Season 2 of Spectacular Spider-Man starts off with a bang with the introduction of Mysterio. Does it continues the trend of spectacular adaption of the characters from the Spideyverse?
So Season 2 of Spectacular Spider-Man has finally arrived. Or arrived early and this is the first review I will be writing of the series (those in the US will be seeing this particular season no doubt in the early summertime). But it was worth the wait; with the season opening with the introduction of Mysterio and the Tinkerer, whose alter egos Quentin Beck and Phineas Mason where earlier introduced in the Season One episode ten "Persona".
I have to say the episode was entertaining. It picked up exactly where Season One left off by following up the lingering plot threads many fans had (Gwen and Peter's relationship and of course the fate of one Edward Brock). While it also introduced storylines that will no doubt impact the entire season (Norman’s tutoring of Peter, Liz/Pete/Gwen love triangle begins, and Miles and Curt working together with no doubt some hurdles going to arrive). Not to mention others that no doubt be contained in this little arc (i.e. Master Planner’s master plan and whatever Mysterio and Tinkerer’s roles will be in it). There’s so much going on it’s easy to see how our hero Peter Parker (Voiced by Josh Keaton) is so lost in this episode.
And there lies the main problem with this episode. Too much happens, and thus the viewer will get confused. For example, Mysterio's actual fate in the episode, is shown behind the scenes. We’re immediately given the hints as how they escaped, but we're then given something larger happening instead. The same goes for the out of nowhere Bugle hiring Pete and getting a check. It would have been nice to see a small Robbie or Jonah appearance in the beginning of this episode. But alas perhaps that'll be on the actual DVD. But the issues are a minor nitpick, given Mysterio (voiced and overacted perfectly by Xander Berkeley) steals every scene he's in. For example, we’re given an amusing fight between him and Spidey that provides an entertaining action piece (Spidey starts off the fight blind before fighting Mysterio in a Wild West bar and then Outer Space exhibit each with the proper musical attire for said scenes).
Again another thing that I love about this show is the promises it gives the fans of Spidey who know its history. Totally littered throughout this episode like the others in Season One had nuggets where fans would go is that _____ oh my God it is! Does that mean ____ will show up later in the season as ___ or show up later in another season? Well right off the bat this season we get two characters from last season in their respective supervillain roles (as we saw Sandman, Rhino, Shocker, Electro, the Lizard, Doc Ock, and Venom before they became the nightmares in Spidey's life) As such we're greeted to the same treatment in this episode with the introduction of one Miles Warren. I break it to you what role he might play later on, but if you truly want to know please see the Spectacular Spider-Trivia below for that answer because that'd spoil the fun for new viewers and the surprise.
Another positive of the episode is that it does its job in getting the viewer reacquainted with this universe and the characters that inhabit it. Mostly everyone gets an important showing in the episode and you can feel the shadow of other bigger players yet to appear in it. So all and all I do think the season is off to a great start and we'll be seeing some great things in the future of this show.
3.5 Out of 5 Spectacular Trivia
-Stan (the worker on the docks who thinks he's being Punk'd by Mysterio) is of course voiced by none other than Spider-Man's creator, Stan Lee.
-The girl with Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy outside of their high school before Peter tries to talk to Gwen is Sha Shan, a character who was a love interest to Flash Thompson in the 1970s-1980s before being retconned and forgot when Flash's war years where switched from Vietnam to the Gulf War (she saved Flash and went with him back to America). Sha Shan first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #108. Her final appearance before being cast into oblivion was Amazing Spider-Man #280.
-The subjects of the final the teacher talks about in class to Pete, Liz, Gwen, and MJ are Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest. Both where the name of two episodes during Season One (of the Lizard arc episodes one and three of the series respectively).
-Professor Miles Warren is better known to Spidey fans of his alter ego the supervillain, the Jackal (his first appearance as Miles was in Amazing Spider-Man #31, while his first appearance as his Goblin-like alter ego was in Amazing #129). He was eventually responsible for the original (Amazing #149-151) and second Clone Sagas (too vast a collection to mention, but it happened in the mid 1990s).
-Donald Menken the man who phones Norman Osborn first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #239, and played a big role in the mini's Hobgoblin Lives and Revenge of the Green Goblin.
-The Master Planner had an arc in Amazing Spider-Man #31-32 in which he was revealed to be Doctor Octopus and battled Spider-Man in an underwater lair leading to one of the greatest moments in Spidey history.