Episode Number: 24
Season Episode Number: 11
Production Number: 211
Airdate: March 16, 2009
Writer: Nicole Dubuc
Director: Kevin Altieri
Voices: Josh Keaton (Spider-Man), Lacey Chabert (Gwen Stacy), James Arnold Taylor (Harry Osborn), Alanna Ubach (Liz Allan), Vanessa Marshall (Mary Jane Watson), Jeff Bennett (St. John Devereaux), Steve Blum (Blackie Gaxton, Green Goblin), Alan Rachins (Norman Osborn), Brian George (Miles Warren), Dee Bradley Baker (Curt Conners), Eric Lopez (Molten Man).
Plot: In an attempt to pay off some gambling debts, Mark Allan agrees to undergo an experimental procedure which turns him into the Molten Man!
Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The Green Goblin, who has been sneaking around for the past few episodes, has finally come out to play and he does that by claiming the spot of the Big Man of New York!
Spinning directly out of the events of the last episode, we get to see the Goblin acting a bit more like the Goblin that fans have come to know and love over the years. Slightly crazy, but intelligent, scheming and manipulative.
So the big question on everyone's mind is whether or not Harry is still the Green Goblin. He has been seen with the Globulen Green formula in a few recent episodes. Could he be back?
On the other hand, the Goblin enlisted Mark Allan for experimental testing, but Norman Osborn was the one behind the actual test. There seems like an obvious connection there.
Molten Man's animation debut doubles as his origin story which is told in a way that is different than any other iteration of the character.
Instead of a brilliant scientist that gets greedy and spills his experimental liquid all over himself, Mark Raxton (renamed Mark Allan for this series) is a teenager with a gambling addiction. Mark's attempts to get himself out of debt ends up turning him into the Molten Man with the Green Goblin able to control when Mark uses his powers.
From the beginning of this show, I have really been impressed with what they decide to be faithful to and what they decide to change. Montana being Shocker, Silver Sable being Silvermane's daughter, Harry Osborn being the first Green Goblin, Kraven becoming a beast-person, and the Venom Saga are all changes to this series that give Spectacular Spider-Man its own identity while at the same time paying faithful tribute to the comics in stories such as the Master Planner arc and the Colonel Jupiter story.
The change in Molten Man's origin story is another change that I am okay with. This new tale creates a more sympathetic character for Spider-Man, and if Mark is to eventually be an ally for Spider-Man like he is in the comics, this change will be more natural.
Another change they made for this series is making Mark and Liz biological siblings rather than half-siblings. A minor change in my opinion, and one that works for the show since Mark and Liz seem to have a closer relationship.
Subtext lives up to its name by crafting a creative tale woven together by flashbacks as well as the Shakespeare subtext that bookends the episode. This episode is a highlight of season two.