Thursday, September 3, 2015

Recap: Ultimate Spider-Man "For Your Eye Only"

Today on Ultimate Spider-Man: Peter doesn't want to listen to Nick Fury's advice, the Sandwich Club proves to be useless, Fury is shown to be a liar, and nothing is actually for anyone's eye only. Business as usual, it seems. But today's episode is an homage-filled romp that was written by Eisner Award-winner Brian Michael Bendis, so that means this'll be a good episode, right? ...right?

Well, I've got a license to recap, so let's see whether this episode gives me a quantum of solace or looms like a spectre over my soul.

Spider-Man: “The name’s Man. Spider-Man.”

That’s right, people, we’ve got us a James Bond homage.
Spider-Man: “I used to be an ordinary web-slinging superhero, making short of the criminal kind in New York City. But now, I’m an international Man of Mystery.”

Or perhaps an Austin Powers homage.
So, you know how Spider-Man goes off into his head more often than JD from Scrubs? Well, as Spider-Man monologued, we saw him imagining he was snowboarding down a mountain a la A View to a Kill. But as Nick Fury walks in on him, we get the rare opportunity to see what happens in real life while he drifts off.

He plays pretend. Our hero.
Fury whips out a laser to shoot Spidey’s snowboard out from under his feet and begins to berate Spidey for not doing what he was supposed to. Except Spider-Man did do what he was supposed to. One training round against S.H.I.E.L.D.-bots, just like Fury said.

Nick Fury: “Now, hold on. You don’t think before you act, you dive in headfirst, you don’t….”
Spider-Man: “You and your rules and lessons. You’re like a fortune cookie! Without the delicious cookie part.”

Now, they each say something valid here.

First of all, fortune cookies are, in fact, delicious. Can’t argue with Spider-Man on that.

Secondly, one of the biggest problems with this show is the fact that not only is Spider-Man, whose whole deal is supposed to be “responsibility,” so irresponsible. And that wouldn’t be so bad, but he never learns from anything he ever does. And part of that is because he never listens. But to be fair, Nick Fury’s been a pretty terrible authority figure for a lot of the series so far, so there’s that.

Nick Fury: “You still need….”
Spider-Man: “Training? Discipline? That special S.H.I.E.L.D. shine?”

Yes, actually.

Nick Fury: “To start. And a little respect wouldn’t hurt. Be on time tomorrow.”
Spider-Man:Fine. I will. And maybe you'll try teaching me something I don’t already know.”

I have a suggestion! “Not Being an Ass 101.” Doesn’t look like Spider-Man’s taken that class.

Spider-Man punctuates his exit by slamming the sliding doors together with his webs, no doubt costing thousands of taxpayers’ dollars in damage.

Our hero...?
The next day, all day, Nick Fury’s ghostly image haunts Peter’s mind, reminding him not to be late. So of course….

Spider-Man: “Oh! I’m late!”

Great responsibility, people.

He webs up to the helicarrier, making chit chat with the obviously-not-S.H.I.E.L.D.-agents he mistakes for S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. One of them grabs his hands, and his spider-sense goes off.

Spider-Man:Thanks, spider-sense. Like I wouldn’t have figured out I’m in trouble.”

Well, now that Spidey mentions it, his spider-sense should have warned him about the danger as soon as he stepped onto the helicarrier. Then again, last episode, it was specifically pointed out that Agent Coulson can avoid setting off his spider-sense, so we can safely assume that his spider-sense has been severely nerfed harder than Diddy Kong in the latest Super Smash Bros. patch.

The villains introduce themselves as Zodiac, and they do a salute that looks a little bit familiar….

“We can dance if we want to. We can leave your friends behind.”
Scorpio: “And I am Scorpio. The tyrannical rule of Nick Fury has come to an end.”

Well, it’s about time. I’ll see if I can find the champagne.

Scorpio: “We… are the new masters of the universe.”

I’d imagine He-Man would like a word with you about that.

Spider-Man talks all big and bad about how Nick Fury’ll put these guys in their place, but….

Scorpio: “Nick Fury is dead.”

