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Mind Games, Part 2
Review and Media by Stu

Episode #12 - Mind Games, Part 2
Original Airdate September 12, 2003

With Spider-Man believing Kraven killed MJ, he will stop at nothing to bring The Hunter down. But is she really dead?

Screenplay By: Steven Kriozere
Directed By: Tim Eldred, Brandon Viette
Music By: John Digweed, Nick Muir and William Anderson
Animation By: Mainframe
Guest Starring: Ed Asner as Officer Barr, Angelle Brooks as Indy, Micheal Dorn as Kraven, Kathy Griffin as Roxanne, Jeremy Piven as Roland

Review: The season finale to Spider-Man: The New Animated Series is simply the best episode this show ever did. Completely different from most superhero cartoons, as the show itself is, in that we see what happens when our hero snaps. Despite how clichéd it sounds, this was easily the best episode of the show, and one of the best finale episodes I personally have ever watched, due to how well the whole story was executed, and how well all the characters were portrayed.

Dream sequences are tricky to pull off, but most episodes usually focus on changing the characters world, not the character themselves. But here, we see Spidey as pissed as humanly possible, tricked into believing MJ had been killed by Kraven. I could tell we were in for a violent episode just moments before the opening credits, as Neil Patrick Harris perfectly delivered that “I’m gonna rip you apart Kraven!” line. Straight from the bat, you could tell the episode was trying that little bit extra harder to be special. I’ve always been a fan of two part finales, and a lot of shows have taken to using them to set up their upcoming seasons/storylines. X-Men Evolution did this especially well. God willing, Spider-Man The New Animated Series will be given another chance to do a season finale.

The opening fight scene between Kraven and Spider-Man is the best the show produced, with some great boarding, stunning animation and brilliant dialogue, which really emphasised the fact that Spidey was out for blood. Michael Dorn was absolutely outstanding as Kraven, a villain, who in the comics sometimes can come off as really corny instead of threatening, but was great here, thanks to a cool redesign and great dialogue. Of all the villains, Kraven is by far the best this show did. He was everything an awesome villain should be, then some. Not bad at all for a character who’s strictly a B stringer in the comics. The MTV version is without a doubt the greatest version of Kraven ever.

The villains have always been the weakest part of this show. Despite not being given access to most of Spider-Man rouge’s, the one’s who did get used were pretty good. Most of them aren’t too faithful to the comics, but still prove entertaining enough. Kingpin was a little bland, Silver Sable and Electro were fine, and Lizard was awesome. He made a brief cameo in this episode, as the subject of Mary Jane’s nightmares. Is she really terrified of a creature she never actually met? Are the producers simply saving time/money and reusing an old model? Both. The commentary on the DVD (the set, not the stupid single disc) reveals that this scene, however brief it was, was a fanboy moment. On MTV Spider-Man. And just why was this show cancelled? And now it is supposedly coming back, will someone please tell us when? Please?

I wasn't expecting them to get rid of Indy so early, especially the way they did with it being Spider-Mans fault, giving him yet more grief to live with. It's obvious they weren't allowed to let Peter and MJ hook up in this cartoon, when millions where going to pour to theatres to see it happen in Spider-Man 2, or maybe even Spider-Man 3 but I was expecting Mary Jane to be the centre point of the finale, when really it was Indy's. Peter's speech at the ending moments summed up Spider-Man perfectly; this is what a Spider-Man cartoon should be about. The music was also very fitting for the scene. Since I probably haven't said it before, I'll say it here. The music is absoloutly perfect for this kind of show. Everything just fits so well. Muir, Anderson and Digweed should be damn proud of themselves.

I hope the show does get a second season, to leave it all here would be a great shame, there are more stories to tell and Peter putting on the costume again after this seasons finale is one of them.