Episode Title: The Vengeance of Loki
So far, the most iconic villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been Thor’s brother, that God of Mischief himself, Loki. Today, he brings his brand of troublemaking to the animated world of Spider-Man and His Amazing friends. Of course, his heroic brother Thor comes along to help stop him in today’s episode The Vengeance of Loki.
Our story begins in the arctic where a ship has suddenly encountered a strange iceberg that shifts position every time they try to move out of the way. Of course, a collision happens and the ship starts to sink into the icy water. Meanwhile, back in New York, Iceman receives the ship’s distress call so he, Spidey and Firestar head north to help. Iceman creates an ice platform to push the ship back to the surface, however the Spider Friends get more than they bargained for since the iceberg is one of Loki’s tricks. It is an attempt by him to lure his enemy Thor into a trap. Loki is also after a magical diamond which is attached to an ancient viking ship which is frozen under the ice. He already has a duplicate jewel which, when combined with the other, will grant him great powers.
Once Loki obtains the jewel he imprisons Thor and assumes his identity. He also imprisons Spidey and Firestar inside the diamonds and whisks Iceman off to a realm of fire. Lucky for Iceman, he catches the eye of the lovely queen of the frost giants, Zerona. Despite the considerable height difference, she has quite the hots for Iceman…or would it be the “colds?” With her help, Iceman escapes to free the other heroes and stop Loki, who has released the viking ship from the ice and is plotting to attack New York with an unwitting unfrozen viking to help.
As I’ve said in the past, I love seeing more aspects of the Marvel universe being explored in these Saturday morning cartoons. Adding the realms of Asgard certainly opens up a wide range of interesting environments and characters. This episode gives us a few nice looks at Asgard as well as the land of the Frost Giants. Putting Iceman into this world is a smart choice, though the pseudo-love story with Zerona is a bit on the silly side. In fact, the whole story for this episode could be described as a bit convoluted and silly. It seems to lack focus and zigzags around a bit until it’s time to wrap things up. Still, with plenty of unique settings and fun monsters, I could handle the aimlessness of the story.
One of the big highlights of this particular episode is the casting of John Stephenson as Loki. Stephenson is one of the classic cartoon voice actors. He appeared in many famous Hanna-Barbera productions including The Flintstones (he was Mr. Slate), Jonny Quest, Top Cat, Squiddly Diddly, and many more. He definitely doesn’t do the smooth type of villain that many fans of Tom Hiddleston’s version of the character may expect. He’s much more of the over-the-top melodramatic villain here, but it’s a wonderful piece of voice work.
Next time the Spider Friends team up with a bit more obscure Marvel character…The Black Knight. They battle the evil Mordred in Knights and Demons.