Ultimate Spider-Man
#32 - The Sinister Six

Original Airdate - February 17th, 2013
Spider-Man is trapped alone with six of his most dangerous foes: Rhino, Kraven the Hunter, Lizard, Electro, Beetle and a secret sixth member.

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

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Review by Sabrewolf
The Sinister Six finally debut on Ultimate Spider-Man! Is it worth the wait?

No, not really.

I'll admit to have been hyped about this episode. I liked 5/6 of the characters being used for the six (sorry Electro), and the potential for a team vs. Sinister Six fight made me think we were in for a great conclusion. Unfortunately, the episode was mired by the problems plaguing the show on a daily basis. Bad writing, extreme suspension of disbelief, and attempts at telling a good story that only fall flat.

First and foremost, I don't think it was a wise creative decision to introduce the Six after five straight episodes introducing or showcasing them. It takes the impact out of seeing these villains back and banded together again after immediately having met them all. Take Spectacular for instance, the members of its version of the Six debuted close together, but by the time the group formed they had been out of the series long enough to where when they broke out of prison and came after Spidey, it had more meaning.

As for the Six as a whole, I don't think they were used effectively. Doc Ock isn't really a surprise as the sixth member, though promos for the episode certainly didn't help. I wish they had used another villain other than Rhino, because this episode goes completely against the ending of his debut episode where Alex seemed sorry for what he did and seemed willing to get help. Here he's just a dumb thug who wants more rhino serum, and the show doesn't even bother trying to bring up how he's a sympathetic villain. I wish I could say I cared about the Conners/Lizard story, but he's appeared so sporadically that I find it hard to grow attached to him. It doesn't help that Spidey could easily have taken him out of the fight if he had bothered to get the device on his neck. Not much to say about Beetle, Kraven, and Electro. They were kinda just there. Overall, I'd say this is definitely the most underwhelming version of the Six.

If I had to say something positive about the episode, it's that the action is pretty much still top notch. Ultimate Spider-Man still has that going for it. I especially really liked the fight between Spider-Man and the Six outside the Statue of Liberty. Spidey really held his own there. He even ripped off the Lizard's tail! But of course, this being a team show, there was no way they could have him just beat them all on his own.

The Team vs. Sinister Six fight was just disappointing though. They came up with a simple and overused solution, switching opponents, and somehow that let them beat the Six. Kraven being beaten by Power Man I can understand, even if Kraven was able to take him out before in his debut episode. Electro going down against White Tiger I don't really buy. I mentioned before in Rhino's debut episode that Nova could probably have been effective against Rhino, but I didn't think he'd be that effective. It kinda makes sidelining the rest of the Team for the Rhino episode pretty pointless. Even a 9-year old could point out how wrong Iron Fist beating Beetle is. All of these characters on their own, well aside from Rhino, were able to give the entire Team a good run for their money, and now they're reduced in power for the sake of the plot. The only fight that wasn't really disappointing was Spidey vs. Doc Ock and Lizard. And I'm being nice with that one.

This episode could've been one of Ultimate Spider-Man's best, but in the end it was ruined by the show's faults. I think the creators just can't see the distinction between writing for kids, and writing down to kids and that's making the show suffer. Is Jeph Loeb partly to blame? I think so. But I feel the entire creative team has a part in why the show is not reaching its full potential, especially when they deflect all criticism, valid or otherwise, with "it's just a cartoon" which really doesn't work as an excuse anymore. I can only hope that after this the show can go back to the Obsorn storyline and bring back Green Goblin, so that the series can hopefully get back some semblance of quality.

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