Ultimate Spider-Man
#21 - I Am Spider-Man

Original Airdate - September 23rd, 2012
Peter is shocked to discover that Midtown High is putting on a Spider-Man musical starring Flash Thompson as Spidey. Things only get worse when the Trapster mistakes Flash for the real Spider-Man.

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.

"I Am Spider-Man" was written by Man of Action and Joe Fallon and directed by Jeff Allen.

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

Video Clips:


Review by Kumori Myu-Jishan

Five episodes to go, and we still have no major improvements on this cartoon. Calling this bad news would be redundant and unnecessary. Pointing out the flaws of the show is equally easy. Up to this point, we’ve already established several crucial factors:

1. The cutaway Family Guy-esque gags are pathetic and only funny once every seven episodes or so. Visual humor is like any other plot element: it needs to be handled well, it needs to be original, it needs to appeal to everyone, it needs to be relevant and consistent to both the characters and the situations they’re in. And it needs to be pleasant and overall fluid and, I daresay, lovable. When something like this is rare on a show that solely relies on it, it counts as a major flaw. The series itself does, that is.

2. The actual lines of dialogue that represent humor and quippage are unimpressive at best. More often than not it’s the secondary…nay, tertiary characters that get better lines than the titular hero. That is not good. That is as far from good as San Francisco is from the Orion’s Belt.

3. Plot and the plot points. This show’s plots are usually either ludicrous or idiotic. Or both. Or anything else that’s negative.

4. The supporting cast does nothing to contribute to the actual plot of the show overall. Nor do the characters close to Peter that have no spandex.

5. The main character is unlikable and bland. The script written for him is of equal level of low. And considering this is Marvel’s most iconic character, one sees the concern immediately.

Now, this episode has all of this a-plenty. However, it’s not without positive sides. First off, there’s actual character development. Of Flash Thompson, no less. And even if most of those moments are idiotically interrupted by him puking or bragging or somesuch, he still managed to shine for the better part of the run. Also, we get a cute little Mystery Science Theater 3000 reference, several more regarding Mystique and Beast, and we even get a Miles Morales cameo. In fact, I believe he even uttered a line of dialogue [albeit with a stupid-sounding voice accompanied by a lisp], but still it made for a nice fan nod. Oh, and this episode spots some more adult humor, like the Trapster hitting on very underage Mary-Jane Watson, or Peter lifting her up – to have the flying pile of glue fly between the two – holding her from beneath by her boobs. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. He’s not holding her under her armpits, or at her waist. It’s clearly her boobs.

I should note that the Spider-Flash trope has been previously used quite often, both in the comics and in animation. This one was even handled decently. Oh, and we learn that Drake Bell has a singing voice that’s actually mildly pleasant to listen to, despite the horrendous lyrics he was singing. So, yeah. Another average episode. Not all bad, not good either.

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