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Western Animation / Spider-Man Unlimited

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Spider-Man Unlimited is an animated television series, running from October 1999 to March, 2001 on Fox Kids. A total of 13 episodes, it was a sequel series of sorts to Spider-Man: The Animated Series. It sees Peter Parker forced to go to another "Counter" Earth after John Jameson’s ship gets attacked by Venom and Carnage and as per Spidey’s luck, the hero gets blamed for it. After "borrowing" a suit made of nano-machines, Spider-Man goes to Counter-Earth to rescue Jameson and clear his name.

Upon getting to Counter-Earth, Spider-Man discovers that a tyrant called the High Evolutionary has made himself at home and created Beast Men that run the planet, and normal humans are treated like second class citizens. Along the way, he discovers that John Jameson is alive and well, leading a rebellion against the High Evolutionary; that Venom and Carnage came to the planet with the intent of conquering it; and that the planet has some vastly different versions of his old foes.

Ultimately, the show was canceled after the airing of the first few episodes, and its story arc was never resolved.

There was also a short-lived (5 issues, with an "issue .5" prequel) tie-in comic, which, after retelling some of the cartoon's first episodes, expanded Spidey's explorations into the strange new world of Counter-Earth.

This version of the character is set to make an appearance in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

It was released on DVD in UK in 2010.

Not to be confused with the unrelated video game of the same name.

Provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Lady Vermin is this to Spider-Man, since A: Spidey is already in a relationship with Mary Jane, B: the whole "she's a humanoid rat" thing squicks him out, and C: she's working for the enemy.
    "I've been kissed by a rat lady!"
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: A version of X-51/Machine Man appears. However, as opposed to his original 2001: A Space Odyssey origin, this incarnation was one of The High Evolutionary's security drones and hence ties to him and the Knights of Wundagore. Likewise, the High Evolutionary is the cause of John Jameson's Man-Wolf form rather than a powerful gemstone.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Not that Spider-Man wasn't badass before, but this version drastically cuts down on the quips and, courtesy of less-restrictive censorship, is much more of a straight-up combatant than his previous animated counterpart, instead of relying on Deadly Dodging and the like to triumph.
    • As mentioned below, Venom and Carnage have become full-on Blob Monsters on par with the T-1000, even when bonded to Eddie Brock and Cletus Kasady respectively.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job:
    • In contrast to the source material and all other portrayals, the series portrays J. Jonah Jameson as having greying brown hair as opposed to greying black hair.
    • Carnage's human host Cletus Kasady is depicted with blond hair in this series, when his hair was red in the comics.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Counter Earth’s Green Goblin is a good guy. Then again, this version also isn't Norman Osborn.
    • Same goes for the Vulture of Counter Earth.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The mainstream Eddie Brock as Venom would never willingly work with Carnage, let alone do some of the other things he does here. Granted it's more the Symbiote, but even then, they'd be more likely to tear each other apart.
    • In the original comics, the High Evolutionary can go from an ally to characters such as Thor and Adam Warlock at best and neutral, but with somewhat antagonistic behavior, at worst - but never a merciless tyrant prone to Fantastic Racism (in fact, one X-Men story had him try to cure mutants in a misguided attempt to end one kind of Fantastic Racism).
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted. When X-51 rebels against his programming, it makes him more insistent about protecting innocents than either his fellow machine men or those who built them.
  • Ambiguously Human: Invoked. John, some guest characters, and the viewers know that Spider-Man is 100% human, but the High Evolutionary and the Knights are never sure if he's human or Beastial. That's why Sir Ram was going to operate on him in the first episode.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Due to factors such as him simply being called "The Hunter", that Counter-Earth's Green Goblin is Hector Jones rather than Norman Osborn and Electro is an eel, it is unknown if the Hunter is Counter-Earth's Sergei Kravinoff. Likewise, the Vulture's alter ego might not be the Counter Earth equivalent of any of the Vultures we are familiar with.
  • Androids Are People, Too: The villains want to dismantle X-51, while the rebels initially see him as an object they can trade to free Bromley. Spider-Man, however, sees X-51 as a person from the get-go.
    Spider-Man: You're more than a machine.
  • Arch-Enemy: Sir Ram grows to truly despise Spider-Man over the season. There's also Venom, of course.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Spider-Man being a Heroic Neutral isn't missed among the human population on Counter-Earth. A civilian in "Enter the Hunter!" calls him on it.
    "What do you care about? What do you stand for, spider-punk?"
  • As You Know: The first episode opens with Colonel John Jameson narrating the discovery of Counter-Earth in this manner.
  • The Atoner: Counter-Vulture, who grew up as a human in the "Upper World" who joined his Beastial friends in tormenting humans, then realized how terrible the things he had done were and resolved to end human mistreatment.
  • Back for the Dead: In Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #7, Peter and the Knights of Wundagore are killed by Daemos of the Inheritors.
  • Badass Boast: Spider-Man after he beats the Hunter:
    "I know who you are, I know what you are, and I know where you live. If you ever lay a hand on me or my friends again, I'll come down on you like a ton of bricks." [smashes a wall]
  • Badass Cape: Spider-Man's webbing cape.
  • Badass Normal: John Jameson is a normal human being, but he doesn't need powers to help the humans of Counter-Earth form a resistance against the Bestials aside from the Man-Wolf thing.
  • Bad Boss: The High Evolutionary, full stop. He has absolutely no trouble threatening to kill off his most trusted lieutenants and scientists if they start disappointing him.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Some of the Bestials do not wear shoes.
  • Beast Man: Really expected, considering the the High Evolutionary's involvement. It also features the first adaptation of John Jameson as Man-Wolf.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The High Evolutionary is the primary antagonist, but Venom and Carnage are behind the scenes working to steal the show.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: The show takes place in an alternate version of New York City.
