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Nightmare on Christmas

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"Nightmare on Christmas" is the Christmas-themed episode of the Disney XD animated series Ultimate Spider-Man.

Synopsis

On Christmas Eve, Spider-Man is making a quick roundabout through New York City before running into the Shocker robbing a bank. The hero makes quick work of the criminal before making his way back to S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, where his teammates are waiting with plans to go Christmas shopping at the last minute. However, when he gets there, no one's around. When he finds Squirrel Girl, whose caught in hibernation throws, she doesn't give the web-slinger the full details about what to do. Dejected, Spidey heads to the roof to complain and feel horrible due to the fact that he got ditched on Christmas Eve. However, this gets caught off when a chunk of snow slams on top of him and sends him spiraling to the ground below, knocking him out.

When Spidey comes to, he finds himself facing the Enforcers, who are attempting to steal away Oscorp tech. Despite the web-slinger's best efforts, they get away and Spidey is forced to run away from an angry mob due to a lack of web fluid. He soon finds a video screen of J. Jonah Jameson decrying the Enforcers' victory and blaming Spider-Man for it. By this point, Spidey realizes that this moment, along with the different costume, is from his past - Christmas past, that is. However, he finds himself confronted by a good, guardian angel shoulder Spidey and a bad, devil shoulder Spidey. They decide to change things up and Spidey gets his web fluid refilled and he chases after them. He's able to snatch the Enforcers, but the truck goes out of control with his shoulder Spideys cause the truck to plunge off a bridge and into the water.

When Spidey comes to, he finds himself back in the present day, just before Shocker's brazen robbery. As he tries to figure things out, the devil Spidey taunts him by asking if he'll ever make a difference and that people will never appreciate him. Spider-Man once more stops the Shocker, only to have J. Jonah Jameson suddenly decry him as being a menace and the citizens drive him away again. Defeated, Peter dumps his Spider-Man costume in the trashcan and walks away. The shoulder Spideys decide to show Peter what life would be like without being Spider-Man and shoves him down a sewer.

When he comes to, he wakes up in his room, meeting a holographic Aunt May, who greets him "Happy day before Christmas" and tells him breakfast would be ready soon. Confused, he finds out that he's in Parker Tower and that, in the future, he's a beloved billionaire and owner of Parker Industries. Things are thrown off when Aunt May tells him that the Goblin King needs to reschedule an appointment before an older Nova and Hawkeye crash into his room, chased by Goblin-themed enforcers. Though Nova is happy to see Peter, Hawkeye calls him a traitor for quitting. When the two heroes are defeated and carted away, Peter makes the decision that he needs to be Spider-Man again, though the shoulder devil tries to tempt him otherwise. Spidey invades Oscorp and confronts the Goblin King, where he learns that, without Spider-Man around, the Goblin King defeated the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. Spidey is able to take down the Goblin King, only for the shoulder angel Spidey to warn him of something terrible before the shoulder devil Spidey, now humongous, eats the shoulder angel and takes his true form, the demon Nightmare. Nightmare tries to tempt Spider-Man with riches and power once more, but the hero declines, forcing Nightmare to try to destroy the webslinger. He sends him to a more nightmarish realm and attempts to overpower him. However, Spidey is able to overcome Nightmare and finally defeat him.

He comes to once more, to Nova slapping him in the face. Spidey finds out that the others did go shopping and got his Aunt May a gift for him and that, when he didn't answer their calls, they went looking for him. The next morning, Peter, Aunt May, Sam, Luke, Aya and Danny open presents. Aya finds out she got football tickets from Danny, only for Danny to realize they were meant for Luke and Luke ended up getting Aya's present, a tiara. Sam ends up with bunny slippers, which he dejectedly tosses away. Aunt May opens her gift, an antique clock and Peter gets his - a cowboy hat.

Trivia

  • The Christmas Past scenes resemble the artstyle of the Spider-Man comics of the late 60's-early 80's. As well, the web swinging scenes mimic those from the classic 1967 cartoon.
  • Parker Industries and the Goblin King hail from the Superior Spider-Man storyline.
  • Luke Cage wears the tiara the same way his comic book counterpart used to when he first appeared in the 1970s.
  • This episode has a unique take on things as it utilizes two Christmas stories - A Christmas Carol and It's A Wonderful Life - to tell the story.

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