|An all-new Spider-Man series debuted in late 1999 on Fox, the same network that had helped make Spider-Man: The Animated Series into a long-running hit. Spider-Man Unlimited borrowed a concept from the short-lived comic book Spider-Man 2099, which sent your friendly neighborhood webslinger into a very different New York City (courtesy of Marvel Comics’ tried-and-true “alternate universe” concept).
The first episode began with our hero still fighting crime here on our earth. Spider-Man (a.k.a. Peter Parker) was battling regular baddies Venom and Carnage when the two villains stowed away in astronaut John Jameson’s spacecraft. Spider-Man followed, and thanks to a mix-up, the group ended up on a bizarre Counter-Earth. The new planet was similar to the old one, but with a few important changes. A race of half-human, half-animal overlords called The Bestials were the planet’s rulers, and regular humans were society’s outcasts.
Peter Parker’s old associates-Mary Jane, J. Jonah Jameson, and the rest-were still around, but in this universe, their lives hadn’t followed the same paths. Now an unknown with no friends or family, Peter found an apartment with landlady Nakao Yamada-Jones and her young son, Shayne. Peter just wanted to get back home, but if life had taught him one thing, it was this: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Thus, when John Jameson asked for his help in leading a human rebellion against The Bestials, Spider-Man knew what he had to do.
Spider-Man Unlimited was a sizeable hit in its October 1999 debut, but it had the unfortunate luck of airing at the peak of Pokémon-mania. Fox decided the show would be better served by keeping it under wraps until later, so after only three episodes, Spider-Man Unlimited went on hiatus. The show eventually returned towards the end of 2000, giving the webslinger a second shot at the future.