  • Blob Monster: Venom and Carnage have somehow become this for the duration of this series, with Spider-Man observing their powers had been upgraded.
  • Borrowed Without Permission: Spiderman's suit is stored in his wristwatch and consists of nanobots that cover him head-to-toe when he opens the watch. It also has sonic weapons that can harm Venom and Carnage, and can even turn invisible. In his narration, he says this suit was "discreetly borrowed from the lab of Reed Richards."
  • Broad Strokes: The show was not designed as a continuation of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, with the only connecting elements being a short snippet of the theme from TAS playing when Peter first appears as Spider-Man, and how Peter acquired the symbiote and Eddie Brock became Venom being more-or-less the same in both shows. However, that it was similar enough in art style and premiered a little over a year after TAS ended caused many viewers to assume it was a sequel series. While they are listed as taking place in separate universes in the official databooks, Dan Slott and Nick Lowe consider Unlimited to be a sequel to TAS, and featured the former setting in Spider-Verse.
    • There is also the fact that the High Evolutionary is (initially at least) said to be from Earth. The High Evolutionary that appeared in X-Men: The Animated Series (which shares continuity with Spider-Man TAS) looks nothing like the one that appears here.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Shane Yamada-Jones has a Hispanic father and Asian mother.
  • The Cameo: Doctor Octopus appears briefly in the first episode.
  • Casting Gag: Jennifer Hale on two fronts.
    • Hale voices Mary-Jane Watson, Spider-Man's most iconic love interest and Peter's eventual fiancée in the previous Spider-Man animated series. In that same show, Hale voiced Felicia Hardy, who was the only other woman that could compete for Spider-Man's affections.
    • Hale also voices Lady Vermin, a character who is very much Black Cat's opposite. While Black Cat was a human with a mutual attraction to Spider-Man, Lady Vermin is a rat humanoid whom Spider-Man finds utterly repulsive despite her attraction to him.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • The tie-in comics that ran in 1999 features "The Brute", an enormous, deformed, behemoth humanoid who is clearly a Counter-Earth version to The Incredible Hulk, which Peter even lampshades when he learns about him. However, the Brute is a Composite Character; whilst he shares the basic status of the Hulk as a giant, purple, deformed humanoid with Super-Strength and Super-Toughness, his alter-ego is the Counter-Earth version of Reed Richards; when the Counter-Earth version of the Fantastic Four dared a trip into space, Reed came back with the ability to transform back and forth between human and Brute forms, whilst Ben Grimm was unaffected, Johnny Storm died, and Susan Storm was left in a coma.
    • Counter-Earth Gwen Stacy appears in issue #4 of the comic.
    • Counter-Earth Wolverine appears in issue #5 of the comic, here a human experimented on and transformed into a deformed, Bestial-like creature.
    • Issue #5 features the Counter-Earth Chameleon, who is also a Composite Character with The Lizard; he's a lizard Bestial capable of invisibility and Human Shifting.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: John Jameson. When Spidey shows up to bring him home, John refuses to leave until they overthrow the High Evolutionary.
  • Chronic Villainy: One episode has Eddie Brock having his symbiote forced off of him. As with many points in various Spider-Man continuities, he proves that he is actually still a decent guy if given the chance. However, as with just about every other example of this happening, it's followed by a situation in which Eddie is forced to become Venom again and forget everything he learned.
  • Clear My Name: One of Spidey's reasons for going to Counter-Earth is to rescue John Jameson after it's generally believed that Spider-Man sabotaged his shuttle, with—as usual—John's dad, J. Jonah Jameson, unsurprisingly, leading the bulk of it.
  • Cliffhanger: The series ended with the symbiotes about to take over Counter-Earth. Viewers were Left Hanging due to the series' cancellation...
  • Co-Dragons: The Knights of Wundagore are the most prominent minions of the High Evolutionary.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The Green Goblin isn't quite as unhinged as Norman Osborn, but he's definitely strange.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: At the end of "One is the Loneliest Number" Naoko tears Spider-Man a new one after he drives off Venom and Carnage. Granted, having her place of business destroyed was terrible, but Carnage was the one who attacked, and he and Venom together were the ones who did all of the damage. The Doc really had no right to claim that Spidey was as bad as them. Even worse since she's dealt with Spidey on a number of occasions already, including several in which he saved both her and Shane, and should thus be aware of this.
