Tis the season for some sinister tidings, because the Sinister Six have returned to Scrooge up Spider-Man's Christmas. So what do they have to do with the Master Planner's overall Master Plan? Besides of course to crush a certain wall-crawler. Well... It feels weird having a Sinister Six episode so quickly when it's been only four episodes since the last time the Six where seen together. Once again most of the Six are broken out of their confinements (we don't see Sandman or Rhino escape only alluded too) though given it's greatly hinted that Mysterio helped Vulture escape. So I have no real problem with that then. Besides the point of this episode is again one of Spidey's worse nightmares front and center (all his enemies working together for but one purpose). But here's where the fun come's in all thanks to the Master Planner. It isn't just to crush Spidey this time being the reason these six are formed. That's just the side job. This time it's to usher in the age of the supervillain. Interesting to say the least in making you wonder just who is the Master Planner.
Speaking of the identity of the mysterious schemer. Just when your a fan of the comic and you figured it out, the writers of this show throw you a curve ball. In the comics, Doc Ock was the Master Planner, yet here he refuses to have any part of the Six. Nor does he seem very willing again near the finale of this episode. So the question is if not he? Then who is the Planner? It seems we'll find the answer to that in the next episode, but to say the least his master plan thus far is a dozy with the hired help he has now.
As for the B plot for the episode, it's again focusing on the love triangle between Pete, Liz, and Gwen with the monkey wrench being Flash Thompson spoiling anything Pete tries to do with Liz thus pulling him closer to Gwen. Though unlike the previous episode this one is more tossed to the far front with the villains getting more of the spotlight. Course there is no finish to this particular plot.
The greatest positives of this episode are the action sequences and the humor. There are many good jokes in the episode from Spidey's banter from beginning to end to the opening joke during his battle with the Six. As for the action sequences they just keep heightening and are all different focusing on each unique talent of Spidey (from him using his experience, powers, and his scientific brains) all over the place. However, the one who truly steals the show is Spidey Rogue who almost steals Spidey's comedic thunder with four simple words to the Web Swinger in probably the episode's (and so far the series' greatest joke). All of that I have to give major kudos to the voice acting behind it. Josh Keaton delivers Spidey's witty lines with utter perfection. As do the villains who all sound like they had a real kick out of this episode.
Another great highlight of this episode is the music. It's really starting to come onto it's own this season as in this episode we're given a musical overture during the final fight with some music from the Nutcracker. The choice of music is nothing more than spectacular and really, this season has amping up the musical selection. It'll be interesting to see if the scorers behind the music out do themselves next.
So are there problems with this episode? Well yes and again a little glaring. The biggest problem is the Master Planner's plan with the Six against Spider-Man. Unlike the previous attempt, with all six rushing him, the Six attack Spidey in pairs. So we get two supervillains versus Spidey per fight before the two are subdued and the next enter. Sure, it does a good chance of wearing him down, but what's the entire point of the plan when the Planner doesn't take full advantage of a tired and weak Spidey? However given that the previous Six's downfall was too many combatants (which a symbiote controlled Spidey used to beat them the first time) one can see the reason for this line of attack.
Then there are the minor plot nitpicks. For example during the first fight, we watch as Spidey friends being electrocuted yet Flash remains unharmed for some reason. Yet, we get no further continuation through the rest of this fight. There's also some real animation glaring errors with Spidey being covered in ice one moment, sans ice the next, and then with the ice again. Make up your minds animators!! Nit picks aside they don't weight down the episode and they go by so fast you'll barely notice them.
It's very surprising that already we're almost at an end to the first big arc to this season it seems. These three episodes just breeze by and bang next episode the end to this with the master plan of the Master Planner, not to mention hopefully the ultimate reveal of who they are (obliviously it's a he, but if it's J Jonah Jameson, hey what a twist that be?). So far with reveals on lingering mysteries Spectacular Spider-Man been quite good at them throwing curve balls (i.e. Tombstone being the Big Man and who the Green Goblin was). So here's to the next episode. May it bring the same fun and excitement as this one.
4.0 out of 5Spectacular Trivia
- In the comics, Blackie Gaxton was a bookie who used the debts owed by Betty Brant's brother, Bennett, to be owed by springing Doctor Octopus out of jail and later himself. Blackie kills Bennett who shields his sister from a shower of gunshots. Gaxton first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #11.
- This is the closest to the original comic book version ever shown on television before. No television versions of the six have ever had the original comic book line-up. The only person from the original line-up missing this time out is Doc Ock. He, Kraven, Mysterio, Sandman, Vulture, and Electro where all part of the original line. The Six first came to pester the wall crawler in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.
- The asylum inmate wearing the Santa hat is no other than Cletus Kassady, otherwise known to Spidey fans as the alter-ego of the symbiote Carnage. Cletus first appears in Amazing Spider-Man #344 and as Carnage in Amazing Spider-Man #360.
- Ironically, the way Spidey defeats the Sandman is also a method Doc Ock disables Flint in a more glass-like form in Return (Amazing Spidey # 334-339) and Revenge of the Sinister Six (Spider-Man #18-23).