During St. Valentines Day, a meeting between Tombstone, Silvermane, and Doc Ock takes place. Of course the meeting not soon after turns into a battle between all three for control of the New York Underworld. Who will win? And will Spidey enter the fight as two plus another of his greatest foes lock horns? But of course with civilians in constant danger from the three. That answer is of course, yes.
* For those who wish to see the second season of Spectacular Spider-Man. It hasn't aired yet in the US, but the show's first season is currently airing on Toon Disney. The second season will finally debut on June 22, 2009 with back to back episodes (which is next Monday folks). For those in Canada, you've already seen all of Season Two on Teletoon and can rub it in US viewers' faces.
The gang war story arc come's to a pulse-pounding climax with all the necessary players finally together (Tombstone, Silvermane, and Doc Ock). The second stringers to their masters are also present and accounted for (Hammerhead, Silver Sable, and the Vulture). Add in the recipe for disaster by a mysterious fourth party, who Hammerhead decides to cut his ties to his boss thus setting the stage for a massive three-way brawl for it all with Spidey making sure nobody else gets hurt during the fight. That's pretty much the just of this episode as it's the battle to decide whose gonna rule New York's Crime Syndicates.
As for the side plot, being that it is Valentines Day everyone is out for a group date. To which we get the added surprise (note Harry and Pete's dropping jaws) of Gwen Stacy who got a makeover from MJ. I have to admit, I hope this really isn't the end of the geeky looking Stacy design, but for comic fans you knew eventually she was going to drop the ugly duckling attire and take a design more fitting of her comic counterpart. Adding to the hijinks and drama of this B plot is very humorous joke between Flash/Pete and Pete fumbling around paying absolute attention to Gwen, while leaving poor Liz with nothing. This episode brings everything to a boiling point and by the end of this episode; nothing is ever going to be the same. I would dare even say this episode is not only the culmination of this season, but also the previous season. It's all been built around this defining moment.
Every character gets their little moment in this episode. From the top to the main cast (Pete, Gwen, Harry, and Jonah) to minor characters (Foswell, Blackie Gaxton, etc.) the villains and their right hands. Everybody gets something amusing and fun in this episode.
What really brings this episode to another level of memorable is the music. Long have I given props to the musical talent behind this show (some of whom worked on Justice League and Batman Beyond), but here they really deserve it. The use of operatic music is mixed perfectly with the action. Every bit of music fits the current mood and height. No bit feels wasted at all. It's the greatest mix the show has done so far, but it helps when you use some well-known opera.
Another area where this show has reached new heights is the voice acting. I keep saying it, but this episode will make any viewer and fan of the show now believe Pete MacNichol is THE voice for Doctor Octopus. Out of the three gang lords, he went all out with this episode and boy did he deliver some awesome delivery with the lines. If you weren't a fan of MacMichol's Ock, you probably will be by episode's end. Nevertheless, the other two Tombstone and Silvermane are no push overs. Kevin Michael Richardson also delivers a pardon the pun spectacular job as the voice of Tombstone. It's hard to believe that this is actually him voicing the character, because at times I swear it's really Keith David. As for the final and most mysterious of the three, Silvermane, I have to say I'm quite impressed. The creators behind the show have used the character quite well and have thrown in a ton of comic book nuggets for the comic book nut. As for his voice actor, Miguel Ferrer, not the first person I would have thought, but he quickly
The only problem I actually had with the episode would be how much I hated what Peter did to Gwen. Still, that's a great job at the writers for making you like, but also hates the main character. The other part would be how easily Hammerhead utilizes every gift he receives without even knowing that he's got poison and a frigging tommy gun from his mysterious benefactor. You get one clue from a note? Would have been better if we got small scene with him peaking. Regardless, the moment Hammerhead make's his move it's still memorable and people will take notice of the character from now on if they haven't already.
Of all arcs, thus far, these three have been the most impressive and this still isn't even the actual finale. There is still three episodes remaining? How the people behind this show top this arc will truly be spectacular. However, given who is the surprise villain for the final arc it should prove very good since last season the character really had the most memorable arc. Still, what a way to cap off this gang war arc. To me this was probably the greatest episode of the series thus far.
5 out of 5
- The couple who get engaged should be remembered by sharp eye viewers from Season One, episode one, where they were first brought together by Spider-Man by webbing them together.
- Once again the costume of Ock's choice, the tuxedo, is a nice homage to what Doc Ock wore during Erik Laren's Sinister Six Saga and the mid to late 90s. The saga was in Amazing Spider-Man #334-339 and Spider-Man #18-23.
- Silvio Manefredi otherwise known to comic book fans as the crime lord, Silvermane. He first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #73. At first, a normal human crime due to his old age he went underwent a process that made him a cyborg (Spectacular Spider-Man vol. 1 #69-70).
- Hammerhead had quite the rivalry with Doc Ock in the mid to late 70s in the comic books. Best not to dwell on the why, given it's only a plot you find only in the 70s. And said plot involved Doc Ock trying to get married to Aunt May to get said item. Hammerhead crashed it, and later was killed because of it. He later haunts Ock until he gets a body again. Nope I am not making any of this up. These events happened in Amazing Spider-Man #131-132 (Wedding of Aunt May/Doc Ock), #157-159 (Ghost storyline).
- Obviously now, Mark Raxton is taking the place of Bennett Brant, who had a gambling problem mobster Blackie Gaxton used that resulted in Bennett's demise. The storyline happened in Amazing Spider-Man #11, though given that we also know Mark Raxton is also the Molten Man in comics. He might be blackmailed to become that. Raxton first appeared as Molten Man in Amazing Spider-Man #28 before being revealed to be related to Liz Allen in #132.
- An event similar to the finale to this episode happened in the comic books. During Amazing Spider-Man #284-288 aka "The Gang War", the Kingpin of Crime was ousted and massive fights began to result from the power vacuum that was created. Many lives where lost and major damage was done. The end result was the F.B.I. getting Kingpin back to New York and power, due to the fact without him it is utter chaos. Given the results of this episode it should be amusing if the creators use that fact to bring Big Man back to power eventually.