- Looking for another article for the venom symbiote? Check out the symbiote disambiguation page.
On an asteroid in space astronaut, John Jameson discovers a strange black rock and digs it out of the ground. As John removes the rock from the ground a black liquid begins to seep to the surface of the asteroid and an earthquake starts. Along with the rock, Jameson manages to make it back to the shuttle before breaking ground can swallow him.
Back on Earth, J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle staff watch a news report on John Jameson and Paul Stevenson are scheduled to land at Kennedy Airport. As Peter Parker congratulates Jameson, Jameson replies that "He's just his father." Robbie then says that John is a great guy and that he must have had something to do with that. However, Peter thinks to himself that "the apple fell far from the tree." As they continue to watch the news report the anchorman says that they are bringing with them a new isotope called Promethium X which could be more powerful than plutonium. Meanwhile at Crime Central, Kingpin is watching the same news report and decides that he wants it for himself.
Seconds later John and Stevenson begin reentry into Earth's atmosphere. While they do this a black slime oozes out of the Promethium X and and makes it's way into the cockpit. The news reporter then switches to a live video feed of the astronauts. The black ooze then starts to cover Stevenson which terrifies him. This also causes Stevenson to lose control of the shuttle which will crash somewhere in New York City. Peter then makes a call to Aunt May telling her to get into the basement. Back at Crime Central, Kingpin tells Alistair Smythe that they must evacuate the building because the shuttle could crash into them any moment. However, Smythe tells Kingpin that he has been studying the shuttles trajectory and he believes that it will hit the George Washington Bridge. Kingpin then calls a criminal called the Rhino and tells him to go to the George Washington Bridge to steal the Promethium X for him.
The news anchor then reports that the shuttle will crash in the Hudson River near the George Washington Bridge. After hearing this J. Jonah Jameson tells Robbie to get into the helicopter. However, Robbie replies that air traffic won't be allowed in the area. Jameson ignores his warnings and leaves anyway. Peter also sneaks out and changes into his Spider-Man suit.
At that moment on the bridge, Eddie Brock ignores the warnings about the shuttle that is bring reported on the radio and decides to take pictures of the crash. Back at Crime Central, Kingpin is worried that the shuttle will hit them. However, Alistair tells Kingpin not to worry. Kingpin then watches as the shuttle flies past Crime Central without causing any damage to the building. John is then able to fly the shuttle toward the bridge so that it won't cause any damage to the city. However, Rhino is waiting on the bridge. As the shuttle lands on the bridge Brock jumps out of the way before it can crush him. Seconds later Spider-Man arrives and notices that the door has been pulled off of the shuttle. As Spider-Man enters the shuttle he calls out to John. Rhino then steps out and Spider-Man sees him. Rhino then charges at Spider-Man. However, Spider-Man jumps out of the way and Rhino hits the shuttle with his head. The shuttle then starts to shake and Spider-Man warns Rhino that if he continues the shuttle will fall into the Hudson River. Rhino then runs toward Spider-Man again and manages to hit him with his head which knocks out the wall crawler. As Rhino is about to kill Spider-Man, Kingpin communicates with Rhino through a headpiece microphone and tells him to return to Crime Central if he has the Promethium X. As Rhino walks past Spider-Man, Spidery places a Spider-Tracer on the back of his leg. As the Rhino exits the shuttle Eddie Brock takes pictures of him as he uses his strength to knock cars out of his way. As Spider-Man gets John and Paul to safety he hears a noise coming from inside the shuttle. When Spider-Man goes back inside the shuttle falls into the Hudson River. At that moment J. Jonah Jameson arrives and he runs to his son. John is weak from his experience and mentions a black tar like substance, the bridge and Spider-Man. This leads J. Jonah Jameson to believe that the crash was somehow caused by Spider-Man. Brock then walks up to Jameson and says that he has photographic proof of Spider-Man stealing something from the shuttle and that he will give them to Jameson but only if he gets his job at the Bugle back. Jameson agrees knowing that he can use those photographs to finally ruin Spider-Man. Seconds later Spider-Man comes out of the Hudson River and sees that there is black slime on his costume.
Spider-Man then heads into the city to find Rhino. As Spider-Man looks at his GPS he sees that it has lost the signal to the Spider-Tracer he placed on Rhino. Spider-Man then deduces that the Spider-Tracer is broken or Rhino is in a place that it built like a fortress. At that moment Rhino is in Crime Central and hands Kingpin the Promethium X. Rhino then asks what's the big deal about a rock. Smythe replies that Promethium X is the most powerful nuclear fuel in the world. Smythe continues by saying that he can't wait to study it. However, Kingpin says that he has a buyer lined up and that he does not want to wait any longer to get the Promethium X. Rhino says that it just looks like a rock to him and Kingpin tells Rhino not to confuse Promethium X with his brain.