  • Counter-Earth: The episode debuts with a planet orbiting on the opposite side of the Sun as the Earth being discovered. Bonus points for it actually being called Counter Earth and having humans, cultures, languages, and even superheroes and supervillains almost completely identical to those of Earth. Counter-Earth's New York City is even more-or-less identical to Earth's New York City, right down to the Five Boroughs.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In their three fights, Spider-Man doesn't stand a chance against the High Evolutionary without help.
  • Cut Short:
    • Episode 13 is called "Destiny Unleashed: Part I", but due to the show's cancellation Part II was never made.
    • The comics were cut even shorter than the cartoon, being cancelled after the 5th issue was released.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Hector Jones is insanely possessive of Naoko and Shane, installing spy cameras around their house and calling frequently to argue with her over welcoming another man into the house — and this is after he walked out on them. He even attacks Peter as the Goblin in an attempt to scare him away.
  • Cyberpunk: The technology on Counter Earth is for the most part far more advanced on Earth - even by the Marvel Universe's standards, with flying vehicles being the norm of transportation and the police being comprised of robots. However, the humans are oppressed and the standard of living is worse.
  • Darker and Edgier: This show's darker tone really stands out when compared to Spider-Man: The Animated Series and the amount of censorship it got.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Counter-Earth's version of the Green Goblin, aka Hector Jones. He's only ever shown as a silhouette outside of his grotesque costume (save for a flashback in "Enter the Hunter!"), but he goes to great lengths to protect his ex-wife and son from danger.
  • Dating Catwoman: Parodied with Lady Vermin. She certainly wants a relationship with Spider-Man in spite of them being enemies, but Spidey wants no part of it. That said, he does take advantage of it for infiltration purposes a couple times.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In the cartoons, Dr. Naoko's husband is the Green Goblin. In the comic, instead, her husband is the man who was transformed into Counter-Earth Wolverine.
  • Draconic Humanoid: Firedrake, a Bestial based on a dragon, complete with a fiery Breath Weapon, appears in episode seven.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Synoptic could give Shub-Niggurath a run for her money in the "tentacled monstrosity with 1000 young" department.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: The High Evolutionary, who mutated animals into the Bestials, and Sir Ram - who delights in being a Mad Scientist.
  • Faking the Dead: In the first episode, Spidey is apparently killed after saving a fireman from being crushed by rubble from the burning building... and uses the ruse to go to Counter-Earth and save John Jameson.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: But of course, with lasers taking the place of bullets. Then again, considering the show takes place on another planet that clearly has several bits of advanced technology, it's more justified than many examples.
  • Fantastic Racism: A major theme is that humans and Bestials are bigoted toward each other. The two-part premiere episode even has John Jameson attempt to kill Bestials after being freed from the symbiotes that took over them simply because they're Bestials, only changing his mind when Spidey points out that doing so would make humanity no better than the Bestials.
  • Forceful Kiss: Lady Vermin kisses Spidey through the mask in the second episode.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The High Evolutionary wasn't always an Evil Overlord dressed in Scary Impractical Armor, and in fact has only been in power for roughly 30 years. He used to be an ordinary human (or not, considering he has psychic powers) and even had a family before they kicked him to the curb for experimenting on his own granddaughter, Karen O'Malley.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Green Goblin, aka Hector Jones, was renowned as a tinkerer.
  • The Ghost: Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic is mentioned in the first episode, but doesn't make an appearance, as do neither any of the other Fantastic Four members.
  • Giving Them the Strip: Goblin uses this to escape capture at one point, letting go the lower body part of his suit to avoid a Blob Monster grabbing his legs, even lampshading how no one else on the planet would even consider this as an option. Subverted in that he appears to wear a secondary suit under the first one, decorated with bat and pumpkin patterned underwear.
  • A God Am I: The High Evolutionary in a nutshell.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The Bestials do oppress humanity on Counter-Earth, but it's shown that this is the High Evolutionary's decree, and many Bestials are just ordinary people trying to live their lives and keep their heads down under the status quo. The human revolution, on the other hand, is more than willing to kill Bestials out of hand under "the only good one is a dead one" logic, at least before Spidey puts his foot down.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the last episode of season one Lord Tyger aids the rebels in escaping the High Evolutionary, and had Season Two been made, he would have defected to the Resistance.
