I said I’d be back when all 6 parts of Spider-Man’s origin were out, and here we are! Let’s break this thing down, piece by piece, and see what we’re in for with this new show! I’m starting on Part 2, if you missed my breakdown of Part 1, click here. Alright, here we go!
So we pick up right after Peter got bit in part one, and he’s discovering his powers. It’s kind of refreshing to see the power discovery/origin phase again, since all the animated series to this point have glossed over it if you really think about it. They all had flashback episodes, but for the first time in a Spider-Man cartoon, I feel like we’re starting from the beginning with Peter and following him on his journey. I also like that Peter’s processing his powers with the 5 steps of the scientific method (that I’m sure we all learned in middle school). This keeps true to his scientific nature and gives this version of Peter almost an endearing personality about him.
This episode is the Observation phase, and it’s a nice touch to have Peter recording his thoughts; talking to himself has always been a Spider-Man staple. I like the Raimi-trilogy moment where he’s hiding from an Osborn on the ceiling, and let’s not forget that part straight out of the comics where he flips to avoid a car and lands on the wall. And that Spider-Sense effect is awesome, be it a bit intrusive. It was subtler in previous iterations, but at least we’re clear on when it goes off.
Next we get to the Hypothesis stage. Again, this recording his thoughts shtick they’ve got going is great, and the parkour/Parker bit was a nice face palm nerd joke only Peter would make (along with his baseball touchdown). I would, however, like to take a moment to point out the quip about his web shooters, how if they told time and played music he’d make a fortune. Not only is that legitimately funny, but it’s subtle, which is something we haven’t had in a while from the Disney XD Marvel shows. It’s smart humor, not fart humor, and with that, I think this show can go far. The rest is Peter making shapes and objects with his web shooters, a bit Amazing Spider-Man world in Shattered Dimensions if you ask me, but I guess it takes Peter’s ingenuity a step further, so I won’t complain. And the web slinging bit at the end, pure heart eye emoji joy.
We now reach Prediction (smart throwing the psychic in there, though I wish it was Madame Web!) This is mainly Peter coming up with a name and a costume, which totally brought me back to me trying to (unsuccessfully) make my own homemade Spider-Man costume! That little Ben Reilly nod was cool, and hey, we hear Aunt May! Still haven’t seen her, or Uncle Ben, which is a bit strange, but they’re choosing to focus on Peter, so I guess it’s fine.
The Experimentation part is my favorite of these origin bits. It’s basically a love letter to Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie (I mean, Bonesaw Mcgee! Come on!), and I’m all for it! It’s formatted like an episode of the show they made up “So You Want to be a Wrestler”, with backstage interviews, an announcer, and the video intros, which is unique and different. This version of Peter continues to win me over with his lack of sports knowledge and insistence on being a nerd no matter his situation. And the actual match with Bonesaw was cool peek at what the action in this show is going to be like. Peter throwing quips while coming up with creative and agile ways to take down his enemies. It’s perfect, it’s Spider-Man. Now of course, Peter lets the burglar go, and we know that won’t end well, but like I said, this was a 5 minute flashback to Spider-Man 1, and made me almost nostalgic in a way. And hey, let’s not forget about good old Stan Lee’s cameo!
The last part, appropriately titled Conclusion, is the Uncle Ben portion. Strange, since, again, we haven’t seen Uncle to this point, so the emotional impact isn’t as strong, but kids will be watching, so I don’t expect them to pack it on. And Peter’s reaction is more than enough to sell it. I can’t understate, however, how much I love, love, love the opening to this. Peter stating that the trophy is made of three kinds of metal, then asking “You know else is made up of three different kinds of metal?” And boom! It’s an inspired moment, and one that drives home the point while punching you in the gut. The rest is by the numbers, Peter corners Uncle Ben’s killer, full of rage, discovers it’s his fault, and accepts that with great power comes great responsibility. Peter’s anger and then anguish at what he did is well represented, and helps me really connect to Peter. I actually believe why he wants to be Spider-Man in the end.
I think that this six-part origin was necessary, so that when we’re thrown into Peter’s adventures as the wall crawler, we now care about who he is underneath. I find that the best Spider-Man stories are when I’m rooting for Peter, even when he’s wearing the mask. Ultimate took a step back from the Peter Parker aspect, which I think cost the show dearly, and is the reason no one really got into it. But this show seems to be getting back to basics, the reason we all love Spider-Man in the first place, and that’s because when he’s plain old Peter Parker, he one of us. I’m really excited, and everything I’ve seen of this show only gives me more hope. Fingers crossed that this is the Spider-Man show that’ll go down in history as the best!