REVIEW: MARVEL KNIGHTS – BLACK PANTHER

CAST (VOICES)

Djimon Hounsou (Stargate)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Stephen Stanton (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Kerry Washington (Django Unchained)
Alfrie Woodard (Star Trek: First Contact)
Jill Scott (Girlfriends)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Rick D. Wasserman (Planet Hulk)
JB Blanc (War Dogs)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
Taye Diggs (Equilibrium)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Adrian Pasdar (Heroes)
Stan Lee (Chuck)

The concept of the motion comic is controversial to say the least. Many comic purists would argue they are pointless endeavors, while others, like myself find them an interesting supplement and even more a way to get those uninterested in comics to seek them out, provided they enjoy the program.

The newest release in the series may be their biggest yet, produced not just for DVD but as six-episode animated series. With “Black Panther,” Marvel adapts Hudlin’s own take on the character from 2005 and the end result will induce much headshaking and confusion.

Unlike the previous two installments in the Marvel Knights Animation line, I had not read the original source material, however, it’s safe to say, with the author being directly involved in the adaptation, it likely follows the comics quite closely. The most apparent change viewers familiar with the motion comic concept will notice is the consistency in runtime. Each episode runs around 18 minutes long and is paced like an episode of a TV-series. There are no more abrupt endings as before and this is a truly welcome change. Also worth noting is the star power in the voice cast. Hudlin has secured veteran voice actors Kevin Michael Richardson and Nolan North, as well as Hollywood stars Alfre Woodard, Kerry Washington, and in the title role Djimon Hounsou. It’s all downhill from this point, with Hounsou’s involvement being the only positive memorable aspect of a disaster of a series.


“Black Panther” is a muddled mess, attempting to weave an origin story amidst a half-baked plot against our hero’s life by a band of largely second (or even third) rate villains. The tone of the entire series is wildly inconsistent; one minute our villains will be bickering with each other in classic Saturday morning cartoon fashion, giving the impression the series is lighthearted, but all this comes following an intro that is decidedly more mature, featuring tribal warriors getting impaled on sinister traps and severed Nazi heads on pikes. Add to that a very mean spirited tone, resulting from most characters not related to Black Panther being either stupid, bigoted, or both and the 132 minute runtime feels achingly brutal.

Comic book fans may immediately take issue with the series’ sad attempt to establish dominance of the Black Panther by having him swiftly defeat Captain America in hand-to-hand combat. The character doesn’t need such a wildly unbelievable fight to appeal to audiences, nor does he need the sympathy formed from broad stereotypes attempting to hold him down because he’s the leader of a small African nation. What should be a fun fantasy tale is instead drenched in an underhanded political theme that is downright tiresome and boring; if more time was given to developing supporting characters, a little bit of preaching would have been tolerable. To Hudlin’s credit, his take on Black Panther or T’Challa (Hounsou) is a fascinating, three-dimensional creation, and his home country of Wakanda is given admirable life and scope. Hounsou brings strong balance of kindness and fierceness to the role, and a scene midway through the series where he removes his mask to speak to a boy who worships him as a god, is one of the more heroic and humble moments I’ve seen in a superhero adaptation.
On the flipside, Kerry Washington, delivers a strangely overacted vocal performance as T’Challa’s sister, while Stephen Stanton is in full on, evil for evil’s sake mode, as Klaw, the main villain, an assassin responsible for murdering T’Challa’s father decades earlier, who returns to finish killing the royal family. The less said of Klaw’s inept cadre of support, the better, but the Vatican Black Knight is worth mentioning of only for the fact his character adds another layer into the theme of the evil Western world; not only does a rival nation want Wakanda overthrown, but so does the US (led by a cartoonish and ignorant General voiced by Stan Lee), and yes, the Pope. As a final insult to comic fans, Hudlin shoehorns in the story of T’Challa’s romance with Ororo Munroe, or Storm as she’s more commonly known. The addition is nothing more than a way to artificially extend the overly long runtime of the series and find an excuse for a few worthless X-Men cameos.

