Episode Title: Spidey Goes to Hollywood
Right now, many of my friends from the world of film blogging are in Hollywood at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival. While I, on the other hand, get to watch them tweet about the festival from the comfort of my own home and office. I am jealous, to say the least. Now, as if to pour salt on the wound, even Spider-Man, Iceman and Firestar get to head off to tinsel town in this week’s episode, Spidey Goes to Hollywood.
It seems that movie mogul Sam Blockbuster is making a Spider-Man movie in Hollywood, but things are not going well. It turns out that the villainous Mysterio has been causing all sorts of on-set accidents so that no actor will want to play Spidey, forcing the producer to hire the actual Spider-Man. This will allow Mysterio to bring an end to Spidey once and for all, and then make millions off of using the footage of the wall crawler’s demise. Blockbuster wants no part of it, that is until Mysterio convinces him using a robot simulation of the Incredible Hulk.
Blockbuster heads to New York to convince Spidey to come to Hollywood. Since Aunt May is behind on the mortgage, Peter/Spidey is more than happy to take the Hollywood gig. Of course, Iceman and Firestar tag along, anxious to meet their favorite stars. One important note here…Miss Lion (the dog) stays home with Aunt May this time!
The trio takes a bus to Hollywood. While crossing the desert, the bus driver picks up a disheveled man. Turns out it’s actually Dr. Banner (though his name is never said) who has just had a tussle with the army as the Hulk. Once our heroes hit LA, work begins on the movie…and Banner even gets a job as a janitor on the movie set. Of course, Mysterio starts using his tricks to have the various movie special effects start to attack Spidey for real. When Iceman and Firestar start to suspect something, Mysterio creates robot versions of stars Lance Macho and Honey Dove to eliminate them. But when Mysterio finally decides to use his robot Hulk to finish off Spidey, the real Hulk ends up intervening.
I love this episode! It’s just so wonderfully nuts! To start with, the Hollywood setting is a lot of fun. Since I’m a huge movie fan, it’s a great thrill to see Spidey in situations pulled out of the likes of Jaws and King Kong. He even gets to rescue the cartoon version of Fay Wray. The whole bit with the robo-celebrities is a lot of fun too. I love how Iceman and Firestar are so starstruck. They don’t really care much that Spidey gets to star in a movie, they just want to meet their celebrity crushes. Plus, there’s just something wild about when Firestar uses her heat powers to melt the skin off of the robo-Lance Macho to reveal a Terminator-esque endoskeleton…three years before The Terminator, by the way.
The whole Hollywood story by itself would’ve been enough to make this a fun episode…but add to it some good old-fashioned Hulk Smash moments and we’ve got something really special. The Hulk’s best moments in this actually come in the middle of the episode where he pummels a bunch of tanks. In the final battle the Hulk gets to take on Mysterio’s robo-Hulk.
This is one crazy episode…but it’s an awful lot of fun. Given how popular superhero, especially Marvel superhero, films are these days it’s great to watch this bizarre behind-the-scenes look at the making of a Marvel movie. Speaking of Marvel movies, next time two familiar characters from the MCU, Thor and Loki, show up in next week’s episode: The Vengeance of Loki. Until then I’ll be sulking because I’m not at the TCM fest.