Still, just in the past three days, I've been working on no fewer than six Recaps/Reviews to some degree in order to get back on track a bit. So rest assured, I'll be giving my full, undivided attention to today's episode of Ultimate Spider-Man. And rest assured, I'll wish I hadn't by the time I'm done.
|Ultimate Spider-Man: Because I literally have nothing better to do right now.|
A shot of New York at night time. A chibi Spider-Man swings in and smashes the shot, revealing New York during the day. And after that, we cut to our regularly-drawn Spider-Man swinging over to some kind of crisis.
Just… why? Why was that shot so necessary? Was that a joke? An attempt at quirkiness? I… just… what? You know, I’ve been covering the Marvel Animation Universe for a little less than two years. And somehow, it still can find new ways to make me scratch my head. You know what? I’m actually impressed by that. As such, I’m implementing an award. From now on, any time a show manages to do something so stupid, odd, or out-of-the-blue that I don’t even know what they were trying to go for, they’ll get the coveted NewtCave Award for Considerable Confusion.
Juggernaut: “I’m gonna squeeze the funny right outta ya.”
|I guarantee you could squeeze more water out of a rock.|
In the midst of the fight, Spider-Man gets a call from Power Man on his wrist.
Power Man: “Have you forgotten a little something?”
Spider-Man: “Kinda busy, Luke. Can I call you back?”
As Power Man reminds him, Spidey forgot all about the Science Fair. We then get some elaboration from Principal Coulson in a flashback where he explains how the Science Fair will go down.
Coulson: “The winners head to the State final and eternal glory.”
|"And may the odds ever be in your favor!"|
|And do their Bill and Ted impression.|
|Do their impression of beast Boy and Cyborg on Teen Titans GO!|
Power Man: “It’s tomorrow. I’ve been buggin’ you about it every day, and you keep telling me that it’s ‘in the bag.’”
Wow. Peter is really irresponsible.
|"Pete, how many times do I have to die before you learn your lesson?"|
Luke calls Peter and asks what happened to the Juggernaut.
Peter: “He’s a…. work in progress.”
After a flashback to Peter’s utter humiliation at the Juggernaut’s hands, Luke gets to the question he really wanted to ask.
Luke: “How ‘bout the other work in progress? Our science fair project?”
You know, Luke, you could have had a little initiative yourself. After all, it’s your project, too. You shouldn’t expect Peter to put in all the effort. Actually, as he realizes that Peter probably won’t come through, he gets after himself because he let Peter talk him into sitting back while Peter did the whole thing. So at least there's one character on this show who has common sense.
Peter insists that all he needs is to whip up some kind of new super-chemical with the chemistry kit he used to invent his own web fluid. Yeah, because I really believe that this idiot slacker could invent his own web fluid. But when he asks Aunt May where it is, she says that she sold it at a yard sale. Because she apparently has no regard for her nephew’s belongings.
After another transition with the chibi-Spidey…
Spider-Man: “Next Science Fair, I’m gonna make myself a Spidey clone.”
For the love of Galactus, don’t bring the Clone Saga into this show.
Over at the Science Fair, Danny and Harry are setting up the X-Ray video camera they invented.
|Killing all of their sperm from radiation exposure and increasing their risk for cancer.|
Hey, Fun Fact. Freon is a registered trademark of DuPont. You're not allowed to say those on TV shows without permission. Like "Band-Aid," or "Xerox," or Jell-O." And since there was no disclaimer in the credits, that means that DuPont actually has grounds to sue Marvel over this episode.
|Because that's what people want to read about on my blog: Legal technicalities!|
Ava: “It’s 109 degrees below zero, you dunce.”
Sam: “Hey, I was gonna put that in my lemonade!”
What the heck is with these kids’ projects anyway? I mean, I can believe that Norman Osborn might have been persuaded to hand over one of Oscorp’s inventions to help his son's miserable grade, but how did Ava get her hands on liquid nitrogen? Or Freon? Idiot teenagers have been known to huff Freon to get high, so who the heck sold that much of it to Ava? They sure as heck didn’t sell it to Sam. No one’s that stupid. With the possible exception of Sam.
To set up a plot point for later, Ava smashes a frozen rose against his face.
|Serves him right.|
Ava: “Our experiment is about ways to reduce global warming by freezing the extra carbon emissions in the atmosphere….”
Let me explain something. I’m going to put it so simply that even Sam could understand it.