  • Help Mistaken for Attack: In the first episode, Spider-Man pushes a fireman out of the way of falling debris of a burning building, and subsequently gets buried by said debris. Spidey is presumed dead in the collapse, while the fireman confesses on TV that he believes that Spidey was actually trying to attack him, and that he was saved by the falling rubble.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Taken to the extreme in the first episode, after Spider-Man gets blamed for John Jameson's death. It's taken to the point when Spidey pushes a fireman out of the way of falling debris while he himself is buried, said fireman is actually convinced that Spidey was trying to attack him and that he was saved by the collapsing building! Spidey's reputation on Counter-Earth isn't that much better as he is helping the rebels who are also victims of this trope.
  • Heroic Neutral: Spider-Man fits the bill throughout the series. He arrived on Counter-Earth to clear his name and save John Jameson, who is unwilling to return home until the High Evolutionary is overthrown, so Spidey stays behind to help. Even so, he just wants to return home, wants nothing to do with the conflict, and repeatedly tries to convince himself that the Counter-Earth humans' plight isn't his problem.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The hidden refuge of Harmony, which appears in issue #4. It's populated by human and Bestial escapees from the cities who want nothing to do with the High Evolutionary's tyranny, and its leader, Brixton, violently enforces a policy of mandatory isolation.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The High Evolutionary claims this. However, it's made clear throughout the series that, for all his touting of his Beastials as "superior" and "free of humanity's flaws", they're really no better.
  • Husky Russkie: Lady Ursula speaks with a pronounced Russian accent, is the physically strongest and most aggressive of the Knights of Wundagore, and is fittingly an anthropomorphic bear.
  • Hypocrite: The High Evolutionary considers humans maggots, although he himself is one. Surprisingly, nobody, not even glibby Spider-Man, has pointed this out. It's possible he considers himself to not be human any more, given he most likely experimented on himself to acquire his Hand Blast and Mind over Matter powers.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The High Evolutionary experimented on his baby granddaughter to save her life. Her parents were furious at what they did to her, so they left him. Their un-appreciation led him to turn against humanity.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Spidey pulls this on Counter-Vulture and the people he rescued from Sir Ram's experimentation when they have Sir Ram at their mercy. Of course, Sir Ram is less than appreciative.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals:
    • Counter-Vulture looks striking similar to Green Goblin's suit, to the point you are pardoned if you mistake him for Goblin when he shows in the opening diving towards the camera.
    • A number of Counter-Earth's residents are — as Venom put it — "cheap knockoffs" of the inhabitants of Earth, even going by the same codenames.
  • Info Dump: In the first episode, Spidey explains all about his new suit before he boards the shuttle. The thing is, he's alone - going on at length about something he already knows and that no one else (besides the viewer) is around to hear.
  • Interspecies Romance: Invoked; Lady Vermin, a Bestial evolved from a rat, is quite blatantly attracted to Spider-Man, who is a human with spider-DNA overlay. It's a one-sided affair, as Spidey regards her as an Abhorrent Admirer.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Spidey's costume throughout most of the show has this ability. He can't use it for long periods, though, due to it overheating the suit.
  • It's All My Fault: Spider-Man doesn't just want to bring John home to clear his own name, but because he laments failing to stop Venom and Carnage from getting aboard the shuttle in the first place. Ironically, given the presence of the High Evolutionary, Spider-Man really doesn't have anything to blame himself for, as John would have been shot down or captured anyway.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The first episode strongly implies that Spidey stole the nano-suit from Mister Fantastic. Then again, Reed Richards Is Useless, so maybe he was justified.
  • La Résistance: Currently led by John Jameson. The Counter-Earth Green Goblin and Vulture also rebel against the High Evolutionary, though they operate independently.
  • Layered Metropolis: Counter-Earth's version of New York was rebuilt by the High Evolutionary into a Skyscraper City with the Bestials and a rare few wealthy humans living in the upper level - travelling via flying cars and raised walkways; and the humans living in the Basement, the slums and lower-class residential areas at ground level.
  • Mad Scientist: Sir Ram really enjoys his job, which includes regularly experimenting on human subjects to conduct further research into genetic augmentation.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The show was probably planned to go this route (Toy Biz did own Marvel Comics at the time) but was canceled long before any figures were made.
  • Mind over Matter: The High Evolutionary has psychokinetic powers.
  • Moral Myopia: The High Evolutionary is made of this. He states that he rebuilt Counter-Earth society so eliminate greed, selfishness, hate, etc. However, it's incredibly clear that he doesn't mind any of these things so long as humans are the victims and not the aggressors.
