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Spectacular Spider-Man 2.07: Identity Crisis

Written by Zechs on Tuesday, May 26 2009 and posted in Reviews

With Venom outing Peter Parker's identity as Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle is his career as the Wall-Crawler over? Worse, what's Venom's ultimate plan? And just what will happen now that the world knows he's Spider-Man?

Starting off a few hours after the climax to the previous episode, Pete's life has been turned upside down once again. This time not by his doing, but rather Venom's. With the Daily Bugle now knowing he's Spider-Man they of course out the teen in the front-page the very next day. Everyone Pete knows is then hounded by the media. His every waking move gazed upon waiting for the moment he dons the tights.

This episode started off with a lot of hopeful promises, but alas to say it kinda of crashed and burned in the results it got. Sure Ned Lee asks everyone in Peter's life if he could be Spider-Man. The responses he gets are quite good I have to say (namely the Connors and Aunt May, even if she's reusing a joke from 2.01, "Blueprints"). Plus the media does hound him never endingly in both tights and out. However, things just don't pan out in the end. You're expecting one result and the complete opposite happens.



The main problem with this episode is we don't get the true negative side if Peter is Spidey. Namely every villain he's ever fought be after him. We get a minor hint of that with Mysterio being interviewed and him alluding to that. Though we never get that truly, save for the main villain of this story Venom. You think if Spidey's identity public would have been taken seriously wouldn't Tombstone or Doc Ock sent one of their super powered lackeys to check on this? Just of curiosity to see if it was really true. But nope we get nothing on that.

Still, even without the mayhem from them, Venom does an admirable job harassing Pete in and out of the tights. There's a portion during the beginning of the climax will leave the viewer on the edge of their seat on how in the world Pete will get out of this one when he's fighting Venom in front of the media sans mask and with little room to maneuver. However, the fight does drag on way too long for it's own good (honestly how many floors does Midtown High really have? Not over ten like it's almost implied when Spidey and Venom are freefalling down the stairwell). I will admit most of the stuff in the final fight is decent, but the animation errors become numerous and it begins to take away from the fight.

Still, the main problem I have is Venom's ultimate plan. He reveals Pete's identity to the world then is hellbent on confirming to the world of this. Yet, he then wants to make Pete quite literally powerless (he steals gene cleanser aka chemical that could cure Pete's ablities), though don't you think the media might just question that Venom is just doing this as a flashy stunt then bringing the real deal?  I mean sure the original idea of doing it is sound, but it just falls through.

The same goes for the actual end. In the end, it's pretty obvious and easy how Spidey gets cleared of being Peter (ie naturally unbalanced lunatic being the one to start this all and some help from Flash Thompson). However, in the end two VERY interesting plot developments spawn from this storyline. Two relationships are forever changed by episode's end. Those two revelations pretty much save the episode from being a total failure. It's just you would think the writers behind this episode would go further then they actually did with the issue if someone outed Peter Parker as Spider-Man. But, once Pete's in the "clear" nobody bothers him save for one important person. It all ends just a little too easy for my taste.

3.5 out of 5



Spectacular Trivia


- Though quick to dismiss the possibility, it was Norman Osborn, who in the comics was the first actual person to know Peter Parker was really Spider-Man. However, Norman originally was the first Green Goblin in the comics (unlike in the show where he's not). He finds out Peter Parker is Spidey in Amazing Spider-Man #39 while also revealing his true identity of being the Goblin to Pete.

- In the comics, Aunt May confesses to Peter in Amazing Spider-Man #400 that she knew he was Spider-Man and was proud of him. She also "dies" in the same issue before being brought back during the story called the Final Chapter (I'm saving you the trouble by not referencing it, really bad story). In any case, she discovers that Peter is Spider-Man again in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #35. However, AGAIN she loses that info this time after Peter Parker make's a deal with the devil to save her life in One More Day (again I dare no reference this story to save you the trouble. Again another awful story).

With the ultimate version of Aunt May finds out in Ultimate Spider-Man #100, she has a heart attack. Still, she had to deal with the very much alive Gwen Stacy and Richard Parker while also juggling that information before the abandoned house is then attacked by Spider-Slayers under Nick Fury. Is it any wonder she gets a heart attack not soon after?

- Obviously by episode's end, Eddie Brock will undoubtly be put into Ravencroft. Which is quite fitting, given we already know that Cletus Kasady is there as well (having a cameo appearance in episode 2.03, "Reinforcements"). So will the writers of the show exploit the two sharing the same cell or problems? Comic book fans already know that when these two are paired together, the Venom symbiote spawning another and Kasady becoming that new symbiote into Carnage. The two first become cellmates in Amazing Spider-Man #344 (also Kasady's first appearance). It isn't until the next issue Amazing Spider-Man #345 that the Venom symbiote breaks Eddie out and rejoins with him. Though spawning a new symbiote, which bonds to Kasady. After making some cameos in the previous two issues, Carnage then make's his full debut appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #361.

- A long time coming, Daily Bugle reporter Ned Lee or Leeds in the comics had a long lasting relationship with secretary, Betty Brant. The two even got so close and got married in the Spider-Man books. Tragically, alas, the Hobgoblin happened not soon afterward kidnapping Ned brainwashing him to be a stand-in. This all leading to a ton of emotional stress on the couple resulting in Ned's death and Betty's mental breakdown. They got married in Amazing Spider-Man #156. Ned is then outed as the original Hobgoblin in Amazing Spider-Man #289, however previously being killed in Spider-Man/Wolverine One-Shot. It isn't until Hobgoblin Lives #3 do we know full story of Ned being brainwashed into being but a stand-in and dupe for the original Hobgoblin.




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About the Author - Zechs

Zechs is the lord and master of The Toy Shed, Moment of the Week, and Durnkin Reveewz. He's also the official whuppin boy at the Outhouse. So he'll get stuck seeing stuff that no mere mortal should ever see. If there's any greater quality to Zechs, it's that he's an avid fan of comic book characters and would defend them to the bitter end against the companies that use them wrongly. He's also brutally honest. Zechs walks the lonely path in Chicagoland area.


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