Watch out, Spoilers are about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Not so Ultimate Spider-Man................... ?
So it is finally over. For me, well, it has been an adventure. It has had its ups, downs, its high points and low points- hey kinda like web-slinging eh? Sorry. But in the end I'm glad I embarked on the journey, and saw it to an end. In case your wondering what on earth I'm blubbering about, the 2 part season finale of Ultimate Spider-Man aired a few days ago. At this point, I'm sure many of you have either got a stockpile of insulting GIF's ready, or just are just about to click away to post in the off-topic or battle forums. For those of you who want post Grandpa Simpson Walking into and out of a Burlesque club in one motion, or for whatever reason, want to listen to what I have to say, well, I'm glad to have you. This post, of course aims to review the latest episodes, but also the series as a whole, and evaluate the place of Ultimate Spider-Man in the line of animated Spider-Man Cartoons. Lets get this show on the road!
So how was the season finale?
There is no easy was to say this. The two part series was, for the series, excellent, and in general, very good. There were some issues granted, but by and large, if the series had kept up this level of performance, it would have been alot more entertaining, and better received by Comicvine and the general community. TBH, I know this not a popular opinion I just fessed up to, so I'm going to break down, to ease the migraines I may have caused.
One of the gripes I had with this show was the way various characters were portrayed. This was particularly evident with the Amazing Friends. Spider-Man was selected to be their leader by Fury. However, a constant feature of the series was how much his teammates, particularly Nova and White Tiger, tried to undermine at every turn. Granted, this was done mostly for comic relief- but it continued to happen, episode after episode, to the point where it just became silly. Alot of people who I have spoken to, cite this as a main reason why they don't like the program. However in the 2 part episode, there is a refreshingly small amount of this going on. The team genuinely care for Spider-Man, and go out of their way to try to find him, when he is captured by Doctor Octopus, and the emotion shown by Nova in particular when they think Spider-Man dead in the Hellicarrier explosion was touching.
However, the most impressive aspect of the character development was of that between Harry, Peter and Norman Osborn. After the transformation of Norman into the Green Goblin, there was see a much darker and determined side to Peter, and the pride he takes over his team is was totally in keeping with his character. In fact, his whole dialogue and fights with the Green Goblin resemble greatly that of between said characters in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, when Peter was still Spidey. It was also nice to see the individualistic nature of Peter Parker, and his initial hesitance to allow SHIELD to get involved with the Green Goblin Situation.
Norman Osborn was solidly done. Elements of darker personality were already shown throughout the series, and I love how this is manifested in his transformation into for lack of better words, the Ult Green Goblin. In last three Spider-Man animated T.V shows that have been aired, we have seen the Green Goblin close to his 616 incarnation. It is nice to see this change, and I'm sure Bendis had a say in this :-) . Harry Osborn in terms of characterization was quite similar to portrayals in Spectacular Spider-Man and the Sam Raimi film continuity. What I like here is that the inner conflict within Harry in trying to do the right thing and striving for his fathers love and affection is represented by him being taken over by the Venom Symbiote. In Spectacular Spider-Man we didn't get to see Harry's dislike of Spider-Man develop into anything major. I'm looking forward to seeing what becomes of that in Season 2.
I was very impressed by what was on offer here. It is hard to describe fight scenes just in prose, but between Norman and Peter in particular, the fluid animation was put to really good effect. I've always been an advocate of showing off Spider-Man's powers to the fullest in battles, particularly his Strength, and it seems that my wishes were granted here. It was refreshing to see Spider-Man as the last man standing against Osborn, and doing alot better than his teammates in tackling the villain. I feel that Ultimate Spider-Man have played around with the power-levels Spider-Man has to suit the plot. For example, we've had him Catch cars with ease, and kick people so hard that they go flying into Buses which flip over on impact, and yet struggle to subdue some Hydra agents. Here, his powers seem at their most formidable, and consistent.
The music heard during the battle scenes was the best I've heard in any Spider-Man motion picture. It fitted the battle perfectly, and quite simply, was flawless. I will say, quite happily in fact, that the music here was better than anything better than I heard on Spectacular Spider-Man.
It seems that there was a deliberate intention to create an interconnecting Web (lol sorry) between Harry, Peter and Norman. Peter derived his powers from an Spider in Oscorp labs. Venom, which bonded to Harry, came by synthesizing Peter Parker's Blood. Norman Osborn was created by mixing Peter's Blood with the that of the Venom Symbiote. This fits in perfectly with Peter's sense of responsibility which he shows in the 2 episodes. The ending, also leaves alot to build on, especially concerning Venom, but I think you've had your fill on spoilers for now.
So anything bad to say.......
Well to be honest, I do wonder how the Trapster manages to break out SHIELD of custody on multiple occasions, considering how laughably pathetic he is. And, while it was certainly a nice gesture for Peter to allow his amazing friends to move in with him, you wonder how long it will be for? Doesn't SHIELD have another Hellicarrier? . But, really other than that, not much.
Ultimate Spider-Man, Haunted by Ghosts, Reaching for the future.
Part of the reason the negativity that has shrouded this T.V shows was the success of Spectacular Spider-Man. There is no doubting the shows brilliance, and I, as much as anyone was very sad to the program to go. But all good things tend to come to an end. When I see Ultimate Spider-Man, after these episodes, I see hope- after all wasn't it not so long ago that people were hating on Miles Morales? The episodes here, easily fall into the range of Spectacular Spider-Man in terms of enjoyablilty. What makes me even more excited, is that throughout the series there has been a much greater attempt to integrate Peter Parker into the Marvel Universe as a whole and expanding his rogue gallery beyond the same characters used in previous series. Add the larger budget, and I really can see a more expensive series, which, if it uses storytelling shown in this episode, can really be the "Ultimate" marvel animated show on T.V.
P.S I apologize for the delay in this review, and any typo's it may contain.
laflux is a average user on Comic-Vine. Buoyed by recently gaining the privilege of making live edits to Character bio's, he decided to try his hand at reviews. You can find him editing Thanos and Spider-Man related characters, PMing Mods and flagging spite threads, while trying to advise new users. He longs to try and integrate Gorilla Munch themed meme's into threads, but is struggling for inspiration. Any PM's helping him on this would be nice :-)