That Time Spider-Man Went Back in Time For Plant Genocide

Spider-Man faces plant people in classic 1967 animated series

The agreeable neighborhood Spider-Man faces flawed neighborhood plant folks.
Screenshot: Marvel

What makes a Worst Episode Ever? A entire absence of stress-free? Anything else akin to a coherent feature? An inability or perhaps unwillingness to honor its source materials? Low-quality manufacturing? Also can merely peaceful it be so unsuitable it’s honest, or can even merely peaceful it harm you with its badness? The acknowledge, I deem, could perhaps also be any of these—which is why selecting the worst episode of the conventional 1967 Spider-Man fascinating sequence has been so hard.

In “Horn of the Rhino,” Spidey is outwitted (customarily!) by the dimwitted huge-villain and inexplicably webs himself into a literal ball to bag away some law enforcement officials. In “Insurrection in the Fifth Dimension,” Peter on the general goes thru a Hunter S. Thompson drug nightmare courtesy of a bunch of puny aliens. And in the third season, there are a couple of episodes that re-exhaust outdated skool photos to retell first season episodes, only worse and further dull. What I’m asserting is, a variety of the Spider-Man ’67 episodes are unpleasant in assorted ways but in general to the identical stage.

Nonetheless, for some cause, “Vine” caught out to me, whereby Peter Parker unwittingly lets an extinct plant-monster loose in Fresh York and heads three million years in the previous to gain a ludicrous and moronic resolution to the topic. The episode begins with Peter and his female friend of the week Jackie (severely, he ran thru a couple of adore pursuits in the comic strip; Mary Jane only reveals up in a single episode) are rooting around the attic of a dwelling previously belonging to a Professor Smithers. Amongst his crap and junk are three objects of blow their non-public horns: an infinite seed, a journal, and a permanently originate time portal to a couple of,000,000 BC.

How did the professor get the time machine into his attic? Who’s paying the electric bill?

How did the professor bag the time machine into his attic? Who’s paying the electrical bill?
Screenshot: Marvel

Peter straight away exposes the seed to the light, and it grows into an infinite vine monster that crawls out the window and makes a beeline to NYC, leaving a large swath of destruction in its route (in conjunction with a blue-white dwelling it crushes no longer once, but three or four times, to care for animation costs to an absolute minimal). Jackie reads the journal and discovers the Professor is chilling in the previous. Peter, with a really wild jump of illogic, decides the handiest formulation to quit the vine creature is by ignoring the final three million years of human advancement, technology, and weaponry, and the truth that he’s Spider-Man by deciding to soar thru the time portal and gain a resolution there.

G/O Media can even merely bag a price

A spell binding thing about this traditional comic strip is that Spidey is constantly being owned by his heaps of foes, who are led by an impressive villain I care for to name “Total Lack of Continuity.” So I resolve on to give method what happens straight away after ol’ Net-head arrives in the previous and discovers an infinite frog monster:

  • Spider-Man fires his webbing on the beast, who has no longer made any menacing strikes toward him.
  • The frog, having it sounds as if jumped into the air while off-cloak, is webbed and inexplicably frozen in mid-air.

Webs so sticky they can adhere to air! Except when they don’t.

Webs so sticky they’ll adhere to air! With the exception of after they don’t.
Screenshot: Marvel

  • on the bottom and free, the frog smacks an attacking Spider-Man so hard he flies on a 100-foot cliff.
  • The frog approaches Spider-Man, who is now in a method caught in a tree on the frog’s gape stage.
  • Spider-Man webs the frog over again, and this time it works for some cause.
  • Spider-Man is straight away brained by a blue enormous who in a method sneaks up on him. Spidey’s Spider-Sense does no longer roam off at any point for the interval of this.

Said blue giants are it sounds as if pals with Professor Smithers, and they invent Spider-Man to him. When the hero warns Smithers that the seed has sprouted and gotten loose, the Professor has the gall to jabber, “I turned into shy of that.” Correctly, then perhaps you shouldn’t non-public left it in the 20th century in a shoebox for your attic, idiot.