“Black Panther” is heavily dissappointing, and it’s a damn shame, as there is great potential with the character. The writing has a bad pace to it; dialogue driven scenes are sometimes choppy, flashbacks are overused (even as an origin story), and the action sequences often have great buildup but result in a sad whimper in terms of execution; a half-assed inclusion of zombies in the final episode tempts me to a giant stamp of “fail” on the series, but there are more than a few Panther centric moments to elevate it from the lowest possible rating. Animation wise, John Romita Jr’s art style translates horribly to the motion comic format, and some sequences are animated in a amateurish fashion at best; the fact I waited this long to mention it, is a strong indicator of how forgettable it is. There are strong talks that the Black Panther will see life on the big screen and I’ll reiterate again, Hounsou deserves a shot at the role, however, I hope this series is used as an example of what not to do.

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REVIEW: LEGO DC COMICS SUPER HEROES: THE FLASH

CAST (VOICES)

Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Troy Baker (Batman: Assault on Arkham)
Eric Bauza (Nerdland)
Grey DeLisle (Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen)
Tom Kenny (The Powerpuff Girls)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Vanessa Marshall (Batman: Bad Blood)
Kate Micucci (The Big Bang Theory)
Nolan North (teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012)
Khary Payton (Teen Titans)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Jason Spisak (Jla Adventures)
James Arnold Taylor (Justice League: The New Frontier)
Audrey Wasilewski (Terminal Error)

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash (2018)The morning sun shines on the jewel of the Metropolis skyline, The Daily Planet building. But when The Joker decides this building needs a renovation, it’s time to sound the Trouble Alert because all bricks are about to break loose! The Justice League leaps into action but as the battle is brewing against The Joker something goes haywire with The Flash’s powers causing him to get caught in a repeating time loop and even stranger is the yellow clad Reverse Flash taunting him at every turn! It will take all of Flash’s speed, a little magic and the helping hands and paws of the Justice League’s new recruits The Atom, Krypto the Super Dog and Ace the Bat Hound to break the cycle and save Metropolis!legodcsuperheroestheflash600_size3Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash (2018) is a film that not alot of viewers will relate and it makes sense i guess but as a long life DC Fan and Lego Fan this film was a blast for me. With lot’s of cameos from heroes and villains of the DC universe like Joker, Killer Croc, Penguin, Cheetah, Trickster, Krypto, Bat Hound and even Aquaman. The jokes are clever and super funny and the plot as a whole although we have seen it all before it was interesting and smart too. Casual viewers won’t love this movie but fans of Lego and DC and those who know what to expect will have a hell of a blast. LEGO-Flash-3

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: JUSTICE LEAGUE – COMFORT AND JOY

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COMFORT AND JOY
MAIN CAST
Maria Canals-Barrera (America’s Sweethearts)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
George Newbern (Father of The Bride)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
GUEST CAST
Ian Buchanan (Panic Room)
Mike Farrell (Vanishing Act)
Shelley Fabares (Coach)
 
On an alien planet, the Justice League works together to assemble a machine that will prevent it from colliding with another planet, thus saving its population. Their mission is a success, and the League looks forward to the Christmas season – except perhaps J’onn J’onzz and Hawkgirl, who are unfamiliar with Earth’s holidays. Green Lantern, noticing the beauty of the snow-covered planet, decides to stay behind. He tries to show Hawkgirl the fun of playing in the snow, and they get into a furious snowball fight. She responds by showing him her idea of a celebration: taking him to a rough bar on an outlying alien moon. They raise a glass together, then Hawkgirl touches off a massive bar fight.
 Flash makes his annual visit to the Central City orphanage, to ask the kids what they want for Christmas. They eagerly show him a commercial for a toy, “D.J. Rubber Ducky” but Flash finds all the stores sold out. He runs directly to Japan, and manages to get the last one from the factory. Returning to Central City, he is distracted by Ultra-Humanite, on a destructive rampage through a modern art museum. In the ensuing fight, the toy is destroyed when the Humanite falls onto it, and Flash is devastated. Touched, Humanite calls a truce and agrees to fix the toy and surrender himself. He accompanies Flash to the orphanage, though wants to go to jail quickly after this. Flash is surprised to find that Humanite has modified the toy, which previously spoke in rap lyrics and made flatulent noises, to give a musically-accompanied narration of The Nutcracker ballet.
Clark Kent insists that J’onn accompany him home for the holidays. His parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, welcome J’onn, but he still feels slightly uncomfortable. He takes a walk on the streets of Smallville on Christmas Eve, impressed by the cheerful friendliness of the passers-by. Telepathically hearing a little girl question the existence of Santa Claus, J’onn flies up and lands on her roof, reaching down the chimney to eat the cookies she left out. His final stop is a church where inside people are singing carols. Humanite returns to jail, where Flash thanks him for his help. Humanite notes he welcomes any opportunity to bring culture to children. Flash gives Humanite an aluminum Christmas tree, which Humanite finds surprisingly touching. In the bar, John is passed out after the fight; Hawkgirl kisses him on the cheek and wishes him a Merry Christmas. Clark awakes on Christmas Day, and listens with his parents as J’onn, who has reverted to his normal Martian form, sings a hauntingly beautiful song in his native language while caressing Streaky.
A great animated festive episode, Superman acting like a big kid at Christmas was a huge highlight. As was Hawkgirl and Johns celebration of the holidays, It was so nice to see the Justice League team enjoying themselves for the holidays.

