thanks for your latest review. "Opening Night" was one of my favorite episodes of Season Two - especially thanks to the Shakespeare elements. (I also noticed the "reverse color scheme" for Oberon and Titania; I'd like to know if that was intentional.)

I'd also like to congratulate Sha Shan on her rise through the Fair Folk's hierarchy. In the Christmas episode, she was one of Santa's elves; now she's the Fairy Queen herself.

I hadn't thought about the "Vault's not finished yet and they're already testing it" element until you mentioned it, but - maybe they thought it a good idea to test it while it was still being built, to catch its weaknesses sooner. Would that work?

I wonder if Jameson's line you quoted about how the homunculi should have their own show was a little in-joke, founded on their mildly gargoyle-ish appearance.

Another possible in-joke: Black Cat's alias was "Selena". An allusion to the competition?

Only one episode left in your reviews - the all-too-aptly named "Final Curtain". (Did the production team know, when they named it, that there wasn't going to be a Season Three?)

Todd Jensen

Watched "Opening Night" today, the long awaited A Midsummer Night's Dream episode. You know I have to question Peter's judgment on agreeing to test a prison's security system on the night he's supposed to see his girlfriend perform. You'd think he would've learned Murphy's Law by now, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

To start with we get our introduction to the Vault, the very first prison designed specifically for super villains in comics. Makes sense since Ryker's went through two prison breaks in less than a year, and we were shown that Osborn had worked on specially designed cells for Rhino and Sandman so it stands to reason that a whole system with that tech in mind would be developed. One thing I really liked about "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" was that they took the various super-prisons from Marvel and had them be made for specific types of villains. The Vault held technologically themed villains like in the comics, the Cube was for gamma radiated threats, the Big House for those whose biology was altered by science, and the Raft for the worst of the worst.

I think Spidey's plan for escape was pretty sound, using the security system against against the guards and having the foresight of disabling the security camera first. In fact I like the parallels this episode provides, Spider-Man trying to break out and Black Cat trying to break in. Though I have to mention a few things, one is that with Goblin hacking the security systems we never get a full test of the Vault's capabilities. And secondly I noticed that the Vault even isn't fully constructed yet. Which makes me wonder why the Warden would agree to to a security test before the project is even completed. I guess Norman was just in a hurry to off the good hero and used his financial sway over the prison.

But the major whammy of the episode comes from Black Cat, or rather the one she's trying to bust out of prison, her father Walter Hardy the Cat. And in this universe he's been combined with the crook that killed Uncle Ben. You know, Greg had already combined Mark Allen's Molten Man with Bennett Brant's gambling problems to give us this incarnation of a tragic villain. But I don't think anyone expected this. The man who killed Uncle Ben has pretty much been a very minor piece of Spider-Man's lore, a plot device rather than proper character so this was an interesting choice. I do have to point out the huge tone shift not just in the episode but from Peter himself once he's revealed. I really have to credit the actors for these scenes, Josh Keaton's voice practically dripping with fury even when Walter sacrifices himself to allow them to escape. Tricia Helfer dropping her usual flirtatious tone to a confused, scared girl in need of her dad to going just as cold-blooded as Peter after the failed breakout. This is an excellent way to showcase how other characters can perceive a third. Black Cat still imagines her father as the dashing, romantic master thief that inspired her own path. Peter sees him the cold-blooded murderer and the constant reminder of his biggest mistake.

But the truth is that Walter isn't anyone of those, he's an old crook that made a mistake and now feels the need for penance. The murder of Ben Parker isn't just a reminder of Peter's mistake but of his own too. I don't know where the series would've taken this but the idea that Uncle Ben's killer taking the long path of redemption would've been intriguing to say the least.

Some Final thoughts: For those who caught the episode I love what they did for the makeup of Kenny/Oberon and Sha Shan/Titania, they took the blue and green skin color from Gargoyles and reversed them. It's a clever little reference. Flash as Nick Bottom works so well in-universe, his switching from a bad British accent to his natural doofus-esque voice is just perfect for Nick the theater ham and faux-intellectual. After a whole season of being cut off, interrupted Hobie finally gets to speak, and gets the role of Puck too. Though I hope there was somebody to fill in for his role, I don't think Mr. Devereux thought to put in understudies. This and the next episode pretty much puts the final nail in Peter and Liz's relationship, and it's really not fair for her. She's been going through a pretty tough time and is desperate need of support, and Peter just really isn't in a position to provide that. And finally Spidey learns of the Goblin's return, I'll go into more detail about the genius of this next time, but instead wonder just what's in store for Spidey and Black Cat, she may have saved him from Goblin's attack but I can't help feeling she only did that because she wants to get back at Peter later...