The temple at the heart of the city the Professor built for...reasons.

The temple on the heart of the metropolis the Professor constructed for…reasons.
Screenshot: Marvel

Fortuitously, the Professor knows study the formulation to quit the creature: radium! Unluckily, radium is difficult to come attend by, as he explains in his attend memoir: Smithers brought “your entire males he can even gain” to assemble a enormous metropolis in 3,000,000 BC. The vine creatures were there, too, but he chanced on they’ll be destroyed by huge gem stones of radium, which non-public been moreover outdated skool up in the technique. By the time the vines were destroyed, only two gem stones were left, of which the prof says, “we attach in the eyes of the huge idol we constructed.” (We shall be able to absolutely come attend to this in a minute.) Alas, the radium that killed the vines for some unknowable cause then started mutating them into sentient beings who by some means took attend over the metropolis and kicked Smithers out. Now they require the energy from the 2 final gem stones in the idol to dwell.

When Spider-Man approaches the metropolis, he deduces the idol can even merely peaceful be in the enormous temple (Batman’s title as World’s Most attention-grabbing Detective remains totally unchallenged). Spidey is attacked by a variety of plant folks, one of whom throws a trident thru his net, inflicting the hero to tumble perhaps 50 feet to the bottom the attach he lands straight on his attend. Suffice it negate, there turned into no spider-sense alert, nor did it happen to Spidey to, you know, shoot one other net. Spider-Man wakes up in an enviornment the attach he’s “forced” to fight a monster he can even simply swing some distance off from, then he grabs the radium gem stones and runs, leaving the metropolis suffering from the ineffective our bodies of your entire plant folks.

Meanwhile, here’s what the enormous vine monster’s been up to:

The big vine monster arrives at the Big Apple.

The fantastic vine monster arrives on the Huge Apple.
Screenshot: Marvel

So, yeah, it’s no longer going successfully. Nonetheless Spider-Man swings thru the portal—I mean, actually, he swings thru the portal alongside with his webbing passing impossibly thru each aspects of the time machine’s body, the some distance facet of which opens into a dwelling attic that impossibly doesn’t smash Peter’s momentum or arc in anyway—and promptly shoves the gem stones down the monster’s throat. This, bizarrely, electrocutes the plant creature sooner than killing it. The episode ends with no point out of the tens of thousands of fatalities the vine thing must non-public caused for the interval of its rampage. Alternatively, the following day in college, Jackie mentions that in a method the professor’s journal disappeared, and the time portal stopped working, no longer loads wrapping up loose ends as lazily permitting them to tumble one at a time to the bottom.


Screenshot: Marvel

None of this adequately describes how visually unsuitable the Spider-Man comic strip works. Obvious, loads can excused, for the reason that budgets for TV cartoons were in general reasonably low attend then, and most of them were forced to customarily reuse sequences to connect money. Nonetheless Spider-Man has perhaps three or four swinging animations, which is a staunch field when webslinging makes up possibly a fleshy quarter of the episode’s runtime. It moreover doesn’t excuse how the backgrounds aren’t made to accommodate these animations in the slightest; Spider-Man by no methodology looks to in point of fact be a component of the world because his webs are clearly hooked up to nothing. He by no methodology looks to be like care for he’s standing properly on the bottom in the few times he’s no longer swinging around.

I know older Spider-Man video games are guilty of this too, but this is egregious.

I know older Spider-Man video games are guilty of this too, but that is egregious.
Screenshot: Marvel

Nonetheless no longer no longer up to there are budgetary excuses for the animation being unpleasant—the feature has none. It’s senseless that the McGuffin, the radium, kills the plant creatures, then in a method mutates them, then turns into the one thing protecting them alive. It’s a lot extra absurd that some random NYU professor constructed a time portal, made up our minds to make a entire metropolis thousands and thousands of years in the previous alongside with his pals, grew to change into besties with a couple of blue giants, purchased kicked out of his non-public metropolis by plant folks, and then marvelous hung around looking ahead to…what? The off-chance that some hero will by some means root around in his attic? Calling the memoir illogical feels care for an underestimation. It’s so lazy it’s practically contemptuous, especially when a variety of the scuttle-time of “Vine” is peaceful padded out beyond this nonsense.