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: FUTURAMA – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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MAIN CAST
Billy West (Pixels)
Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy)
John DiMaggio (Adventure Time)
Tress MacNeille (the Simpsons)
Maurice Lamarche (Frozen)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
David Herman (Angel)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Frank Welker (Transformers)

XMAS STORY

GUEST CAST
John Goodman (Red State)
Conan O’Brien (The Simpsons)
While on a ski trip, Fry begins to feel nostalgic for 31th century Christmases. To cheer him up, the rest of the Planet Express staff decide to decorate for what is now called Xmas, which includes cutting down an Xmas tree (which are now palm trees, since pine trees are extinct). Fry decides to venture into the city to buy Leela a present as she has not felt happy about Xmas since she was an orphan. The others warn him to be back before sundown, or else he will be killed by a murderous robotic Santa Claus. In the year 2801, The Friendly Robot Company developed a robotic version of St. Nick himself to determine who has been naughty and who has been nice. Unfortunately, due to a programming error, the jolly robotic saint soon turned into a mad murderer when his standards were set too high. Thus, he will kill anyone who has been naughty, which, by his standards is essentially everybody. Meanwhile, Bender befriends several homeless robots and goes on a robbery spree.
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Fry buys Leela a parrot, which escapes. Leela heads out to rescue Fry before Robot Santa arrives. After pursuing the parrot to the top of a tall building, Fry is saved from plunging to his death by Leela. Unfortunately, Fry and Leela’s safety is short-lived, as sundown finally comes and the robotic Santa Claus makes his appearance and attacks the two friends.Fry and Leela take refuge in the Planet Express building after being saved by Bender and his homeless robot friends, but Santa breaks in through the chimney and claims that they “all have been very naughty” (except for Doctor Zoidberg). Thanks to some quick thinking by Doctor Zoidberg, Santa is forced back into the chimney, where an explosion sends him and his mechanical reindeer tumbling into the stratosphere. Everybody celebrates by singing “Santa Claus Is Gunning You Down”. However, Santa promises: “I’ll be back when you least expect it: NEXT XMAS!”.
A classic holiday episode with a difference having Robot Santa think everybody is naughty and hunting them down. Seeing the crew scared of him is hilarious, thou is was funny to see that Zoidberg being the only that was good (according to Robot Santa).

