The Spectacular Spider-Man V6 and 7
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I like to think that The Spectacular Spider-Man, volumes 6 and 7 of which were released recently on DVD, is the reason for sending Peter Parker back to Midtown Manhattan Magnet, a.k.a. M3, High School in the 2012 3-D big-screen film Spider-Man 4. This era is the focus of Spectacular, which is such a terrific animated series that I subscribed to premium cable so that I could watch the second season episodes on Disney XD.
Before discussing the episodes on the new releases, I want to recommend that the producers of Spider-Man 4 consider Spectacular voice actor Josh Keaton for the role of Parker in the movie. His extraordinary portrayal of Parker and Spider-Man in the series is one of the best things about the program, and this performance receives equal praise in most of the reviews that I read. I would also love to see the creative team behind Spectacular participate in making the film.
Volumes 6 and 7 consist of the middle six episodes from the second season of Spectacular. These start with Parker beginning his junior year of high school after a rocky sophomore year that included his transformation into Spider-Man and enough teen angst to carry a CW show. The angst continues in the second season, but the older and wiser Parker handles it better.
Although the battles with super villains and the accompanying quips are great, the focus on Parker’s high school life and its parallels with his web-swinging are a better part of the show. Keaton’s voice and the spot-on way that Parker is drawn make us sympathize with him when he is called Puny Parker and Stinky Pete and otherwise bullied.
It is also fun to watch Parker bring big blonde bully Flash Thompson down with barbs regarding his intelligence. We learn additionally that the nickname Flash does not relate to his speed.
The high school element is especially strong regarding M3’s preparations for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The monologues that the students recite for tryouts for that production serve as a Greek chorus regarding Spider-Man’s battle of the week; tying these auditions to the primary action was clever and done perfectly. Episodes that will appear in the next DVD release bring the “Dream” production even more center stage and will have a great season 2 finale that includes the opening night of that play.
However, “Identity Crisis” in Volume 6 is the best episode of the set. Parker heroically continues fighting the good fight after super-villain Venom does his darnedest to out him merely to be vindictive. Additionally, this episode has Flash become a more sympathetic character.
The bottom line is that my fellow veteran Spidey fans will enjoy seeing our quick-witted hero in action and newer converts will appreciate the high school drama and best group of teens since Saved by the Bell.
I am eager to have folks e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding Spectacular or simply their jock-boy blonde bullies; my hockey star bully has characteristically made a career out of swooping down on foreclosed properties in the Boston area.
Please do share your thoughts regarding this show as e-mail to email@example.com.
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Review by John Stahl
John Stahl is a freelance legal writer who is also a fan of classic and cult television programs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Spectacular Spider-Man V6 and 7
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