The one honest thing about this lazy storytelling is that it gives us a golden opportunity to uncover the net site ourselves, critically in regard to what in the living fuck Professor Smithers turned into truly doing. What extra or much less man would return in time three million years to attain an infinite metropolis? Who would volunteer to motivate with such a mission? Why would that metropolis encompass a big temple housing an wonderful, unpleasant idol? On memoir of Smithers very specifically says “we attach [the radium gems] in the eyes of the enormous idol we constructed.” And the screenshot unequivocally reveals folks worshipping it sooner than the plant-beings attack:

The Professor and his cult worship their dark god.

The Professor and his cult fancy their darkish god.
Screenshot: Marvel

And why, oh why, would the door to the metropolis can even merely peaceful be this wonderful? Who’s going to come attend thru it?

Good thing Spidey killed all the plant people so the Prof could resume his grim work.

Appropriate thing Spidey killed your entire plant folks so the Prof can even resume his grim work.
Screenshot: Marvel

Guys, there’s actually merely one cause any individual who enact this, and it’s because he’s a worshipper of an H.P. Lovecraft-esque, Cthulhu-kind Elder God and is attempting to summon this unfathomable monster beyond website and time to bring the world to exclaim ruination sooner than the scourge of humanity ever exists. It’s the only resolution that makes a modicum of sense, and I negate that without any exaggeration. Smithers and his fellow cult individuals didn’t return in time to attain an infinite temple and pray sooner than a unhappy idol for his or her health. They had a aim, and that aim turned into unspeakably injurious.

Pointless to jabber, if “Vine” had made any of this stuff dispute, it ought to also need gone down as the most effective episode of the 1967 Spider-Man that ever existed. Alas, it did no longer. Feel free to revel in it and the the leisure of the comic strip for its outdated skool-college appeal, its low campiness, or marvelous ironically. Simply know while you happen to enact, Professor Smithers’ energy grows and the scare god beyond inches ever closer to our world.

Poor dude is so worried he’s not going to kill Spider-Man.

Downhearted dude is so shy he’s no longer going to abolish Spider-Man.
Screenshot: Marvel

Diversified Musings:

  • The 2nd monster Spidey fights in the previous looks to be like extremely anxious, and it’s a bit of heavenly.
  • On the kind to the metropolis, Spidey encounters one other monster and runs into an infinite chasm he can’t adverse. Laborious lower to: Spider-Man swinging merrily, the chasm some distance slack him, his resolution to this unsolvable field unmentioned.
  • The plant guys non-public a plant king, and I will fortunately confess to smiling when he praised his non-public “vegetable superiority” and the method a lot he hated having a non-public a study Spider-Man’s “protein body.”
  • At one point, Spider-Man webs up an infinite monster and has to tie his webs in a knot around a hoop to stable them. If only spider webs were sticky, care for the assorted end of Spider-Man’s webs which shall be firmly hooked up to the monster.
  • At one other point, one of Spider-Man’s webs marvelous explodes when it hits a plant guy.

I mean, come on

I mean, come on
Screenshot: Marvel

  • When Spider-Man steals the 2 radium gem stones, which shall be at minimal three inches thick and non-public a diameter of 1 foot, he sticks them each under his shirt the attach they are it sounds as if placed in the alternate dimension positioned in his belly as they are fully unnoticeable.
  • The episode ends with Jackie asking Peter to come attend to the prof’s dwelling and motivate her “uncover the basement,” which isn’t a honest sexual euphemism, but indubitably shall be worse.

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