Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Recap: Ultimate Spider-Man "Great Responsibility"

Here I am, recapping the second part of the premiere. Because with "Great Power"... Yeah, you know where that joke's going.

I was obviously going to say "Assemble."
Our episode opens on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, where Spider-Man's training begins! And by "begins" I mean "they fart around for a bit." For starters, they give Spider-Man a robot-sparring session, which is basically like those simulator missions from Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. And now I want to play that game.

Spidey doesn't do so hot at fighting the training-bots, and we get a flashback where Aunt May beats him at some Hulk vs. Thing video game on what is clearly a Wii, making me want to play Ultimate Alliance even further. Then there's some more robot fighting, and Fury chuckles to himself as he watches the footage with... Four other teenage heroes? Well, I guess it makes sense that this would be a larger program, and not a Spidey-exclusive offer. I wonder if these four will be popping up occasionally?  Nah, this show's called "Ultimate Spider-Man," not "Ultimate Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends." If these characters kept showing up, than this show would go against its own title and its own original premise. And that would be downright nutty!

These likely-unimportant teens judge Spider-Man's fighting style, his name, and just generally diss him as a person before Spidey moves on to the "Parachute Test," where they kick him off the helicarrier to see how quickly he makes a parachute out of his webs. Because, as we shall soon see, Peter Parker is the world's toilet, just waiting for karma to pee on him.

Over in the city, Norman Osborn talks to Dr. Octavius on his earpiece, and demands results with the whole steal-Spider-Man's-DNA plan, basically so the audience remembers that this show has villains.

Sometime after the parachute test, Peter visits Harry in the hospital, bringing him his homework and recapping the Frightful Four incident for the audience. Norman offers Peter a ride to school, and he takes it. Later, at school, MJ tells Peter about her plan to interview Spider-Man by... and you have to admire the brilliance here... Sticking up random flyers telling Spider-Man to call her. The kicker? The flyers DON'T HAVE HER PHONE NUMBER ON THEM. Do I really have to make fun of that? I'm pretty sure you can see why that's incredibly stupid.

My God, we're only four minutes in.

MJ wonders whether Spider-Man's a student, teacher, or even maybe janitor Stan Lee.

Stan: "Thwip, thwip!"

Never change, Stan Lee. Never change.

Anyway, Peter decides that giving MJ an interview would be a stupid idea, because she'd see right through the disguise. That won't stop him from doing it in about five episodes' time, though. The idiot.

Later, Nick Fury takes Spidey on a tour of the helicarrier. He shows him the room where they keep all the S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists. I would sell my soul to Mephisto to see Fitzsimmons guest star. Ah, but I can dream. Spidey takes a look at things like prototype versions of Spider-Woman's wings and the Iron Spider suit.

Spider-Man: "Eh. It's been done."

And yet, come Episode 5, you'll gleefully accept the outfit from Tony Stark.

Continuity called. He's calling in sick for this series.

Fury introduces Spidey to Dr. Connors. Spidey reaches out to shake his hand, but he's missing an arm. LOL, j/k. In this show, Doc Connors has not lost his arm. He was only hiding it in his sleeve, because that's a joke that makes sense to the audience and not the in-universe characters.

Anyway, Connors is the guy who created the new web-shooters, and he attempts to present Spidey with more gear, when Agent Phil Coulson shows up. Yeah. Him. Voiced by Clark Gregg, his live-action actor. Okay, show. This is the moment where you make it or break it. Proceed.

And you blew it by making him a weenie.
Fury puts Coulson in his place, and Connors unveils the Spider-Cycle. Because toy sales. Spidey's not really interested, but they insist that it will improve toy sales travel time. Spidey accidentally drives out of the helicarrier, gets "scared thwipless" (ugh), and learns that his motorcycle can shoot and drive on weblines. Because why not. It can also drive sideways on buildings. Because I give up.

One joyride later, Spider-Man is about to crash into a truck, but gets saved by a flying blue blur. Superman? Nope, it's one of the teenage heroes from earlier. The other three stop the Spider-Cycle and introductions are made.

Iron Fist: Kung Fu master who can fill his hands with destructive chi.
White Tiger: Generic cat powers.
Luke Cage: Super strength, invulnerability, wants to be called "Power Man."

Power Man: "It's cool and doesn't scream 'I have low self-esteem.'"

Wrong and also wrong. Finally,   
Nova: the Human Rocket. Begins rivalry with Spider-Man at first sight.

Spidey wants to get going on his merry way, bragging about having joined S.H.I.E.L.D., but they explain that they're also members. Back at the helicarrier....

Spider-Man: "I never signed on to be part of a team."

Actually, I'm gonna have to side with Spidey on this one. Nick Fury promised training and gear. Teammates were not even mentioned once. Not even hinted at. Nick Fury basically lied to him about the situation. Spider-Man understandably quits the program, but ends up in an elevator with Nick Fury as he tries to leave.

Spider-Man: "I can't be responsible for what happens to a bunch of rookies."

You're absolutely right. They are S.H.I.E.L.D.'s problem. They signed up for a team. You signed up for yourself. It may seem selfish, but Spider-Man's totally right about this. Nick Fury is trying to put in into a situation that he doesn't want, didn't agree to, and isn't really qualified to be a part of. 

But Nick Fury tries to guilt trip him into not only staying with the others, but also being the team leader. Which was not in the deal, Fury!

Oh, he will. Boy, will he ever.
Thankfully, Peter manages to withstand the guilt-tripping and hands back his super-shooter. Peter thinks it over on a building top with his shoulder angel and devil (no, seriously), then gets attacked by the Frightful Four three. They start roughing him up badly, then he gets saved by his Not-Quite-Amazing Not-Quite-Friends and they take down Thundra together.

Spidey lectures the others about failing to protect innocents from collateral damage, mirroring the first scene from the last episode, and Spidey leads the fight against the other two frightful villains.

"All I did was get a horse stuck in some glue. You guys prepped both horse and rider for the glue factory."
Later, Norman Osborn watches J Jonah Jameson rant about Spider-Man's "evil" team of "vigilantes," and tells Octavius to get his act together. Norman does that last thing, not Jameson.

Back at the helicarrier, Spidey agrees to lead the team, but only if he can still operate solo as Spider-Man.

Nick Fury: "Done."

Yeah, Nick Fury is not going to hold up his end of the bargain, as we shall see.

Later, at school, Flash comes along to stuff Peter in his locker, but gets rescued by Luke Cage, in civilian guise, alongside the others. Yes, as it turns out, these four will not let Peter have a modicum of a personal life. They want to tag along with Peter wherever he goes. As we shall soon see in later episodes, this will cause his existing friends to think he doesn't want to hang out anymore. With no other options, Peter goes to the principal to get a transfer, but is instantly denied one. For you see, the new acting principal is S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson. Apparently, Nick Fury wants to keep his eye on Peter Parker 24/7. Next thing you know, he'll be putting security cameras in Peter's house! Spoiler alert: He ends up doing that in a few episodes.

There's nothing you can do, Peter. They are S.H.I.E.L.D. You will be assimilated. Your life, such as you know it, is over. They will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to their own. Your life will adapt to service them.

Resistance is futile.

And now I want to play Ultimate Alliance 2.
Let's review.

1 comment:

  1. This is why most versions of Spidey instinctually distrust SHIELD. Stick it to the man, webhead!

    - That One Anon