This season was quite the ride. Now I love me some “Spider-man,” but this is the season where things start moving from good to great.
The season starts off with both Peter Parker and Spider-man on the hunt for the missing Mary Jane, who has been sucked into a cult. In a cunning (and realistic move), this cult leader thrives on lonely folks who have lost someone and uses that pain to keep them under control.
Here begins “Sins of the Fathers” arc, the first of 14 episodes all about dear old dad and how he messed up and/or helped his kids during their formative years.
Last time I was here talking about
“Spider-man,” I made the claim that while the standalone episodes
can be good, the show works better in the season-long arcs.
And now I get the chance to defend my
claim as we dive into the second season, “Neogenic Nightmare.”
Spider-man has recovered nicely from
his season one adventures, but all is not well in Spidey land. On a
typical patrol, he loses his spider powers. After a trip to visit his
old scientist pal Doctor Connors, Spidey discovers that he’s still
mutating, and that when the mutations stop, he won’t be human any
That would be bad enough, but Spidey
also has to deal with Kingpin massing a small army of super-villains,
all intent on killing our hero; the return of the Hobgoblin (when
will people learn to just pay that guy???); the arrival of the
Punisher and Blade, two supposed heroes intent on murdering
Spider-man; and probably most importantly, Mary Jane dumps Peter
after he blows her off one to many times.
When I was a kid, I could have easily
and with no hesitation told you what my favorite cartoon was -
“X-Men.” I wasn’t always as good at catching the
episodes (it was a lot harder in the pre-Internet dark ages), but to
my 12-year-old self, there was no better TV than “The Phoenix Saga”
(although that really does hold up).
I was such an “X-Men” nut that when
they were going to appear on “Spider-man,” I gleefully made the
time to check out that other Marvel kids show. Lucky for me, I kept
watching that show about a wall-crawling wisecracker.
After a while, I had to admit that
while my heart will always be with the “X-Men,” “Spider-man”
was the better show. And now that they are both on Instant Watch,
it’s time to look back at both these kiddie shows that left a lasting
impression on this young geek.