  • Mythology Gag: When Peter first suits up in his traditional costume in the premiere, the theme to Spider-Man: The Animated Series plays.
  • Noble Demon: Lord Tyger, who is the only one of the Knights to sympathize with the humans.
  • Noodle Incident: There were many questions the show left unanswered and never addressed. Some examples include: How Venom and Carnage acquired their new powers and knowledge of the Synoptic, how the majority of Counter-Earth's people know about Venom and Carnage, how the original Synoptic chamber came to be destroyed, etc.
  • Not as You Know Them: The Green Goblin and Vulture are good guys on Counter-Earth and its Electro was mutated from an electric eel. When Carnage hear about a Spider-Man on Counter-Earth, he initially believes that he's just some Counter-Earth knock-off as well. (John considered this to be possibility, too, but he wanted to be absolutely sure and sent his people to rescue him.)
  • Not Quite Dead: The Green Goblin presumably dies in "Sustenance" but turns up alive in the last episode.
  • Older Than They Look: Karen was born some time before the High Evolutionary's rise to power, which occurred 30 years prior to the start of the series, but she looks to be in her mid-twenties.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The High Evolutionary reaches this point in the last episode.
  • Parental Substitute: Peter tries to serve as one for Shane.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Downplayed. Although the Bestials are technically supposed to be the bad guy race, as part of the series fumbling its Gray-and-Grey Morality, they don't really show that much of an oppressive side. Yes, humanity is shown living in the slummy part of the city, and yes, Sir Raam and the High Evolutionary are known to abduct random humans for genetic experiments, but that's about the extent of the oppression. As early as the third episode ("Where Evil Nests"), Bestial medical staff are seen deployed to attend to both the human and Bestial victims of the symbiotes' abduction spree. Episode seven ("Cry Vulture") shows that humans can not only become wealthy, but earn the right to live in the upper zones with the Bestials by doing so. There are lots of unemployed humans, but there's also human-run businesses who are doing just fine for themselves, such as the Daily Byte. Hells, Counter-Earth Kraven is a successful "hunter" who is feared and respected by both species and can even get away with smacking around Sir Ram, a Knight of Wundagore.
    • One of the most overt displays of anti-human oppression is in the sixth episode ("Enter the Hunter"), where we see a park with signs on the fence saying "no humans allowed". But, in the same episode, we see a bestial street-side food vendor who casually serves food to Peter and Dr. Naoko and makes it obvious he regularly does business with humans.
    • Another overt display is in the seventh episode; after her friend Phil is abducted, Dr. Naoko laments there's nobody official she can contact who would care enough to investigate what happened to him.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Nick Fury in the pilot episode. While he initially shoots at Spider-Man when he tries to hijack the shuttle, he's soon persuaded to allow Spidey to do so to bring John Jameson home and clear his name, acknowledging that if anyone is capable of doing so, it's him.
  • Ret-Canon:
  • Recycled In Space: Spider-Man: ON A DIFFERENT PLANET... that's still more or less identical to Earth!
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: When introduced in the second episode, it's shown that the Human Revolution are capable of being just as racist as the Bestials, with Jameson being willing to gun down Bestial civilians who had the misfortune of being used as Cannon Fodder by Venom and Carnage. Spider-Man quickly puts a stop to this, refusing to let them kill civilians of any kind.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: The High Evolutionary is normally a cosmic Marvel villain, coming into conflict with Thor, Adam Warlock and Galactus, among others; he was the driving force behind the 1980s "Evolutionary War" event and also has ties to the X-Men (via Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Mr. Sinister). Here, he battles Spider-Man (who he doesn't really have any ties to, aside from Spidey's foe Jackal having been colleagues with HE when the latter was a normal human).
  • Ship Tease: A few early episodes toy with Spider-Man and Karen hitting it off, but as the series progresses Peter finds himself starting to develop feelings for Naoko and kicks himself over it due to Mary-Jane waiting for him back on Earth.
  • Skyscraper City: Counter-Earth's version of New York, with shades of Layered Metropolis since the humans live in mostly slum-like conditions on the ground level while the Bestials get to live higher up.
  • Skewed Priorities: In the first episode, a group of firefighters blast Spider-Man with fire hoses after he saves a woman from a burning building, more concerned with apprehending him and firing accusations at the hero than actually doing their jobs and putting out said burning building.
