Review: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN - SEASON ONE - 'Catalysts' - Send to a friend
© (c) 2008 The CW/ Kids WB! SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN- 'Catalysts'



Spider-man's number one foe -- the Green Goblin -- makes the scene

Grade: A
Writer(s): Andrew Robinson
Director: Victor Cook
Release Date: April 26th, 2008
Rating: NR

By SEAN ELLIOTT, Senior Editor
Published 4/30/2008

"Catalysts" has a lot of land marks for our young webbed hero in just one bite sized episode of THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN. Following closely on the heels of Mary Jane’s first appearance, this episode picks up roughly where the last new episode left off with Pete and MJ heading to the dance together.

This episode also has the first appearance of everyone’s favorite jade colored menace, the Green Goblin. True to his early years in the comic books, the Goblin comes onto the scene as someone bent to take over his share of the criminal underworld. This is a much different Goblin compared to the revenge obsessed Gobby that most of us are used to seeing in the last several years of comics. Everything changes once Spider-man and the Green Goblin are unmasked to each other, so for now things are simply about power.

The cartoon is having an unexpected effect on my enjoyment of Spider-man comic books. In the current issues BRAND NEW DAY, Spidey is free and single and was never married to Mary Jane Watson. Watching the cartoon and seeing Mary Jane and Peter together only makes me want to see them back together in the comic book. I’ve been enjoying BND, but now I want the familiarity of the Pete & MJ equation back. The cartoon, especially this episode, reminded me of how good those characters are together, and why I love that relationship so much. Of course, this relationship is blooming a little ahead of schedule on the animated series, because Gwen Stacy is still in the picture, albeit a little more in the background than she should be right at the moment. Yes, both girls were part of Pete’s life almost simultaneously, but this is a younger version of Mr. Parker, and I hope that he does develop a relationship with Gwendy.

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The Green Goblin is handled with superb finesse, as have all of the baddies on this show. He’s a bad guy after power, we never see his face, and his costume is a nice blend of old and new versions. In fact, his costume looks a lot like the designs that Alex Ross did for the SPIDER-MAN movie, which were not used, but the Goblin looks somewhat medieval in this cartoon.

I really loved the weaponry that he has in the cartoon and the designs on the glider and the pumpkin bombs that make a screaming noise when they explode. It’s also appropriate that Gobby is involved in a rivalry with the Big Man since that is what happened in the comics of the Stan Lee and Steve Ditko era that this series is following and adapting so well. Plus, I really, really liked all of the bait and switch as to the identity of the Goblin. It will be interesting to see if he ends up being Norman Osborn or if they have something else up their collective sleeves.
Next week we finally get to see Otto Octavius be Doc Ock and be the menacing bad guy we all know and love instead of just Osborn’s lab assistant.

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