Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review: The Spectacular Spider-Man, "Survival of the Fittest"

So, now that we've gone over the episode, let's take a closer look at it. How does the title "Survival of the Fittest" stack up with the plot?

This episode was packed. It has a lot of things that it wants to introduce, which explains all the back and forth cuts. It establishes the main characters, side characters, their relationships with each other, and even provides appearances for pre-villain versions of Green Goblin, Sandman, Rhino, Venom, Doctor Octopus, the Lizard, and the Shocker, and I may have even forgotten something there.

The quick pace keeps the plot going, taking enough time to establish what needs to be established, as well as telling a story. The things that everyone knows about (Uncle Ben, the spider bite) are addressed, but not lingered upon, which helps them establish everything they need to establish.

The story itself is a good one, with strong motivations for all the characters, and all sorts of plot hooks for future stories.

The title "Survival of the Fittest" is an appropriate one. First of all, Peter and Aunt May are just barely surviving financially, while Peter experiences high school and Spider-Man dodges villains. In fact, I'd say that the title apples to the villains, rather than the hero. The villains have been able to get by until now. But with Spider-Man coming along, we'll see that they will need to adapt to survive, continuing the Darwinian concept present in the title. The villains from here on out are living in a brave, new world with such people in it. To survive, they'll become freaks of nature and freaks of science. To survive, they must evolve.  And this will, in turn, require Spider-Man to adapt to survive. "Survival of the Fittest" is not only the central theme of the episode, but the series as well.

Final Thoughts 
This was a strong start to the series. The voice acting, animation, and choreography and blocking are all solid. The visual style takes a bit of getting used to, but that quickly became the last thing in my mind.

I highly recommend this episode. Even if you know the origin like the back of your hand, the story is fun and compelling. I can understand why this was voted the recap that y'all wanted to celebrate the 10,000th page view.
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  1. Spectacular Spiderman was a great series, though I do dislike how quickly the "Peter works at Conners Lab" thing got discarded (End of Episode 3, in fact)

    1. I agree wholeheartedly.
      I always like when Peter gets to do something with his science background, like when he was a teacher.
      But the photography thing's the most "iconic," and it gives a reason for JJJ to be involved in the show.

    2. That's not true! They can have him showing up in giant monitors that constantly get wrecked and always ranting about Spider-Man without ever... being... funny. OK, that's the only good reason.