Monday, August 15, 2011

Rein-Toon-Ation: Spider-Man Unlimited (1999)

After just a year away, Spider-Man returned to Fox's Saturday morning lineup in 1999, only to discover just how much the ratings landscape had changed in his absence.

In Spider-Man Unlimited, the web-head heads for Counter Earth to retrieve astronaut John Jameson, son of Daily Bugle editor-publisher J. Jonah Jameson. Here's the intro:

Pokemon, having been a mid-season pickup by WB earlier in the year, is the hottest cartoon on the planet at the time, and blows away Spidey in the ratings, such that Fox pulled the plug after less than a month. Didn't help that the series was late in starting for reasons known only to the network. Unlimited would later return to burn off the remaining episodes. Marvel produced a companion comic book, which also was given a quick hook.

As with Avengers: United They Stand, which bowed that same season and ran into the same problems, Unlimited was produced by Saban in conjunction with Marvel's own animation studio, and was one of the last entries in this collaboration (Silver Surfer was also part of this group). Spidey, of course, has since recovered to star in two more series since. DisneyXD holds the cable rights to the series, but doesn't run it in key air slots.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I thought the show was Ok but it killed me that we were left on a cliffhanger!

In fact, the whole "Beastial vs. Human" storyline was getting dragged out so long I started not caring anymore.

I also had trouble thinking that the Beastials could be scary! One looked like a freaking teddy bear! The Beastial leader looked like he was into masochistic wardrobes (all those spikes in his clothes!), and the vehicles they orde looked silly (resembling jet pack ponies)!

I catch it now and again and I definitely appreciated how Peter could finally get a quick costume change via those nanites. He really deserved one after all those years!

hobbyfan said...

I couldn't get into the storyline at all, but liked the artwork. Just the same, after Fox gave it a quick hook, I didn't come back to it. To me, Spidey seemed out of place on Counter Earth.