Ding dong, Nick Fury's dead!
Scorpio (Phil Morris) declares that the corrupt evil that is S.H.I.E.L.D. has fallen. And if Captain America: The Winter Soldier is anything to go by, then I’d say Scorpio might be the good guy here. Either way, Spider-Man copes with his grief by creating an imaginary chibi version of Nick Fury to help prolong his denial.

Chibi Nick Fury: “Only believe something when you see it with your own eye. And even then, don’t believe it.”

That’s terrible advice. But it probably sums up the thought process of anti-vaccers.

Scorpio tells Spider-Man that he’ll see soon enough how the world will be a much better place without Fury’s “secrets and lies.”

Spider-Man: “Nick Fury was a liar?”
Scorpio: “The worst kind.”

Yeah, Spidey, don’t you remember how he blackmailed you into accepting a S.H.I.E.L.D. deal you didn’t want to take before changing the terms of the deal after you took it?

Spider-Man: “Did he lie to you and tell you that outfit didn’t make you look fat?”
Scorpio: “Destroy him!”

Wow, Spidey really hit a nerve there. Spider-Man manages to get his foot free of his boot, letting him attempt to kick one of the goons in the face, but the guy’s stubble makes it a painful attempt.

This is an actual thing the show decided to include.
So instead, he escapes by overpowering his opponents instead. After a short fight with the goons, Spidey accidentally escapes into a vent, where “Fury” dispenses more advice.

Chibi Nick Fury: “Diving in head first is diving in brains last.”

Spider-Man lands in a soggy trash compactor where he makes the obligatory Star Wars reference.

Spider-Man: “What a wonderful smell I’ve discovered.”

I would be forever grateful if C-3PO just let the trash compactor do its thing in this very moment.
Suddenly, Nick Fury’s death really sinks in for a moment. But Spidey snaps out of it by turning his denial up to eleven. While he starts speechifying about how he needs to start following Nick Fury’s advice, he finds the labelmaker he gave Fury in the trash. We then get a flashback to the labelmaker’s journey, from Principal Coulson to Aunt May, to Peter, to Fury. So, Spider-Man de… wait, hold on. If Principal Coulson already gave Aunt May a label maker, how come they’re going to meet each other for the first time in a later episode? And it’s clearly for the first time because they introduce themselves to each other.

And on a minor point, why the sudden reference to the "regifting" episode of Seinfeld?

Spider-Man escapes from a sudden wall of flame into the ducts, where he spies on the Zodiac goons patrolling the halls.

Chibi Nick Fury: “Every enemy has a weak spot. Find it and exploit it.”

That’s not wisdom, Fury; that’s how you fight Legend of Zelda bosses.

After attempting to call the Sandwich Club with a jammed communicator, we get a cutaway gag showing us what each of them is doing right now.

Patsy Walker. I see what you did there, Marvel.
Spider-Man crawls through the vents until he comes across the bridge, where Scorpio is demanding they download all the files from the helicarrier.

“But downloading the Windows system files would be pointless. We use Macs.”
All the files!”
Scorpio: “I want the world’s secrets in the hands of Zodiac! I want everything Nick Fury has!”

You want a disfiguring injury to your eye?

He gives the order to crash the helicarrier when the download is done as a warning, sending Spider-Man into alarm.

Nick Fury: “Look at your wrist.”

Fury is now patched in to Spidey’s wrist communicator, making Spider-Man exclaim “you’re alive” in his glee. Which gets the attention of the Zodiac troops below. Whoops. After basic buffoonery fails to save the day, Scorpio calls Spider-Man a strange little bug. The failed taxonomy sends Spider-Man into a fury as he starts beating up the laser-toting troops.

As Spider-Man professes his love of “pew-pew guns,” Nick Fury tells him to get his rear in gear and hack into the bridge’s computer to disrupt the download. The download is successfully aborted, but Scorpio whips out his weapon, the Scorpio Key, to take care of the wall-crawler once and for all. In the blast caused by the key’s wave motion gun, Spider-Man escapes back into the vents while modifying a quote from Die Hard.

