Spider-Man and Captain America team up to slam the Serpent Society!
Credits & Solicit Info:
*New episodes have begun airing in Australia since the last week in May. The USA won't be getting new episodes of this show until possibly June 24. Thus the episodes are now online to be watched. Alas for us, by the time we see new episodes here, the season (and the series) will be over. So for those wondering how I got to see this episode early, there's your answer.
Picking up right where the previous episode left off, Captain America's reputation has been left ruined by his Skrull Imposter. To improve upon it he has agreed to conduct an interview during a prisoner transfer with the Daily Bugle Reporter Betty Brant and Photographer Peter Parker. That is until the Serpent Society decides to crash it. Now with no way to contact any Avengers, Cap will have to put his faith in another equally bashed hero: the masked vigilante known as Spider-Man!
So the Jeph Loeb era begins. Not even having aired in the States this particular episode has already caused controversy. However, I'm not going to talk about any of it. Instead, I'm just going to make only the simple comparison that's needed. Voice actors from Ultimate Spider-Man are used in this episode: namely J.K. Simmons and Drake Bell as J. Jonah Jameson and Peter Parker/Spider-Man respectively.
I have to confess, they were actually better used here than on Ultimate Spider-Man. J.K. Simmons does what he does best as the voice of Jonah: being stingy, ignorant, and honest. Plus the fact that he had a five minute appearance here which eclipses about his entire run thus far on Ultimate Spider-Man is kind of sad. Regardless the five minutes were great moments showcasing why Simmons is just inspired as Jonah.
Then there's Drake Bell, whose voice annoyed me so much on Ultimate Spider-Man due to his constant quipping that it made me stop watching the show altogether. Drake doesn't do much else with the role. Here he gets to fully flex why he's a good voice actor for Spidey. Throughout the episode he maintains this shyness around Captain America because quite frankly, it's Captain America. You can tell his character just completely idolizes Cap and does everything he can to impress him. Yet he never arrogantly ignores the fact that they're also guarding civilians and prisoners alike from the hazards around them both in the environment and the super-villains wanting to free said prisoners.
It's this showing of Spider-Man on Avengers that showcases why thus far Ultimate Spider-Man is an utter failure in my eyes. It just doesn't do the character justice and allow its actors to dig into their roles. The only episode Bell gets to do that on Ultimate Spider-Man hasn't even been seen yet (episode nine involving Wolverine). But enough of the failings of Ultimate Spider-Man, back to the episode at hand.
The heart of the episode is Captain America and Spider-Man, both now considered rejects to the public at large and how they win that sympathy. Though again it's good to see how the two heroes play off each other and it's simply magic to watch. Of all the "team-up" episodes this season has had, this was pretty spectacular. The talk near the end of the episode between the two is just so great and features such a great moment it just leaves me having a dumb geeky smile.
If there's any negative for the episode it's the fact that any of the moments shared between Viper and Captain America just three episodes ago are just forgotten. Yeah I understand it was already hinted the two would be at odds, but I was kind of hoping we get more continuation. I was hoping we would we see Viper hesitate more or something to continue what the Prisoner of War episode started. Alas we don't get that, but really for me it wasn't the crux of the episode. That was Spidey/Cap build-up. The whole prisoner subplot really was second nature and with the Society/Viper escaping it can do that story another time hopefully.
After being gone so long it just feels weird to keep going on in these reviews of how awesome Brian Bloom is here as Cap, but again he shines again. Like the "Prisoner" episode, Cap just is so great at inspiring and leading people. Through Bloom's voice it just comes out so well.
It is deja vu again, as last season caught on fire during the middle of Season 1, so does Season 2 with so many great episodes. This episode did wonders answering all those lingering questions of how Cap answers and redeems himself for his imposter's crimes. We get a Spider-Man who's actually more ultimate than the actual show. Yes, this episode was more or less an adaptation of a recent Spidey story, but hey that's what this show does best; translating Marvel Comics perfectly into animation form.
5 out of 5
Review by: Zechs