Could Spider-Man Unlimited have worked?

The Overlord

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Spider-Man Unlimited was a weird show where Spidey went to Counter Earth to fight the High Evolutionary and his minions instead of fighting crime in regular NYC and was canceled after one season .


Could this series have worked? It's an odd premise, but it was unique for Spider-Man show. It did get fairly dark, with the villains being into eugenics. Or should they have done a Spider-Man 2099 show instead, despite Batman Beyond coming out at the same time?
 

Trevor

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I think it could’ve worked. Unfortunately with the 13 episodes, the show was only setting up plot threads for what would come, and we know that there were at least 6 episodes in Season 2 at various stages of production before the series was cancelled. In a wa this was Spidey’s version of Babylon 5’s “Crusade”.
 

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As much as I liked and like The Animated Series, I thought that Unlimited was cool in the day and was sad it was so quickly gone. It did something different that was intriguing - essentially combining TAS and X-Men into one. TAS felt long at times. Unlimited felt short. The different premise and art style was cool.
 

Rick Jones

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It's such a cool art style on this show. I loved the new suit and intro. Rino Romano is an awesome Spider-Man. I could never really get into the Counter Earth plot though. Not for an entire series. I've seen the same thing happen with comic book series that I've been into before but for some reason whenever the High Evolutionary and the Knights of Wundagore come around, my interests drops like a lead balloon. I did like some of the side characters and some of the new takes on old villains but as a whole, the show wasn't my cup of tea.

I think the overall timing was bad for me too. Fox Kids had a lineup that was collectively doing nothing for me at the time, and I think that also helped to color my view of some of the series of the time negatively.

I definitely would have loved getting a Spider-Man 2099 show...

At the time, I never had the chance to really read up much on the comic series but it did intrigue me. At first I thought that's what the show was going to be based on probably up until I watched the first couple of episodes and realized it was something much different. It would have been insane if a 2099 series and Batman Beyond were airing concurrently.

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The Overlord

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It's such a cool art style on this show. I loved the new suit and intro. Rino Romano is an awesome Spider-Man. I could never really get into the Counter Earth plot though. Not for an entire series. I've seen the same thing happen with comic book series that I've been into before but for some reason whenever the High Evolutionary and the Knights of Wundagore come around, my interests drops like a lead balloon. I did like some of the side characters and some of the new takes on old villains but as a whole, the show wasn't my cup of tea.

I think the overall timing was bad for me too. Fox Kids had a lineup that was collectively doing nothing for me at the time, and I think that also helped to color my view of some of the series of the time negatively.



At the time, I never had the chance to really read up much on the comic series but it did intrigue me. At first I thought that's what the show was going to be based on probably up until I watched the first couple of episodes and realized it was something much different. It would have been insane if a 2099 series and Batman Beyond were airing concurrently.

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Interesting, have you read the 2099 comics since then and think they would make for a good animated show?

I think Spider-Man 2099 would have to be somewhat toned down to work for kids, Vulture 2099 was pretty vile, but it is doable.
 

Freddy

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I think Unlimited could have been executed better than the finished product was. The show had a big case of trying to have its cake and eat it too, with both putting Spider-Man in a very atypical situation for the character and still doing all the classic "Peter trying to have a normal life, while being Spider-Man" stuff, but that just didn't work or make any narrative sense when the premise is "Spider-Man stuck on an alien planet, trying to overthrow its evil dictator." They really should have embraced their wacky sci-fi plot and fully committed to it.

The other major blow to the show was how the above-mentioned premise just screams for a serilialized story, but the show went with episodic "villain/conflict of the week" formula. The show had 13 episodes and the story only moves forward in the pilot and finale.

But, even if both of these fundamental flaws didn't exist, the show might have been too out there for Spider-Man no matter what. It could have been better show on its own right, but the fanbase might have still rejected it.
 

Webbed-Wonder

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I appreciate Unlimited a lot for what it tried to do, it's a very ambitious take on Spider-Man. It's a great example of working with constraints and using them to still give it 100% effort, they couldn't make a classic Spidey show and were given elements they needed to piece together as a result and I think what they came up with was a really interesting premise for Spidey to be in.

I think the show's faults are that it didn't always execute and follow through on the premise the best it could sometimes but when it does hit on it, it shows the promise of it very well and is cool to take in. Spidey as a fish out of water in a weird sci-fi setting putting up a mirror to our real world societal/class divides and having Spidey be in the middle of that is just a very cool and different place to put him thematically and it plays on his dual identity in a subtle way because it brings a different perspective to the conflict on the world.

I really wish they were able to finish telling the story they were making cause it just would've been that 2nd season to wrap it up with a nice bow. Really underrated if you ask me, not necessarily in terms of what's actually always in the show but what it could offer. The costume I also always loved, one of my favorite Spidey looks. The red and blue and yellow is a cool combo, the whole thing has an aura of cool around it.

I enjoyed where the current run of Spidey comics started off but it has just sorta devolved into convoluted drawn out territory going over the same stuff ad-nauseum, while it laments it's always going over the same stuff, so something like this is appealing to me when I see the character spinning wheels 20 years later in the comics. I want to see Marvel make comics based off of their old cartoons and such, DC embraces this and has been having much success with their Batman animated and Justice League animated comics. Sure it's probably more niche for a show like this, but like I said, the concept could really work with the right take on it.
 

Trevor

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It’s kind of interesting how “Spider-Man Unlimited” and “ Crusade” were both cancelled before they had aired any episodes. Kind of interesting how in 1999 spin-offs were being killed off before airing.
 

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