BATTLE ON RYKER’S ISLAND! The Sinister Six has broken out of their confinement, led by Doctor Octopus! How will the newly-heroic Norman Osborn/Iron Patriot feel about this? How will the Spider-Friends get out of this one?! How much more nineties could the Sinister Six’s costumes get?!
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN Season Two, Episode Twenty-Five
“Return of the Sinister Six”
Written By: (Still no writer credit. We will assume Man of Action wrote this one.)
THE PLOT: The story begins with Spider-Man and Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn) chasing down the Lizard in the sewers. Lizard distracts the duo by collapsing part of the ceiling, and makes his escape. Spidey finds that the Lizard seems to have left a formula written on the wall, so he takes it back to S.H.I.E.L.D. It turns out that the Curt Connors part of the Lizard’s brain has figured out how to cure himself, and being the genius that he is, Peter uses the formula to quickly whip up a Lizard antidote. Nick Fury and the rest of the team find out from a ranting JJJ that there is a prison break occurring on Ryker’s Island (and Jonah assumes that it’s Spider-Man’s fault). The Spider-Friends (and Iron Patriot) make their way to the island, and find the newly upgraded Sinster Six. By newly upgraded, I mean that Doc Ock has given them all robotic suits that make them stronger. The teams of good and evil clash, and eventually the Spider-Friends are all overtaken, save Norman Osborn and Spidey. Spider-Man uses his serum to transform the Lizard back into Curt Connors, but Doctor Octopus decides to use HIS Goblin serum to turn Norman back into the villain he is meant to be. The Goblin awakens while Spider-Man fights Kraven, but Norman takes out the rest of the Sinister Six, including Doc Ock. He teases that he is going to turn the Spider-Friends into Goblins with his serum, and by the time Spider-Man can get to him, Norman has loaded the unconscious teenage team onto his S.H.I.E.L.D. jet. The Goblin flies off cackling maniacally, and Spider-Man tells Curt Connors that he has a lot more saving to do.
TO BE CONTINUED…
THOUGHTS: Alriiight, I get to review a two-parter! Finally! This two-part Sinister Six story will be finishing out the rest of Season Two. Does that mean it’s good? Well… Okay, so you guys have played video games right? You know that boss who you’ve defeated, but then he comes back later in the game wearing some different suit that somehow makes him, like, ten times stronger? Or remember how Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash at the end of Iron Man 2 shows up wearing that big, clunky, “upgraded” suit that’s supposed to make him look more powerful? That’s the kind of “upgrade” the Sinister Six go through in this episode. The entire team straps on some clunky, robotic, nineties-looking gear that they DO NOT NEED FOR ANY REASON. Why on Earth is Kraven the Hunter shooting rockets out of his chest? Was there anyone out there who read Kraven’s Last Hunt and said, “That was okay, but I would have liked it more if Kraven was dressed like Robocop and shot rockets out of his chest.”? Thank you Marvel’s animation department, you make great toy commercials. If you didn’t see this episode, you should know that RHINO DROVE AROUND ON WHEELS. Why?! That is so ridiculous that I feel ridiculous even addressing it. Sorry, I’ll move on now.
Okay, so Norman Osborn has been a good guy for literally two episodes (and he was only in one of them), and now he’s the Goblin again. I’ll start by saying that at the beginning of this episode I was really loathing Iron Patriot. His dialogue is so extremely cheesy. “I will bring you to justice!” “You will rue the day you dared challenge Iron Patriot!” That’s how he talks and I was quickly growing sick of it. But as the story moved along, he surprisingly became the most interesting part. Seeing him slowly transition into darker territory as he tries to bring Doc Ock to his final end, that was actually very well done. I liked seeing him try his darndest to be a hero, but still see that at this point he just wants to kill Octavius. But turning him back into the Goblin? Completely unnecessary in my opinion. The dynamic of Ock as the villain and Norman trying to help stop him was seriously interesting, but in a matter of about three minutes, the dynamic shifts completely to the Goblin being the villain, apparently with a plan to turn more people into Goblins. This did not need to happen! I wish the episode had ended with Norman being defeated along with the rest of the team, and Doc Ock escaping with the Spider-Friends. You could have had the same cliffhanger without using the cop-out of making Norman the villain once a-freakin’-gain.
While the action was cool at times, I was let down by a lot of the sequences. They relied heavily on cutting away to slow-motion and cutting away to Spider-Man’s jokes when really, you just want to see some fists flying. None of the Sinister Six were even utilized to any kind of potential, their “upgrades” just seemed like a studio mandate for the villains to look different every time you see them. The Rhino was just rollerblading around or whatever, Electro was still just shooting lightning bolts and making bad puns (“shocking”, ugh), and Kraven just yelled in his unrecognizable accent and shot rockets. And I’m tired of the Lizard fiiiinally getting an antidote that we all know isn’t going to last, it’s the same story every time. This time it only served the purpose of giving Spidey an ally in Connors while the Spider-Friends are captured. Although I did kind of like that the Connors part of his brain was working against the Lizard in the sewers when coming up with the formula, that was interesting.
Something that I’ve noticed in a few of these episodes that I think deserves mentioning is that the music score is excellent. Kevin Manthei scores this show and he is a talented guy. He also scores the Marvel MMO and several various TV shows, games, and animated movies. If you watch this episode after reading this review or you plan to watch this show at all, do yourself a favor and pay close attention to the music in the background. For me, it was one of the things that stood out about this episode. I don’t know if they plan to release any kind of soundtrack or anything like that for this show, but if they did, I’d buy it. Check out Kevin Manthei.
If you haven’t noticed, Spider-Man didn’t do much other than fight in this episode. He did synthesize Connors’ antidote but sadly I didn’t really care for that either. Peter was working with some pretty genius-level stuff, which of course we’ve come to expect from Peter Parker, but (and I hate to say this) that’s not really consistent with the portrayal of his character. He’s obviously a quick-thinking guy, but we rarely ever see Peter being the science student that we all know and love. He’s more of an average kid, so this seemed like a bit of a jump.
I haven’t reviewed the Season One finale two-parter yet, but obviously at the end of each season this show is going for a big story with a mosh-pit of Spidey’s villains. Last season ended with (SPOILERS) the Goblin bringing down the Helicarrier. He was the big bad, and Harry/Venom was also present. I initially felt like this episode was a great and different way to go, having the Sinister Six move on without Norman and have him try to be the good guy while also trying to suppress his urge to kill Octavius. That could be a great story. Unfortunately, in my opinion, all of that great story potential was tossed out by having Osborn become the Goblin once again, and once again become the antagonist. I hope the season finale is good but I really don’t like where this story is going.
PROS: Interesting story initially, cool Lizard moment, Spider-Friends didn’t make me want to die.
CONS: Killed story potential, ridiculous Sinister Six upgrades, logical leaps, I’m anxious about the finale.
GRADE: 2.5 out of 5 nineties cyber-suits. Thanks for reading guys! This one was a bit disappointing for me but what did you think? By all means, LEAVE ME A COMMENT and tell me what you think!