The Forgotten Spider-Man: Spider-Man Unlimited

by Luke Smith
010323A-1024x536 The Forgotten Spider-Man: Spider-Man UnlimitedLike many of you, I had high expectations for the new Spider-verse trailer from Sony – And boy, did it live up to all I had hoped for… More so, in fact! Within the trailer, we see the SPIDER-VERSE in all its web-bound glory, with multiple versions of our beloved Web-Head Spider-man darted about all over the place! There are many “Easter Egg” articles now circulating online, pointing out the various cameos. But there is one in particular that I’d like to focus on: The Spider-man from the 1999 animated show, Spider-man Unlimited.

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After the iconic 1994 Animated Series of Spiderman was cancelled, we got Spider-Man Unlimited.

Side Note: This animated TV show has THE BEST intro credits for a comic book-themed television show ever made!It is almost a shot for shot of the original Steve Ditko Artwork from the comics! (Well worth checking out!)The Fox Kids: Spider-Man Animated Series ran from Nov 19th 1994 – Jan 31st 1998 at Five Seasons / 65 episodes, but soon aged out of its key demographic age group.Talks began between Marvel, Fox and Saban to adapt a new show aimed at a new younger audience. However, this wasn’t going to be easy. Marvel had just declared bankruptcy and had sold off all of its film rights to its more notable key characters – including Spider-Man.This meant that any new version of Spider-man couldn’t legally include anything from the source material, so plans had to be changed.
scale-1-1024x576 The Forgotten Spider-Man: Spider-Man UnlimitedThe three companies (Marvel, Fox and Saban) began bouncing ideas. Originally, they wanted to rework the original 26 comics by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee (The Amazing Spider-Man) into a series of motion comics. However, this was abandoned quickly due to those same legal right issues mentioned above.They then thought about doing something with the Spider-Man 2099 character: Miguel O’Hara. But again, this idea was scrapped with the companies not wanting to compete with DC’s animated show, Batman Beyond.Months passed and no idea seemed to work with their current legal situation.

That is, until Toybiz owner Avi Arad came up with a new idea to run with: Spider-Man Unlimited.

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This newly created story sees Peter Parker travel to an alternate planet (Counter Earth) via a space launch, piloted by J Jonah Jameson’s son, John.

Peter finds himself at the launch after attempting to stop symbiotes Venom and Carnage from escaping earth to wreak havoc on another planet.Upon his arrival to Counter Earth, Peter discovers that this new planet is run by giant human/animal hybrids created by a being known as The High Evolutionary.

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The High Evolutionary first Appears in The Mighty Thor Issue 134
Spider-man then teams up with a group of Human Rebels (lead by John Jameson) and the group do battle with the humanoid army.
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The High Evolutionaries: The Knights of Wundagore (The Planets Police Force and rip-off of the Sinister Six)
The show was lightly in continuity with the 1994 version, with everything that appears on Earth appearing on Counter Earth. Some of Spidey’s most fearsome villains from the original continuity even show up as alternate versions of themselves.
Peter_Parker_28Earth-75126329-164x300 The Forgotten Spider-Man: Spider-Man UnlimitedThe key standout to this particular rendition of Spider-Man is his suit. We see Peter sporting a NEW nanotechnology Spider-Man costume, created for him by our world’s lead scientist: Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four) – Years before The MCU and Tony Stark’s Tech!
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The 1999 show also brought us a LIMITED comic book run for the UNLIMITED series, as well as a Wizard World exclusive (pictured above).

The Animated Series ran for 13 episodes overall before it was finally axed.

And what killed it?
Well, Pokemon, actually. Pokemon killed this show along with many others similar to it, with networks of the time instead wanting to create new shows more in line with Pokemon’s huge worldwide success.In my opinion, Unlimited’s biggest downfall is that it arrived too soon after the now iconic 1994 series ended.
The previous show had ended on such a big cliffhanger that any show following on after it just couldn’t live up.
Had there been a more larger gap between the two, maybe this new instalment would have had better success?
spider-man-part-one The Forgotten Spider-Man: Spider-Man UnlimitedAnd so that brings us back to The Spider-verse 2023
After years of being pushed aside the Suit from Spider-Man Unlimited is finally being revisited for the latest Miles Morales Spider-verse movie. Will this be a big role and important character? Unlikely. Infact he is likely a blink and you miss it cameo in amongst the hundreds of others we’ll surely see. But it is great to see the look getting a 2nd chance at life.
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It is worth noting that we are also getting the High Evolutionary making an appearance in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, where we will likely discover how everyone’s favourite Racoon: Rocket was created.It’s funny to think how something from the past, Like Spider-man Unlimited. A property that was so looked down upon for so many years, now actually has so many ties and similarities to the media we are consuming today.

Maybe Spider-Man Unlimited was just too ahead of its time for people to appreciate?

Are you an Unlimited fan? Let us know in the comments!

000052721D-1-Footer The Forgotten Spider-Man: Spider-Man Unlimited*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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