Ultimate Spider-Man
#4 - Venom

Original Airdate - April 15th, 2012
Spider-Man and the other S.H.I.E.L.D. trainees must fight off Doctor Octopus' latest creation, Venom. Things get complicated when Venom shows up at a party held at Harry Osborn's place.

Ultimate Spider-Man stars Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Chi McBride (Boston Public) as Nick Fury, Clark Gregg (Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers) as Agent Coulson, JK Simmons (Spider-Man) as J. Jonah Jameson, Steven Weber (Wings) as Norman Osborn, Greg Cipes (Teen Titans, Ben 10) as Danny Rand/Iron Fist, Ogie Banks as Luke Cage/Power Man, Caitlyn Taylor Love (I'm In The Band) as Ava Ayala/White Tiger, Logan Miller (I'm In The Band) as Sam Alexander/Nova, Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Doctor Octopus, Matt Lanter (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Harry Osborn/Flash Thompson, Tara Strong (The Fairly Odd Parents) as Mary-Jane Watson, Misty Lee (Batman: Arkham City) as Aunt May, and recurring guest star Stan Lee (Spider-Man) as Stan the Janitor.

"Venom" was written by Man of Action and James Felder. Directed by Alex Soto.

Ultimate Spider-Man is produced by Marvel Animation and carries a TV-Y7-FV parental guideline.

Video Clip:


By Kumori Myu-Jishan

Obligations, obligations…I’ve only recently watched the latest episode, and have since gathered my thoughts on it.

First thought: the visual gags must go. Honestly. When I saw the wheel of excuses bit, I wanted to vomit. There are other examples, of course, but this one illustrates the point perfectly.

Second thought: I know this is a different take on the Venom symbiote, but it seems…rushed. We’re yet to see an actual Spidey villain [you know, that actually makes contact with Spidey], and already this early we get Venom tossed in the mix in an episode whose pacing seems to be that of an Olympic sprint.

Which brings me to the longest third thought. I am aware that the new kids are supposed to represent a problem to Pete’s pre-existing relationships with others, but aside from his fight with Harry, nothing including the seven elements [the team, Harry, MJ] in any way screamed “awkward” or “painful to bear.” Well, it was “painful,” but not in that particular way. And, to point out what others already stated, Nova/Sam doesn’t need to be a wankhead just because he can. There should obviously be something behind him dissing on any and all living beings around him. This way it’s just another bland character in a costume. Also, Ava did not stand out that much, nor did the two members actually worth one’s attention. Although we do learn that Iron Fist has a chiseled body and undies that match his getup.

Venom jumping from host to host was a good idea, to say the most; I even let out a chuckle when it said “Nerd” [reminded me of Abridged Piccolo]. What the dislike aspect of it is the fight itself, followed by taking over of the Parker body and its consequential release of it. The first appearance of Venom in a new series, and it can’t even control the host it was chasing from the get-go. That’s downright bad.

Harry’s views of his father were the highlight of the episode. We learn that this Harry is as damaged as any animated Harry thus far [and if the ending credits didn’t make a mistake, he’s the next Venom, probably the result of the foreshadowing event of him scooping up a Venom bit in a bottle]. His father does show general concern, but only when his sonny-boeh is in danger or just out of danger’s way. Otherwise he’s just like any other high achieving parent: only superficially interested in their child’s life. The only reason this is handpicked as the highlight is because, even within the tone of the show, this is done subtly and with allusions and twists. We also learn that MJ has some of the traits MJ should have: she’s advice-giving, mistake-prone, and has guts the size of Alabama. Hopefully she’ll get more air time.

Overall? Not a great, merely an almost-good.

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