Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reinforcement




Season: 2
Episode Number: 16
Season Episode Number: 3
Production Number: 203
Airdate: January 25, 2009

Writer: Andrew Robinson
Director: Mike Goguen

Voices: Josh Keaton (Spider-Man), Lacey Chabert (Gwen Stacy), Vanessa Marshall (Mary Jane Watson), Joshua LeBar (Flash Thompson), Alanna Ubach (Liz Allen), Cree Summer (Glory Grant), Andrew Kishino (Kenny 'King Kong' Harlan), Debora Strang (May Parker), Robert Englund (Vulture), Xander Berkeley (Mysterio), Crispin Freeman (Electro), Eric Vesbit (Kraven), Clancy Brown (Rhino, Captain George Stacy), John DiMaggio (Sandman), Peter MacNicol (Doctor Octopus, Master Planner), Elisa Gabrielli (Ashley Kafka), Steve Blum (Blackie Gaxton, Dilbert Trilby), James Arnold Taylor (Patch), Thom Adcox (Tinkerer).

Plot: As Spider-Man closes in on the identity of the Master Planner, the Sinister Six are sprung from prison and are ready for round two with the Web-Slinger. But can Spider-Man defeat all six of these villains without the help of the black costume?

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): This episode was a big disappointment. I was so hopeful for another great battle between Spider-Man and the Sinister Six, but this fight just seemed unfocused and sloppy. What made the last battle so good is that all six of the villains were taking on Spidey at the same time and Doc Ock was there to guide everyone through it.

This time, they decided to take on Spidey two at a time which is still more that Spider-Man can handle without the use of the symbiote, but the real tension wasn't there. It just wasn't exciting like Group Therapy was exciting.

But that's not all that bothered me with this episode, the writing seemed to be different. It seemed more slapstick than usual and I found that distracting.

Even more distracting were the off-model characters and bad animation! The animation in this show has been absolutely stunning, but this episode was full of poor drawings, and sloppy animation. The staging was suspect, there were some weird editing decisions, and the timing was so rushed. There was even a point when Spider-Man is fighting Electro when it seemed like I accidentally hit scan forward on my remote. Spider-Man has been animated very snappy before without it looking like he's the Flash.

And I know that they needed to fill out the Sinister Six, but why do we have to see the return of Mysterio and Kraven so soon? They need some time to chill before making a comeback. That was what was so great about seeing the villains together in Group Therapy, we hadn't seen them for a while so it was really special to see them return. Seeing Mysterio and Kraven return wasn't special.

I'm not sure that I'm a fan of Kraven not turning back into his human form, but that's a conversation for another time.

This episode was a low point in the series (although I did like the Cletus Kasady cameo). It wasn't up to the same standard that we have come to expect from Spectacular Spider-Man. I really hope that things turn around in the next episode.

DVD Releases:
  • Spectacular Spider-Man, Volume Five

  • Back to Episode Guide

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