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Royal Scam
Review and Media by Stu

Episode #2 - Royal Scam
Original Airdate August 15, 2003

When Spider-Man is duped by The Kingpin into stealing the TX-1 super-chip, he must find a way to get it back before Kingpin gains open access to every single major bank in the world!

Credits
Screenplay By: Rick Suvalle
Directed By: Vincent Edwards
Music By: John Digweed, Nick Muir and William Anderson
Animation By: Mainframe
Guest Starring: Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin and Keith David as FBI agent


Review: This was a tricky one. The Kingpin has been used in animation very effectively before, anyone who watched Fox Kid's Spider-Man: The Animated Series or read a Spider-Man comic will know that he is the biggest crime-lord in New York City, as well as one of the leading legitimate businessmen in the world. He’s always been an interesting character, especially as he’s one of the few big supervillians that doesn’t actually have any powers.

But he isn't here. He is depicted as just an average criminal, with a plan to become rich. Perhaps this was because they based it on the Daredevil movie, and Kingpin was arrested in the climax, and his crime lord status was revealed to the public. Now that I've already ruined the ending if you haven't seen the Daredevil movie, go out and get the DVD. Preferably the Directors Cut.

As with all the episodes of this series, there's a sub plot involved with Peter and Mary Jane. It's one of the better ones, as we actually see Mary Jane do something other than make herself look pretty for Peter or stand around at college, she has a job, and wants a career from it. We also see her get angry with Peter, and actually show a little character rather than be the incredibly 2-dimensional female lead.

One of the saving graces of the episode was Michael Clarke Duncan's performance as The Kingpin, reprising his role from the previously mentioned Daredevil movie. He sounded as if he genuinely enjoyed doing the role, which always comes through in the end. The series had a great cast, and was despite the odd screw up (Eve) most of the ‘famous’ folk were pretty good in their roles.

Admittedly, on paper, this episode sounds terrible. Which you may find surprising as the episode is actually quite enjoyable despite its many flaws. It's not particularly memorable in anyway, for me, the only scene that greatly stood out was the helicopter scene at the end. Once again, the action scenes save the day.


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