A TALE OF TWO SANTAS

GUEST CAST
Coolie (Daredevil)
It is Xmas again, and everyone is locking down for the arrival of Robot Santa. The Professor sends the crew to deliver children’s letters directly to Santa at his fortress on Neptune. After reading some of the letters, begging Santa not to wreak havoc on the writers, Fry decides it’s time to bring Christmas back to the way it was in the past. They land at Jolly Junction, Neptune, and enlist the aid of a pair of Neptunians in sneaking into the fortress.
The crew confronts Santa, and Leela presents him with what she believes to be a logical paradox intended to destroy him. Unfortunately, Santa proves immune to paradox, and he takes off after them with a missile launcher. The crew escapes the fortress, and is about to leave in the ship, but Santa grabs the engine and prevents the ship from taking off. The heat from the engine melts the ice under Santa’s feet, and he sinks in the ice, which refreezes around him. With Santa frozen in ice, Bender takes over, and toy-making resumes in Jolly Junction. Bender heads to New New York, where he gets a less than welcome reception from citizens expecting Santa. While taking a beer break, Bender is arrested and put on trial for Santa’s crimes against humanity. Bender is found guilty and sentenced to execution by magnetic dismemberment.
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Fry and Leela rush back to Neptune to bring in the real Santa to prove Bender’s innocence. They carve Santa out in a large block of ice, but the ice melts due to pollution from the toy factory, and Santa is freed. Fry and Leela escape in the ship, but Santa rides on the ship back to Earth. The Planet Express crew tries one last attempt to save Bender, with all of them pretending to be Santa and Zoidberg pretending to be Jesus. Their effort fails, and the execution device is activated. Moments later, the real Robot Santa bursts through the wall. He rescues Bender and the two go on a proper Xmas rampage. As the Planet Express crew huddle in fear of their lives, Fry concludes he has somewhat succeeded in bringing back the old spirit of Christmas, even if it is fear that is bringing people together instead of love. At the end of the spree of destruction, Santa tells Bender that if he tries a stunt like that again, he will kill him, and pushes Bender off the sleigh amid the burning buildings.
Another great Christmas episode, it also serves as a sequel to the first xmas episode. bender trying to be Santa made for a great episode it’s a shame they could not get John Goodman back to do the voice of Robot Santa.

THE FUTURAMA HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR

GUEST CAST
Coolie (Daredevil)
Dawnn Lewis (Monsters University)
Al Gore
Xmas
Robot Santa attacks the Planet Express building on Xmas Eve, explaining in song how the holiday should be celebrated. The crew are inspired to revive the pine tree, which went extinct in the 2200s with seeds from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. However, the seeds have been contaminated by a biological weapons repository neighboring the vault, causing pine trees to grow and spread at a rapid rate until they cover the entire Earth. Though the trees seem beneficial at first, returning the planet to a lush, wildlife-filled state, their uncontrolled growth produces too much oxygen in the atmosphere, which ignites and burns Earth to a cinder when Bender lights a celebratory cigar. Robot Santa states that everyone is dead and happily tells the viewers to stay tuned for more holiday hilarity.
Robanukah
Bender criticizes the crew for not celebrating his made-up robot holiday Robanukah from “Fear of a Bot Planet” and sings a song explaining it, detailing a tradition in which fembots must wrestle in petroleum oil for six and a half weeks. He is shocked to discover that they only have enough oil for four and a half weeks of wrestling and forces the crew to drill deep into the Earth with the Planet Express ship to find more petroleum, which is virtually nonexistent on the surface. As they approach the center of the Earth, the immense pressure crushes the ship and kills everyone except Bender, who decides to take a nap. 500 million years later, Bender wakes up and discovers that the heat and pressure over the years have turned his friends’ bodies into petroleum oil. He returns to the now dilapidated Planet Express building and is surprised to find the two fembots still wrestling with the sufficient amount of oil, declaring it to be a Robanukah miracle. Bender wishes everyone a Happy Robanukah and states that there is more hilarity to come.
Kwanzaa
The crew visit Hermes and his family for Kwanzaa, learning more about the holiday through a song by Kwanzaa-bot. Hermes’ wife LaBarbara learns that she does not have the traditional beeswax candles required for Kwanzaa and sends Hermes to get some. However, the crew discover there is no beeswax in the world due to a colony collapse disorder caused by an infestation of blood-sucking mites. They decide to return to the space beehive (from “The Sting”) to retrieve the wax, discovering the space bee colony to be in disarray caused by the same mites. Hermes uses the Kwanzaa tenets to spread goodwill between the space bee drones, restoring harmony and killing the mites. However, this also returns the bees to their natural organization and they attack the crew, encasing them in beeswax “candles” for their larvae to feed on.
Finale
A curtain descends and Al Gore appears to close the segment. Al Gore reminds the viewer that the characters will return in 2011 featuring himself as a major character called Captain Lance Starman. He then reiterates the jingle for “Gunderson’s Unshelled Nuts” as Amy dances in a Gunderson’s Unshelled Nuts costume.
The final Futurama Christmas episode isn’t as entertaining as the previous two, its split in to parts to tell the story of different holidays and how the crew celebrates them. It’s a shame no more specials were made after this.

