Sony’s decision to break up the first season of “The Spectacular Spider-Man” into volumes may be a hard one to swallow, but at least they haven’t wasted any time in releasing them on DVD. While the last two sets were definitely an improvement over the slightly disappointing “Return of the Lizard” trilogy, Volume Four ups the ante yet again by expanding the universe to include even more things we loved about the comics. For starters, it marks the debut of the popular alien symbiote and black suit storyline (which also includes a cool flashback to Spider-Man’s origin), and perhaps more importantly, the entrance of fan favorite Venom into the fold. Those who feel like the comics went downhill after the introduction of Venom, however, will be pleased to discover that the writers have included a few classic stories as well including a team-up episode with Black Cat and the inevitable formation of the Sinister Six (the vintage line-up featuring Doc Ock, Sandman, Rhino, Electro, Vulture and Shocker). The show only gets better with every episode, and though it would be nice to be able to watch more than just a few at a time, we’ll take what we can get.

Click to buy “The Spectacular Spider-Man: Volume Four”