Favorite Lines (this is another long one):

Spider-Man: Told them not to poke that. Oh, and picklepuss? TA-DA!

Green Goblin: With guards wrapped up all neat and tidy, I help or hurt my dear friend Spidey. I'm in a rhyming mood tonight.

Spider-Man: Now, now boys. No pushing, no shoving. Single file is the polite way to attack the hero.

Spider-Man: I HATE these guys!
Jameson: I LOVE these guys! Ha! Someone should give them their own show!
Captain Stacy: Jonah, you can't seriously be rooting against Spider-Man. He's our only hope of regaining control of the prison!...Well?
Jameson: I'm thinkin' I'm thinkin'.

Black Cat: A simple trade swinger. I help you get the prison under control, and you look the other way for Walter.
Spider-Man: Do you have ANY IDEA what happened the last time I looked the other way for Walter?!

Hobie/Puck: Shall we their fond pageant see?
Green Goblin: Lord what fools these mortals be!

Spider-Man: Ahem! Any of you misbegotten malcontents misplace an extremely handsome webslinger?
Spider-Man: I think the clever turn of phrase you're looking for is "get him."
All: Get him!
Homunculus: Pistachio!

Green Goblin: Gah! An entire penitentiary full of spider-haters and still he escapes! Well fine. Gobby's done using surrogate squashers... and rhyme schemes.

Jameson: It's a conspiracy I tell ya! They're all working together!
Captain Stacy: Oh to what end?

Walter: For years the Cat Burglar took pride in never hurting anyone, I never even carried a gun. But as I got older I got slower, and I became afraid. I made a horrible mistake the night I ended Ben Parker's life. And I know I have to pay for my crimes.

Hobie/Puck: If we shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended.
That you have but slumbered here, while these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream.
Else the Puck a liar call. So goodnight onto you all.
Give me your hands if we be friends. And Goblin shall restore amends.

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________

If anyone's interested, I'm streaming Gargoyles Season One today while I do housework. If you have a Discord account, you can get in just by clicking my name.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

I've often wondered if Greg's thought about pitching some of his ideas for a new spider-man series with a different art style/brand. Like a spiritual successor series.

It's something I'd love to see at least.

Alex (Aldrius)
Never let fear stop you from doing good.

Chip - [Sir_griff723 at yahoo dot com]
Never learning the truth that what feels as though a burden pushing down upon our shoulders, is actually, a sense of purpose that lifts us to greater heights. Never forget that fear is but the precursor to valour, that to strive and triumph in the face of fear, is what is means to be a hero.~~~Trollhunters

I suspect that the "Green Goblin" aspect of Puck's costume was based on Puck's links to goblins ("Hobgoblin" is one of his nicknames in "A Midsummer Night's Dream") - but I agree that, given that the Green Goblin's a dangerous super-villain (and presumably recognized at that) and Puck's mainly a mischievous, fun-loving, but not actually harmful trickster, linking the two doesn't seem that appropriate from an in-story perspective. (Many scholars of fairy mythology have argued that Shakespeare softened Puck's depiction in the play, and that the trickster was originally a lot more sinister - "Puck" was apparently even another name for the Devil before Shakespeare.)

But I certainly thought that "Cobweb" being the named attendant of Titania's in the production was fitting - as was her costume design.

Todd Jensen

Before I go into my review of "Opening Night" I'd like to bring up how real life culture and trends affect media works like movies, television and even the stage.

See back when I was first starting college, the Drama department put on a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with a little modern touch to it. My Chemical Romance was pretty popular at the time so the makeup and costuming for the fairies was inspired by that. You know, black clothing, wild hair with plenty of dye that sort of thing. A few years later our production of "Othello" had costuming and set design with a quasi-steampunk look.

I bring this up because in the episode itself the costuming and makeup for the characters of Puck and Cobweb resemble the Green Goblin and Spider-Man respectively. Now I get the Spider-Man bit as not everyone hates him like Jonah does, but Goblin? In universe I can't help but feel that sort of thing would be in poor taste.

Anyway, anyone else have interesting stories involving theater?

Insert Inspirational Quote Here:________


EVA> Greg's made no secret he'd be up for revisiting _Spectacular Spider-Man_. Alas the main hurdle is a lot of complicated corporate politics.

We must be brave.

Do you think you or your old co-workers on Spectacular Spider-Man would ever be willing to come back to the show?
eva - [elhightower2003 at gmail dot com]


Todd Jensen


(#1) Number one with a bullet but always first over all!
Vinnie - [thomaspeano at yahoo dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!