I am very glad to see this series return to the small screen. The first season of Spectacular Spider-Man did an amazing job at putting a new spin on old classics while still remembering what made us love it in the first place. After the show was dropped in the wake of the WB/CW merger, I wasn’t sure that this series would find a new home. Luckily for us, a second season of Spectacular Spider-Man was picked up by the Disney XD channel.
This episode begins with Peter dealing with the fallout from season one’s finale. He is concerned about the disappearance of Eddie Brock/Venom, confused about the kiss he shared with Gwen Stacy, and unsure of how to help his Aunt May, who is still recovering from her heart attack. Oh, and he is trying to figure out how to keep from freezing his butt off in the middle of winter wearing a costume he designed in spring.
All of this is complicated by the arrival of Mysterio, who interrupts an animated cameo by Stan Lee. I am not sure I buy Stan the Man as a dock worker, but that hardly matters. Good to see you Stan!
Another complication is in the form of that wild, untamed creature known as the cheerleader (to paraphrase Harry Osborn from season one). Namely, Liz Allen has set her sites on Peter Parker, and quickly manages to distract him from talking to Gwen about their kiss.
Spidey has a number of skirmishes with Mysterio that do not go well. I won’t spoil for you who wins, although I thought renaming the show The Marvelous Mysterio was a bold move. Not that you should read anything into that.
By the end of the episode, several new status quos are set up.
- Peter becomes an exclusive freelance photographer for The Daily Bugle.
- Peter resumes his student internship at ESU.
- Norman Osborn takes an unhealthy interest in mentoring Peter.
- A mysterious new villain named the Master Planner (well, new to the series) is introduced.
So, what did I think? Well, it was a very strong season opener. It managed to setup a number of subplots that will likely continue throughout the season and still fit in a respectable amount of web-swinging action. I also continue to be impressed by how well this show caters to the old-school fan while remaining accessible to young children.
So if you like Spider-Man and enjoy animation, you should definitely check it out. I also cannot recommend it enough for parents with Spider-Man loving children. After all, I used to watch tons of Spider-Man as a kid, and I turned out fine!