Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Accomplices




Season: 2
Episode Number: 21
Season Episode Number: 8
Production Number: 208
Airdate: March 8, 2009

Writer: Nicole Dubuc
Director: Kevin Altieri

Voices: Josh Keaton (Spider-Man), Alanna Ubach (Liz Allen), James Arnold Taylor (Harry Osborn, Frederick Foswell), Clancy Brown (George Stacy, Rhino), Daran Norris (J. Jonah Jameson), John DiMaggio (Hammerhead), Nikki Cox (Silver Sable), Peter MacNicol (Doctor Octopus), Courtney B. Vance (Roderick Kingsley), Tricia Helfer (Black Cat), Greg Weisman (Donald Menken), Alan Rachins (Norman Osborn), Grey DeLisle (Voice of Oscorp).

Plot: Spidey is caught in the middle of a gang war between Hammerhead and Silver Sable who are fight to gain possession of a computer chip that will enable them to create an army of Rhino armoured mercenaries!

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Nicole Dubac and Kevin Altieri begin the third storyarc of season two with what appears to be one of the most violent episodes yet. I say 'appears to' because it isn't really the most violent we've seen since Spidey has battled foes like Venom, Kraven and Doc Ock, but it is the most realistic since the main villains involved have no super powers, and watching it is like watching ballet due to the beautiful choreography and excellent directing by long-time animation director Kevin Altieri.

The majority of this episode is a big game of keepaway between Spider-Man, Hammerhead and Silver Sable, who are all fighting over a computer chip. Hammerhead has a steal plated head (which is adamantium in the comics), but other than that, uses his own strength to beat up Spider-Man. And Silver Sable is in top physical condition and has no super powers as well, but puts up an excellent fight against the other two. It isn't until Rhino joins the game that the fight turns into a comic book battle.

I think the most brutal part of the battle is when Hamerhead's driver drive the car into Sable! I wasn't expecting to see that in this cartoon!

This is the third Spider-Man series to guest star Silver Sable, and is also the furthest away from her actual comic book roots. In this version Silver Sable is Silver Manfredi, the daughter of crimelord Silvio Manfredi, Silvermane, rather than a hired mercenary out to get war criminals. She is not an ally, she has no Wild Pack to back her up, and her background including her real name is totally different. And she dated Hammerhead? That's just weird.

The change of character serves its purpose in this episode and adds another female villain to the mix, something that Spectacular needs a bit more of. I hope she sticks around for a while, and maybe even forms a relationship with Sandman as she does in the comics.

Peter spends very little time in school in this episode, which is good seeing how many other storylines are going to take place in this arc. The last thing we need is to shoehorn the Flash and Sha Shan sub-plot where it doesn't fit.

A few last things, I found it ironic that Frederick Foswell is the one trying to scoop the news story on the gang war. In the comics, Foswell was a huge crime boss called the Big Man, a title that was given to Tombstone in the first season. And also, Roderick Kingsley? Really? That's great! Google that name if you have no idea who he is when he puts on a mask!

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