‘THE RETURN OF HYDRO-MAN’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Here we are on the two-part story, ‘The Return of Hydro-Man’. This is where things change dramatically for Spider-Man/Peter Parker as he gets to learn why Mary Jane mysteriously returned in ‘The Return of the Green Goblin’. Brace yourselves! This is going to come across as very shocking!
In ‘Part One’ of the story, Peter and Mary Jane are on their honeymoon in Niagara Falls. Yeah, pretty unusual that Peter and Mary Jane’s honeymoon didn’t happen immediately after ‘The Wedding’. But then again, they admit that their wedding had been postponed – all ‘Six Forgotten Warriors’ fault. 😀
Anyway, whilst on their honeymoon, Mary Jane becomes menaced again by Morrie Bench the Hydro-Man who returns to kidnap her. Distraught, Peter tries to find where Hydro-Man is keeping Mary Jane, but can’t. He later asks for Detective Terri Lee and the police’s help after his searches fail.
It was tense when Peter got angry with Aunt Anna for accusing him in being the cause of her niece’s disappearance. And quite right too! Aunt Anna was pretty cruel to him. Eventually, Peter as Spidey goes out in search for Hydro-Man and Mary Jane. He finds a clue at an oil rig where he’s keeping her.
Peter/Spidey also receives help from Felicia Hardy/the Black Cat when she returns to New York. I like that scene where Felicia visits Peter at his flat whilst he despairs over Mary Jane’s disappearance. It’s also intriguing to learn why Felicia/Black Cat returned as she wanted a break from Morbius’ mission.
Thankfully Peter/Spidey gets to rescue Mary Jane from Hydro-Man when they fight on the oil rig. It is pretty intense when Hydro-Man is so obsessed with having Mary Jane and isn’t going to let Spider-Man get in his way. It’s a huge wonder why Morrie Bench/Hydro-Man doesn’t give up on Mary Jane.
The story also signifies Peter’s skills as a scientist whilst he goes out in search for Mary Jane and deducing many of the clues. Mary Jane also demonstrates how resourceful she can be and even remembers some science lessons she’d learned from Peter in order to weaken Hydro-Man’s powers.
The first episode ends on a shocking cliffhanger. Spidey and the Black Cat fight well against Hydro-Man for a bit. But when Spidey is almost about to be killed by Hydro-Man, he’s saved by Mary Jane…who shoots water out of her hands at Hydro-Man. What?! What has Mary Jane become then?
In ‘Part Two’ of the story, Peter/Spidey and Mary Jane can’t understand how she happens to have water-like powers similar to Hydro-Man. The Black Cat says farewell to Spidey as she goes back to Morbius. Mary Jane couldn’t help notice a connection going on between Spidey and the Black Cat. 😀
After reporting her whereabouts to Terri Lee, Peter and Mary Jane go and see Dr. Connors. Connors helps Mary Jane to recount the dreams she’s been having. This involves a pirate-themed restaurant next to the George Washington Bridge that leads back to an underwater lab thought to be forgotten.
I like how Peter/Spidey works out Mary Jane’s trail in how she ended up being on the bank of the Hudson River in the first place since his battle with Harry Osborn as the Green Goblin. This is especially when Mary Jane gets captured again by Hydro-Man and he takes her to the forgotten lab.
The forgotten lab is the one seen in ‘Enter The Green Goblin’ where Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin kidnapped the Board of Directors for his revenge. But the lab is something more to Mary Jane as it was the place where she was created. Yeah! This leads up to the most shocking revelation in this two-parter.
It turns out Mary Jane isn’t the real Mary Jane at all. She happens to be a clone, created by a sample of Mary Jane’s hair and a drop from Hydro-Man. It also turns out Hydro-Man isn’t the real Hydro-Man at all as he’s a clone too. Both Mary Jane and Hydro-Man are clones created by Miles Warren.
When I saw this story for the first time on DVD, I was absolutely shocked by the revelation. For a long time, I thought the Mary Jane that came back in ‘The Return of the Green Goblin’ was the real Mary Jane. All this time, Peter Parker had been married to a clone of Mary Jane. Not the real person.
It ends unhappily when Hydro-Man becomes enraged before slowly decomposing as his clone metabolism can’t be sustained. Mary Jane also decomposes too, much to the horror of Peter/Spidey. Mary Jane tells Peter that the real Mary Jane loved her as much she loves him before she sadly dies.
It’s so upsetting for Peter who can’t live without Mary Jane and with the knowledge that the real Mary Jane is still missing. But soon, he’s summoned by Madame Webb who takes him on his greatest mission yet with the hope of finding the real Mary Jane. What will happen next for Spidey?!
‘The Return of Hydro-Man’ rating – 8/10
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