Marvel Universe – 4/29/12

Welcome to this week’s installment of Marvel Universe.  Today’s episode of Ultimate Spider-man is titled “Why I Hate the Gym.”  Taskmaster infiltrates the school as a gym teacher to try to discover the identity of Spider-man.  Today’s episode of The Avengers is titled “To Steal an Ant-man.”  Hank must get some help when he discovers someone has stolen his equipment.  In the short segments we see someone climb walls “like” Spider-man, Fury Files profile White Tiger, J. Scott Campbell draws Iron Fist, and of course there are more of those Marvel Mash-ups.

Ultimate Spider-man – “Why I Hate the Gym”
Spider-man is chasing a villain called The Leaper, while Doc Ock and Taskmaster are watching video, when White Tiger tells him that Nick Fury wants him to report back for training. Peter Parker shows up late for school.  Coulson tells him and and Flash Thompson that they have a new gym teacher for today named Jager.  Jager, who is actually The Taskmaster, makes the kids run an obstacle course to judge their abilities to see if any of them are Spider-man.  Peter intentionally fails in order to maintain his cover.  Jager asks Flash, Danny, and Harry to come back tomorrow for the finals.  Ava is upset she wasn’t asked to come back, and decides to show up anyways.  That night, Taskmaster knocks out Coulson in his office, and accesses the SHIELD security.  Ava calls Peter, and tells him that something is wrong with the school.  Spider-man joins her at the school to see what is going on.  They find Stan the Janitor, and rescue him.  However, he falls through another trap door.  They find Coulson hanging above a vat of acid.  Coulson tells them that Taskmaster is behind this.  He tells them to get out, but they race off to save Harry.  Harry, Flash, and Danny are running from Taskmaster.  Flash and Harry escape before a blast door closes.  Danny stays behind to fight Taskmaster, but is defeated. Taskmaster captures Harry to lure Spider-man out.  It works as Spider-man confronts Taskmaster.  Taskmaster thinks Flash is Spider-man, and defeats him.  White Tiger attacks him, but isn’t able to beat him either.  Taskmaster has them both in trouble when he offers Spider-man a job.  Spider-man escapes him, after finding out that Taskmaster used to work for Fury.  They come up with a plan to outsmart Taskmaster.  Spider-man lures him into a completely dark room, and uses nightvision in his mask, and gives an extra mask to White Tiger.  They also switch gloves to surprise Taskmaster.  They also change up where things are in the gym.  They momentarily defeat Taskmaster, but he’s eventually able to escape out the window.  Taskmaster returns to Doc Ock, and tells him that Spider-man is not a student.

The Avengers:  Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – “To Steal an Ant-Man”
Ant-man is caught on a security camera stealing money from a bank vault.  Hank Pym returns to his lab, and Jan is happy to see him, but he tells her that he’s just there to clean out the lab.  Hank and Jan are arguing about the usefulness of the Avengers when a news report about the robbery is shown.  Hank sees it and abrubptly leaves.  He finds that one of his shrinking guns is missing.  He calls Jan on the Avengers card.  She yells at him again, and he just says that he’s sorry.  Hank tells Luke Cage and Iron Fist, the Heroes for Hire, about his equipment being stolen, what that person would go through when they first activate it, and asks them to find out who did it.  The fake Ant-man has robbed another bank, this time loading the money in a bag so it wouldn’t disappear.  He is still having some difficulty controlling the powers.  Iron Fist and Luke Cage discuss why Hank would come to them.  They notice that this person is robbing crooked banks, so they go looking for information.  They run into a couple of baddies that were on the lookout for more heroes, and easily take them down, showcasing their abilities.  Iron Fist meditates when he’s alerted to the approaching fake Ant-man.  They fight him, but the fake Ant-man is able to escape.  Hank calls them to tell them he’s able to track the guy.  They find him, and Hank recognizes the guy as Scott Lang, the maintenance man from his lab.  Scott tells them that got involved with some bad people to pay for his sick daughter.  He robbed banks, and got caught.  When he got out, he was contacted by an old partner that demanded he give him all his money in order to save his daughter.  So, he stole the Ant-man stuff to pull it off.  They offer to help him, but he says no one can, and runs away from them.  Scott takes the money to William Cross.  Cross is upset that Scott hadn’t told them he was Ant-man before this.  Cross says that the deal has changed.  Luke Cage, Hank, and Iron Fist show up.  Hank shoots Lang’s daughter with a Pym disc, and she disappears.  Lang shrinks after her.  Everyone else is now fighting.  Lang found his daughter, and brings her back to normal size.  He shrinks again to take out Cross.  Lang agrees to hand over all of Hank’s equipment and turn himself in.  Hank says that Ant-man was working an undercover mission for the Avengers, and they’ll explain everything to the police.  Hank then tells Lang that he is now Ant-man.  Iron Fist asks Lang if he wants a job, while Luke Cage asks Hank who they should send the bill to.

Short Segments

  • Animated Reality:  Climbing walls like Spider-man.
  • Fury Files featuring White Tiger.
  • Marvel Master Class:  J. Scott Campbell shows how to draw Iron Fist.
  • Marvel Mash-ups.

Thoughts
I’m starting to think that Ultimate Spider-man would have been better served by having Miles Morales as Ultimate Spider-man instead of Peter Parker.  That way, it would make sense that he would be undisciplined and need lots of training.  Instead of Peter having opperated for a year, and surviving based on luck.  Sorry, I’m pretty sure I mentioned last week that I wouldn’t rant about this.  This episode did a lot to not really get anywhere.  Oh look, White Tiger and Spider-man have different ways of doing things, but they haven’t learned that yet, even though they’ve worked through differences many times already in their short time together.  But I digress.  The show still has some amusing elements to it, but I’m not certain that I’d still recommend it to people.

This episode didn’t really advance any of the major, on-going storylines, but it did deal with what’s going on with Hank Pym.  I realized I had forgotten that Hank quit the team, even though it hasn’t been very long since I watched that episode, and then I realized that I didn’t really care what happened to him.  So, we have a new Ant-man.  I don’t really see the point.  But, I also don’t like having people that have never before had a connection to a hero take over for them.  However, the Heroes for Hire were introduced, and that’s a good thing.  I liked how they were characterized.  I just hope we see them in the future.

I assume the “Animated Reality” segment is just a renamed “What Would It Take.”  The problem with trying demonstrate super powers in the real world is that no one actually has superpowers.  You can’t climb a wall like Spider-man, because you don’t have the ability to stick to the wall like a spider.  But I digress.  I’m sure it’s neat to the age group this is targeted at.  It was nice to see J. Scott Campbell draw something using actual pencils and paper, and discuss techniques that someone could actually do.  I am finding that having these short segments constantly interrupted by clips from the shows is getting really annoying.

See you next week.

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