Peter learns that Horizon High’s headmaster, Max Modell, is experimenting again with the Venom symbiote and his mentor convinces him to help with the research. Though initially a synthetic version, the symbiote is able to reform into Venom and escapes. In the end, Spider-Man is able to defeat Venom but not before he sends a signal back to his home planet.
[Slight Spoilers for 3.2 Ahead!]
Peter receives two surprise guests back in Queens. Aunt May introduces him to Mary Jane Watson, the new neighbor. Their first meeting is a bit awkward because Pete is distracted by his other visitor, Baby Groot.
The adorable talking tree brings Spider-Man a dire warning from Star-Lord. Unfortunately, the message is recorded on a cassette tape that becomes unwound. Due to Groot’s limited English vocabulary, Peter tries to find a way to interpret the alien.
During his search the friendly neighborhood spider turns to Miles, Riri Williams and Doctor Strange. All the while, A.I.M. and Baron Mordo are hot on his heels to kidnap Groot for their own nefarious purposes. They succeed and then it’s up to Spider-Man, Ironheart and the totally awesome Hulk to rescue the little guy.
If you love super team ups then you’ll probably enjoy “Amazing Friends”. It’s easy to enjoy seeing so many familiar faces fighting alongside Spider-Man. It’s a fun instance that brings the cosmic, mystical and street level segments of the animated Marvel Universe together. There are so many characters, including the villains, that you’d half expect Iceman and Firestar to make an appearance with that episode title.
The action scenes are well done with great choreography. The magic in particular does a good job capturing the feel and aesthetic of the live action versions. And with a group of heroes of different skill sets, there are definitely some interesting combo moves on display to take down their enemies.
Once again, the episode can suffer from dumbing down the humor and plot to cater to the younger audience. This is especially true for many of Baby Groot’s scenes. Although, it is pretty amusing and cute when Groot gets his hands on some web shooters. Also, the way the group dispatches their enemies in the final scene can induce some eye rolls.
Another drawback is the viewer can feel they’re being beaten over the head with the themes and lessons. Obviously, there will be a science vs magic debate when you pair up tech savvy teens and Doctor Strange or A.I.M. and Baron Mordo. Then, there are conflicting views and personalities in both the hero and villain camps but only one side is able to put aside their differences and work together. You can probably guess who without watching the episode.
Despite some shortcomings, the second episode of Spider-Man: Maximum Venom delivers what you’d expect from a superhero show. Good action and some super team ups. We might even see some of these allies again when the symbiotes finally make their way to Earth.
Watch episode 2 tonight, at 9pm (EST/PST), on Disney XD.
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