Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ultimate Spider-Man - Nightmare on Christmas

After stopping the Shocker's (Troy Baker) latest robbery on Christmas Eve, Spider-Man (Drake Bell) has a crisis of faith about whether or not being Spidey is actually helping anyone. Giving a tour through Christmases past, present, and future by the angel and devil on his shoulder Spidey takes a look back over his career and considers, for a brief time, hanging up the tights.

The best part of "Nightmare on Christmas" is the flashback sequence to Spidey fighting the low-level thugs The Enforcers. The trio are hardly a huge threat to the web-slinger, but the fact that the entire flashback sequence is lovely rendered in the style of older Spider-Man cartoons makes it a must-see for all Spidey fans. The present gives us more of the Shocker (one of my favorite lesser Spider-villains) and the cartoon's take on "Spidey No More." Meanwhile the future teases Peter with personal wealth and success at the cost of all those he calls friends.

Eventually Nightmare (Mark Hamill) is revealed to be the one controlling the entire dream sequence offering Peter one last chance to grab the future the villain is offering him. Unwilling to live with the cost of the Goblin (Steven Weber) becoming king of the city and killing all his former friends, Spidey fights back eventually breaking out of Nightmare's dream scenario for a Christmas with his friends (which includes one hell of a terrific in-joke involving Luke Cage unwrapping the wrong X-Mas gift).

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