REVIEW: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)
Drake Bell (Sueprhero Movie)
Ogie Banks (Superman vs The Elite)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Clark Gregg (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants)
Matt Lanter (Heroes)
Chi McBride (Human Target)
Caitlyn Taylor Love (I’m With The Band)
Logan Miller (Deep Powder)
J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man)
Steven Weber (Izombie)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Misty Lee (Killer Kids)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
Tara Strong (The New Batman Adventures)
Eric Bauza (Batman: Assault on Arkam)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Kevin Michael richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Stan Lee (Spider-Man)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Troy Baker (Lego Batman: The Movie)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Rob Paulsen (Teenae Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterpise)
Travis Willingham (Shelf Life)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Adrian Pasdar (Heroes)
Roger Craig Smith (Wreck-it Ralph)
Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)
Christopher Daniel Barnes (The Little Mermaid)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Jack Coleman (Heroes)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)
Rose McGowan (Planet Terror)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Stan Lee (Avengers Aseesmble)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Oded Fehr (The Mummy)
Freddy Rodriguez (Ugly Betty)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes)
Cameron Boyce (The Descendants)
Maria Canals-Barrera (Justice League)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Greg Grunberg (Heroes)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Finder)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Iain De Caestecker (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
James Marsters (Caprica)
Keith Szarabajka (Angel)
Billy West (Futurama)

I recently watched  Ultimate Spider-Man and I can honestly say that I have never wanted to stop watching a Spider-Man cartoon before in my life… until now. I have been a big fan of the Spider-Man comic series for many years and have liked almost all of the cartoon iterations of him, but this one just hurts to watch. I understand that Spider-Man is supposed to be a smart-mouthed teen who likes to make jokes while fighting crime, which is my favorite part about the character, but this show just takes it to an extreme.


I think one of the biggest problems for me was how much the stories are broken up by all of the “cut away” scenes.  I understand that Spider-Man is a show made for children and I get that the characters aren’t going to be nearly as serious as they are in the comics, but I feel like this was just too far from the source material for me to enjoy it. Another thing that bothered me was how just a few years ago we had, in my opinion, one of the best Spider-Man shows to date, Spectacular Spider-Man, and it was canceled in only it’s second season. I had really high hopes for Ultimate Spider-Man to fill the void that Spectacular Spider-Man left, but it just didn’t deliver at all.

As far as the voice acting on the show goes, they all seem to have done a really good job… with what they were given to read. So much of the writing in this show just seems so forced.why was Spectacular Spider-Man so much better and the most honest answer that I can give you is that it seems as though Marvel actually put a lot of work into Spectacular Spider-Man. I’m not saying that they didn’t put a lot of work into Ultimate Spider-Man, but it’s much harder to see in this one. The character designs in Spectacular Spider-Man may not have hit all of the right points for some people, but I really enjoyed it. The action in the show looked really good and it was easy to follow exactly what was happening, because you didn’t have a bunch of blur that you had to try and see everything through. The story for Spectacular Spider-Man was your standard Spider-Man fare, but while it was a show essentially for kids, it also appealed to many adults as well.


I really wanted to like Ultimate Spider-Man, but I just didn’t. I feel like if this show was about just another teen superhero other than Spider-Man it would have been much more forgivable, but for it to take such a dump on such a beloved character, it is just really sad to see. Now all that I can do is hope that the new Spider-Man movie can really bring something good to the table.

REVIEW: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN – SEASON 1-2

CAST (VOICES)

Josh Keaton (Green Lantern:TAS)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)
Grey Delisle (The Replacements)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)
Alanna Ubach (Legally Blonde)
Vanessa Marshall (Star Wars Rebels)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Keith David (Pitch Black)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Peter MacNicol (Ghostbusters 2)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Alan Rachins (LA Law)
Kath soucie (Rugrats)
Crispin Freeman (Digimon)
Cree Summer (Batman Beyond)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Elisa Gabrielli (Mulan)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Tricia Helfer (Powers)
Courtney B. Vance (Flashforward)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Nikki Cox (Las Vegas)

It would be hard to argue that any comic book superhero has enjoyed a more sustained popularity over the last five decades than Spider-Man. The Marvel Comics character, the mainstay of that company’s flagship publication The Amazing Spider-Man, has been spun off  into numerous other venues, from cartoon and live action television shows to a rock album, a series of wildly popular theatrical movies, and even a recurring part in the old PBS series The Electric Company.

