In this episode we have another villain created for the series. We have the mad wax sculptor known as Parafino. I wish I had made that up, because it's so awesomely bad.
The notorious killer "Red Dog" Melvin has escaped from prison. Unknown to anyone, Melvin has made his way to Parafino's Wax Museum on 42nd Street. Once inside, Parafino the owner, apparently coats him in wax and puts him on display. This is all an elaborate plan to capture Spider-Man and use him as a showpiece to increase attendance to his museum. [Did evil Opie Howard help him escape? It's never mentioned]
After a long and fruitless night of searching, Peter stops by the Daily Bugle to see if there are any leads. He finds that a life-sized statue of Red Dog is on display at Parafino's. He'll check into that.
He sneaks into Parafino's and finds the "model" mentioned in the paper. He comments aloud on how life-like it looks. Parafino emerges from the shadows and informs him that he is alive, but in suspended animation, with a thin coat of wax. He then tells Spider-Man that he is next in line to be "immortalized". He then uses a robotic duplicate to throw lumps of fresh wax at Spider-Man.
Spider-Man doesn't take this too seriously until his hands are encased in wax. Especially since he can't break it, even with his spider-strength. The robot continues to throw more globs of hot wax at Spider-Man leading him to the designated pedestal. One throw is well-timed and binds Spider-Man's feet to the pedestal. Parafino laughs with glee at this development.
At the Bugle, Jonah asks Betty where Peter went. She tells her employer that he went to track down a lead on Red Dog Melvin at Parafino's wax museum. Jonah reminds her that he's a photographer, not a reporter and tells her to go get him. Betty soon arrives at Parafino's and begins to look around. Parafino goes out front to chase away his unwanted visitor.
While Parafino is otherwise occupied, Spider-Man goes about freeing himself. Using an overhead incandescent light, he is able to melt and free his hands. His feet are another matter. He creates a makeshift drill out of his webbing,directing it toward the ceiling in the hopes that it will pull him free. [They should just go a head and say that Spider-Man's webbing is sentient and get it over with. Why not have him make up a special batch to create 'Webby' the spider-dog and 'Gallop' the spider-horse?]
In the front part of the museum, Parafino has reached the end of his patience trying to explain to the talkative visitor that there is nobody named "Peter" here. When Betty refuses to leave, Parafino decides to turn her into an exhibit as well. He brings her into the back room in time to see Spider-Man free himself.
Then it's wax vs. webs as Parafino squares off against our webbed hero. Parafino tries to throw Betty into the vat of hot wax he had prepared but Spider-Man separates them. Spider-Man hits a lever on the "Wax Heat Control" panel that increases the vat temperature into the danger zone. This causes the vat temperature to increase rapidly and subsequently causes Parafino to melt like the Wicked Witch of the West. He is soon reduced to a pool of wax.
The duplicate in the corner jumps down from his pedestal and informs them that they now face the real Parafino instead of a stand-in. His victory is short-lived as the increased temperature frees Red Dog from his suspended animation and begins choking his host. [Oddly timed. I'm surprised they didn't show this earlier. Oh right, this is cheaper to animate.]
Spider-Man then webs them up and leaves them both for the police.
Believe it or not, there aren't a lot of setup lines in this episode. For an episode based on a horrible idea, they take this very seriously and in turn do a relatively good job throughout.
You can't help but wonder if Parafino's entire reputation is based on a lie. If he has resorted to putting real people into "suspended animation" and calling it an original work of art, he's a very desperate and dangerous individual.
2 webs. This is a very lame concept that is handled well. I find myself giving it a higher rating than I expected.
I can't give it an average rating because the concept of the mad wax sculptor is slightly better than a metal-eating robot or Plutonians. It is rather far-fetched but handled in such a manner that you almost have to take it seriously.