My name is Luke Duffy, I am an aspiring media journalist from Ireland and this is my website, Media Pancake. Media Pancake is a site devoted to my reviews and thoughts on the latest in film, television, and video games. If you enjoy my articles then please share them with your friends and stick around for my upcoming posts. Thanks.
Monday, 9 July 2012
TV Review: Spider-Man - The Animated Series Season 1 Episode 5 "The Menace of Mysterio"
have always been a perfect fit for cartoons, Superman has had success in the
medium and Batman's venture redefined the landscape of what cartoons could be.
In mid 90s after a few previous iterations of animations in the 60s, 70s and
80s Spider-Man returned to the small screen in 'Spider-Man: The Animated
Series'. The show had a great cast of voice actors, strong storylines and held
up as a great adaption of the comics, it has since become one of the most
highly regarded animated series' of all time.
episode details Spider-Man's first encounter with the super villain Mysterio, a
true master of illusion. The opening shows Spider-Man or someone with an
identical costume robbing an artefact from the Metropolitan Museum, as security
guards clamber to apprehend the thief they are swatted aside as the Spider-Man
lookalike makes his exit. On the news the following day Peter Parker is shocked
to discover what has taken place and wonders who has framed him, not realising
that an old enemy seeking vengeance is exacting their plan for Spider-Man's
past is explained in this episode through a flashback from Spider-Man. As a
movie is being filmed on the Brooklyn bridge an effects scene is taking place
requiring a helicopter to fly across as a sequence of explosions erupt behind
it. When one of the explosions is too powerful it knocks the helicopter off
course, it almost crashes before Spider-Man swings in and saves the pilot from
death. Upon inspection of the rigged explosives Spider-Man discovers some
mortar placed within one of the explosive detonators, someone wanted the
explosion to be larger than the others. The web-head apprehends special effects
technician Quentin Beck who pleads with to release him since he will be jailed
for the crime, when he is refused Beck swears that he will someday destroy
genius of Mysterio as a villain is that he is constantly causing Spider-Man to
question what if what he sees his reality, he rarely actively attacks
Spider-Man and instead opts to torment him through psychological
curveballs and then watch Spider-Man attempt to grip hold of reality.
Mysterio's past shows how he learned his unique skills and also give reasoning
for his flair for theatrics as well as his hidden yearning to be thought of as
a hero just as he witnessed during his career in motion pictures.
Mysterio chooses to burn out rather than fade away.
series has a great sense of humour especially for a cartoon. Like all truly
great children's cartoons it appeals also to adults through references that
children simply wouldn't understand, in this episode for example Spider-Man
makes quips whilst inside Mysterio's movie studio hideout that refer to cinema
legends such as Ray Harryhausen and Roger Cormon, references that I'm quite
certain children wouldn't be picking up on. This is one example of the unique
sense of humour of this series' Spider-Man, he is just as witty as he is cocky
and all these lines are delivered brilliantly by voice actor Christopher Daniel
isn't just Mysterios past that we delve into during this episode but also Peter
Parkers and the origin of Spider-Man. When Peter first donned the identity of
Spider-Man he began by fighting in wrestling matches for money, one night
whilst leaving the arena he hears a scuffle take place in an office and shortly
after a man comes running out with a bag of money pursued by a security guard,
as the guard calls for Spider-Man's assistance in apprehending the criminal
Peter says "Sorry pal I'm a wrestler not a cop" and steps aside allowing
the thief to flee. This shows a more selfish Peter Parker than is normally
portrayed in Spider-Man adaptations, something which I appreciated since it
makes his transformation into a hero all the more important. When Peter returns
home to police cars outside his house he discovers that his uncle Ben has been
murdered trying to fend off an armed mugger, seeking vengeance Peter becomes
Spider-Man and heads to where the criminal has been cornered by the police.
Spider-Man confronts the man who he is shocked to learn is the same man who he
let pass him at the wrestling arena. The incident impacts Peter heavily and he
conforms to always do the right thing and follow his uncle's repeated advice
"With great power comes great responsibility".
Spider-Man is so shocked in fact that the eyes of his costume do this.
revaluation it's shocking to see the influence of the nineties so rampant in
this cartoon, I guess you never realise the influence of the decade when you're
still in it. The clothes of the characters is the first indicator that this
show is a little dated, Peter Parker walks around wearing light blue jeans with
a green white and blue t-shirt often tucked in, Mary-Jane wears a yellow
sweatshirt with light blue jeans (this must have been more common than I
thought) and cowboy boots. In this particular episode Mary-Jane is seen wearing
that very iconic staple of the 90s, the workout gear complete with legwarmers.
Outdated fashion aside the show demonstrates its age with its use of what may
once have been categorised as "hip" turns of phrase and infinitely
cheesy spider-related puns (which I secretly love).
ultimately made this series the success that it became was its faithfulness to
the comic books, if it had gone another route with regards to character origins
and major story points I don't think the show would have been nearly as well
received. The fact that it is so loyal to the original stories also means it
has so much quality to draw from and it often does in such episodes as
Spider-Man's team-up with Wolverine, the crisis of the man-spider not to
mention this episode featuring Mysterio. The cartoon was able to attract a host
of fans of the comics thanks to its great writing, excellent animation and
comic-like story arcs. When a series is executed with as much care and
attention to detail as this show was it isn't difficult to see why it turned
out so well.
a 90s series this show has certainly stood the test of time looking back upon
it now almost 20 years later, it's not only an excellent Spider-Man adaption
but also a great way to get into the lore and wider history of the wall-crawler
for those wishing to see more of his adventures, it's certainly one that I
would recommend. With the series now available on Netflix to watch anytime
there is really no excuse not to watch this fun series which perfected Spider-Man