The Klyntar begin their invasion by sending a “Venomized” version of the Avengers as a scouting party and prepare for their arrival. Earth’s mightiest heroes almost take over all of New York by infecting the citizens and capes alike. Only a small resistance remains with Spider-Man and unlikely ally, Marc Spector, leading the way. Peter’s mentor, Max Modell, is able to develop a cure and together they fight off the symbiote horde and save the day.
[Slight Spoilers for 3. 4 Ahead!]
With the world saved, it’s time for Max Modell to face the music for his continued unsanctioned research with the V-252 Symbiote. Not only did his actions bring great danger to Horizon High but to the world. He’s facing a school board hearing on whether he should be fired as principal and expelled all together. In his corner are Miles, Gwen, and Anya while Doctor Connors is speaking against his former boss.
Meanwhile, Peter is out trying to find witnesses to speak on his mentor’s behalf and turns to some old faces. The first, a pleasant surprise, is able to delay Max’s verdict for another day. While he tries tracking down the second, his classmate Aleksei Sytsevich, Parker finds his home ransacked with his target nowhere to be found.
His search leads him to a subterranean lair of the villain, Swarm, where he finds Aleksei seemingly turned back into his mutated rhinoceros form. Eventually, this leads him and the Spider Team to hunt down their classmate and change him back into his human form, find out who’s responsible, and successfully defend Modell’s expulsion. Along the way they face an underground fighting league and as you can assume from the episode’s title, Spider-Man’s secret identity is revealed.
“Spider-Man Unmasked” begins the second half of the season. It does a good job placing our hero and his friends at their lowest point which they’ll hopefully overcome in the end. Peter is dealing with all the drama with Max Modell and is in jeopardy of losing his mentor. Then there are the repercussions of Spider-Man’s identity coming out and how Parker’s secret affects his relationship with Gwen and Anya. It marks a time Spider-Man can’t completely save the day.
For the most part, the writing is enjoyable. Spider-Man actually has some sharp and enjoyable quips while fighting the bad guys. His “making new friends” line during his dust up with The Tinkerer in the beginning stands out in particular. Of course, he also has the regular purposely cheesy ones as well. The story does bring up some interesting possibilities for the future including the real villain behind the scenes. Connors is always speaking to some unknown figure but we never see them. I’m curious to see who’s the person manipulating all the strings because they have ties to Swarm as well.
Speaking of Swarm, I like the show’s version of the otherwise, always overlooked villain in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. The series is known to make some deviations from the source material when it comes to characters but this one is a change I enjoyed. His appearance has a more bee aesthetic rather than just looking like a bunch of orange or black dots in a cape and he even has new powers.
It is also a pleasure seeing familiar faces from previous episodes. There is Aleksei/Rhino, plus a bittersweet cameo for Modell’s first character witness and a humorous one as a spectator during the underground fight club. Not to mention, some nice moments between Peter and Mary Jane. They’re scenes together so far have been short and sweet and that brief pause and smile M.J. has after talking with Parker is priceless.
With such a big event occurring in this episode, the revealing of Spider-Man’s identity, it seems a bit too convenient on how they resolve the issue. I can understand that some who learn Parker’s secret would not tell, especially those closest to him, but I highly doubt everyone would. Can you trust randoms and even an enemy to keep their mouths shut?
Also, for a season named Maximum Venom, I kind of miss the over the top symbiote action. I understand that they repelled the attack and it’s time for Modell to face his consequences. The episode also grounds the overarching story and puts the main focus back on Peter and his relationships. There is a chance that we’ll get more Venom since the shady puppet master in the shadows could be the same person responsible for retrieving the Klyntar seed from Venom’s meteor previously.
The most recent episode of Spider-Man: Maximum Venom is a fun adventure featuring an interesting new villain and the return of some familiar faces. However, though a big bombshell is dropped with regards to the main character, its resolution seems a bit too convenient and not believable.
Watch Episode 4 tonight at 9pm (EST/PST) on Disney XD.