Police Officer: They’re doing a lot of swinging, but nothing’s happened yet.
This episode was 21 minutes long, which is the biggest case of over-confidence that I’ve ever seen. A regular story in Spider-Man is about 10 minutes in length, and half of that is Spider-Man talking to himself to kill time. I could only imagine what methods the creative team would use to trick an audience into thinking that their plot could fill a near half-hour. And by the time I finished the episode, I realized one thing: The creative team, well, they’ve been dead the whole time.
Spider-Man is framed for a robbery by Mysterio. Spider-Man freaks out about this and does a lot of nothing. Mysterio goes to J. Jonah Jameson and tells him that he’ll get rid of Spider-Man for a large fee. A deal is made. Mysterio doesn’t’ really have a plan at all, so Spidey remains alive. Since the animators don’t know what a fight is, they decide that Spider-Man shouldn’t either and the climax is the same fist into Mysterio’s head until the theme song plays.
Usually, whenever faced with the police, Spider-Man just exits the room, leaving the cops confused as to how they even got their jobs. Here, the action is more intricate, and I use intricate as a synonym for “baffling ineptitude.” At one point, Spider-Man retreats onto some train tracks and, no joke, gets his foot caught in the rails. I can think of a lot of un-Spider-Man-like things to do, like an episode where Spider-Man decides to publically execute Doctor Octopus or a plot about Peter Parker’s secret asphyxiation fetish, but getting his foot trapped while running from the police beats all of these. It’s like the production company picked their staff from people who forgot to fill out the back half of the application. I haven’t seen a superhero do something this dumb since that issue of The Hulk where Bruce Banner chokes on his cereal, an issue that I had to completely make up because of how much this Spider-Man fails in every regard.
This show is especially known for lines of dialogue that make no sense, but one stands out here in particular. Peter Parker enters the Daily Bugle and finds Betty there. The following is their exchange.
Peter: Hi, Betty. What’s new?
Betty: Well, I woke up this morning with a headache and when I opened the medicine chest akdlsdjdsljdfhjo;ihfdohf…”
Peter: Okay, okay! I’m sorry I asked.
Betty literally starts to talk so fast about useless crap that she becomes unintelligible. All the while, we start to zoom in on Betty’s face, with her expression looking like she’s being hypnotized. I don’t know if Spider-Man is trying to make a joke here or if the writer just wanted to show off how sick of women he was. Either way, the same result could’ve been achieved through this exchange:
Peter: I saw the way you looked at him! You tramp, I’ll teach you to go outside and “chat” with the neighbor. Where’s dinner, or did you suck that off too?
Drawing 21 minutes of animation must be ridiculously tough on a team that spent their first week of training on a pencil sharpener tutorial. So, they take some cheap methods here and reuse animation. And not just a clip. A full montage of Spider-Man swinging around is used twice, mainly because they figured that kids would be asleep by the second time anyway.
Amazing Spidey Quote:
Spider-Man: Don’t count your victories before they hatch, Mysterio.
This show takes great pains to include Spider-Man’s greatest foes and then embarrass them. It may be just a rumor, but this might be the only time in history where an imaginary villain has stormed off the set because he was so angry about the script.