Last week’s episode of Spider-Man was me spending two days online trying to figure out when and where it had aired, the title of the show, and how I could possible watch it. I will give you a quick thought on that: there was no episode. So now, in addition to conspiracy theories and serial killer podcasts, you can add Spider-Man 2017 cartoon air dates to my browser history at work.
Instead of airing an episode last week, they decided to air 3 important episodes this weekend. I am going to break them up because they are all pretty “important” episodes. So now that I got a week off from writing on Spider-Man, I have to spend the week writing about 3 episodes. Luckily, the first episode up, “Sandman”, is the best episode of the series so far.
As always, spoilers abound below so if you don’t your animated Spider-Man cartoon spoiled I guess stop reading here.
1. Peter Parker Is The Fun Guy
Putting Peter in a school with other geniuses has been a so-so plot point for me in this series. Everyone is smart and it is to the point if we meet a new character in the series, I assume they are some sort of genius (eg. Sandgirl/Sandwoman). What I did not expect is that this setting allows Peter to actually be the most fun person on the show. In this episode, Miles, Gwen, and Anya are all focused on school and Peter wants to relax and have fun. It is a nice change of pace from seeing Peter being a “nerd.” Putting him in an environment where everyone is a “nerd” allows him to just be Peter. Even his interaction with Flash he comes off as the most normal compared to Miles, Gwen, and Anya.
2. We Got Characters
This one episode felt like it did more for the characters than all previous episodes did combined. Obviously, it is a sum of all those episode but they all did so little that while this episode is building off those this one feels so much more substantial in every way. Spidey felt more confident and actually had some good quips that did not feel forced this episode. He went toe to toe with Sandman but struggled. We saw him juggle real life with work life that had actually consequences this time. Aunt May had time to grow and be apart of both peter and Spidey’s life. The “sidekicks” of Gwen, Miles, and Anya had time to shine. We saw them solve problems, be focused on school and also be kids/funny.
The villains were really well developed. They had real motivations and emotions. Even the the quick scene with Harry developed not only a goblin plot line, but also again showcased their friendships and building the coming confrontation. I had to check the run time to see if this was not a double episode. They did so much in 22 minutes it was really impressive. We even had Tombstone and he seemed legit.
3. The Sand Family
This is the first episode where the threat felt like a real threat. While we have seen Spidey take on Vulture, Black Cat, Shocker and Jackal, there was very little feeling of importance to those conflicts. The episode starts with a giant Sandman sand storm wreaking havoc on Coney Island. Spider-Man is working to save people and tackle a larger than life threat he is not sure how to defeat. He solved a problem with his smarts without talking it out the whole time. When we meet Sand-girl/Sandwoman she is even more of a threat than Flint. She is brutal and if not for the black suit reveal would have likely murdered Spidey. Which leads me into my next thought that..
4. It Got Real Dark In Here
This show got dark real quick. Mainly, it had to do with Flint and his daughter, Keemia, but man. I was watching with my 4 year old and I kept looking over at him to make sure I was not a horrible parent. Keemia’s story is a lot darker than I thought we would see from this series. Not only is Flint killed by Tombstone this episode (though he comes back as Sandman) this leads to his daughter’s death and turn as well. In the final conflict she is just hacking away at her dad as he refuses to fight back. There is a shot of Flint crying before she absolutely murders him (I’m sure he will come back).Continued below
Spidey is stuck to a wall trying to get her to stop and just struggling as he watches Flint, who he helped out, just get crushed by his own daughter. Oh right, and like I said, she does the same thing to Spidey. It was really intense and not what I have come to expect from this show. There was a level of depth to it that the ’90s animated series had to it.
It’s here! Like I said, this episode had a lot going on in 22 minutes. In the midst of the best story we have got so far when it comes to Peter, the villains and supporting cast they just throw in the inception of the black suit. I want to say it is rushed, but I think they give you just enough that when it happens it works. The team is working on the V-252 as their school project. He touches it and they interact. The symbiote loves him, follows him and saves his life. He already began to display some brashness and attitude in the suit. Having him be born out of watching Flint die and himself almost get killed was great. I was beyond impressed with this episode.