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EPISODE REVIEW

Episode #3: Natural Selection
Original Airdate: March 15th, 2008

Peter Parker and Spider-Man both must learn to own their choices when decisions made by Dr. Curt Connors transform Pete's mentor into The Lizard.

Credits
Written by Matt Wayne
Directed by Dave Bullock
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
Joshua Lebar as Flash Thompson
Ben Diskin as Eddie Brock
Deborah Strang as May Parker
James Arnold Taylor as Harry Osborn
Kath Soucie as Martha Connors
Allana Ubach as Liz Allan
Tom Wilson as Stan Carter

Review: Stu - This is the one episode of the series that I have been really looking forward to since they announced it – The Lizard isn’t my favourite Spider-Man villain per se but given the strength of the vast majority of his animated appearances and the potential the character already had from prior episodes, I admit to greatly looking forward to seeing The Lizard. Hell, he was probably the one character design from the show that I’ve seen so far and think “now that’s cool!” The Lizard design didn’t take getting used to from me – I saw the model sheet prior to the episode and simply put, I thought it whooped ass. Having already been greatly impressed with both writer Matt Wayne and director Dave Bullock’s previous efforts, I saw down with eager anticipation. I wasn’t disappointed – at time of writing I’ve watched all the episodes up to Reaction and this one is still in a league of it’s own.

I like how the series seems to be taking things slowly but managing to get a lot crammed in there too (take heed, Bendis!). I especially like Peter’s struggles to get useable photos of Spider-Man and how smug he was in the opening sequence. I love the ol’ Spidey ego as I too have been known to have a rather large head at times. The theme of the series is the education of Peter Parker and I appreciate that they’re establishing everything from the get go – Peter’s work, his relationships with his friends at school but not retreading ground we’ve already been over recently, such as his actual spider-bite origin and him dealing with the death of his Uncle, who has been seldom mentioned in the show’s run this far.

Dr Conner’s transformation into the Lizard was pretty brutal – all of the supervillain origin sequences have been astoundingly good so far and some of them just make you cringe – even the Doc Ock one was pretty vicious. Between that, the routine glass breaking and even the punches, it would appear that BS+P isn’t as harsh on this show as it has been with some of their other properties – the fights so far have been exceptionally well done. I liked this version of The Lizard too – a mute, savage beast without any of Conner’s morals or even his memories. I loved the previous versions in the 90’s cartoon and the 3D cartoon from MTV too but this is a case of liking things even if they are completely different from one another. My favourite part of the episode dealt with Peter’s conflict as to whether or not he wants his cure. As Peter kept the viral, hopefully this will be addressed in a later episode, whether Peter temporarily loses his powers or if the vile affects him in some other way – perhaps we’ll see Six Arm Spider-Man? Better yet, hopefully we’ll get a brilliant take on the mandatory Spider-Man No More storyline, which all superheroes should face at some point in their respective careers. In conclusion, a cracking episode. Hopefully we will see more of The Lizard in this show’s run.


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