Please feel free to comment on my review.
It’s time for the most exciting story in Season 5 of the ‘Spider-Man’ 1990s TV series that is divided into three chapters. It features Spidey teaming up with seven Marvel superheroes in order to defeat five dangerous foes. This could easily be a great Marvel superhero movie to be made for the cinema.
In ‘Chapter 1’ called ‘Arrival’, Spider-Man gets summoned by Madame Webb to meet a being called the Beyonder in another dimension. Spidey has been chosen to become part of an experiment to see if good is more than powerful than evil. A paradise planet becomes victimised by the Beyonder here.
Five villains are chosen to take over the planet including Doc Ock, Doctor Doom, Alistair Smythe, the Lizard and the Red Skull. It’s up to Spider-Man to lead a team of superheroes to save the planet. Spider-Man is reluctant to take part in the experiment, but he soon summons seven heroes to assist.
Spider-Man teams up with the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Iron Man and Storm of the X-Men. At the time of seeing this story on TV once back in 2005, I was excited to see it, having seen the latest ‘Fantastic Four’ movie on the big screen. I was thrilled to see Spidey with the Fantastic Four. 😀
In fact, this three-parter could make a great superhero movie starring the likes of Tobey Maguire/Tom Holland, Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis…Chris Evans again (Hey I’d rather have the 2005 Fantastic Four than the 2015 ones), Robert Downey Jr. and Halle Berry.
Mind you, I am curious about the choice Spidey made about having Storm in on his team. Not that it’s a bad choice, but why wasn’t it Wolverine? I mean, Spidey had more interaction with Wolverine and Beast in the Spidey/X-Men two-part crossover story they did from Season 2 than with Storm. 😀
As the Thing and the Human Torch attack Spidey for summoning them against their will whilst everyone defends him, they’re soon attacked by the Lizard who crashes their party. Spidey and the heroes work together in order to tame the Lizard and awaken the dormant Curt Connors inside him.
Thankfully, the Lizard/Connors agrees to work alongside Spidey and the superhero team against the other villains that have taken over the strange alien planet they’re on. Overall, ‘Arrival’ is a good beginning to this three chaptered ‘Spider-Man’ story. How will our heroes defeat the villains though?
In ‘Chapter 2’ of the story called ‘The Gauntlet of the Red Skull’, Spider-Man and his team of heroes fight against the Red Skull, Doc Ock and Alistair Smythe. Spidey also summons the Black Cat to help him and his team out. Black Cat is angry with Spider-Man for plucking out of her world so unwillingly.
Yeah, in the first scene of the second episode, Black Cat helps Blade and Morbius to fight against Miriam the Vampire Queen on Earth in Transylvania, I believe. Without warning, Black Cat gets plucked to the alien planet Spider-Man and his team are on. She’s far from pleased with Spider-Man.
Spidey needed Black Cat on his team in order to give him the moral support he wants when making decisions about leadership. Black Cat says that he can’t pluck people out of his or her world when he wants to. Perhaps Spidey should’ve sent the Black Cat back to Earth if she felt that way…oh wait, he can’t.
Incidentally, Spidey and the Black Cat are teamed up with Iron Man, Captain America and the Lizard to fight against the Red Skull at his base with Doc Ock and Smythe. Storm is up ahead with the rebels of the alien planet about to attack the Red Skull’s fortress. The Fantastic Four aren’t in this episode. 😦
They’ve gone on ahead elsewhere to tackle Doctor Doom. I was saddened the Fantastic Four weren’t in this episode. At the time of watching this episode on TV back in 2005, I missed seeing the first episode ‘Arrival’. Thankfully, I would see the Fantastic Four in the next episode of the story – ‘Doom’.
Spidey, Captain America, Iron Man, the Lizard and the Black Cat face many obstacles when trying to reach the Red Skull’s base and aid the rebel forces. This includes seismic activity and volcanic eruptions. Thankfully, the five heroes work together and save each other to overcome the obstacles.
Black Cat and Captain America share an interesting relationship with each other. She shares with him her backstory about how she got the same super-soldier formula that he got because of her father in ‘The Black Cat’ two-parter. Spidey is anxious Black Cat and Captain America may end up being lovers.
Though why should he since he was in love with Mary Jane, wasn’t he? Anyway, our heroes defeat the Red Skull and Doc Ock whilst Smythe helps them in order to see his father again. Black Cat also forgives Spidey at the end and says she’s happy to fight alongside him, considering him a great hero.
In ‘Chapter 3’ of the story called ‘Doom’, Spidey and the Lizard meet up with the Fantastic Four to fight against Doctor Doom at his palace in New Latveria. This, for me, is the most exciting episode in the three-parter as Spidey meets Doctor Doom in his only appearance in the ‘Spider-Man’ TV series.
Like I said, I was into the 2005 version of the Fantastic Four at the time. So seeing Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and other heroes fighting against Doctor Doom in this story was exciting. Honestly, I would’ve been pleased to have Julian McMahon as Doom in a ‘Spider-Man’ film with Tobey Maguire.
When Spidey and the Lizard meet up with Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman and the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four, they hear that Ben Grimm the Thing got captured by Doctor Doom himself. Spidey also hears the tragedy about how Ben Grimm became the Thing from Johnny Storm in this. 🙂
This leads to a flashback scene where we see the Fantastic Four getting their powers from the cosmic rays in space. This is interesting because it’s clearly animation not reused from the 1994 ‘Fantastic Four’ TV series. It is new animation that’s made specifically for this ‘Spider-Man’ TV story.
I’ve checked and most of the cast (except for the actor Quinton Flynn who voiced the Human Torch in Season 2) of the ‘Fantastic Four’ TV series aren’t reused for this ‘Spider-Man’ story. If they can get the X-Men from their ‘X-Men’ TV series in the ‘Spider-Man’ TV series, why not the Fantastic Four? 😐
Anyway, Dr. Doom has given Ben Grimm the ability to change back and forth from being human to becoming the Thing whenever he wants. He’s also restored his face from the acid burns he received to become Dr. Doom. His empire New Latveria on the alien planet is also currently a peaceful haven.
Spider-Man and the other heroes are suspicious of Doom’s seemingly peaceful motives. It turns out to be the case when Doctor Doom steals the Beyonder’s powers and becomes all powerful. I really liked that scene where Spidey told Doctor Doom that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’.
In the end, Spidey and the rest of his heroic team defeat Doctor Doom and the battle for good against evil has been won. The Beyonder sends everyone back to their own times and places, except for Spider-Man. He still has yet to face his greatest challenge. What that’ll be, we’ll have to find out. 😀
‘Secret Wars’ rating – 10/10
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