Spider-Man Unlimited

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Spider-Man Unlimited
Spider-Man Unlimited title screen.jpg
Genre Superhero
Action/Adventure
Science fiction
Format Animated series
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
Brennan Paden
Developed by Fox Studios
Written by Will Meugniot
Michael Reaves
Steve Perry
Brynne Chandler Reaves
Roger Slifer
Diane Duane
Peter Morwood
Larry Brody
Robert Gregory Browne
Mark Hoffmeier
Directed by Patrick Archibald
Voices of Rino Romano
Brian Drummond
Michael Donovan
Garry Chalk
John Payne II
Rhys Huber
Christopher Gaze
Jennifer Hale
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 13
Production
Executive producer(s) Avi Arad
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Marvel Studios
Saban International A. G.
Distributor Saban Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel Fox
Original run October 2, 1999 (1999-10-02) – March 31, 2001 (2001-03-31)
Chronology
Preceded by Spider-Man (1994 TV series)
Followed by Spider-Man: The New Animated Series

Spider-Man Unlimited is a short-lived American animated series featuring the Marvel comic book superhero Spider-Man.[1][2] Unlimited premiered in 1999, but, although it had fair ratings, was overshadowed by Pokémon and the newly debuted Digimon, and was canceled after airing only a few episodes.[3] Fox Kids later resumed airing the show from 2000 to 2001, airing 13 episodes, the last ending on a cliffhanger. Several scripts were written for Season 2, including the conclusion of the cliffhanger, but were never produced.

Initially, the goal was to do an extremely low budget adaptation of the first 26 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man comic book, but Sony and Marvel had already engaged in a deal, and so Saban was cut from many source and couldn't use the traditional Spider-Man suit or adapt the early comics. Also, in the original idea, Spider-Man was stranded in a Counter-Earth in which Ben Parker didn't die and thus Peter Parker lacked the morale fortitude to resist becoming Venom. However Marvel Comics didn't like the idea and stated that they would not do a story with two Peter Parkers.[4]

Plot[edit]

Spider-Man as he appears in the comic book adaption of the show.

While covering the launch of John Jameson's one man mission to Counter-Earth (another Earth located on the far side of the Sun), Spider-Man attempts to stop his two symbiote adversaries Venom and Carnage from boarding the shuttlecraft. Blamed for Jameson losing contact with our Earth, Spider-Man becomes a target of persecution by the media and the public. Believed to be dead after saving a person's life in a fire, Peter Parker uses the ruse to embark on a mission to retrieve John Jameson on Counter-Earth, using nanotechnology borrowed from Reed Richards to design a new suit that incorporates stealth technology and sonic weaponry. Making his way to the planet, Spider-Man learns that Jameson has fallen in with a band of freedom fighters opposed to the High Evolutionary whose Beastials, hybrids of animal and humanoid attributes, are the dominant species whilst humans are the second-class minority.

With Jameson reluctant to return until all of the Beastials are defeated, Spider-Man elects to remain on Counter-Earth, blending in as best as he can as Peter Parker, and fighting High Evolutionary and his Knights of Wundagore alongside the rebels as Spider-Man. It is soon discovered that Venom and Carnage are also on Counter-Earth, and are following orders from the Synoptic, a hive minded legion of Counter-Earth symbiotes. This series also shows the animated version of John Jameson's Man-Wolf form, as well as superhero versions of mainstream villains the Green Goblin and the Vulture.

Characters[edit]

Protagonists[edit]

