Ultimate Spider-Man Season One, Episode Five “Flight of the Iron Spider” Review


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WE ARE BACK after an unfortunate hiatus. No, I didn’t get fired as reviewer (yet). So, it’s Spring Break and I return for more Ultimate Spider-Man mediocrity. Peter Parker, Iron Man fanboy, is finally introduced to his hero, Tony Stark. Naturally, this brings about an upgrade in tech. Oh, and jeopardizing the lives of the Spider-Friends. Nah, not really. That would be great, though.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN Season One, Episode Five
“Flight of the Iron Spider”
Written By: Joe Kelly

THE STORY: The Spider-Friends attempt to fight the Living Laser, but Iron Man shows up and scares him off. Pete gets invited to Tony’s lab, so he gets a full tour. Tony had an hour to kill, so he created the Iron Spider suit. Peter loves it, but he almost kills the Spider-Friends with it (the audience should be so lucky). They all tell him to get rid of it, but he thinks they’re jealous. Living Laser ends up taking over the Iron Spider suit, and uses it to fight Iron Man. He then takes over Iron Man’s suit, so the Spider-Friends make up and help Spidey fight him. Living Laser quickly becomes his own being, only for Spider-Man to use one of Tony’s machines to scramble Living Laser into multiple dimensions (including the Super Hero Squad dimension, not kidding). Nick Fury takes away the Iron Spider suit, so yay, happy ending.

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THOUGHTS: Good lord, this episode was a toy commercial. Certain members of the Crawlspace podcast joked that this entire show is a toy commercial, but I don’t think that has ever been more apparent than in this episode. Sure we had the Spider-Cycle before, but this episode was kind of just, “Hey, look how cool this suit is! Look at all the cool stuff it does! I bet you want an action figure right now!”. But, you know, I guess I can understand that. The awesome Young Justice series and the okay Green Lantern: The Animated Series were apparently canceled due to poor merchandise sales. I guess we live in that world now. Thus, we get Flight of the Iron Spider. It’s very odd that the team behind this show chose to introduce the short-lived suit from Civil War, yet we haven’t even gotten the black suit yet. Last episode was Venom, but we didn’t get Spider-Man’s famous black suit like we usually do. It kind of has no purpose here. In Civil War, the suit showed who’s side Peter was on. When he stopped wearing it, it reflected his choices in the war. In this episode, Tony Stark just kinda throws it together in a few minutes as a present to Peter. Which brings me to my next nitpicky question.

Tony Stark, the man ashamed of his past life of putting weapons in the wrong hands, just forks over this massively dangerous suit to Spider-Man, the hero Nick Fury tells him is irresponsible. I’m mostly exaggerating, but that’s a stupid move on Tony’s part. Clearly this suit is just as powerful as the Iron Man suit. Tony just gives it away to a kid without an instruction manual. Anyway, the Living Laser is rather useless here, he has some half-mentioned scheme to sell Tony Stark’s technology or something. He’s ridiculously one-dimensional but really, it doesn’t matter. The only real purpose the Living Laser serves is to give a reason for Peter’s suit to screw up. The plan to defeat him is a little brutal, surprisingly. Rather than find some way to contain him, Tony and Peter scramble his molecules into multiple dimensions. How do they know this won’t kill him? They don’t, and I’m no Reed Richards, but I feel that scrambling someone’s molecules just might be fatal. I’m not sure if Living Laser really ended up in the dimension containing the Super Hero Squad or if that was supposed to be a joke, but if that really happened, this show is clearly not remotely concerned about taking itself seriously.

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There were some funny parts to this episode, but as usual, most of the jokes landed with a resounding and cringe-worthy thud. I don’t even know what to think of all the cut-away jokes and the Spider-Man narration anymore, five episodes in and it already feels extremely old. I swear, if the Spider-Friends aren’t the most annoying things ever broadcast on television, I have no idea what is. I’m probably wrong on that, but I absolutely can’t stand the presence of Nova and White Tiger. Power Man and Iron Fist really just stand around, but Nova is truly a miracle of nature because he always knows exactly what to say to make me want to throw my remote at the screen. White Tiger… Every single line she has is condescending towards Spidey, as she really plays the role of the obnoxious older sister. The purpose of this group of delightful characters is to tell Spider-Man what a screw-up he is (Oh, wait, they actually do call him that this episode, awesome), and then forgive our favorite character for being a massive screw-up just in time to stop a villain. Every single episode we get the message of, “Despite our differences, we must pull together to stop the forces of *insert villain here*”. This is a tired message shown in half of the movies and TV shows of the world, yet this show beats it into your head every week.

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Now this episode wasn’t all bad. Just because I was poised in my hockey pads ready to throw down with this thing, that doesn’t make it horrible. Last episode, Venom, that was horrible. This episode was really just average, with some cool fights weighed down by a dumb villain and annoying sidekicks. The fights were fun, the quick bout between Iron Man and Spidey and the climax leading up to the molecule scrambling.

PROS: Entertaining action, a few funny jokes.
CONS: Living Laser’s pointlessness, Spider-Friends’ aggressive annoyance, dumb Tony Stark.
GRADE: 3.5 weird spider-appendages out of 5. This was really as average as it gets. Sorry it took so long to get this review up, I’ve been really busy with school. Thank you for reading! Anyway just a couple of things: You should be reading Young Avengers if you’re not already. Seriously, it’s great. Also, first person to comment gets the digital codes for the Fraction/Bagley Fantastic Four issues 1-3. By all means, please leave a comment! They make me feel happiness.

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(6) Comments

  1. Wes

    I can't believe this show will have double the amount of episodes that Spectacular Spider-Man had!

  2. hornacek

    Yay, these reviews are back! My main problem with this show (and I have a lot of them) is how useless Spider-Man is portrayed at being a superhero. He was a more competent superhero in the Lee/Ditko stories when he was just starting out. In this show he comes across as doing a *lot* of dumb things. I know in the Lee/Ditko run he made some bad choices but they they came off as understandable bad choices; plus he learned from them and seemed to be "competent". I don't think Spidey has learned anything in this show; he doesn't seem like he's improved any since the very first episode. Plus the spider-friends. Sigh. I know they want a team aspect for this show, but really what they're saying is that Spider-Man isn't powerful enough to defeat these villains. For example, when he defeated the Sandman the first time he met him in ASM #4 he must have gotten lucky because it actually took 5 heroes to defeat him in this show. At this rate the Sinister Six will have to be the Sinister Sixty-Six to be a legitimate threat to the spider-friends (and I know the SS appear in season 2 but I've only seen the first 2 episodes of that season so far).

  3. Enigma_2099

    "The awesome Young Justice series and the okay Green Lantern: The Animated Series were apparently canceled due to poor merchandise sales. I guess we live in that world now." I know. Sad, isn't it?

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