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EPISODE REVIEW

Episode #14: Blueprints
Original Airdate - June 22nd, 2009

It’s early December, and the first snow is falling. Peter Parker has a long “To Do” list – leading off with talking to Gwen Stacy about their surprise first kiss. But before he gets the chance, Spider-Man has a run in with the sorcerer Mysterio.

Credits
Written By Kevin Hopps
Directed By Jennifer Coyle
Music by Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion
Animation By Dongwoo animation

Voices
Josh Keaton as Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Lacey Chabert as Gwen Stacy
Thom Adcox as The Tinkerer, Homunculi
Dee Bradley Baker as Curt Connores, Homunculi
Xander Berkeley as Mysterio/Quinten Beck
Steve Blum as Homunculi
Allana Ubach as Liz Allan
Ben Disken as Venom
Brian George as Miles Warren, Aaron Warren
Peter Macnicol as The Master Planner
Vanessa Marshall as Mary Jane Watson
Alan Rachins as Norman Osborn
Stan Lee as Stan
Kath Soucie as Martha Connors
Deborah Strang as Aunt May
Greg Weisman as Donald Menkan

Review: Stu - After a cruel month long absence, Teletoon has finally given us some good news for 2009 as The Spectacular Spider-Man returns for a second season, but does it hold up to the show’s former glory? Continuing the day after season one concluded, Peter Parker finds himself in a pickle as he doesn’t know what to do with Gwen and he’s unable to locate Eddie Brock who is no now longer Venom and appears to have done a runner.

I gotta say, Venom’s dream appearance here caught me off guard. It was a nice little nod and really gives an emphasis that this show really is the continued journey of Peter Parker’s life rather than just a tedious villain of the week affair like a lot of recent superhero cartoons.

While it’s great to see that things haven’t changed too much from what made the first season great, they really aren’t going to late things start getting stale on us already with the new romances in Peter’s life and him now being under Norman’s tutelage – it will be interesting to see if Martha Connors will be a thorn in Peter’s side, especially if a non-Venom Eddie does return to his former place of employ. As someone who is deathly afraid of spoilers, I don’t know if The Lizard will be rearing his ugly head anytime this season, but again, the potential for a fascinating sequel to Natural Selection is there.

There’s plenty of fanboy nods to be found in the episode too – the best line comes from Stan Lee in his cameo (“Are we being punked?!”) and I believe producer Greg Weisman also makes a cameo as the truck driver Spider-Man saves. Boy, I felt a cold shiver go down my spine when Spidey jumped into the water going after him. I still hate taking that initial dip into the heated pool at my gym, so I felt for the lad jumping into a freezing cold river! Now onto the villain of the piece - Mysterio - The master of illusion. If you’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to read my poorly typed thoughts on the various other subsections of Marvel Animation Age or it’s message board, you’ll be aware I am a massive Mysterio fan. No one is quite sure why but alas, ol’ bowlhead is one of my absolute favourite Spider-Man villains, when done correctly. Thankfully spared a radical redesign from his comic book origins (with the exception of shoulder pads, which actually look really cool) Mysterio looks exactly as he should. Casting wise, this one too some getting used to as Xander Berkley really hams it up here, whereas I was expecting something a little more… bitter as I was expecting him to have a serious mad on for Spider-Man for putting him away in Persona. It does fit with the character however, so I can’t really hold that against them. All in all we got a pretty good version of Mysterio here – not quite as good as the 90’s cartoons but I imagine we’ve seen the last of him, especially after his clever getaway at the episode’s conclusion.

Fight scene wise, fret not, they’ve not toned anything down to accommodate for a new network – Spidey still whoops ass and more accordingly, gets his ass whooped just as before. There’s an especially impressive fight sequence with Spidey and the hordes of Mysterio’s androids. I especially liked our first look into Spider sense world, as I’ve been a little disappointed with the visuals behind his insect early warning system so far. The yellow and black looks very sharp – this is another fine directorial effort from Jennifer Coyle.

As with all great episodes, Blueprints leaves you fulfilled but intrigued as to where the show goes from here. Will our romantically challenged hero ever get the girl? Does he even know which girl he wants? What does The Master Planner have in store for the fine people (and even the jerks) of New York? These are all questions to be answered over the rest of the season but one question that can be answered now – does the show hold up to it’s former glory? Oh hell yes, The Spectacular Spider-Man is back with a bang!










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