I guess because it is a long weekend and they knew I had an extra day off Disney XD decided to air two episodes of Spider-Man this week. In this installment I will take a look at the episodes “A Day In The Life” and “Party Animals,” Both episodes introduce old favorites to the series and new problems for our young Peter Parker. I have five thoughts about each episode so if you are like any one character on this series and happen to be a math genius that is 10 thoughts total. Hopefully you rested up this long weekend so you can take them all in.
As always spoilers abound below so if you don’t your animated Spider-Man cartoon spoiled I guess stop reading here.
“A Day In The Life”
1. Bad Luck + Bad Luck=Good Luck?
The “villain” this episode is Black Cat. She is another good introductory challenge for a young Peter. She is never inherently bad or good, kind of just chaos. She is not out to really hurt or even fight Spider-Man.
They also choose to make use of her bad luck powers. I think this is the first instance of the show using a power not strictly based in science. It did not seem like there was a solid or logical basis for how the powers worked or any sort of rhyme or reason for them. I am sure this version of Felicia is a young genius like all the others but nothing in the episode screams cool science power. This is especially true because Peter cancels out the bad luck powers of the Black Cat with giving her bad luck thus giving him good luck or regular luck. I am not really sure. I am 100 percent surprised he did not write this down as an equation. I believe the idea was that luck does not matter but it was kind of a quick and easy solution to up until that point unsolvable Black Cat power set.
2.Doc Little Ock
Has this been explained yet and I missed it? I am sure it will be but why does he look younger than Peter and sound like an annoying little kid. Aside from Peter mentioning once that he does not look like a teacher we have got nothing else. Why is everyone kids!? Is this because I am an adult now and I am learning adults are lame and we are the true villains? Nooooooo!
“A Day In The Life” does what the title suggests, it gives us a look into a normal day for Spider-Man. The reason Spider-Man is one of mine and many other people’s favorite heroes is because he is often dealing with super and real life problems all at once. This episode did a good job of showcasing the classic Peter Parker problem. Peter is always trying to juggle both of his lives. Rarely can he find the balance and we see that this episode with Peter missing classes and letting down friends. All essential elements to the with great power idea that luckily he can now just plug into that handy dandy formula.
The humor is still all over the place for me. Maybe that is what is to be expected. After Peter stops Black Cat at the end of the episode there is a good amount of time spent dancing and making cat puns with the police. It felt really weird. I am still not sure the series has a good handle on where it wants to fall in terms of tone.
There are 4th wall jokes as well. One of the teacher’s name is Mr. Slott. I wonder if he has been teaching the same subject just a tad bit too long.
Listen, we all know Venom is coming. I have checked the upcoming episode name list( I am trying to figure out how they are releasing this episodes because it seems random.) and they all but just say VENOM IS COMING. So is there a point to me again having a thought saying they referenced Venom. Of course not, but its Venom. Just like the Osbornes how this series handles Venom will be important to the quality of this series overall.Continued below
1.Some D is 3D.
I am still not sure how I feel about this animation. I know it is how a majority of shows are done now but the weird mix of 3D elements is jarring sometimes. The backgrounds are generally pretty bland 3D environments that have a dull blur over them. In this episode the appearance of the 3d spider slayer fighting out on the street over the mix of 3D and flat animation took me out of it quite a bit. I couldn’t stop looking at it the whole fight. I like most of the designs in the show. It has a western Anime look at times but other times it misses the mark quite a bit.
Rhino is a kid who is mutated into an actual rhino/human hybrid by the Jackal. I like the take on the genesis of the villain because of huge guy in a suit can be silly if not done right. Although this design looks let’s say not great. Also Alexi is another smart kid at Horizon High so changing him and making him a mindless Rhino beast feels weird. He has no real motivation or edge. It ups the ante with the Jackal but kind of neuters the effectiveness of the Rhino. Which takes me to my next thought…
3.A Real Threat.
So 5 episodes in and the overall threat or importance of the series is just missing for me. It is still early and I get that but nothing has stood out as exciting or important when it comes to Spidey. The villains so far are fairly underdeveloped and most don’t seem to be after anything earth shattering. There is the bigger threat of whoever is organizing all this and Norman’s involvement in it or if he is up to something else entirely. However none of it seems pressing. Spider-Man also never really feels in danger. He has been outclassed in fights but never to the point of real danger. It all feels very watered downed so far. Is that a product of the mix of Peter and Spidey narratives or just aiming to a broader/younger audience. I don’t know.
4.Norman; Dad Of The Year.
The few times we have seen Norman interact with Harry or act regarding Harry has been as a fairly concerned parent. While it is clear one or both Osborns are up to something it seems Norman so far is acting out of some love for Harry. A lot of the recent characterizations of their relationship has been of the mean, cold and detached father figure. I like the use of a closer relationship which might provide some real conflicts as the series progresses.
5.Science Is The Best Super Power.
If we learn anything from this new series it is that science is the ultimate super power. Every villain or crisis has been solved using science, math or both. It is an interesting concept but quickly is becoming pretty formulaic. This episode Peter figures out how far he needs to dispose of a self destructing spider slayer by doing an equation(which appears on screen actually being written on paper). Later when trying to stop Rhino they use real flaws of a Rhino as a tool against it; e.g poor eyesight. Is it better than just punching a problem, sure. Could I go for a more of a mix, sure. Seeing three teens on tablets and computers analyzing the Rhino’s DNA as action was odd. It is happening again! I am old!