That night at the Parker house, Aunt May watches a news report saying that Spider-Man was the one that stole the Promethium X from the shuttle. Just then Peter walks in through the front door. Peter then tells May that Spider-Man saved the astronauts. However, May tells Peter that she saw on the news that Spider-Man robbed the shuttle which surprised Peter. Reporters then interview J. Jonah Jameson who is at the hospital with his son and he says that Spider-Man is responsible for putting his son in his critical state and that he will give one million dollars to anyone who can capture him. May then says that Spider-Man will finally get what he deserves and as Peter walks away he gets upset about how Spider-Man is always blamed for everything.
Peter then goes upstairs to his room and throws his Spider-Man costume into his closet. As Peter goes to sleep the black slime from his costume goes onto his bed and covers him. Peter then has a nightmare where a black blob and his Spider-Man costume fight over him. The black blob wins and then eats Peter. As Peter wakes up he discovers that he is in the middle of the city hanging upside down from a building in a strange black costume. As a helicopter flies by the pilot spots Spider-Man. To Spider-Man's surprise his webbing begins to shoot out by itself. Spider-Man also learns that his agility is now enhanced because he almost jumped over an entire rooftop and that he could never jump that far before. As Spider-Man swings away the helicopter follows him. Spider-Man then lands on the street and the helicopter pilot calls for ground support. However, Spider-Man shoots a webline and is able to swing away. Spider-Man then realizes that the black suit has enhanced all of his spider powers. Spider-Man then tests his strength by picking up a firetruck with ease. A man then sees Spider-Man behind the firetruck and yells at the police telling them where he is. The costume then transforms into a police uniform and Peter is able to fool the police officers that are looking for him.
The next day Spider-Man web swings to Empire State University. Spider-Man then sticks to the wall of a near by building and realizes that nothing on Earth could do what his new black suit can do and wonders if it came from the shuttle. Peter then tests the suits shapeshifting powers and has the suit morph into an Italian suit. Peter then jumps to the ground where he is spotted by Felicia Hardy. As Peter flirts with Felicia, Flash Thompson walks up angry that Peter is talking to Felicia. However, Felicia tells Flash that she is not his girl. As Flash walks away with Felicia to talk with her Peter stand up to Flash. Peter grabs Flash by his jacket but is stopped by Felicia before he can harm Flash. As Felicia walks away with Flash she turns to Peter and tells him that he is different and it scares her. However, Peter tells himself that he has never felt better in his life.
Later that day at Crime Central, Smythe tells Kingpin that he can not demonstrate the power of Promethium X to his buyers if he doesn't have special control rods. Kingpin orders Smythe to get them. However, Smythe replies that all control rods made of lidium 90 are in a government facility that they have no access to. Kingpin then calls Rhino and tells him that he has another job for him.
That night at the Parker house, May asks Peter to stop taking pictures of Spider-Man because now that he is being hunted she feels that he will eventually get hurt. As May continues to tell Peter how dangerous it will be to take pictures of Spider-Man, Peter gets angry at her and goes to his room not wanting to hear what she has to say. When Peter enters his room he hears his GPS beep and realizes that it has picked up the signal from the Spider-Tracer he planted on Rhino. The costume then morphs back into it's true form and Spider-Man goes after Rhino.As Rhino arrives at the military base he rams the gate and bursts through. The alarms sounds and guards rush out but Rhino is easily able to subdue them. As Rhino makes it to the room with the lidium 90 control rods he picks them up. However, Spider-Man arrives. Rhino then rams into Spider-Man knocking him across the courtyard. As Spider-Man gets up Rhino runs at him again. However, Spider-Man is able to trip Rhino making him crash through a brick wall. Spider-Man then picks Rhino up by his ankle and spins him around and throws him into a stone pillar. Spider-Man then demands to know where the Promethium X is. Spider-Man then throws Rhino and his sticks into the ground and Spider-Man walks over and spins him around in circles. Rhino then says that if he says who hired him his employer will kill him and that he would rather go to jail. However, Spider-Man tells Rhino "Who said anything about jail?" Spider-Man then picks up a heavy metal door and holds it above Rhino. Before Spider-Man can kill Rhino by crushing him with the door he comes to his senses and drops the door beside Rhino and vanishes.
Back in the city Spider-Man thinks to himself that he almost did something that he would have regretted for the rest of his life and that he has no idea why he was going to do it. Spider-Man then looks into a window and sees his reflection as a monster with razor sharp teeth and jagged looking eyes.
