Ultimate Spider-Man
#12 - Strange

Original Airdate - July 8th, 2012
When everyone in New York City is caught in a mystical slumber, Spider‐Man and Iron Fist seek out the help of Dr. Strange, master of the mystic arts. In order to wake the city, Spider‐Man and Iron Fist must face their own personal nightmares.

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.

Guest starring are Jack Coleman as Doctor Strange, Greg Grunberg as Uncle Ben and Mark Hamill as Nightmare, Shao Lao.

"Strange" was written by Man of Action and James Felder and directed by Jeff Allen.

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

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Review by Kumori Myu-Jishan

While the previous episode was an ultimate dud, this one was actually bearable. Naturally, the cutaway gags and references were irritating as all hell, but the positive sides take the majority for a change.

First off, there’s Dr. Strange, back once again in a guest-star slot after many years of silent rest. I’ve been aware of Strange, but haven’t really become a fan until the Direct-to-Video animated movie. This particular Strange is a decent enough rendition of the character; he has authority, he has the flashy magic, he has the artifacts, he has the frilly outfit, he has the Eye of Agamotto, he has the cape. Not to mention that his humor was actually pleasant when compared to Spidey’s. I wouldn’t mind seeing this particular character return for another guest appearance.

Iron Fist would be positive aspect number two of the episode. We see Shou-Lao, we learn of K’un L’un, we delve a bit deeper into Danny Rand’s psyche and find out that he has doubts over whether he’s earned the Iron Fist title and the subsequent power that comes with it. Not to mention that both he and Strange serve as a “believer” foil for Spidey and his skepticism over belief in magic.

The third plus would be Nightmare, done right by Mark Hamill. As a villain he’s a B-lister, but this particular B-lister both looks and acts the part of an episode’s major big bad. His design was neatly crafted and each and every form he takes suits him and shows well onscreen. Another example of good onscreen model design is Peter with six arms – a nice little nod to his Six Arms saga – but the spider-headed aunt bit was less than unnecessary.

The biggest positive bit, however, was everything related to Uncle Ben. The flashbacks, the chemistry with Peter, nearly everything he said – all done by a Ben Parker the fandom adores. Nothing forced here, no bad humor, no irritating puns, nothing. In fact, Nightmare’s “Shot! A perfect word!” even sounded ominous when relating to the subject. I can only imagine what a sentence like that would do to Batman.

Overall, another in the line of decent episodes.

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