Spider-Man: “Join S.H.I.E.L.D., become an agent, have a few laughs….”

Man, this episode is referencing more pop culture than… well, than I do. Fury explains that the Scorpio Key is one of the most dangerous weapon they know of, so Spider-Man will have to be careful as he rescues Fury.

Nick Fury: “Medical bay. Seventh level.”

Spider-Man knocks out a guard and, failing to fit into his uniform, uses his unconscious body like a marionette to lead the guards away from the medical bay to the bridge.

Zodiac Goon: “Why didn’t he call us on our comm?”
“Leo”: “We’ve been compromised. Spider-Man, who it not a twit, by the way, is here. You better go up there now!”
Zodiac Goon: “What’s your name, agent?”
“Leo”: “Uh, well, it’s Stan…. Ditkoberg.”

Cute, writers.

But when they refuse to fall for Spider-Man’s trick, he resorts to punching them, kicking them, and doing the Bugs Bunny-sneaking-behind-Elmer Fudd routine followed by taser-webs. After using a pew-pew gun to shoot the lock to the medical bay, Spider-Man enters to find Nick Fury tied up with a laser beam making its way towards his crotch a la Goldfinger.

Spider-Man: “Why would you even have something like this on board?”

Fury tells him to hit the red button to turn it off, but there’s two red buttons, and Spidey accidentally hits the “speed up” button. Quickly, he hits the other one before Nick Fury suddenly can become a soprano. After a quick hug, Spidey addresses the plot hole of Fury being able to contact his communicator while strapped to the table. Fury explains that his eyepatch is a communications device, which still doesn’t explain where Fury was getting camera footage of his own face from.

They head off to the cargo bay, where they find a new Spider-Cycle and… oh, you’re kidding me. Custom-made vibranium/adamantium armor for Spider-Man. Yeah, vibranium. As in the rarest metal on Earth, found only in a single country in Africa that hasn’t given any away since the 1940’s. And they just happened to decide to give S.H.I.E.L.D. some more. So what does S.H.I.E.L.D. do with this metal? They make a suit of armor for a loose cannon operative. Then they don't give it to him.

Bull. Crap.
And just happened to keep this incredibly powerful armor in the cargo bay, as opposed to locking it up for safekeeping because they just made invulnerable armor. And it just happened to be overlooked by all the Zodiac troopers crawling through the ship. How… improbable.

"I was in the neighborhood."
The last time I saw Spider-Man find armor this randomly, I was playing a video game.

A video game that I’ve loved since my childhood, but still a video game.
Finally, they find a web-cannon. Because things weren’t infinitely improbable enough. They take Fury’s motorcycle through the halls of the helicarrier as Fury says that, for realsies, Spider-Man needs to follow orders. All of a sudden, an announcement goes off that the ship will self-destruct in three minutes. And then it changes its mind and says “two minutes” because I’m watching this on Netflix without commercial breaks.
While they fire pew-pew guns at the goons, Nick Fury tells Spidey to check his 3 o’clock.

Spider-Man: “Three o’clock? What’s gonna happen at three o’clock?”

You know, I kind of thought there’d be more James Bond references in the James Bond homage episode. I mean, yeah, Sean Connery was in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but come on. The pop culture references are just getting random.

After using his web-cannon to web up all the goons, Spider-Man and Fury zoom off. Spidey ends up on the exterior deck of the carrier, whereupon he continues to fight goons. He professes his love for his “new toys,” leading into Agent Coulson doing a short commercial for the Web-Cannon 3000.

Because they’re just putting the toy commercials in the actual episode now.
We then get to see Spider-Man try out his “Arachni-discs,” complete with Coulson doing a spot for those, too.

Agent Coulson: “Made in Madripoor. Not sold in stores.”

Rinse and repeat with “Impact Force Bubbles.”

Agent Coulson: “Made in Wakanda. Do not swallow.”

Last but not least, Spidey tries out his built-in forcefield, which appears as a Captain America-style shield.

Agent Coulson: “Personal invisi-shield. Pretty cool.”

