Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man "Great Responsibility"

One more chance. I gave this show one more chance. How does the actual status quo of the show stack up? Let's take a look.

First of all, this show clearly only exists to sell toys. Hence the super-web-shooters, the Spider-Cycle, etc. If that's not its main reason to exist, it's certainly up there, because "story quality" is not something on the writers' minds. No, I'm dead serious.

Man of Action (the studio name of the writing duo in charge) have gone on record saying that the show isn't destined for any sort of greatness, because it's just a children's cartoon on a Disney channel.

Tell that to Phineas and Ferb, or Gravity Falls. Just because something's for kids, that doesn't mean you get to stop putting effort into it.

Pretty much sums it up.
Plot
The plot is ending up friggin' Faustian, and not just because of the Good and Bad Angels.

GOOD ANGEL: O, Faustus, lay that damned book aside,
   And gaze not on it, lest it tempt thy soul
   And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head.
   Read, read the scriptures. That is blasphemy.
EVIL ANGEL: Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art
   Wherein all nature's treasury is contained.
   Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky,
   Lord and commander of these elements.
 ...Read a book.

For those of you without a Bachelor's Degree in Theatre and/or English, "The Tragickal History of Doctor Faustus" is the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil for knowledge and eventually realizes that he made a bad deal full of hidden drawbacks. Sound familiar?

Yes, this show is about how Spider-Man accepts Nick Fury's offer for training, and ends up losing, basically, his freedom. From this point forward, Spider-Man is the property of S.H.I.E.L.D.

As for the show overall, this series clearly has nothing to do with the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. If they had made any indication that this show was going to be more like an update of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, then that would be okay. As it is, the title's a misnomer.

Characters

Spider-Man
After this point, Peter is little more than Nick Fury's puppet.

Nick Fury
Nick Fury, though the writers probably didn't mean it this way, is blackmailing Peter.

Nick Fury: "Not so fast. Peter Parker."

With this one line, we see that S.H.I.E.L.D. has blackmail material on Peter. And, whether the writers meant it this way or not, it's being held over Peter's head simply by the fact that it exists.

Peter was blackmailed into a deal he didn't want in the first place, filled with things he didn't agree to. There's a word for people who lie and blackmail others like this. Villains.

Agent Coulson
Oh, Coulson. What have they done to you? He's such a weenie! Yeah, the film character's such a dork, but not this... wimpy.

This is more like it.
It will take a while, but he'll finally be the Coulson we know and love, after some further embarrassment.

So that's what those do.
White Tiger
She gets no characterization, other than utter disdain for Peter.

Nova
He gets no characterization, other than utter disdain for Peter.

Luke "Power Man" Cage
He gets no characterization to speak of.

Iron Fist
He gets no characterization to speak of.

Seriously, why didn't they give these four any real characterization? It's honestly like they weren't even trying. There are no personalities, there is only disdain. I mean, White Tiger and Nova diss Peter while watching his training footage, before they've even met him. They criticize his fighting style, even his name.

Though the pacing problems and infodumps of the first episode have subsided (for now), the actual show content is not very promising. Of course, like any show, it will have its highs and lows, twists and turns. Some episodes will be actually quite excellent. Some episodes will be utter crap.

Let's get started sorting through them, I guess.

See you next time.

6 comments:

  1. I would love to see a crossover between Spectacular Spider-man and Ultimate Spider-man. Really a crossover between any of the animated Spider-man's would be fun to watch. On topic, its interesting note how much the presentation of SHIELD changes between Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the Marvel Animated Universe. Nick and his organization go from good, if unsavory to unquestioned good. Privacy invasion that would have raised an eyebrow before is just kinda handwaved and ignored. Its funny, because the MAU strives to match up with cinematic universe and they made a whole movie about SHIELD's potential threat which will probably never even be considered here.

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  2. Someone on the Toonzone forums argued that this show may just exist to promote lesser marvel characters rather than Spider-man himself. This would certainly explain why the show gets so little mileage out the traditional supporting cast.

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    1. Well, that's all well and good, but...
      A. "Spider-Man" is the only character in the title, and...
      B. The lesser-known heroes are written HORRIBLY.

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  3. Funny how the entire MAU could be interpreted as the "Bad Ending" of the Marvel Universe. And thus the timeline where HYDRA was victorious begins...

    - That One Anon

    (Hey, you made a Zelda reference in Part 1 after all.)

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  4. "Man of Action have gone on record saying that the show isn't destined for any sort of greatness, because it's just a children's cartoon on a Disney channel.Tell that to Phineas and Ferb, or Gravity Falls. "

    If anything, thanks to this weak argument and it's numerous replies similar to this one I found out about Gravity Falls. So there is that.

    Similarly, thanks to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I found out about Death Battle.

    Because life is sometimes just ironic.

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    Replies
    1. Every cloud has a silver lining, I guess.

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