Monday, July 21, 2014

Recap: Ultimate Spider-Man "Venom"

Well, it's a Spider-Man show. Venom is required by Marvel law to show up eventually.

Section 3, subsection 15.
Our episode opens in a New York subway tunnel, where Spider-Man rides his Spider-Cycle illegally. This is because he's being chased by what appears to be a Sentinel from the Matrix films. Not the X-Men ones.

He stuns onlookers by making his cycle drive on the ceiling, and here's a tip from me to you. If you ever want to enjoy animation, never let yourself be able to recognize the random faces in the crowd. Because now I keep seeing this woman who looks like Alice from the Dilbert comics throughout the show. Oddly enough, they also put this one generic bystander right next to himself. It's very distracting.

Anyway, Nick Fury FaceTimes Spidey to stop being an idiot and use his weapons. Long story short, he webs the electric subway rail and shocks the robot dead by conducting the current through his body in such a way that should kill him. In the scuffle, though, Spidey rips his pants. And this is where we and the subway-goers learn that Spider-Man goes commando.

Spider-Man heads off to school, and a smaller robot hidden in the big one heads off to go deliver a sample of Spider-Man's blood to its master. Peter arrives late, but Harry Osborn sneaks him in through a window. Peter explains to us how great of a friend Harry is, and this is a flag telling us that something bad will happen, and it'll involve Harry. Harry invites Peter over to his house for a movie night while his dad's away. Just him, Peter, and MJ. Out of nowhere, Sam (Nova), Luke (Power Man), Danny (Iron Fist), and Ava (White Tiger) appear and demand to talk to Peter, forcibly grabbing him and taking him aside.

Peter spins the Wheel of Excuses in his mind to make up a lie, and goes with "Lame Story."

Peter: "It's a club thing. A club I just joined. Today. Sandwich Club."

You know what? Fury's team of young heroes doesn't have a name. They're not the New Warriors, or Young Avengers, or Power Pack, or anything. I hereby dub this young team of heroes...

The Sandwich Club.

And as per Marvel law, Wolverine is now a part of it.
Back at Doc Ock's lair, he examines Spider-Man's blood and gets to work on weaponizing it into a black goo. He asks the face of Norman Osborn on his screen for some time to perfect it, but Norman declines. Over with the Sandwich Club in the cafeteria, everyone but Peter is laughing at pics of his bare-butt escapades in the subway.

Ava: "That, I didn't need to see."

Then why were you laughing?

Ava: "Why'd we find out about this from Fury and not you?"
Peter: "Um, because I just got here?"

Also, because privacy? Because Peter has the right to not tell you every detail about his day? Because why is Fury acquiring pictures of Spider-Man's butt?

I'm going to warn you right now, the following few minutes encapsulate everything wrong with the main characters and how the writers' minds work.

Peter: "You guys aren't my mommy and daddies."

Good point, Peter. They have no right to dictate your personal life.

Danny: "Stand together, or fall alone, Pete."

Maybe on the job, yes. But you're all off the clock. If Peter doesn't want to hang out with you, that's his right. Oh, that's right. I forgot. Peter sold his soul to Nick Furystopheles. Sorry, I was assuming that Peter was allowed to have a modicum of freedom as a US citizen. Whoops.

Danny: "That's why we wanted to talk."

What, by laughing about the fact that Spidey doesn't wear undies? Nice "talk."

Peter: "You wanna talk? Let's talk about how you made me blow off my best friend!"

Valid point, Peter.

Peter: "My time is my time. That was the deal I made with Fury."

His wallet is the one that says "Bad Boss."
Luke: "We also made a deal to work together, remember?"

Hey, Luke? I worked together with people, too. Do I hang out with them after work? No, I go play D&D with a different group of people. We all have our own personal lives. Because people have the right to pick their friends. It's a free country, remember?

Sam: "Yeah, you got a job now, Parker."

And right now, he's off the clock. So right now, he can do whatever the heck he wants.

Sam: "You don't have to kiss up to moneybags anymore for cash."

He says as Harry Osborn walks by. Harry slams down his tray of food and storms off. But, of course, Sam's got a big, smug grin on his face. Sam Alexander is without a doubt the worst main character Marvel has ever put into one of their cartoons, and yes I know there's an elephant in the room and I'll deal with that in the Review.

