‘Royal Scam’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

The second ‘Spider-Man’ episode of this series is one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Spidey gets tricked into stealing the TX-1 super-chip, designed to decrypt the confidential satellite transmissions that drive the world’s financial markets. And he was tricked by…Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin! 😀

Yeah! It was fun to see the Kingpin from the ‘Daredevil’ movie make an appearance in this ‘Spider-Man’ episode. I actually like the idea of Spidey battling against Michael Clarke Duncan’s Kingpin. If only it was Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man who fought Kingpin and not Neil Patrick Harris’ Spider-Man.

This is where I think a missed opportunity was made. Had this ‘Spider-Man’ series taken place in the original movie trilogy’s timeline and had Tobey Maguire; Kirsten Dunst and James Franco been cast in their roles for this series, it would connect the ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Daredevil’ film universes together.

As is, it’s almost like the Michael Clarke Duncan Kingpin in this ‘Spider-Man’ series is an alternative universe one compared to the ‘Daredevil’ film universe version of Kingpin. And it probably is. Otherwise, it was fun the Kingpin was voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan and fought Spidey at last in this episode.

The story also features Peter struggling to fulfil his commitments to Mary Jane when she has a three-night acting showcase taking place in New York. As much as I criticise Peter and MJ’s relationship in this series, there are scenes between them where they genuinely sound like a potential love couple.

The phone call between Peter in Spidey’s outfit to MJ before her first night was a nice scene and it made me root for them as romantic interests for each other. A shame that Peter missed MJ’s first two nights of the theatre showcase because he was involved with the Kingpin’s activities in the tale.

Clearly MJ is peeved about it when Peter fails to show up on her first two nights and he apologises for it. Thankfully, after Spidey defeats Kingpin in his plans, Peter manages to make it for MJ’s third and final night. MJ is happy to see Peter, though it doesn’t mean they end up as a couple at the end.

‘Royal Scam’ is an enjoyable ‘Spider-Man’ episode in the 2003 series. I was thrilled to hear the Kingpin voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan from the ‘Daredevil’ movie. A pity it wasn’t Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man who fought him, but I guess it could happen in an alternative ‘spider-verse’. 🙂

The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, there’s a DVD audio commentary with director/executive producer Audu Paden; character designer David Hartman; background/set designer Vince Toyama and executive producer/writer Morgan Gendel. There’s also an ‘Amazing Spider-Facts’ info-text commentary option to enjoy.

‘Royal Scam’ rating – 8/10

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