Wow, you’re a regular Anthony Sullivan, Agent Coulson. What are you going to advertise for next? Pizza? Apple iWatches?

Both, I guess.
Fury evades Zodiac goons for a while before activating his invisibility watch, letting him sneak onto the bridge and enter his password (ONE EYED EAGLE, btw) to activate manual control. Manual control, of course, is a joystick. Scorpio soon realizes what’s up, so Fury uncloaks and puts the helicarrier into dive mode. Spidey, still on the outside of the helicarrier, dives into another vent to avoid drowning.

With the helicarrier now nose-down in the water, Fury and Scorpio manage to exchange words while clinging to the support beams to avoid falling into the windshield. Scorpio seems to have a grudge against Fury, but Nick doesn’t seem to remember Scorpio. Fury shoots the Key out of Scorpio’s hand and the two begin fighting as Spider-Man crawls back into the garbage compactor, snagging the label maker while he’s here.

Scorpio calls Fury a bully as the final fight begins. Before Scorpio can regain his Key, Spider-Man snatches it with his webs. Fury tackles Scorpio to the ground and unmasks him, revealing….

That doesn't look like Old Man Jenkins.
Nick Fury: “It’s my brother Max….”
Max Fury:
“And this is far, far from over, Nicholas.”

And by that he means “I’ll return in a single episode of Season 2 focusing on Power Man before disappearing forever.”

With twenty second until the self-destruct goes off, Scorpio escapes into the water while Fury heads to the computer to deactivate the sequence, stopping it with seven seconds left, a la Goldfinger.

If it had stopped at ten seconds, that would be an homage to You Only Live Twice.
After flying the helicarrier back into the air, Fury and Spider-Man have a moment. Fury remains silent on the subject of his brother, though. Things soon return to normal as Fury releases the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents from the brig.

Spider-Man: “You’re a really good teacher, by the way.”

And after Spider-Man gives Fury the label maker again, he proves that he learned nothing from all of this by saying that this whole thing was technically Fury’s fault. And after a James Bond-esque “Spider-Man will return” slate….

Whoa, can you say that on Disney XD?
The episode ends. Now let’s talk about how Max Fury may actually be the hero of this episode.


  1. ...Wasn't he called Jake in the comics?

    1. Yes, it was. I bring that up in the Review, but I didn't feel it was worth elaborating on. Bigger fish to fry.

  2. Not sure if this episode is best example of this, but... I'm still watching second season of Avengers Assemble and even better episodes seem to always have at least one scene that just keeps going and going. (See episode about Speed Demon or Zarda). Do you think that current Marvel cartoons could be better if they were about 5 minutes shorter, forcing writers to make more focused scripts?

    1. You make an interesting point. I've noticed scenes that go on for too long, but they're usually fight scenes. But I have noticed a few scenes where it's like, "I get it. Can we move on?" The big problem with the MAU is that they got rid of the subtle character development and replaced it with padding.

  3. I can honestly say I've never seen a single James Bond movie. The only time I've really experienced it was the Golden Eye remake on 360. I have been watching a lot of the old Man From UNCLE series as I liked the movie a lot and my dad bought the complete series to watch with me and his mom. They're pretty good, I like Illya the best.

    1. Bond is one of my guilty pleasures. It's getting harder to be a fan of classic James Bond when one of the best Bond movies of all time has a scene all but saying that James sexed the gay out of a lesbian named "Pussy Galore." I've actually considered covering the series on my blog, but I think that I should focus on what I've already started. Maybe next year.

    2. Meh, I always just remember "They were different times", also she could've been a bisexual in denial, you know what? Let's go with that, it's way less creepy

    3. I think the official explanation is that she THOUGHT she was a lesbian after she was in an abusive relationship with a man. And according to Ian Fleming, nonconsensual sex was the answer. At least they had the sense to remove the more blatant examples of anti-Korean racism from the film adaptation.

  4. References to Austin Powers and Smash Bros in the same recap... You've just made up for badmouthing the Impossible Man episodes.

    1. ...and most episodes of Hulk AoS, Season 1 of Avengers Assemble, and Ultimate Spider-Man.