You can’t destroy energy. Heat is energy. Therefore, you can’t destroy heat. Refrigerators work because they basically funnel all the heat into one place. Ever feel the back of your fridge? It’s pretty roasting. That’s because all the heat you’re sucking out of the inside of the fridge has to go somewhere.
In short, you can’t combat global warming by freezing the air in the atmosphere. In fact, her method of freezing the gasses would consume electricity, thus putting more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
And to top it all off, "Freon" is a blanket term for all sorts of refrigerants, including CFC's. You know, the gasses that wrecked the ozone layer? So if Aya got her massive amount of Freon by scavenging old refrigerators, there's a very good chance her machine functions thanks to those gasses she's trying to combat.
|Ava, how can you be so smart... and yet so dumb?|
Spider-Man: “Probably for the best. I would have had to come up with some lame ‘My pal Spider-Man lent me one of his web-shooters’ stories, and those never….”
While Spider-Man is distracted by the Juggernaut’s sudden disappearance, let me just say right now that in the fifth episode of Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, “The Next Iron Spider,” Peter Parker passes off his Iron Spider outfit as his project, claiming that Spider-Man let him borrow it. Of course, Peter also said that an interview with Mary Jane would put the nail in the coffin for his superhero career, and I think we all know what happened a few episodes later.
|Hmm... I'm detecting no continuity here.|
Spider-Man: “Aww, fail squared.”
|Oh, yeah. Saving this picture for the next time I have to deal with Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.|
But Peter has a brand new idea. They’ve only got an hour, so it’s time for plagiarism! They’re going to steal something from the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, despite Spidey’s conscience insisting otherwise. Among the things from Doc Connors’s lab he rejects are….
|The Ultimate Nullifier, which can break the Law of Conservation of Matter to eliminate any target from existence.|
|The Cosmic Cube, which turns the holder’s wishes into reality.|
|And finally ,Howard the Duck, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.|
Finally, he decides on this weird wiggly brick thing which he dubs a “Mood Brick.” He steals it and quickly returns to school, where Sam seems to have had a bit of an accident while… I don’t know, trying to huff Freon.
|I mean, would you put it past him?|
Agent Coulson: “It’s called the Awesome Android. An extremely dangerous piece of equipment.”
Peter: “‘Awesome Android’? More like ‘Awesome Andy!’”
Yes, that was the character’s nickname in the comics. But that only happened after he gained sentience and developed a personality. As it is, there is literally no reason for Peter to call him “Awesome Andy.”
Coulson explains that the rudimentary programming has the equivalent intelligence of a two-year-old child. Which, of course, is why it literally acts like a two-year-old, playing with a makeshift rattle and everything. So while the evacuation begins, Coulson takes it upon himself to distract the Android by… jangling his keys.
|To be fair, jangling keys are about as entertaining as the rest of this episode|
|I'd hate to be the student who currently has Coulson's gentleman's area rubbing against his or her diagram.|
The train passengers celebrate, all except for the big guy in the trench coat named Juggernaut. He jumps out to squash Spidey while Nova distracts the Android with his glow. Juggernaut ends up eaten and pooped out naked through the Android's foot.
Juggernaut: “My helmet? My powers!”
Jury’s out on whether or not the Juggernaut gets his powers from his helmet. It's not supposed to work like that, but I think it depends on the writer. So… I’ll let that one slide, show.
(After a comment inspired me to take a closer look, it seems as though Juggernaut getting his powers from his helmet is not, as I assumed, an occasional error that slips by, like how it's often said that Captain America's shield is part Adamantium. The Juggernaut's helmet only blocks psychic attacks. To my knowledge, this show is the only place to feature the Juggernaut's helmet as the source of his powers. So I revoke what I said about letting it slide. Azkaban Prisoner, you deserve a No-Prize.)
After seeing the spider symbol on Spidey’s costume, the Android lets loose a scream that breaks windows for miles around. Because why not.
I just… look. We’re about 16 minutes in, and I’m going to sum up the next part of the episode, because not much actually happens.
They fight the Android while learning a lesson about how neglected responsibilities grow out of control. Because metaphor and teamwork. After a minute or two, the Android steps on an ice cream truck, with his foot shrinking from the cold. So Luke gets the plan to use Ava’s machine on the Android while the others distract him with Danny’s glowing Iron Fist powers.
Spider-Man takes the Freon and liquid nitrogen and gets tossed inside the Android’s mouth. And he’s got a bucket on his head with convenient eye holes. Because why not.
Now let's Review.