Ultimate Spider-Man: the Howling Commandos

Adapted screenplay by Man of ActionKevin Burke and Chris Wyatt.

Part of my problem with part one of this two-parter, Ultimate Spider-Man: Blade, is that took itself too seriously. There’s a reason Brooks (Blade) isn’t a part of the modern superhero trend, and it’s because he just doesn’t fit its style right now. When things have gotten a bit darker, maybe. But not right now. As part two of his guest-starring two-part episode, Brooks is downplayed this time, and only appears as a fodder or fighter. Which is a good. If the previous episode proved anything, it’s that you just can’t do anything with him. As a character, he’s very unsubstantial.

And, with Brooks being taken by Dracula, Fury unleashes the Howling Commandos, supernatural beings based on the Universal Monsters series, which incidentally inspired the Marvel Cinematic Universe trend. But somehow – and this is strange considering the episode’s written by the same writers as previously – it works a lot better this time round. Rather than let Brooks take the spotlight, the show remembers that ultimately it’s about Parker, and everything happens to make him important. He gets to say all the best lines, and is definitely the most entertaining part of the episode. And you’d be surprised how many shows can forget this formula, and start to push some other character, despite it not being about them.

Yes, the existence of Dracula in this world doesn’t quite make sense, and can only be executed by resembling Scooby-Doo (how long till Warner Bros. start a cinematic universe for each of those characters?), but the way Parker’s revelation that “Dracula… is real!” is met dumbfounded allows the audience to project their own reaction onto that. Personally, I found myself jumping aboard the Parker ship (because why wouldn’t I?), finding it all quite difficult to comprehend. But that was okay, because he was the same.

Really, this isn’t a show about realism. Let’s get that out of the way. So for what this episode should be congratulated is its consistency, and ability to make everything have the same wacky unreality. It never treats anything like the next big thing, and instead, embraces its wild nature. And it’s much better for it.

Ultimate Spider-Man: the Howling Commandos – a lesson in executing zane (6/10).

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Author: the Purple Prose Mage

I'm not Batman, but I wish that I were.

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