The Spectacular Spider-Man is a current incarnation of this comics legend that takes its name from a now-defunct spin-off comic book title. It’s a half-hour cartoon series, aimed primarily at kids but with some postmodern nods to adults, and basically offers an early 21st century update of the original Spider-Man comic books. Here, Peter Parker (voiced by Josh Keaton) attends high school with Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacey. Bully Flash Thompson is also around, and Parker’s future wife Mary Jane Watson transfers to his school midway in the series. Parker lives at home with his Aunt May, and moonlights as the crimefighting Spider-Man whenever he can. As he battles colorful super-villains, he’s taking snapshots of himself for the newspaper Daily Bugle. Several of the classic characters from that fictional periodical are here, including Betty Brant and the obnoxious J. Jonah Jameson (voiced hilariously by Daran Norris).spidey_wp-01

The series is light and fun, with a nice sense of humor. As such, it captures the essence of Spider-Man fairly well. Each episode is relatively self-contained, although certain plot points connect the episodes into a larger whole. The animation strikes me as bright and colorful – and certainly competent for a weekly television program. The characters are presented with some awkward angularity at times, but at least it’s consistent and uniform in presentation. As an old comics fan, I enjoyed this updating of the Spider-Man mythos, and I certainly imagine that it will entertain its core audience: adolescents.ranking-the-spider-man-animated-series_cgbj

In season 2 Peter Parker’s life becomes significantly more complicated as he finds himself torn between Gwen Stacy and Liz Allan, both of whom have confessed their feelings for him; he eventually chooses Liz. Norman Osborn takes on the role of Peter’s mentor, pulling strings to re-establish his job as Dr. Connors’ lab assistant, as well as overseeing the installment of the conniving Dr. Miles Warren into the ESU Labs. Meanwhile, as Spider-Man, Peter encounters new villains Mysterio and Kraven the Hunter, leading him to investigate the activities of a mysterious new crime lord known as the “Master Planner”.fe109-spiderman-animatedWhen the Master Planner’s first scheme fails, Spider-Man is faced with a three-way gang war between the Planner’s super-villain forces, the Big Man’s established order, and the old guard of Silvio “Silvermane” Manfredi’s family. Peter’s search for Eddie Brock also leads to the return of Venom, who attempts to expose Spider-Man’s secret identity and remove his powers. Finally, when the three major crime lords are arrested, Spider-Man once again goes up against the Green Goblin, who is once again bent on eliminating the wall-crawler once and for all.

ranking-the-spider-man-animated-series_cgbjOther new characters introduced in the second season include Calypso, Sha Shan Nguyen, Silver Sable, Roderick Kingsley and Molten Man. Quentin Beck and Phineas Mason return as Mysterio and the Tinkerer respectively.fe109-spiderman-animatedIt appears that the episodes in this eighth volume of The Spectacular Spider-Man are the swan song of the series. That’s a shame as this was a fun and energetic cartoon take on the classic Marvel superhero. Based upon content, The show was cancelled to make way for the Ultimate Spider-man cartoon which as we all know is just a train wreck.spidey_wp-01

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN 2

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CAST

Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville)
Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)
Willem Dafoe (American Psycho)
James Franco (This Is The End)
Alfred Molina (Frida)
Rosemary Harris (This Means War)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Donna Murphy (Star Trek: Insurrection)
Daniel Gillies (The Originals)
Dylan Baker (The Cell))
Mageina Tovah (Sleepover)
Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Joel McHale (Ted)
Hal Sparks (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Emily Deschanel (Bones)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Cliff Robertson (Escape From L.A.)
Reed Diamond (Dollhouse)
Elya Baskin (October Sky)
Ted Raimi (Odyssey 5)
Bill Nunn (True Crime)
Aasif Mandvi (The Dictator)
Daniel Dae Kim (Lost)
Jill Sayre (Hercules and The Amazon Women)