Peter runs off to try to explain to Harry, but he doesn't want to hear it. MJ walks up and gives Peter some advice.

MJ: "Harry feels left out, so include him. Bring the new kids to his place tonight. By the end of the first flick, it'll be like old times with new friends."

"Include" Harry by bringing other people to Harry's get together? There are not enough facepalm memes on the entire internet right now. Unless MJ suspects that Harry secretly wants to join the Sandwich Club.

Mandatory equipment.
Later, Harry watches some of J. Jonah Jameson's propaganda while Harry talks to his dad about the situation.

Harry: "Ever since those new kids showed up, he's been different. He's distracted."

Just like Norman is right now, watching the news.

Harry: "So, I'm going to move into the sewers and train albino alligators for the circus, okay?"

Norman leaves for... I don't know, something evil.

Norman: "I left a thousand dollars in case you get hungry."

How is Harry not morbidly obese with snack money like that?

Harry makes a call, deciding to put that thousand dollars to work. Later, Peter and the Sandwich Club arrive at Harry's kick-awesome party. Meanwhile, Norman is at Doc Ock's lair, learning that the "Venom" sample has run off. Ock hypothesizes that it's returning to Spider-Man.

Back at the party, Peter and MJ are more than a little miffed at their get together becoming a full-blown, off the hizzook party, and Harry is miffed that the uninvited Sandwich Club showed up. Peter tries to rebuild bridges by explaining that he wanted to introduce him to his new "pals" and maybe they can all be friends. Harry still doesn't want to hear it, though.

MJ: "Maybe my plan was a little ill-advised."

And maybe the Battle of Hastings was just a nasty argument.

Peter's Spider-Sense goes off, and he heads to the bathroom, where he finds Flash Thompson.

It's time to say something good about this episode. In an ultimate triumph of sneaking something past the censors, Flash Thompson is drinking from a bidet. If you don't know what a bidet is, look it up. Trust me, it's worth it.

Let's just say you're not supposed to put your face there....
Flash tries to give Peter a swirly, but black goo oozes up from the toilet and attacks Flash, bonding with him. Flash becomes a black goo monster and attacks Peter. Crashing out of the bathroom, Venom destroys the lights. The partygoers run off, and the Sandwich Club evacuate MJ and Harry. Peter suits up, and a fight ensues after he's joined by Nova.

Nova ends up infected, and the fight spills out of the building as Spidey realizes that the goo's a parasite. Or a "Symbiote," if you will. The other Sandwich Club members join Spidey, and Power Man is the next one to get infected after it releases Nova.  An imaginary Nick Fury tells Spidey to use his tazer-webs, but it's a no-go. After Spidey stops a building fan from falling and crushing MJ and Harry, the symbiote jumps to Iron Fist, who reveals that it wants to bond with Spidey.

Meanwhile, MJ and Harry climb the fire escape to reach the fight because she wants to get a job with the Daily Bugle. She has no camera, no recorder, no pen. I trust you see how she'll be able to provide something the Daily Bugle would be interested in.

On the roof, the symbiote bonds with Spider-Man, and we get a trippy mental bonding sequence. Soon, Peter fully bonds, complete with white spider symbol.

This! Is... nah, too easy.
Venom fights the Sandwich Club while MJ gets some grainy footage on her phone. Spidey manages to break free of Venom with a little help from the Club and by tazing part of the roof, summoning lightning. I'm just going to assume Thor was flying by and provided some assistance.

Tongue on a first date, Venom? Have you no shame?
Venom's defeated, Harry asks if Peter got out okay, Norman arrives on the roof, he hugs his son, he goes back to Octavius, and asks for more Venom. Later, Harry and Peter make amends.

Peter: "Those other guys aren't bad. Except for Sam. Sam's... Sam."

Harry secretly bottles some Venom residue stuck to the piano, and the episode ends.

Harry: "What's the harm in making a new friend?"

We'll see the harm at a later date. For now, it's time to review. And speaking of Sam....


  1. I'll say this about the show, that last screencap reminded me of how cool the fight scene animation can be. Sometimes. Like most things in this series, it's inconsistent.

    - That One Anon

  2. Venom never possessed White Tiger? With the way MAU treats female characters, I guess writers think even symbiotes fear cooties. (Hey, technically he's a kid. )

    1. Somebody needs to tell Man of Action that cooties don't exist. I think that would solve a lot of problems.