Review and Media by Jon T
Episode #74 - Revolt In The Fifth Dimension
The third season budget must have been more or less depleted at this point, as not only is this episode made of stock footage, most of it is from another series! This was the second episode to reuse a Rocket Robin Hood story, after Phantom From The Depths Of Time in season two.
This episode was actually advertised as being the next episode after "Phantom From The Depths Of Time", indicating that it was originally planned back in the second season. Even considering how strange many of these later episodes were, it's just as well that both of these odd Rocket Robin Hood stories didn't air back to back!
Undoubtedly thanks to its borrowed plot, this is the single weirdest episode of the entire series - which is quite a considerable achievement when considering the extremely off-beat mood that permeates virtually all the rest of the second and third season episodes together! The strange atmosphere in this story is enhanced by the villain Infinata, who unlike the Phantom (from the depths of time), has an appropriately strange alien manner to match his wild look.
Stories similar to this were not unknown in other Marvel comics of the time, but they never really made contact with the more down-to-Earth reality of Spider-Man. From watching this episode, I can see why Stan Lee for the most part kept aliens at bay - Spider-Man just isn't a galaxy hopping hero who can single-handedly deal with alien menaces.
Like Phantom From The Depths Of Time, there's no Peter Parker, but also like the earlier episode, Spider-Man himself is still depicted pretty traditionally, even with all the surreal reality surrounding him.