|This article is written from the Real World perspective|
|Spider-Man Unlimited (TV Series)|
|Beginning date||October 2, 1999|
|End date||March 31, 2001|
|Number of Episodes||13 (Episodes)|
|Writers|| Larry Brody|
Robert Gregory Browne
|Producers|| Avi Arad|
Eric S. Rollman
|Original Channel||Fox Kids|
|Previous Series||Silver Surfer|
|Next Series||The Avengers: United They Stand|
Spider-Man Unlimited is the sequel series to Spider-Man and is loosely connected to the Marvel Animated Universe. The series aired thirteen episodes starting October 2nd, 1999 and ending March 31st, 2001.
Producer Will Meugniot explained that the show was created because both Marvel Entertainment and Fox Kids needed another Spider-Man series to fulfill contractual obligations. If Fox produced another season of a Spider-Man show they could continue airing episodes for an undisclosed amount of time.
The initial goal was to make an extremely low budget adaptation of the early issues of The Amazing Spider-Man and the show began production with that in mind. The idea was to have Saban Entertainment simply crudely animate thirteen of the first twenty-six classic comics, known today as Motion Comics, and similar to the old The Marvel Super Heroes series. This would have provided the additional season as cheaply as possible.
However, Marvel and Sony Pictures Entertainment made a deal for a live-action film, which included their own series to use the same source as the film. As such, the show was unable to use the early comics or even the classic costume. The producers toyed with Spider-Man 2099 for about a week but realized that comic had more or less appropriated that property's territory. Sony's series became Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.
Still needing a series while Marvel had some characters that needed to be animated, Marvel gave them a list of what they wanted in the series. Michael Reaves and Meugniot came up with the show's story and the Counter-Earth setting to accommodate Marvel's needs.
The initial pitch for this concept was that Spider-Man would arrive on Counter-Earth and look for a way to get home. However, he would find that Uncle Ben had not been killed on this world and the local Spider-Man would not have resisted becoming Venom. Everyone on staff liked this pitch and went into production. However, someone at Marvel freaked out upon hearing this as they interpreted the bad reaction to the Clone Saga that there were to Peter Parkers.
The series was then in production without any core story.
John Jameson, son of J. Jonah Jameson, leaves on a one-man space mission to Counter-Earth. However, both Venom and Carnage board the ship. Contact is lost with Jameson and Spider-Man is blamed by the media and the public. Eventually he is believed to be dead and Peter Parker then travels to Counter-Earth with a whole new suit. Upon arriving Peter finds the High Evolutionary, a human tired of humanity, and Bestials, hybrids of humans and animals, who are the dominant species. Jameson has teamed up with a revolutionary group of humans who are tired of being second class citizens. Jameson refuses to return to Earth until the High Evolutionary is overthrown. Until Jameson's cause is won Peter must try his best to blend into the society along with defeating Bestial versions of Spider-Man's rogue gallery along with Venom and Carnage.
While not originally meant as a sequel to Spider-Man, the series did contain several continuity references. Most notably, the premiere episode "Worlds Apart, Part One" used the earlier show's theme song to introduce Spider-Man.
The most obvious example is the origin of Carnage. In Spider-Man Baron Mordo and Dormammu return the Venom Symbiote and the Carnage spawn to Earth. When Eddie Brock rebonds with the Venom symbiote fellow prisoner Cletus Kasady is given the Carnage spawn. In Spider-Man Unlimited Spider-Man didn't separate the symbiote and Brock and Venom was held by S.H.I.E.L.D. along with Kasady, who was later given the Carnage symbiote. There is no mention of Mordo or Dormammu. The symbiotes' powers also seem to be radically changed. They are able to radically alter their body composition, shape, and altering their body's format. Spider-Man notes this in the first episode but there is no explanation.
Also of note, in Spider-Man Mary Jane Watson, Venom, and Carnage are lost in other dimensions yet there is no mention of these events or their resolutions.
The series starts off with Peter Parker and Mary Jane together, implying though not directly stating that Madame Web reunited the two, he revealed his identity, and at least began dating at least.
The series lasted thirteen episodes and, like Silver Surfer, ended on a cliffhanger.
Fans of Spider-Man and of the Spider-Man comics in general were disappointed. They felt that the show tried to be closer to the comic books but became bogged down with being on an alien planet. On a positive note, many noted that the visuals were very appealing.
The show was vastly overshadowed by the anime Pokémon, which began airing at the same time and garnered far higher ratings. Although the season one ended on a cliffhanger and several scripts were written for a second, the series was not picked up for further episodes.
- ↑ Spider-Man Not So Unlimited at Masked Mayhem
- ↑ Comic Book Legends Revealed #589 at Comic Book Resources
- ↑ Comic Book Legends Revealed #512 at Comic Book Resources
|Pre-MAU||Spider-Man (1967) • Spider-Woman • Spider-Man (1981) • Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends|
|MAU||Spider-Man • Spider-Man Unlimited|
|Post-MAU||Spider-Man: The New Animated Series • The Spectacular Spider-Man • Ultimate Spider-Man|