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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Spectacular Spider-man: Volume Six & Seven

March 11th, 2010

The Spectacular Spider-Man - Buy from Amazon: Volume Six and Volume Seven

A few weeks ago, The Spectacular Spider-Man Volume Six and Volume Seven were released on DVD. I've previously reviewed Season One and also reviewed Volume Five. These two DVDs are the second and third volumes for season two and include six additional episodes starting with...

  • First Steps
    It's the beginning of the new school year and there are a lot of changes that Peter Parker (and Spider-man) have to deal with. Peter Parker has relationship issues, as he's dating Flash Thompson's ex (Liz Allen) while Harry is back and hopefully is cured of the Green Goblin addiction. Gwen Stacy is worried about Petey, while Harry still has his crush on Gwen. Meanwhile, Spidey has to deal with Sandman, who is still trying to get his big score. Sandman's plan seemed rather solid and probably would have worked if not for a bit of bad luck. Personally I would have tried again, but gone in and out faster. Or tried to be stealthy and do it at night. Even more worrisome, it appears Venom is back.
  • Growing Pains
    J. Jonah Jameson's son, John, who returned from space partway through season three, seems to be infected by the same alien spore that created Venom, thereby giving him superpower powers. J. Jonah Jameson decides to mold his son into a superhero, who then goes after Spider-man because Venom has been going around framing him.
  • Identity Crisis
    After Venom outs Peter Parker as Spider-man, J. Jonah Jameson tries to confirm it. However, Flash Thompson picks the absolute wrong time to impress a girl by dressing up as Spider-man. Meanwhile, Eddie Brock has a new plan to take on Spider-man by neutralizing his powers.

Volume seven also has three episodes, starting with...

  • Accomplices
    There's a new tech device on the blackmarket that can be used to create an army of Rhinos. Of course, every criminal organization wants it (Tombstone, Doctor Octopus, Silvio Manfredi, some guy who makes perfume, etc.) Spider-man is determined to stop whoever wins it, while at the same time dealing with everyone else who lost out in the bidding war.
  • Probable Cause
    As part of Criminology class, the students get to go on ride-alongs with cops. Peter Parker has to switch back and forth between himself and Spidey when the New Enforcers start working for Tombstone, who is trying to build his war chest for the upcoming gang war.
  • Gangland
    Speaking of the gang war, Tombstone and Silvio Manfredi are going at it for control of the city. Spider-man is caught in the middle. To complicate matters, it's Valentine's Day and Peter Parker has his hands full with Liz.
The show does a good job at balancing the action elements of the story with the more personal lives of its characters. Some episodes focus more on one than the other. For instance, Accomplices is practically one big fight, while First Steps is a little more on the character drama end of the spectrum. Also, since 90% of the characters have been introduced previously, the "Freak-of-the-Week" vibe is almost gone.

On the other hand, there are no extras on the DVDs, nor are there subtitles. There are play-all buttons and proper chapter placements, but that's it for DVD authoring.

The Verdict

The Spectacular Spider-Man remains one of the best comic book cartoons on TV at the moment. However, Volume Six and Volume Seven individually cost as much as the Complete First Season. I suspect that Season Two will be at about the same price, so it makes sense to wait. When Season Two does come out on DVD, buy it right away.

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