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Recap: The Spectacular Spider-Man S 1 E 1 Survival Of The Fittest
Tell me there's something better. Go ahead, try.
Peter Parker/Spider-Man

The series opens with Spider-Man swinging through the city, looking for one last bit of action before school starts up again. He finds it in stopping another theft by professional losers Flint Marko and Alex O'Hirn, whom he has already captured at least twice before. Unbeknownst to Spidey, he's being watched by Marko and O'Hirn's superior, Hammerhead, and his boss the Big Man. Now that the existence of Spider-Man has been proven to this criminal kingpin, he orders Hammerhead to dispatch the Enforcers.

Before going to school the next day, Peter Parker overhears his Aunt May voicing her concerns about money to her neighbor and friend Anna Watson, and that she doesn't want Peter to worry. Although he feels guilty and wants to help Aunt May, Peter soon has bigger things to worry about at school.

Meanwhile at Oscorp Industries, elderly inventor Adrian Toomes berates Oscorp scientist Doctor Otto Octavius, blaming him for stealing his personal flyer designs. The discussion is quelled by Norman Osborn who claims that his company has done nothing wrong, and that nobody would believe that Toomes (who he insultingly calls a buzzard) had invented something as amazing as TechFlight as an old man if he'd never accomplished anything as a young man. Toomes informs Octavius that he no longer blames him, but Osborn is a different story.

Despite his promise to himself and his friends Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy that things would be different, Peter finds himself still the favorite punching bag of Flash Thompson and Kenny "King" Kong, who rough him up and steal his lunch after Peter tries to ask cheerleader Sally Avril out. The first day back isn't all bad however, as Peter and Gwen learn that they have been selected by their teacher Mr. Warren to take part in an internship at Empire State University with Dr. Curt Connors in the very lab where Peter gained his spider-powers.

After school, Peter crashes at the Osborn's place until he has to get to the lab. Norman overhears their conversation and praises Peter for the accomplishment while barely disguising his contempt for Harry. Suddenly, Toomes swoops in, wearing a winged suit of armor and grabs Norman using claws on his feet. Toomes declares himself the Vulture (Osborn points out that he called him a buzzard, not a vulture) and demands that Osborn tell the truth and apologize, something that Osborn retorts he never does. Just as the Vulture is about to finish Osborn, Spider-Man intervenes and rescues Norman, causing the Vulture to flee.

Arriving at ESU from chasing Toomes as Spider-Man, Peter comes up with a cover story about trying to follow on foot to Harry before he and Gwen are greeted by their old friend Eddie Brock, now a college freshman and Curt and Martha Connors' lab assistant. Although thrilled with the opportunity, Peter is disappointed to learn that the internship doesn't pay. Gwen assures Peter that something will come to him, and awaiting the prediction, Peter is smacked in the face with a copy of the Daily Bugle. Having a stroke of genius, Peter sneaks into the Bugle offices and tries to convince publisher J. Jonah Jameson that pictures of Spider-Man will sell. Jameson dismisses Peter and instantly decides to go with it after Peter leaves.

That night, Peter is searching around the Osborn penthouse for his shoes that he's left behind when Osborn is attacked once more by the Vulture. Osborn flees in his limo, followed by the Vulture and Spider-Man. When Spider-Man tries to capture Vulture again, he is fired on by the Big Man's Enforcers: Western professional and squad leader Montana, martial artist Fancy Dan, and muscle man Ox. Fortunately for Osborn, he manages to stay safe while the Enforcers distract Spider-Man. Having incapacitated Ox and Fancy Dan, Spider-Man turns his attention to Vulture while Montana continues to chase in his helicopter. Spider-Man manages to trick Vulture into destroying one of his wings in the helicopter's rear rotor, taking both Montana and Vulture out. While he webs up Vulture, Spider-Man finds Montana gone without a trace when he investigates the helicopter.

Peter arrives home that night frustrated that almost nothing has gone right. And to make matters worse, Aunt May has been waiting up for him. She imposes a 10 p.m. curfew before offering Peter a slice of pie. Peter reflects on how strange his day has been, but cheers up at the fact that he's still alive, tomorrow is another day, and he has banana cream pie.

Tropes presented in this episode include:

  • Appropriated Appelation: Played with
    Norman Osborn: Toomes?!
    Adrian Toomes: Not Toomes now, I'm what you called me! I'm the Vulture!
    Osborn: I called you a buzzard!
    Vulture: What?
    Osborn: You can't even get the name right!
  • Batman Cold Open: Starts with Spider-Man swinging through the concrete canyons of New York. Shortly after we learn that school starts tomorrow, and the Big Man is watching Spider-Man.
  • Big "NO!": Vulture gets at least one.
  • Catchphrase: This episode introduces Norman's: "Don't apologize, I never do."
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like:
    Spider-Man: Dude, you are the bossiest damsel in distress I've ever rescued. And also the ugliest, heaviest, and the first.
  • Destined Bystander: This episode introduces numerous characters before they've become supervillains, including Norman Osborn, Otto Octavius, Curt Connors, Flint Mark, Alex O'Hirn, and the Shocker.
  • Distressed Damsel: Norman Osborn...yeah. Spider-Man makes fun of this, as noted above.
  • Foreshadowing: What's that serum that Curt injected himself with?
  • Glad I Thought of It: Peter isn't even out of the room before Jameson pulls this with Peter's photos of Spider-Man idea.
  • Insistent Terminology: "The name is Vulture!"
  • Oh Crap: Spider-Man has one when Ox rips through his webbing.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Said word-for-word by Flint Marko when the spider-signal illuminates him.
  • Record Needle Scratch: "ARE YOU DAMAGED?!"
  • Shout-Out: The lighting in Vulture's suit-up scene makes the colors of his costume green — closer to his original appearance's.
    • The focus on a gargoyle may also be a double reference to producer Greg Weisman's other series Gargoyles and "Bruce the Gargoyle" from the 90s series.
  • Three Out of Four Ain't Bad: Spider-Man captured Vulture, Ox, and Fancy Dan, but not Montana. That's not going to bite him in the butt later.
  • Title Drop: Played straight near the beginning, subverted later when Peter refers to himself as the Amazing Spider-Man in an internal monologue (Amazing being the name of the longest running comic series starring the webhead).
  • Why Are You Not My Son?: Norman barely hides these sentiments towards Peter from Harry.
  • Worf Effect: How to make the Enforcers look badass: have Fancy Dan dodge all of Spider-Man's webs, and have Ox snap right through them.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Ox apparently.
    Recap/The Spectacular Spider-ManThe Spectacular Spider-Man S 1 E 2 Interactions
Stargate SG- 1 S 9 E 4 The Ties That BindAdministrivia/Hyphenated TitlesThe Spectacular Spider-Man S 1 E 2 Interactions

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