Fans will recall that Ultimate Villain Showdown contained Chapters 2-5 of 'Sins of the Fathers' and Chapter 3 of 'Partners in Danger.' Return of the Green Goblin contains Chapters 12-14 of 'Sins of the Fathers' and Chapters 1 & 8 of 'Partners in Danger.' While this is somewhat confusing, the episode selection on Return of the Green Goblin is actually much better, though I can't say that I wouldn't rather have a complete arc of episodes, rather than a few here and there.
In 'Sins of the Fathers,' a scientist, who later takes the name of the Spot, creates the technology to produce inter-dimensional portals. Realizing how this technology could be beneficial for crime, several of Spider-Man's greatest enemies battle for control of it, including the Kingpin, Hobgoblin, and the Green Goblin.
In 'Partners in Crime: Part 1,' Robbie Robertson is set-up as the fall guy for a crime, and Spider-Man must uncover the real culprit and reason he was framed in order to free him from jail.
'Partners in Crime: Part 8,' is a 'bonus' episode on the disc, despite the fact it features the title of the collection. With Norman Osborn and Mary Jane seemingly lost (as seen in 'Sins of the Fathers'), Harry Osborn takes up the mantle of the Green Goblin. Anna Watson asks the Punisher to find her niece, and Spider-Man is, of course, stuck in the middle.
Having been a long-time fan of the comics, but having missed much of the animated series on TV, watching these episodes is always hit or miss. I wasn't a big fan of the episodes on Ultimate Villain Showdown, but the episodes here work quite a bit better. Each episode had some great moments – from Tombstone's appearance in 'Partners in Crime: Part 1,' which tied in fairly closely to a similar storyline that ran through Spectacular Spider-Man, to the perfect portrayal of Harry's psychosis in 'Partners in Crime: Part 8,' to a homage of the cover of the classic Amazing Spider-Man #39. However and mostly because of my love for comics, I had some quibbles. The Punisher that appears here is the lamest portrayal of the Frank Castle character ever. Mary Jane's reappearance, after having disappeared into 'limbo,' is sudden and unexplained, especially considering she was 'lost' for eight episodes. While I'm not as familiar with Jason Macendale, I can't remember him ever hooking up with Felicia Hardy, though revealing him as the Hobgoblin and completely bypassing Ned Leeds (who does make a brief appearance) is…strange, to say the least. Still, these episodes do manage to entertain, though I can only hope the animated series is released in seasons, rather than 'best-of' collections, at some point.
The 'bonus episode' on the disc is the 'classic' episode from 1967, 'Terrible Triumph of Dr. Octopus/Magic Malice,' which was…ok. The less said about it, the better, in my opinion.
Also available are sneak peeks for a variety of Disney/Buena Vista releases, as well as a trailer for the Kingdom Hearts videogame.