Thursday, September 3, 2015

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

I was looking up James Bond quotes to use for this Recap and Review, but I quickly stumbled upon Ian Fleming’s musings on women... and I was suddenly inclined to click away.

This episode has a very, very good idea at its core. The helicarrier taken over by terrorists. Nick Fury held hostage. Spider-Man, alone and outmatched. I mean, that basic plot turned Bruce Willis into an action star with Die Hard. So against all odds, Spider-Man makes his way through the helicarrier, avoiding Zodiac goons the whole way, until he rescues Nick Fury. Then, the two of them, outmatched, outnumbered, and outgunned… find a super-secret arsenal of weapons and gadgets, turning Spider-Man into an armored Marty-Stu before utterly wrecking the terrorists and saving the day.

Because screw brains-over-brawn tactics.
To illustrate my point, allow me to remake that scene in the form of bad fanfiction.

so after saving Nick Fury he and spiderman went to the super secret weapons bay where spiderman found a bunch of gadgets.  there was forcefeild bubbles, archnidiscks, and even an invisible forcefeild sheild  (like the one that captian America had in the 90s, but not as lame ;)).  But not only that there was a half vibranium and half adamantum armor made specially for spider-man.  (I drew a picture of it so you can know what it looks like )

See what I mean? That plot point looks right at home in a crappy fanfic.

That’s really where the whole episode falls apart for me. Not only is the cache of Spidey-weapons a deus ex machina, it’s a really bad deus ex machina. These weapons and armor come out of nowhere and are never seen again. I can only imagine that Thor gave all of it to the dwarves for safekeeping.

It’s a plot device that seems like it was thought up by either toy companies or a really terrible fanfic writer. And yet, somehow, this episode was written by Brian Michael Bendis himself. As in the guy who not only helmed the acclaimed Ultimate Spider-Man comics, but has won no fewer than five Eisner Awards for his comic book work.

One of the reasons I tend to not bring up the writer of particular episodes is that shows in America tend to have a writing staff, or at least a guy who rewrites scripts to punch them up a bit. So while Brian Michael Bendis wrote the script for the episode, it’s very possible that Man of Action got their hands on it and proceeded to ruin it. Or maybe Jeph Loeb, the man behind the entire Marvel Animation Universe, had something to do with it. Too many cooks in the kitchen to pin the blame onto a single person.

Well, first and foremost, this episode was a bit of an homage to James Bond. I say “a bit” because it also decides to reference Die Hard, Indiana Jones, and Seinfeld.

One of the things I do like about this episode is that it addresses the fact that Spider-Man has a bit of a problem listening to people who know better than he does. And it uses that trait to teach a lesson about why the adults in charge, surprisingly enough, probably know better than you, you dang kids. Of course, the moral loses a bit of its effectiveness when you get down to it, but I’ll talk about that when I go over Nick Fury in this episode.

The Sandwich Club

I know that they didn’t technically appear in this episode, but that’s my point. The series is trying to drive home the point that Spider-Man needs to learn how to work with this team, and yet he saved the day without them in this episode. Almost as though they Spider-Man would be better off without them….

Peter Parker/Spider-Man
I feel like it’s pointless to talk about Spidey learning to listen to his elders. I mean, he’ll be back to his old ways in no time, believe you me. Whether it be “Home Sick Hulk,” “Ultimate Deadpool,” or “Inhumanity,” Spider-Man is not done telling Fury to stuff it.

Nick Fury
This episode tries to paint Fury as a bastion of wisdom that Spider-Man should have listened to all along. And yet, I’ve spent a good chunk of these reviews talking about what a terrible authority figure Nick Fury is. And this is most evident in regards to Nick Fury’s brother. Speaking of him….

Max Fury/Scorpio (Phil Morris)
Two minor points before I get to my main point.
  1. Phil Morris gives a solid performance, despite being given some stereotypical villain dialogue.
  2. Nick Fury’s brother is named Jacob in the comics. “Max Fury” was an android duplicate that went rogue.
Nick Fury’s own brother, Max, has rededicated his life to exposing the “lies” of Nick Fury. And you know what? Previous episodes have established that Nick Fury is, in fact, a liar. He lied to Spider-Man about the terms of joining S.H.I.E.L.D. And does anyone else remember “Why I Hate Gym”?  Remember when Taskmaster revealed that he turned to the path of villainy after Nick Fury lied to him and betrayed him? I’m just saying, it seems like Nick Fury betrays a lot of people. So while Scorpio is supposedly characterized as a relentless villain who wants to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D., I can’t help but sympathize with his intentions.

"Stan Ditkoberg"
Nothing in-depth here. I just thought Spidey using this guy as a meat puppet was darkly funny.
The fight scenes were surprisingly well-choreographed. And there was actually some nice cinematography. But looking nice can only get this show so far.

Final Thoughts
In the end, it has its moments. Whether or not those moments are enough to entertain is up to the individual viewer. As for myself, even if Spider-Man weren't turned into a Marty Stu, I sympathize with the villain too much. I don’t hate it, but the moments of fun are outweighed by the moments I dislike.

Next time, Mary Jane tries to find a purpose in life after Man of Action declared Ultimate Spider-Man to be romance-free. See you then!


  1. Maybe they were given to Molecule Kid after this episode?

    1. He can show them off to Deathlok and the Talking Hulkjet.

  2. I remember watching the Spider-Verse episodes and noticing that there weren't any alternate Sandwich Club members or Nick Furies, like the show unintentionally saying "yeah, them and SHIELD are pretty useless". Like if Ken Levine just hated Spider-Man and gave this one the short end of the Bioshock Multiverse stick.

    1. Well, there was a passing reference to "Nicole Fury," but, yeah. I feel like they ran out of ideas with the Sandwich Club, which would explain why Scarlet Spider, Venom, and the new recruits pretty much replaced them afterward.