Episode #16: Reinforcement
Original Airdate - June 22nd, 2009

As Christmas approaches, The Sinister Six reconstitutes with Sandman, Rhino, Vulture, Electro and new members Mysterio and Kraven. All they want for Christmas is Spider-Man – dead. Meanwhile, Peter Parker finds his wandering eye prevents him from being with Gwen Stacey. He’ll have to learn to focus if he wants to get the girl… and if he wants to stay alive.

Written By Andrew Robinson
Directed By Micheal Goguen
Music by Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion
Animation By Dongwoo animation

Josh Keaton as Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Lacey Chabert as Gwen Stacy
Xander Berkeley as Mysterio/Quinten Beck
Steve Blum as Dilbert Trickey, Blackie Gaxton, Homunculi
Allana Ubach as Liz Allan
Peter Macnicol as The Master Planner, Otto Octavius
Andrew Kishino as King Kenny Kong
Phil Lamarr as Rand Robertson
Joshua Lebarr as Flash Thompson
Eric Vesbit as Kraven The Hunter
Crispin Freeman as Electro
Robert Englund as The Vulture
Vanessa Marshall as Mary Jane Watson
James Arnold Taylor as Parch,Homunculi
Clancy Brown as Rhino, Captain Stacey
John Dimaggio as The Sandman
Elisa Gabrielli as Dr Kafka

Review: Stu - Reinforcements sees the gathering of a new Sinister Six and Spider-Man finally learns of The Master Planner’s existence. The show has mastered the use of it’s continuity at this point as we see the continuing adventures of Spider-Man and the struggles of Peter Parker’s love life – it’s all great stuff so far.

The pacing of the episode is a break from the regular mould but it still works – the breakout scenes are brisk – the six are released before the opening credits role and we even get a nice little cameo from Cletus Kassidy. I never expected to see him this early in The Spectacular Spider-Man… I wonder what the message board will think should Carnage make a full fledged appearance in the show? It was kind of surprising to see Otto full of regret for his crimes as Dr. Octopus especially as he seemed to relish his additional arms from the moment he acquired them but is anything ever as it seems in this show? While I don’t believe Octavius is The Master Planner, I do see him playing a larger role in future episodes. Out of all the brilliant things this show has done, the best is the fact that they realise the best way to keep people coming back week after week is to have the audience unravel a mystery. Spectacular Spider-Man has done it masterfully so far – who is The Big Man? Who is The Green Goblin? Why would Peter’s bro become his worst villain and so on? It’s a great experience to come back and what this show week after week. I also like the fact it airs on YTV so I don’t have so much as a synopsis of the episode – each week I tune in and have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen. It’s fantastic!

The new Sinister Six roster is pretty cool. This show has done great things with Electro, Sandman and Rhino already and I really like this version of Vulture. The new boys of the pack Kraven and Mysterio fit in well. I must say I am fond of his show’s version of The Shocker as well and am a bit disappointed by his absence. However, we’ve yet to see anything of The Big Man this season, so I’m hoping he’ll return later and maybe Shocker will come with him.

As previously established, the pacing is irregular in this episode, and there’s only one fight scene. It takes up most of the episode as the six split up into teams of two and each get an act fighting Spidey but there’s still a lot of fun to be had. One of the best laughs this show has ever had comes from Spidey spitting out one liners with a burnt tongue.

Peter’s romance is really intriguing me at this point – I’m looking forward to him actually getting a girlfriend so we can see how the wonderful complications of a secret identity can ruin his relationship.

I’ve not commented much on the animation in this show – I’ve found it to be superlative throughout but some of the best the show’s ever seen was featured in Spidey’s fight with Electro in the type yard. I can’t recall seeing anything that fluid since the days of X-Men: Evolution – hope to see more of it!

While I wouldn’t say the episode comes close to Group Therapy, the show is still batting 1000 as far as I’m concerned.

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