- Space shuttle
- Promethium X
- Smythe's hover chair
- Rhino suit
- Lidium 90 Control Rods
- According to Stan Berkowitz no one involved with the production of this episode could agree on a script. Avi Arad, Stan Lee, Bob Richardson, and Fox representative, Sidney Iwanter all had different ideas about the script. Because of this John Semper Jr. got everyone to sit down together and they were able to come up with a script.
- During an interview Stan Berkowitz revealed that Avi Arad came up with the idea of having the space shuttle land on the George Washington Bridge and that he absolutely loved that idea.
- After getting Jameson and Stevenson to safety Spider-Man hears a noise coming from inside the shuttle and goes inside to investigate. What made this noise is never revealed. However, it can be assumed that it was the symbiote breaking free from the glass container it was being held in.
- Bellevue Hospital (the hospital John Jameson is taken to) is a real hospital located in South Manhattan.
- The dream sequence where the symbiote and the Spider-Man costume fight over Peter Parker is adapted from Amazing Spider-Man #258 (1984).
- In the comics Spider-Man got the symbiote costume while on the alien planet, Battle World. This occurred in part eight of the 1984, Secret Wars limited series.
- When Peter Parker is testing the symbiote's shape shifting powers he uses it to transform into the clothes worn by "That guy from Aerosmith." This is a reference to Aerosmith's lead guitarist Joe Perry who also preformed the theme song to Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
- During the episode Peter Parker calls Rhino the Jolly Gray Giant. This is a reference to the Jolly Green Giant who is the mascot for the Green Giant vegetable company.
- Jolly Green Giant is also a nickname used for the Incredible Hulk.
- The name of the military base Rhino breaks into is never revealed. However, the George Washington Bridge is clearly visible in the background. The base might be Fort Hamilton since in real life the George Washington Bridge can bee seen from Fort Hamilton.
- When Spider-Man confronts Rhino at the military base Rhino calls him the itsy bitsy spider. This is taken from the popular nursery rhyme of the same name.
- This is the first episode where Spider-Man is referred to as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Review by Amazing Spidey from Marvel Animation Age
Defiantly one of the highlights of the series. Whilst some would say that this cartoon was guilty of jamming too much into an episode, this wasn't the case with The Alien Costume, as the entire 3 parts were executed flawlessly. Great pace, an excellent story and some of the best animation and dialog this show ever saw, The Alien Costume is the dogs bollocks, of this there is no doubt.
This episode kicked off. In the comics Venom was created over a longer period of time, Spider-Man encountered the alien costume that created him on another planet, teamed with a whole lot of hero's to fight a whole lot of villains, and returned to Earth, only to have Reed Richards tell him it was actually alive, and Peter rejected it, and it later went on to become Venom, Spidey's most powerful enemy.
As you can guess, all that was far to much to tell in 20 minutes. Here, the alien kept the same mysterious presence, but was brought to Earth in a much more simple, and just plain better way. It also gave us an incredible shuttle crash on the bridge.
Despite only being 3 episodes long, it had it's fair share of subplots, and a lot of characters. Used to great effect, as he often was, was the Kingpin. Bringing him in also meant bringing in new villains, two of my favorites in this case. Up first was The Rhino, who played a part in another subplot involving Eddie Brock, and also was the star of one of the series best fight scenes, namely, his fight with the 'new' fugitive Spidey, decked out in his bad ass black suit. After he gives up, I remember being completely shocked as to what Spidey did next, back when I first watched it. As said above, this is where the brilliant dialouge came through.
Spider-Man: Who said anything about jail?
Rhino: I. . . I don't get it?
Spider-Man: You will. It's like this. . . I'm through with not getting what I want!
Rhino: Wha. . . what are you doing? I told ya. . . I give up!
Spider-Man: That's funny. I give up too. I give up trying to be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!
The opening shot of the new symbiote Spidey was especially memorable, as it was just damn cool. Waking up staring at yourself in a costume you've never seen before. Very creepy!
While part 1 was't as good as part 2, it still outshines most of the series, with it's spectacular animation, great script, and exceptional voice work, especially Chris Barnes, who had a great sense of arrogance and fear while voicing symbiote Spidey.
And it had the most whoop ass ending you ever did see!
"Congratulations Mr. Jameson."
"What are you congratulating me for? I'm just his father."
"John's a great guy. You musta had something to do with it."
"If you ask me the apple fell pretty far from the tree."
- -Peter Parker, J. Jonah Jameson & Joseph Robertson
"I have a job for you. There's something aboard the shuttle I want you to get for me."
- -Kingpin & Rhino
"If that punk Parker can click one of these so can I."
- -Eddie Brock
"Show a little faith. I know my trajectories."
- -Alistair Smythe
"Where did you come from?"
"Got a claim check for that bag?"
"Hey pal, watch it or we'll both be going for a swim!"
- -Spider-Man & Rhino
"Your not gonna believe this JJ. I saw Spider-Man stealing something from the shuttle, and I got the pictures to prove it right here."
