#63 - The Spider-Verse, Part Three Original Airdate - March 19th, 2015
Spider-Man chases Goblin through a portal to Medieval York, where he meets Spyder-Knight (guest voice Christopher Daniel Barnes), and then to a parallel universe where Peter Parker has died and 13-year-old Miles Morales (guest voice Donald Glover) is now Spider-Man.
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Review by Gervaise B-A:
This episode was pretty strong. We're introduced to Spyder-Knight and Miles Morales. I'm not exactly sure who Spyder-Knight is, but he seems like Spider-Man 1602 in the Ends of the Earth armor.
Spidey finds himself in the original York. Here, he meets medieval villagers who believe he's a witch. I didn't like that part of the episode because Peter's a male. But the episode addresses this quickly when Spider-Man states that he would more likely be a warlock, based on his gender. Spyder-Knight comes out of nowhere to save Spidey, and following Spyder-Knight's lead, the Goblin comes out of nowhere to take Spyder-Knight's DNA.
Spyder-Knight's voice actor, Christopher Daniel Barnes, sounded pretty solid. His speech sounded similar to Thor. He also had a few interesting tricks up his sleeve like a horse, and a blade in his gauntlet. I guess Chris has voiced at least four Spider-Men now; his most well-known role being from the 1990's animated series. Spider-Man himself has to decide to help Spyder-Knight take down a different threat or chase after the Goblin in one of the portals. I liked that Spidey had to make a hard choice as well.
The sub-plot for this part of the episode focuses on a man called the Alchemist who demands fees from the villagers to hold off an evil beast called the Kraken. Attempting to fight the Kraken alone, Spyder-Knight struggles to protect the villagers who despise him. Fortunately Spider-Man helps him stop the Kraken, only to find the Alchemist, this world's Doctor Octopus, inside the bestial machine. The defeat of the Kraken also helps Spyder-Knight gain the trust of the villagers. Of course, this battle leaves Spidey stuck in this medieval world until Spyder-Knight introduces Peter to Merlin, who looks quite similar to Doctor Strange (Marvel 1602 anyone?). One annoying point I'd like to mention is that Spidey explains what he's doing to the audience while traveling to the next world. He already did this in the opening, and I'm sure the audience didn't forget what was happening during the commercial break.
That aside, the last world Spider-Man finds himself in, is quite similar to his New York City. Once Miles Morales shows up, Peter knows he's still in an alternate reality. I liked how some of the civilians looked flabbergasted when they saw Spider-Man. I'm also glad this show tackled the fact that the series is already pretty much set in the Ultimate universe. This world comes off as more of an alternate Ultimate universe; one much more closely tied to the recent Ultimate comics. Enter the Goblin. No, not the armored up, glider Goblin from Peter's world; the winged, flame throwing version from this world. This Goblin is much more menacing than the 'mainstream' Goblin, which, fortunately, is noted by Miles.
When the Goblin goes after Miles' DNA, the power hungry Ultimate Goblin takes him on, unlike Norma Osborn. When Peter and Miles finally meet each other, their conversation echoes the Spider-Men crossover minus the fight (heroes don't always have to fight each other when they meet, you know). Peter comes off as an experienced Spider-Man even though he's still a teenage, which shows how much he's come from the beginning of the series. When Peter sees Miles' face, he's shocked at how young Miles looks. Okay... so we're just avoiding the whole different race situation. Sure, why not? Miles' costume looks ripped right out of the comics with a beautiful sheen in his intro shot. Community star Donald Glover brings life to the character with a nicely pitched voice. He doesn't sound too old, or like he's trying too hard to sound young. And of course Donald Glover's unsuccessful online campaign to play Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man movie led to Miles Morales' creation.
This all leads to Peter finding out he died in this universe. Miles reveals that he could've helped Peter, but was too afraid. I found myself hoping the conversation would be longer, but it wasn't too short either. When the Ultimate Goblin returns, he gives Miles a second chance to save (a version of) Peter. This battle was relatively brutal. Peter gets battered around, and almost gives the Ultimate Goblin a chance to kill him. I really like how weak Peter became when he started stumbling to dodge the blows. After jumping through multiple portals, and fighting in different worlds, Peter must have been tired and with the hits he was taking from Ultimate Goblin, he was understandable unable to defend himself. When Miles saves the day, he uses his Venom Blast (an electric attack only Miles possesses), which was a nice touch. My only issue with this battle is the destroyed tombstones. People were buried there, and the place was wrecked. Even Ultimate Peter's tombstone was broken. I know it's just an animated world, but that was unnecessarily rough in my opinion.
I personally wished Ultimate Gwen Stacy and Aunt May showed up in this episode like Spider-Men just to emphasize the emotion of losing a loved one. Either way, Peter lets Miles know he doesn't need to be Peter to be a great Spider-Man.
Out of all the worlds, I liked Spider-Man 2099's the most (no surprise there, huh?). Spider-Girl's was pretty fun. Spider-Man Noir was very... noir as Goblin puts it. Spider-Ham's world could have had more development for me. Spyder-Knight needed a little more development as a character, because I liked him, but I still didn't know much about him. Miles Morales, the most anticipated story, lived up to the hype in my opinion (but could've used a bit more focus on emotion).
Lots of great moments were mixed with the action and the cutaways were completely absent (!). We got a great end fight, we met some fun characters, and Ultimate Spider-Man has become a stronger show for trying out a multi-part event. Overall, it was a really great way to wrap up the world hopping. Looking forward to the finale!
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