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Heroes And Villains
Review and Media by Stu

Episode #1 - Heroes And Villains
Original Airdate Original Airdate August 22, 2003

Spider-Man battles Turbo Jet, a modern day Robin Hood armed with a homemade propulsion system, who steals from the wealthy to give to the poor. Spidey’s life gets ever harder as the public rally’s around Turbo Jet – and against Spider-Man.

Credits
Screenplay By: Morgan Gendel
Directed By: Tim Elered
Music By: John Digweed, Nick Muir and William Anderson
Animation By: Mainframe
Guest Starring: Harold Parino as Turbo Jet, Ed Asner as Officer Barr


Review: This episode is actually the first episode according to the DVD release, despite the fact that The Party was the show’s premiere in every country except Canada. This episode works far better as a pilot, as for one, it’s not completely riveted with clichés, and two, it does a better job fleshing out all the characters, mainly Spider-Man himself. He was actually put in a bit of a compromise in the episode, one which I don’t recall ever seeing anywhere before.

It also had one of the funniest scenes in the entire show. Spider-Man deciding if he needed a new image for himself, which cued one of the best one-liners of the series "I'm Spider-Man" complete with the pointy ears and Kevin Conroy style voice. Absolutely brilliant.

Once again, the animation shines in this episode. Particularly the night scenes, we got some bad ass Spidey poses with the shadows blanketing him in the alley. The whole scene demonstrates some very nice storyboarding work, as did the fight scene in the mannequin warehouse. After seeing so many Spider-Man cartoons with crap animation, it’s nice to see him finally shine here. Whilst Spider-Man always looks good, whether he’s fighting, swinging, crawling etc, it's a shame the rest of the cast don’t meet his standards.

Turbo Jet was a little lame. He’s design was simply odd, and his character was dull. His motivation was pretty good, but his speech in the alley contradicts it. Why is he helping all the folks of Villeroy towers, then calling them “stupid” minutes later?

The weakest point of the episode is the kiss between MJ and Peter. There really wasn't any need for it at all; it felt cheesy and forced, especially when compared to the kiss in Laws Of The Jungle. It didn't develop anything from it, and it really just felt like a 'what the hell. Let's have them kiss' moment. Odd... very odd.

Not the best Spider-Man episode, but not a bad episode to begin with.


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