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Subj: Cartoon Fun 15: Spider-Man TAS - Duel Of The Hunters
Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 at 09:09:04 am EST (Viewed 97 times)
To coincide with America's Captain's banner this week, I've decided to post about my favorite episode of Spider-Man TAS: Duel Of The Hunters(November 1995). This was the eighth chapter of season two's "Neogenic Nightmare" storyline and is jam packed with action, characters and subplots. I think it's the best version of the Spider-Man as a 6 armed Man-Spider story ever done.
After having drunk Dr. Mariah Crawford's untested serum that was designed to cure Spider-Man of his mutation disease, Peter Parker grew 4 extra arms in the previous episode, and continues to mutate further into a man-sized spider. Dr. Crawford calls on Kraven The Hunter to try to help capture Spider-Man while the Punisher also has plans to rid Empire State University of the spider monster that is being blamed for attacking students. Meanwhile, Morbius the Living Vampire, who is actually responsible for these attacks, is still prowling around ESU and attacks Deb Whitman and Flash Thompson. The Man-Spider, still with a semblence of Peter's goodness, saves the two students while Kraven and the Punisher battle to see who will take down the monster. After another battle, Man-Spider captures the Punisher. Kraven tracks the beast to his lair and frees the Punisher. The two vigilantes team up to take down the monster as Dr. Crawford arrives with a new antidote, which turns the Man-Spider back to Peter Parker. Dr. Crawford is also able to get through to the Punisher, who then sees that Spider-Man is a hero and a victim rather than a monster. Finally, the mutation disease, which has plagued Parker since the start of this season, is gone.
This episode might turn off casual viewers of the show, as there are plotlines that have been developing over 8 episodes, but I think the show brings it all to a point with this story. Like a comic from the 70's, the subplots are explained so that a new viewer can quickly figure out what is going on. Even though Peter Parker hardly appears as himself in this episode, I think it's one of the best. There are great moments between Kraven and Punisher, Kraven and Dr. Crawford, Flash and Deb, Harry and MJ, and Peter and Dr Crawford at the end. Flash is particularly in character, as his arrogant self, but still willing to do what is right without regard for his safety. He also sticks up for Spidey in the face of what the Daily Bugle is saying. The action moves along at breakneck speed, but feels frantic rather than rushed. There is some real horror in this episode as well, which is a bit surprizing concidering the high level of censorship in the series. The driving rainstrom and creepy spider web lair add to an atmosphere of fright more in line with a monster movie than a superhero comic.
This is great fun!
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