School is back in session and things are looking up for Peter Parker. He is dating Liz Allen but still has feelings for Gwen Stacy. Harry Osborn is back but Peter questions if his friend is on the goblin juice. He is also invited to Flash Thompson's birthday party. Unfortunately, Peter has to put his social responsibilities on hold after Sandman reappears to make his big score. The super villain has learned to master his abilities by absorbing more sand and grow in size and strength. He is definitely a more formidable foe than in the previous episodes. Also, Eddie Brock is back and tricks Peter to lead him to the spot where Pete dumped the symbiote. The birthday party scene was very amusing. It reveals that Peter and Eugene were best friends in pre-school, and Peter gave him the nickname of Flash because he would often run around naked. The biggest surprise in the episode was the other side of Sandman. Despite his ambition to make a big score and his hostility for Spider-Man, Sandman doesn't mean to hurt innocent bystanders. He is shown to be compassionate by helping a small girl from some bullies, and heroic by saving Spider-Man and the crew of a burning oil tanker before it explodes. The episode ends with a good cliffhanger as Brock leaves an interesting message on Flash's birthday party video.
Sandman is not my favorite villain. I've always saw him as a Clayface knock-off from the Batman series. But Spectacular Spider-Man has done some really (really) creative things with him, which have made for some excellent action sequences. But besides just the great fighting, Marko has seemed to have grown in character and besides sarificing himself to save an oil tanker, there is an especially sweet scene where he pretends to be a sand castle for little girl.
I also really liked Flash Thompson's birthday party stuff. (I'm a sucker for high school party anythings) I thought it was really clever inter-cutting the random video camera interviews, and there was even a bit of suspense in dealing with the Gwen/Parker/Harry/Liz love quadrangle. Enjoyable stuff all around
Time to face the music, this episode reminded me of what I liked about Spider-man 3.
Alright, i guess i'd better explain myself. A sympathetic villain done well is a rarity now days, evil and menacing seem to have the market cornered, and it's understandable. Evil is more fun and easier to write, i know that sounds bad, but it's true. This introduced Mark Allen, who will come into play later in this season.
The Kenny's bit with the camera at the birthday party was the funnest thing I have seen this season "You want to see how many chips I can stick in my mouth", Glory's recurse was beyond hysterical
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