  • Slasher Smile: Venom and Carnage permanently sport them. Later on in the season, Sir Ram gets a few nightmarish grins in when he gets a chance to kill Spider-Man and when the High Evolutionary threatens to dispose of Lord Tyger.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The High Evolutionary and Carnage are covered in spikes and very much evil.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Lady Vermin is this to Black Cat. Black Cat is a human looking woman with a cat Animal Motif and a mutual attraction to Spider-Man. Lady Vermin is a rat humanoid who Spider-Man views as an Abhorrent Admirer. Bonus points for both being voiced by Jennifer Hale.
  • Take a Third Option: Invoked in "Cry Vulture" when John says Spider-Man is either with the rebels or against them.
    Spider-Man: What do you say we try for door number 3: a nice, cozy rocketship home?
  • Teens Are Monsters: Counter-Earth Vulture's backstory involves his Bestial "friends" harassing and attacking the impoverished humans of the surface, culminating in them firebombing a slum tenement for kicks. Seeing his best human friend amongst the people fleeing the flames made the Vulture adopt his vigilante identity.
  • Time Skip: In the first episode, after the news reports John's warning message, the story skips ahead six months.
  • Token Good Teammate: Lord Tyger is this to the Knights of Wundagore. Later in the season he takes issue with the High Evolutionary's tactics.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: While it's unknown exactly how much of Counter-Earth the High Evolutionary rules, his castle is in New York City.
  • Tron Lines: Spider-Man's nanite suit pulses with circuitry-like markings during his Transformation Sequence.
  • Tuckerization: The editor of the Daily Byte, Mr. Meugniot, looks like and is named after series producer Will Meugniot, who you may remember working on X-Men: The Animated Series and Exosquad, amongst others.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Sir Ram gets saved by Spidey a couple times. If anything, he gets even more contemptuous whenever this happens.
    • In "One Is The Loneliest Number", when Spider-Man saves Eddie Brock by retrieving the symbiote that had been separated from him, Spidey is rewarded with another attempt on his life. Then again, this is Venom talking rather than Eddie, so a bit more justification there.
      • In the same episode, Spidey saves Naoko and her son from Carnage only for her to blame him for her clinic's destruction and make him feel like trash.
  • Ungrateful Townsfolk: After a week of Hero with Bad Publicity on Earth's New York, Spider-Man has this reaction:
    Spider-Man: After all the times I've risked my life for this stinking city, this is the thanks I get?!
  • Urban Segregation: As a side effect of the High Evolutionary's policies of oppression; humans live in the distinctly slum-like ground level of the towering Mega City New York of Counter-Earth, whilst the Bestials live in the higher levels above, as do a small elite of wealthy humans.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Lady Vermin has her eye on Spider-Man, something he clearly doesn't appreciate.
  • Villain Team-Up: One of the odder cases as Venom and Carnage team-up.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The Knights of Wundagor often go from trying to kill Spider-Man at all costs to Enemy Mine situations, to the point of Go-Karting with Bowser.
  • Visible Invisibility: Somewhere between Type 2 and 3, he seems invisible to the universe but has a sort of distortion/outline effect for the audience.
  • We Will Meet Again: The High Evolutionary's vow at the end of the penultimate episode:
    "You will rue this day, Spider-Man, as will all humankind."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: High Evolutionary
  • Wham Line: From the end of "Where Evil Nests":
    Naoko: I hope we see you again. [walks away with Shane]
    Green Goblin: I hope so, too, my love.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Spidey and John do this to each other when arguing over going home or staying to fight.
  • Worthy Opponent: Lord Tyger respects Spider-Man as an honorable adversary. Lady Ursula also expresses an interest in fighting him one-on-one.
  • You Are What You Hate: The High Evolutionary is as human as the society he considers a lesser species, and yet, nobody has ever called him out on it.
  • You Don't Look Like You:
    • The symbiotes on Counter-Earth are little yellow insectoid creatures rather than Blob Monsters, and rather than covering their hosts in a living costume they cause deforming growths. The Synoptic is a massive blob monster formed from the fusion of millions of symbiotes over millions of years, but it's snot green in color.
    • Carnage looks nothing like himself beyond being red and black, having a monstrous, skeletal form with exaggeratedly large, clawed hands and spikes jutting out of his joints. Unlike the rest of the villains in the show, this isn't justified by this being a different incarnation, as this is the same Carnage Peter met and fought on Earth.
    • Venom isn't as bad as Carnage, but still has an exaggeratedly long neck and an exaggerated muscle-bound, hulking upper torso.


Video Example(s):


Fox Kids vs. Kids' WB!

Saberspark would bring up how Fox Kids and Kids' WB would often air shows at the same time with similar premises, almost blow for blow, listing some examples.

How well does it match the trope?

4.7 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / DuelingWorks

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