The following video I thought would made a good daily quickie but I had a few more things I wanted to say that I thought the host should have brought up in his retrospective. So you get an article out of it instead.
If you’ve been here long enough you know I very much like Spider-Man Unlimited. Rino Romano is my favorite voice for our pal Peter Parker. He just nails the character so well in both identities. If they didn’t keep de-aging him back to high school I’d like to see him voice the role again. The animation was also the first time I really felt like Spider-Man was moving like a “spider man”. And yet somehow the series often gets ignored when discussing animated Spider-Man shows and I feel that’s a disservice.
So I was happy to see Owen Likes Comics do a video on the show, and I’m happy to have another opportunity to give this underrated show the attention it deserves.
Catch more Owen Likes Comics on his YouTube channel.
A slight correction is in order. Spidey didn’t willingly stay on Counter-Earth. Spider-Man needs to bring John Jameson back to Earth to fully clear his name and since John is staying as part of the resistance (and one other reason seen later) who rescued him from the High Evolutionary’s forces Peter has no choice but to stay. He helps when he has to but he is more interested in dealing with the symbiotes and returning home to Mary Jane. He ends up living in a halfway house run by a free clinic doctor named Naoko and her son Shane, who it’s alluded may have a connection to Counter-Goblin. He even find a counter counterpart to Jolly Jonah, though more in spirit than in name.
Unlike the tie-in comics (which are not very good but if you’ve seen my reviews you know I don’t recommend them) only a few villains have namesakes, given Spidey’s history with animal-themed villains. Counter Electro I don’t think is even called that in the show but it’s pretty obvious who he’s a stand-in for. The tie-in comics however, had a direct Counter version of Reed Richards and Gwen Stacey, which makes Peter wonders if there’s a counter version of MJ as well. (We do at one point in the show see a girl who resembles MJ with a carton of “moo juice” that she drops from her groceries.) The show may have dropped the alternate Ben and Peter but the comics tried to continue that legacy.
The Knights Of Wundagore are also interesting. Lord Tyger and Lady Vermin (who is infatuated with Spider-Man–if only she knew he wasn’t a Beastial) are actually decent people doing a job they think is to the benefit of their master and the other Beastials. I can never remember the bear lady’s name but she’s barely part of the story and she just likes smashing stuff. Sir Ram may be a worse enemy than even the High Evolutionary (who looks nothing like his regular Marvel counterpart despite being from another world…my assumption was regular Earth) since he willingly experiments on other beings from humans to his fellow Beastials. I could see Tyger and Vermin actually joining the Rebels if Ram gets too powerful, maybe even challenging the High Evolutionary himself. I’d like to think this was planned for late season 2 or maybe even a season 3.
It’s too bad the show never got a second season. I liked it and even though it adds a different take on Spider-Man it’s not a re-imagining. They got the rights to the costume for the first episode and the intro (which includes Peter’s origin, down to the time he needed glasses) and it works for a story where Spider-Man is sent to another world. All the characters are fascinating (I didn’t even discuss the Rebels), the animation is great (as mentioned earlier this is the first time Spider-Man actually moved and swung the way I imagined seeing in the comics), and Romano IS the voice of Spider-Man for me. If you can find this series give it a watch. It really is good.
Plus that intro is just really good!