Peter Parker, secretly the superhero Spider-Man, struggles to balance his superhero and civilian lives and duties; he has become estranged from both love interest Mary Jane “M.J.” Watson and best friend Harry Osborn, and additionally discovers his Aunt May is facing eviction. He also finds himself suffering temporary, but reoccurring losses of his powers, often in life-threatening situations.Harry, now head of Oscorp’s research division, is sponsoring a fusion power project by nuclear scientist Otto Octavius’, who befriends and mentors Peter. While handling hazardous materials, Octavius wears a harness of powerful robotic tentacle arms with artificial intelligence. During a public demonstration that Peter and Harry attend, a power spike causes the fusion reactor to destabilize. Octavius refuses to shut down the reactor, which goes critical—resulting in the death of his wife, the fusion of the harness to his spine, and the burnout of the inhibitor chip blocking the arms from his nervous system. Peter shuts the experiment down, destroying it in the process.At a hospital, doctors prepare to surgically remove Octavius’ harness. However, without the inhibitor chip the arms have developed sentience and as a result, attack and massacre the surgical crew. Upon regaining consciousness and seeing the carnage, Octavius escapes and takes refuge at a harbor. Becoming increasingly influenced by the arms’ AI, he robs a bank in order to fund a second experiment. Peter and May coincidentally are there, and Octavius takes May hostage. Peter rescues her, but Octavius flees with stolen money. The Daily Bugle subsequently dubs the scientist Doctor Octopus.Mary Jane becomes engaged to astronaut John Jameson, son of Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Peter suffers an emotional breakdown over his inability to balance his life, resulting in him losing his powers. He discards his costume, abandons his Spider-Man identity, returns to his normal life, and attempts to reconcile with Mary Jane. A garbageman brings Peter’s Spider-Man costume to Jameson, who takes credit for driving Spider-Man into hiding. Peter tells May the truth behind his Uncle Ben’s death and how he is responsible. May forgives him, but the rise in New York City crime rate worries Peter.Requiring the isotope tritium to fuel his reactor, Octavius visits Harry to demand it. Harry agrees in exchange for Spider-Man’s life. He tells Octavius to seek Peter, who Harry believes is friends with Spider-Man, but requests Octavius not harm him. Octavius locates Peter, tells him to find Spider-Man, and captures Mary Jane. Her endangerment leads to Peter’s powers resurfacing. Just as Jameson admits he was wrong about Spider-Man, Peter steals his costume back from the Bugle and goes after Octavius. As Peter battles Octavius, they fall onto a New York City subway train. Octavius sabotages the controls and leaves Peter to save the passengers, which he does at a great physical toll. When he faints from exhaustion, the grateful passengers save him from falling and bring him into the train, seeing his unmasked face, but promising to keep their knowledge hidden. In vain, they try to protect him when Octavius returns to capture Peter, whom Octavius delivers to Harry.After giving Octavius the tritium, Harry prepares to kill Peter, only to be shocked to discover his real identity. Peter convinces Harry to direct him to Octavius’s lair. As Spider-Man, he arrives at the doctor’s waterfront laboratory and attempts to rescue Mary Jane discreetly. Octavius discovers him and they fight once again as the nuclear reaction swells. Peter ultimately subdues Octavius, reveals his identity, and persuades Octavius to let his dream go for the greater good. Octavius finally commands the tentacles to obey him, and gives his life to destroy the experiment. Mary Jane sees Spider-Man’s true identity and feelings, which he says is why they cannot be together. Peter returns Mary Jane to John, and leaves. Harry is visited by a vision of his father in a mirror, pleading for Harry to avenge his death. Refusing to hurt Peter, Harry shatters the mirror, unintentionally revealing a secret room containing prototypes of the Green Goblin’s equipment. On her wedding day, Mary Jane abandons John at the altar and runs to Peter’s apartment. After they kiss, they hear police sirens, and Mary Jane encourages him go help as Spider-Man.In short, the movie flows better. The characters progress nicely from the events in the first film. The effects are bigger and better and more effective. It feels like a comic book movie should feel like. It’s a more fluid.