  • Peter Parker/Spider-Man (voiced by Rino Romano) – Peter Parker is a "photographer" for the Daily Bugle newspaper company who was bitten by a genetically altered spider and got spider-like abilities making him a superhero called Spider-Man. At the beginning of the show Spider-Man (Peter) was chasing and trying to stop Venom and Carnage from getting into a rocket with John Jameson riding it. After failing to stop them, Venom and Carnage took John Jameson with them and went to the Counter Earth, another Earth on the opposite side of the sun. After this, Peter borrowed nanotechnology from Reed Richards to design a new suit that incorporates stealth technology and sonic weaponry. With the new suit, he went to Counter Earth to save John Jameson. In Counter Earth, Peter lives at Dr. Naoko Yamada's house for rent. Making his way to the planet, Spider-Man learns that Jameson has fallen in with a band of "freedom" fighters opposed to the High Evolutionary whose Beastials, hybrids of animal and humanoid attributes, are the dominant species whilst humans are the second-class minority. He joined John and the Human Revolution to defeat the High Evolutionary and his old enemies, the Venom and Carnage. In his new stealth suit, Spider-Man is slightly different. He has dark color scheme and a cape made of webbing. He also has a sonic weapon to defeat Venom and Carnage. In this series, Peter was in love with Mary Jane Watson like in other series. But due to him leaving the real Earth and going to Counter Earth, he was separated from her and they aren't seen together again.
  • Dr. Naoko Yamada-Jones (voiced by Akiko Morison) – She is a doctor in Counter Earth. After Peter rescues her son, Shane, from a Machine Man, she gave Peter an offer to live in her house for rent for two weeks, which he accepts. She is married to Hector Jones, her long lost secret husband and is the mother of Shane. She doesn't know of Peter's Spider-Man secret. She has a dislike for Spider-Man despite his heroics; in one episode, when he saved her from Venom and Carnage, her only concern was the damage that they had caused to her clinic.
  • Shane Yamada-Jones (voiced by Rhys Huber) – Shane is the only son of Dr. Naoko Yamada and Hector Jones. He is a 10 year old boy who lives on Counter Earth. He looks up to Peter and hates when Peter and Naoko are fighting, reminding him of his father and Naoko fighting which led his father to leave him and his mother. He, like his mother, doesn't know of Peter's Spider-Man secret.
  • John Jameson (voiced by John Payne II) – John Jameson is a member of the rebels which is a team who fights against High Evolutionary. In the series, while traveling into space to investigate Counter-Earth, John Jameson crashed thanks to Venom and Carnage. He and Spider-Man (who went there to save him and return him back to Earth) joined the human rebels to fight High Evolutionary and his Beastials and restore peace to Counter-Earth. Later on as seen in the episode "Ill Met By Moonlight", High Evolutionary had experimented on Jameson and every time he gets angry he becomes the Man-Wolf (vocal effects provided by Scott McNeil), marking Man-Wolf's first animated appearance.
  • Karen O'Malley (voiced by Kimberly Hawthorne) – She is another member of the Rebellion. It is revealed that she is from the real Earth and is the granddaughter of High Evolutionary. He made some experiments on her when she was young. She looks similar to Mary-Jane Watson in appearance and can be thought of as the counter-earth version of Mary-Jane.
  • Green Goblin/Hector Jones (voiced by Rino Romano) – He is the Counter Earth Green Goblin. This version is actually a hero instead of a villain, mistaking Spider-Man for a villain during their first encounter. Instead of a glider, he wields a backpack that sprouts wings. The Goblin next appears when he finds out that both Spider-Man and Peter Parker are the same person. He also learns that Spider-Man is from the original Earth, and his intentions on Counter-Earth are to rescue John Jameson. Since Jameson, who is working with the rebels against High Evolutionary, does not agree to come and lets Spider-Man go off on his own, the Goblin decides to help by getting a ship High