It's the grand opening of the Vault, the so-called inescapable prison for super villains and it's being tested by Spidey just to see how inescapable it truly is. However, the Green Goblin and Black Cat have other plans with the inmates that are being transported inside.
* For those who wish to see the second season of Spectacular Spider-Man. It is currently airing on Toon Disney aka Disney XD every Monday night. For those in Canada and everywhere else, you've already seen all of Season Two on Teletoon and elsewhere thus you can rub it in US viewers' faces.
So we're near the second to last episode of Spider-Man and much like last year's outing before the big finale we're treated to another group villain. Though not the Sinister Six for a third time, nor the Sinister Syndicate. I label this group that attack Spidey this episode more patched together with what Green Goblin had to work with. And unlike the previous disappointment from earlier this season, this time the creators do it right with a full on group taking on the wall crawler. We have normal thugs trying to take their crack at Spidey all at once. Then we have the supervillains: Rhino, Mysterio, Molten Man (wow he returned quickly), Silvermane, Shocker, Ox, and Fancy Dan (the later four without power enhancements). Of course, they're all but pawns to Goblin's scheme to squash the spider, but another player gets involved the Black Cat. What she is doing there has HUGE plot twist I just didn't see coming.
Again, like last season we get a flashback into how Spider-Man got to be how he was. Though this time now we also see how he impacted one specific soul besides himself. And it's this twist with the relation of who the Black Cat's is after in this episode will probably cause some fanboys to whine crying out that this is a stupid plot twist ala Spider-Man 3 with Sandman really being Uncle Ben's killer. Honestly, I don't have a major quip about it, but I know some will. To that I say at least this time it is handled quite well. Not to mention if this show does get a Season 3, the aftermath of this episode will be felt the next time Black Cat and Spider-Man meet. Not to mention where it goes with Black Cat from here on out. I am very curious to see if there's a Season 3 will she continue tease that gray line and be both, or fully go rogue.
But all this is just the merest tip of the iceberg as we also have Midtown High's opening night as well to a Midsummer's Night Dream, a subplot that has been building since the middle of the season. After all the numerous jokes surrounding one supporting cast member they finally get the spot light and center stage in this one. And fans of said character will no doubt be cheering on relishing this moment.
It feels weird but here we are already in the middle half of the this second Green Goblin Saga and yet until the very end of this episode do we finally get the real story of this entire arc flowing fully which is of course the Goblin versus Spidey. We all know what this means starting off when we reach the final episode next. And much like the previous arc in this episode we get the usual hints that maybe possibly the Green Goblin isn't but then again could be as Harry and Norman Osborn show some suspicious behavior this episode.
Whatever it happens one can only assume that Peter Parker, the Osborns (Norman and Harry), Liz Allen, and Gwen Stacey's life will ever be the same. So by that token, again it was real good to see all the supporting characters subplots (save for the Curt/Warren subplot) all nice and done for now.
As for the actual fighting in this episode, it really doesn't disappoint. Once more, this show delivers some pardon the pun, spectacular battles. All of them are nice and timed just perfectly this episode with some nice surprises you just do not see coming.
However, with all the good there is some bad this episode. I can understand why Norman Osborn and George Stacy are at the Vault Opening. So why is J. Jonah Jameson there other than to deliver the comedy moments during the episode? We really don't get any real reason other than savoring the possibility of Spider-Man being there. You think the writer of this episode would just put in a minor little nod of Jonah being there to make sure his son, John. But nope we just get him saying he's here to write an article just in case Spidey can't escape. Not to mention the deus ex machina of the Osberry (aka the electronic doohickey that the Green Goblin and Black Cat use to do their separate little plots). Honestly, you would think other than the possibility that Norman is the Goblin that the people of the Vault would be prepared for someone hacking into their system.
Though even with these nitpicking I have to say the writers for this episode do give a good job that will make the viewer wonder what's gonna happen in this show. Besides the Goblin and Black Cat there's the tiny little part that involves Mysterio that make's you wonder what the fish bowl head is up to and how it could possibly tie into the reason why there's no Doc Ock in this episode.
This was probably the toughest episode for me to vote on, hence why the delay. With all the stuff happening in this episode it really made me wonder what rating truly befitted it. On one hand there was a lot of good with this episode. But on the other with the mind thinking there where problems as well. Still, turning my mind off over these minor problems and I watched the episode again. By viewing it this way I have to say it was a real fun and good episode that really turns on the fact that we're nearing season's end.
4.5 out of 5
- For those wondering who the Sinister Syndicate are, they're a group of Spidey villains who banded together for profit not the eradication of the wall crawler. They first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #280 before going onto a limited series called the Deadly Foes of Spider-Man. Their members where Rhino, Shocker, Beetle, Boomerang, Speed Demon, Hydro-Man, Constrictor, Scopria, Leila Davis (who later became Beetle II), and Backlash.
- Other than the live action movies, this is probably the biggest role the Burgler has ever had in a Spider-Man cartoon. As always he has appeared in every form of Spider-Man media usually in flashback form when it's in the cartoons when they present Spider-Man's origin. His first appearance is the same of Spidey's, Amazing Fantasy #15. What only the comic book faithful know is it wasn't his last appearance. The Burglar returned and still had aspirations to rob Parker household. It was then revealed his reasons for why he was there in the first place. A mobster named Dutch Mallone had his loot buried in the house. The Burglar had learned this from being an elderly Mallone's cell mate. Upon the second time he tried looking for the loot he teams with Mysterio (who’s actually in disguise). After the later tries betraying the Burglar once more he and Spidey find themselves again in the infamous warehouse Spidey had confronted him after he murdered Uncle Ben. It was when Spidey unmasked himself to reveal he was Peter Parker that the Burglar finally understood why the hero was always after him. It was then the Burglar had a fear induced heart attack from the act. The storyline take's place in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #170 (Burglar is released), and the storyline continues in #193-200.
- Black Cat is an amalgam of the Burglar's daughter, Jessica Carradine. She first appeared in in the very middle of the infamous Clone Saga. Ben Reilly aka the Spider Clone developed some feeling for her, but those ended when she realized it was Spider-Man who led her father to his death. Jessica believed her father killed Ben Parker accidentally and that Spider-Man murdered her father. After finding out Ben was Spider-Man at the time she threatens to reveal his identity, but after she witnesses him saving some lives she relents. In her final appearance thus far she put flowers on Ben Parker's grave realizing that she was mistaken and that Spider-Man is a hero. She has never again been seen in the comics since then. Jessica first appeared in Sensational Spider-Man vol. 1 #4.
- The Black Cat did have a father who was a well known cat burglar. She greatly admired the man, but only became the Black Cat wanting to draw the attention of Spider-Man. She first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #194 before in #204 we find out her reasons for being the Black Cat as stated above. In both the Ultimate and main comics the Black Cat has been always attracted to Spider-Man, yet has felt nothing for Peter Parker. In fact it was this reason the couple broke up in the first place. Since then the Felicia has sorely regretted this mistake in 616. As for Ultimate version of her, she was utterly repulsed and hasn't appeared since Pete revealed his identity to her.
- Hobie Brown is also known to Spider-Man fans as the crime-fighting vigilante the Prowler. He first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #78.