Monday, November 3, 2014

Review: Ultimate Spider-Man "Flight of the Iron Spider"

First and foremost, before I review, there's something to keep in mind. At the time this episode aired, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes was still the Avengers show on TV. So, yes, this was Adrian Pasdar's first performance as Iron Man in the Marvel Animated Universe, before he would reprise the role for Avengers Assemble.

So in a way, this episode heralded what would come. But let's talk about this omen and see if good times were foreshadowed.

The plot was a good one. Well, in theory. Spider-Man learns a lesson in hubris. He learns to not be an arrogant jerk to his team. And ostensibly, he does. But let me ask you this.  

When does he learn this lesson?

What's the impetus? Does he even learn this lesson?

Near as I can tell, he becomes arrogant (though all the characters are pretty much arrogant jerks already), then he apologizes at the end of Act 2 and his teammates forgive him. I'd imagine this happens because the script said so.

But overall, this episode doesn't fail in its own message to the degree of earlier episodes, mainly because we have little screen time for the Sandwich Club. They're pretty much the source of the problem when it comes to this show's lessons. Because they were barely here, we barely had to endure them telling Spider-Man he sucks while demanding that they're his friends.

He learns a lesson about gifts. Basically, if you get a cool gift from someone rich, don't ever use it because your friends will hate you. ...I guess. Like I said, this episode's themes are... unclear.

Iron Man
He's actually a far better character here than in Avengers Assemble. Here, he takes the role of a mentor figure with the best of intentions who still might not be the best role model. It's a complex characterization. Much more complex than I'd expect from this show so far.

What a shame that the character devolves into a tech-crazy, arrogant, hot-headed fool by the time of Avengers Assemble.

Living Laser
I couldn't tell you his motivation, apart from just being yet another villain who wants Iron Man's armor. And we'll probably know nothing about him, thanks to getting zapped into another reality. Actually, come to think of it, what happened with that machine that led Tony Stark to realize it could access alternate dimensions?

"One time, I turned it on, and this nanny and some kids came through from another reality. I wonder where they are now...."
Now everything makes sense.

Overall, though, this isn't a terrible episode. The flaws in the lesson are masked by some good action and a bigger flaw at the very beginning.

Seriously, Marvel, WTF?
Anyway, next time, it's the attack of the creepy gym teacher. See you then.

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