Evolutionary has, which was originally Spider-Man's (Solaris II). Spider-Man and the Goblin team up with the Rejects, a group of Beastials that High Evolutionary got rid of since they proved useless, and they get to Solaris II. Physically unable to enter the craft after it takes off, Spider-Man uses Solaris II to crash into one of High Evolutionary's towers, which presumably kills the Goblin in the explosion. However, by the series finale, it is revealed he survived the explosion and joined the Rejects. He leaves them to help Spider-Man and the rebels fight against High Evolutionary. By the end of the episode, he is one of the characters who run off when thousands of symbiotes spring to Counter-Earth according to Venom and Carnage's plans. In Counter Earth, Green Goblin's secret identity is Hector Jones, ex-husband of Dr. Naoko Yamada and father of Shane Yamada-Jones. This is revealed many times in the series as by the end of his first appearance, after saving Naoko and Shayne Yamada-Jones from one of Venom and Carnage's plans with the help of Spider-Man and after the Goblin lets Naoko and Shayne go, he whispers to himself about calling Naoko his love. It is revealed in the next episode, which the Goblin himself does not appear in, that Naoko has a jealous ex-husband who works for the rebellion against High Evolutionary. Naoko's ex-husband, who is standing in the shadows by the end of the episode, reveals that he is jealous, suspecting that Naoko and Peter Parker, the man who pays the rent while living at Naoko's home, are having an affair. He punches a wall that bricks fall down thus confirming the Goblin, who has super strength is indeed Naoko's ex-husband. But in the comic book series based on the TV show, in the final issue, Spiderman teams up with a Wolverine Beastial to take down a mysterious killer that's kidnapped Shayne. After the 2 defeat the killer, who is revealed to be Chameleon of Counter-Earth, Wolverine gives Spiderman his medal, which resembles the same medal that Naoko's ex-husband wears in the photo, confirming that Wolverine is Naoko's ex-husband and Shayne's father, causing an error in continuity in the series.
  • Git Hoskins – Git is a member of the rebels. Sir Ram made an experiment on Git when he was young, resulting in him having mummy-like bandages and giving him the powers to stretch and control his bandages. Due to his appearance, he didn't have any friends growing up. Because of this, he has a grudge against Sir Ram.
  • X-51 (voiced by Dale Wilson) – X-51 was an obsolete Machine Man who crashed and unexpectedly gained sentience. As the result, the android becomes benevolent and protects humans from High Evolutionary. He saved Shane from a giant rhino. High Evolutionary wanted him conduct experiments on him to learn his developments. He was kidnapped by High Evolutionary, but was saved by Spider-Man, Karen and John. Sir Ram later implanted a chip for a trap against the rebels but Spider-Man destroys it. After defeating Sir Ram, X-51 joins the rebels for both humanity and machines' freedom.
  • Vulture (voiced by Scott McNeil) – He is the Counter Earth version of the Vulture. Like the Counter Earth Green Goblin, this version of the Vulture is a hero instead of a villain and also like the Counter-Earth Goblin, he first mistook Spider-Man for a villain. It is explained the Vulture was a human who got Bestial powers, hanging out with Beastials and disrespecting humans while he was also playing with his human servant's son. When he caused his human friend trouble, he hated High Evolutionary for what he did and rebelled against him.
  • Austin Atom (voiced by Brennan Paden) - He was a super strong villain that had the awesome power to absorb energy after a misguided experiment electrocuted him and on the verge of his death he began to live on energy. He is almost unstoppable, having the ability to grow or shrink and to cut through Spiderman's web, with his only weakness being he is completely vulnerable when charging. This character only appeared for two issues. After he almost killed Spiderman in a duel in the river, he tried to absorb the suns energy which proved to be to great a task as he was sucked into the sun and never returned.