"So he was here."
"Just give me my old job back JJ and these pictures are all yours."
"I'll take 'em Brock. I finally got that wall crawling sack of garbage."
- -Eddie Brock & J. Jonah Jameson
"That's some river pollution. Rich and creamy."
- -Spider-Man after walking out of the Hudson and seeing the symbiote on his costume
"So here it is. What's the big deal?"
"This is Promethium X. Potentially the most powerful nuclear fuel in the world. I can't wait to examine it."
"No time Smythe! I've got a buyer lined up and he wants it yesterday."
"It looks like a rock to me."
"Please do not confuse this (Promethium X) with that" (Kingpin thumps Rhino's head).
- -Rhino, Alistair Smythe & Kingpin
"Spider-Man did it. I'm sure of it. So sure that I'm offering a million dollars to anyone who brings him in. One million dollars."
"I can't believe this! How could they get it so wrong? It's the Spider-Man justice system, guilty until proven innocent!"
"Now there's nowhere Spider-Man can run. At last he'll get what he deserves."
"Thanks Aunt May, I needed that."
- -J. Jonah Jameson, May Parker & Peter Parker
"A million dollars on my head. For once in my life I'm worth something I can't collect. No choice but to lay low. Well, the one saving grace is I don't have to clean you up now."
- -Peter Parker
"Parker, how on Earth did you get in the middle of Manhattan, hanging upside down in a costume you've never seen before?"
"It's amazing this suit is augmenting every one of my spider powers. I wonder how strong I am now." (Spider-Man picks up a firetruck with ease.) "I use to have trouble lifting a Volkswagen."
"I like your style, but it would be nice if you were a little less conspicuous." (The symbiote transforms into a police uniform.) "Your definitely my kind of suit."
"Ya know, I think I'll keep you."
- -Peter Parker talking about the symbiote
"Nothing on Earth can do what this does. Could it have come from the shuttle?" Peter Parker." (The symbiote transforms into clothes worn by Peter Parker) "No, wait. How 'bout that guy from Aerosmith." (The symbiote transforms into clothes worn by Joe Perry.) "Maybe something more traditional, something Italian." (The symbiote transforms into a suit.)
- -Peter Parker while testing the symbiote's powers
"Looks like my life is going to be pretty interesting from now on."
- -Peter Parker
"Parker, is that you?"
"Well lately I'm not so sure."
"I almost didn't recognize you. You seem so, so different."
"You don't know how different. But then again maybe you'd like to find out?"
"Hitting on my girl Parker!"
"Your girl? What on Earth ever gave you that idea Flash?"
"Well I thought that. . . Parker, Felicia and I need to talk so why don't you crawl back under your rock."
"Not this time bone head."
"Now Felicia. . . what did you say?"
"I believe it had something to do with the contents of your skull."
"Ha ha ha. Well this is a twist. Look who's suddenly developed a backbone."
(Peter grabs Flash by his jacket.)
"I've developed a lot more than a backbone."
(Felicia runs over and breaks them up.)
"Parker! Flash, don't you have a class to get to? Flash!"
"Whats gotten into you?"
"Just bein' myself."
"You know something Peter you are different, and you scare me."
"What's she talkin' about. I've never felt so good."
- -Peter Parker, Felicia Hardy & Flash Thompson
"Nothing is inaccessible to me."
"The jolly gray giant, he's back."
- -Peter Parker
"A little far from the zoo aren't you?"
"Ha ha ha ha. Well well, it's the itsy bitsy spider all decked out in his new threads. They ain't gonna look new for long."
- -Spider-Man & Rhino
"Lets get this over with! I need to polish my horn."
- -Rhino to Spider-Man
(Spider-Man picks up Rhino by his ankle and starts to spin him around.)
"Look horn head. I'm not going around in circles with you all night."
"This ain't possible. You can't do this."
"I just rewrote the rules!"
- -Rhino & Spider-Man
"Alright. I give up. I'd rather go to jail then to be a snitch."
"Who said anything about jail?"
"I, I don't get it."
(Spider-Man picks up a heavy metal door and holds it above Rhino.)
"It's like this! I'm through with not getting what I want!"
"What are you doing? I told ya I give up!"
"That's funny I give up too. I give up trying to be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man."
"No! No, you can't!"
(Spider-Man remembers back to when Felicia Hardy told him that he was different and it scared her.)
"She's right. I am different."
"No, don't. Don't!"
(Spider-Man drops the door beside Rhino and vanishes.)
"I almost did something back there that I would have regretted for the rest of my life and I have no idea why."
(Spider-Man looks in a window and sees a terrifying vision of the future.)
"What was that? What's happening to me?"
- -Rhino & Spider-Man