Spectacular Spider-Man: the animated series #9-“The Uncertainty Principal” Review

There's nothing special about this shot. Nothing being referenced. Nothing at all.

There’s nothing special about this shot. Nothing being referenced. Nothing at all.

It’s Halloween night, and all the ghouls and goblins come out to stalk Spider-Man! As the mystery behind the Green Goblin’s identity comes to a head, questions will be asked and answers will be doubted!

Written by Kevin Hopps
Directed by Dave Bullock
Music by Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion
Animation By Dongwoo animation



    THE PLOT: Halloween night, and the shuttle spacecraft that Col. John Jameson is helming has been hit by an asteroid. While the world watches in an awed hush for the fate of the astronauts, Hammerhead is being held captive by the Green Goblin. Meanwhile, Harry Osborn’s arising addiction to Globulin Green has begun to take its toll on the boy’s mind.


LONG STORY SHORT: Colonel Jameson’s shuttle lands safely, unknowingly carrying an alien substance. the Green Goblin is unmasked and, horror upon horror, turns out to be Harry Osborn!

Even boxed-headed crime bosses get stuck in traffic

Even boxed-headed crime bosses get stuck in traffic

MY THOUGHTS: I honestly feel that there’s little I can say to fully emphasize how good this episode was. This was the one that got every fan talking after it aired, and even though people tended to disagree on the reveal, it was still a fantastically written, well plotted out storyline that remains a joy to watch again and again.

   For me anyway. Despite the several plot threads that continued to be fleshed out in the one such as John Jameson’s shuttle, Tombstone being blackmailed by Green Goblin, and Flash’s attraction to Mary Jane, the most interesting facet is the reveal that Harry was the Green Goblin all along. Woah. Back the truck up. Whaddya mean he’s the Goblin? Thats not how it’s been in the comics! Well maybe not, but it was still an awesome episode. I’ll explain why.

First, there was a tense atmosphere that permeated this episode. From the shuttle being hit with an asteroid, to Hammerhead being attacked-this one felt sort of wrong from the get-go. And thats why I really like it. The show pulls no punches to get these characters to express genuine emotion and reactions from what goes on around them. Jameson in particular was spot-on the whole way throughout. Every single scene he was in felt so JAMESON that I stayed invested. It wasn’t the situation with the shuttle that got me worried about John Jameson, it was JJ’s low speaking voice as he told Foswell not to sugarcoat the outcome. I felt his bitter realization that New York didn’t give two bucks about his son’s safe return over Spider-Man fighting the Goblin. Daran Norris gets this character so thoroughly and completely that he makes every scene JJ’s in worth watching. It’s never a waste.

"I shall call it..."Harry's Honeybrew!" I'll make millions!!"

“I shall call it…’Harry’s Honeybrew!’ I’ll make millions!!”

While we’re on the subject of excellent voice acting, James Arnold Taylor gives his best performance yet as Harry. His voice evokes excitement, greed, pride, insanity, fear, hate, and an overall sense of just over-the-edge madness all in a bowl of addiction that is extremely fun to listen to. Its still very recognizably the same character, but he’s gone so far over the edge by this point that you can tell his mind’s just at the point of snapping completely. Its helped by having him down a vial of Globulin Green in nearly ever scene he’s in. Really good stuff. To finish off the VA commendations, Josh Keaton’s Peter Parker is perfect as per usual in displaying a general concern and confusion over the Goblin situation as well as determination in taking him down.

Before I get to the notorious ending, I gotta say how much the second and third act felt like watching a video game. The multiple pumpkin bombs exploding everywhere, the platforms held above molten fire..it looked like a Spider-Man platformer game! Not that its a bad thing, it was storyboard pretty well. But that how much fun I was having watching the fight between Spidey and Goblin.

Party Pooper Gwen didn't want to dress up as such famous copyrighted characters like Vampirella or Keira Knightly

Party Pooper Gwen didn’t want to dress up as such famous copyrighted characters like Vampirella or Keira Knightly

   Now the ending. I can imagine people yelling “foul” and “rotten liar” after reading this, but I saw Harry being the Goblin a mile away. Yes, it was heavily implied in the last three episodes BUT STILL I saw it coming. Let me explain; people were shouting “red herring” the moment they initally saw Harry gulp the vial of Globulin Green back in Catalysts. Of course, hard core geeks would say that it was too obvious to be real. We all know that the first Goblin is and shall always be Norman, not Harry. The writers had to be using Harry’s classic trait of substance abuse as a crutch to throw us all off, right? Well, no. Honestly, with the way the show’s been written it was way too obvious for it NOT to be Harry. It really was. If it was anyone else BUT him, I’d call foul. It’d be out of left-field in the show’s context. But because we’re given Harry’s motivations to take the performance enhancer going  all the way back to Market Forces, it has to lead somewhere. Otherwise, the shots of him taking the serum are empty without a big payoff. Here, it works well for me. Also, Harry’s just been freakin’ creepy up to this point in the show. We know that he seems to really enjoy taking this drug depsite all the harm its been causing him. From the evil smirk he gave at the end of The Invisible Hand, to the one he gave when he was alone on the couch in this episode, he’s on a self destructive road where he seems to get what he wants, and whatever he wants is clearly greater to him than the consequences. Plus, notice how he treats Peter. He brushes him off, talks to him condescendingly in this and the last episode, and can’t stand to look at him in Catalysts. It seems as though despite being “best friends” in the show’s background, the combonation of Peter’s newfound confidence from gaining his Spider-Powers and Harry’s need to measure up to his father and his peers at school have opened up a deep seated hatred of Peter that Harry possibly harbors for him. This incarnation never really seemed to be there of Peter as much as Gwen was, leaving us to think that he’s always been more naturally inclined to worry about himself and never really caring that much about Peter. Its as though this version of Harry needed a friend out of convinience but always resented Peter Parker. Its not hard to understand why though, seeing as how Norman treats Peter right in front of Harry. It would’ve been very interesting to see the Goblin attack Peter out of costume, but that would change some certain dynamics which for spoiler reasons I can’t talk about until later down the line.

"I don't mind that you took it without asking, but I told you not to get anything on the new carpet!"

“So this stuff really works, huh? Does it come in other flavors besides Globulin Green?”

The only negative I can really come up with is the animation. Now it wasn’t bad, but the models looked a little too over-the-top cartoony to me. The second fight with Spider-Man and the Goblin made the two look less realistic than they have in the past. Just a minor bug.

So at this point in the series, Harry’s gone and MJ now goes to Midtown Magnet High School. The symbiote has landed on Earth, which means nothing but bad things for Peter, and nothing but good things for Venom fans. A turning point to be sure, for its tense atmosphere and wonderful “wrapping up” of the Harry storyline, this one gets a

5/5 web heads.





All images taken from Toonzone.net

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