Other characters[edit]

  • Mr. Meugniot (voiced by Garry Chalk) – The editor of the Daily Byte.
  • Lord Tyger (voiced by David Sobolov) – Lord Tyger is one of the High Evolutionary's first New Men and was later placed as the leader of the Knights of Wundagore.

Episode list[edit]

The following list reflects the correct viewing order of the "Spider-Man Unlimited" episodes, according to the official site of Marvel.

# Title Original air date
1 "Worlds Apart, Part One" October 2, 1999[5]
When Spider-Man spots his two main enemies, Venom and Carnage, hijacking on John Jameson's spaceship on a trip to the mysterious planet, Counter-Earth, he fails to stop them and the two symbiote villains go with Jameson to Counter-Earth, where the ship crashes and Jameson presumably dies. The public then blames Spider-Man for Jameson's seeming death. Spider-Man fakes his own death and lies low for half a year until he gets a new nano-tech costume from Reed Richards and gets another ride to Counter-Earth. 
2 "Worlds Apart, Part Two" October 9, 1999[6]
Spider-Man reaches his destination on Counter-Earth and finds out that John Jameson survived the crash. He has become a member of a rebellion fighting against the forces of High Evolutionary, the counter-Earth version of the High Evolutionary, a figurehead who hates humans and creates animal-mutant hybrids called the Beastials. Spider-Man then joins the group and moves in with a single mother, Dr. Naoko Yamada-Jones, and her son, Shane Jones. 
3 "Where Evil Nests" October 16, 1999[7]
Spider-Man meets the Counter-Earth version of the Green Goblin, a hero who mistakes Spider-Man for a villain. Spider-Man realizes the kidnapper of Dr. Naoko Yamada-Jones isn't the Goblin. The two team up to save her and stop a plan by her kidnappers responsible for the green Bio-Mass: Venom and Carnage. 
4 "Deadly Choices" December 23, 2000[8]
A member of the rebellion against Hugh Evolutionary, Git Hoskins, steals a bomb and threatens to blow up the Counter-Earth New York. The rebellion and the Beastials are forced to team up to get it back before both humans and Beastials are killed by the contagious compound within the bomb. 
5 "Steel Cold Heart" January 13, 2001[9]
A machine man, X-51 (the 51st off the assembly line), one of High Evolutionary's operatives, refuses to hurt innocent people, so he betrays Hugh and decides to join the rebellion. 
6 "Enter the Hunter!" February 3, 2001[10]
When High Evolutionary sees that Spider-Man is a bug in his plans, he has his minion, Sir Ram, hire an assassin named the Hunter (Counter-Earth's Kraven the Hunter) to kill the hero. 
7 "Cry Vulture" February 10, 2001[11]
Spider-Man teams up with the Counter-Earth hero version of the Vulture to foil one of Sir Ram's evil plots to transform humans into Bestials and defeat his minion Firedrake. 
8 "Ill-Met by Moonlight" February 17, 2001[12]
John Jameson turns into Man-Wolf, and Spider-Man has to break into High Evolutionary's power plant to find a cure for him. Here, he confronts an electric eel that is Counter-Earth's Bestial version of Electro. 
9 "Sustenance" March 3, 2001[13]
The Goblin returns and figures out that Spider-Man is Peter Parker. They are both then kidnapped by Rejects, failed Beastials created by High Evolutionary. They attempt to sneak into one of the Evoltuionary's hideouts so Spider-Man can escape, pretending to help the Rejects. 
10 "Matters of the Heart" March 10, 2001[14]
Spider-Man agrees to help Bromley, a member of the rebellion against High Evolutionary, to find his long-lost brother. At the end of the episode, after Bromley finds out that his brother is loyal to High Evolutionary, he pushes him into a vat of water. The Beastials inside pull him down. 
11 "One is the Loneliest Number" March 17, 2001[15]
Eddie Brock, alter ego of Venom, is separated from the Venom symbiote and Spider-Man agrees to retrieve it by donning it and give it to Brock before he dies. 
12 "Sins of the Fathers" March 24, 2001[16]
Karen O'Malley, a member of the rebellion against High Evolutionary, is kidnapped by machine men of the Evolutionary, so Spider-Man and X-51 teams up to save her. Meanwhile, High realizes Karen is his grand-daughter. 
13 "Destiny Unleashed" March 31, 2001[17]
Venom and Carnage reveal why they are on Counter-Earth. They have been working for the Synoptic, whose plan is to team up with High Evolutionary. When the time is right, they will unleash millions of symbiotes on the planet to finally rid it of humans once and for all. Spider-Man, John Jameson, the rebellion, X-51 and the Goblin all team up to put an end to High's plans but appear too late when Venom and Carnage's plan unfolds. 

Crew[edit]

Director

Writers

Produced by

Original Music

Voice Director

Film Editing

Production Design

Art Department

Comic book[edit]

Alongside the animated series, Marvel Comics commissioned a comic to tie in with the series. It would be the second volume of Spider-Man Unlimited as a whole from the company, but the only one of the Unlimited volumes to be based on it. The first two issues were adapted from the first three episodes of the series, with the last three providing its own storylines.

In the final issue, he meets an escapee from Haven, a Bestial version of Wolverine. After fighting, the two team up and take down a Bestial Chameleon. It is hinted that Wolverine is really Naoko Jones' missing husband (although the cartoon hints that The Goblin is really Naoko's husband), but nothing came out of the storylines as poor sales ended the comic's run.

Reception[edit]

Many fans of Spider-Man were disappointed with Spider-Man Unlimited. Some fans thought Spider-Man was going to be closer to the comic books. However, despite the mixed reception, fans praised the art style and the intro.

DVD releases[edit]

As with the majority of the other Disney-acquired Marvel Comics animated series, Liberation Entertainment UK planned to release this on DVD in 2009. Due to Liberation's bankruptcy, the Marvel licenses were re-acquired by Clear Vision Ltd, who released it on DVD (in Region 2 PAL format) in a 2-disk set containing all 13 episodes. It was released on the 3rd of May, 2010.

All 13 episodes are now available on Netflix and Instant Marvel.com. (Verified on March 3, 2012) [18]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]