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Reinforcement

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"Reinforcement" is the Christmas-themed episode of the Marvel Comics-based animated series The Spectacular Spider-Man. Produced as the third episode for the show's second season, it originally aired in Bulgaria on January 25, 2009, and then premiered on Disney XD in the United States on June 29th of the same year.

Synopsis

Spidey Talks To Santa SSM

"And can I get that gift wrapped?"

It is Christmas Eve in New York City, and Spider-Man is in the Big Sky billiard hall, looking for information on the whereabouts of the technological equipment that Mysterio stole two episodes ago. He interrogating a bookie named Blackie Gaxton, who informs him that Mysterio has actually been fronting for a new crime lord who has been hiring cons, crooks, and construction workers. Just then, Spider-Man notices a man in an eye-patch escaping and goes after him. He eventually corners the man, whose name is Patch, and orders him to tell him who Mysterio's boss is. All Patch says he knows, however, is that the boss in question is known only as the "Master Planner". Elsewhere, an elderly man known as the Tinkerer is shown watching Spider-Man's conversation with Patch through a hidden camera. Tinkerer informs the Master Planner that Spider-Man is getting close to them, so the Master Planner instructs him to gather "the usual suspects" - Rhino, Kraven the Hunter, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Mysterio, Electro, and Vulture.

Over at Ryker's Island Penitentiary, the guards are doing a prisoner inspection when they suddenly find Adrian Toomes (alias Vulture) and Quentin Beck (Mysterio) to have escaped, leaving a hologram and an android in their places, respectively. As they sound the alarms, they find that Sandman and Rhino have also escaped. Meanwhile, at the Ravencroft Asylum, Otto Octavius (Dr. Octopus) and Maxwell Dillon (Electro) are attending a group therapy session, with Max demanding to be called Electro and Otto seemingly refusing to associate with his villainous identity anymore. Suddenly, Kraven breaks in to free the pair, only to scare Otto off. Electro coldly denounces Otto and leaves with Kraven. Soon, at the Master Planner's base, Tinkerer welcomes Kraven and Mysterio, and then introduces them to the other four villains. The Master Planner then appears as a silhouetted, voice-distorted figure on a nearby TV screen. He says that he has brought them all together as a new Sinister Six, intending to inaugurate the age of the super-villain by killing Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, at the skating rink in Rockefeller Center, Peter flirts with Liz while Gwen watches forlornly. Nearby, Flash attempts to skate, despite his leg injury, and Liz rushes to his side. Peter attempts to get Liz's attention back, but she rebukes him. As the big Christmas tree's lights are turned on, Peter notices Gwen skating by and asks if he can join her, but she tells him that she's not at all happy that Peter hasn't spoken to her since she kissed him in "Nature vs. Nurture", and that if he's going to flirt with Liz, she won't be Peter's second choice. As Gwen leaves, Mary Jane comes by, saying she heard the whole thing. She explains to Peter that what Gwen said was correct, and he needs to be decisive on what he wants.

Suddenly, Electro and Vulture strike, demanding Spider-Man show himself. Peter, who has just burned his mouth on some hot cocoa he was getting for himself and Mary Jane, immediately figures that the Sinister Six are together again and changes into Spider-Man to confront the two villains. After quite a bit of battling around the rink, Spider-Man soon manages to pin Vulture beneath Rockefeller Center's giant Christmas tree and trap Electro with a bunch of rubber tires. But no sooner has he done that than he is suddenly ambushed by Sandman and Rhino, who state that they're "the main course." They chase after the web-slinging superhero, who lures them to the docks, where he uses a fire hydrant to turn Sandman into frozen mud. He also tricks Rhino into jumping onto the frozen ocean, which breaks under Rhino's weight and causes him to sink into the water.

Spider-Man figures that Dr. Octopus and Shocker must be next, and spots them on the roof of a nearby skyscraper. When he heads up attack them, though, he discovers that they are actually one of Mysterio's holograms, and Kraven ambushes him. Spidey manages to escape, with Mysterio and Kraven pursuing him. Eventually, Spider-Man crashes through the wall of a department store, where he smashes a perfume bottle on Kraven's face, blocking the hunter's sense of smell. When he goes after what appears to be Mysterio on the top floor, though, Kraven tackles him again. Spidey leaps away and hears the real Mysterio down on the bottom floor, and realizes the Mysterio on the top floor is actually a robot. Rescuing the mall's Santa and his helper in the process, Spider-Man manages to swing away from Kraven, who gets knocked out by the robot's explosion. Mysterio tries to escape by becoming invisible, but Spider-Man covers the entire area with his webbing, nabbing the villain. Spidey grabs Mysterio and demands to know what the Master Planner intends to do with the stolen technology, but Mysterio refuses to tell him anything, and the police arrive to arrest him.

Later, back at the rink, Peter returns and meets with the girls, and Gwen angrily asks him where he has been, for she feared he had gotten crushed when the tree fell earlier. Peter tries to apologize to her for his disappearance earlier when suddenly, it's revealed that the Vulture has escaped, along with Electro, Sandman, and Kraven. Meanwhile, at the Master Planner's base, the Tinkerer informs the Master Planner that the extractions are almost complete. Back at Ravencroft Asylum, Otto Octavius is suddenly broken out by his own disembodied tentacle arms. The episode ends at the Parker household, where Peter presents his Aunt May with a framed photo of Uncle Ben, saying that it's their first Christmas without him and he wanted to include their dearly departed relative.

Availability

The episode made its home video debut on The Spectacular Spider-Man: Volume 5 DVD, released on November 17, 2009. It was later included on The Spectacular Spider-Man: The Complete Series Blu-ray set, released on April 22, 2014.

Cast

Voice actor Character
Josh Keaton Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Thom Adcox-Hernandez Phineas Mason / Tinkerer
Homuncli
Xander Berkeley Quentin Beck / Mysterio
Steve Blum Dilbert Trilby
Blackie Gaxton
Homuncli
Clancy Brown Alex O'Hirn / Rhino
George Stacy
Lacey Chabert Gwen Stacy
John DiMaggio Flint Marko / Sandman
Robert Englund Adrian Toomes / Vulture
Crispin Freeman Max Dillon / Electro
Elisa Gabrielli Dr. Ashley Kafka
Andrew Kishino Kenny "King" Kong
Joshua LeBar Flash Thompson
Peter MacNicol Master Planner / Dr. Otto Octavius
Vanessa Marshall Mary Jane Watson
Deborah Strang Aunt May Parker
Cree Summer Glory Grant
James Arnold Taylor Patch
Homuncli
Alanna Ubach Liza Allan
Eric Vesbit Sergei Kravinoff / Kraven the Hunter

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