A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Spider-Man Unlimited is another action-packed animated entry in the Spider-Man saga. This series transports the hero to Counter-Earth, a planet much like the real thing but controlled by the evil High Evolutionary, who thinks humans are an inferior nuisance that should be eradicated. The show's themes of eugenics and racial purity -- combined with a bit more violence than other action cartoons for children -- makes it a better fit for older kids and tweens. It's worth noting that only 13 episodes of the show were ever aired; the last one ends in a never-completed cliff-hanger.
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What's the story?
In SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED, Spider-Man goes on a escue mission to Counter Earth and discovers that the parallel world is controlled by the High Evolutionary. The High Evolutionary is a super villain who's created a race of intelligent animal hybrids and believes that humans are inferior. The web-slinger falls in with a band of revolutionaries who oppose the High Evolutionary's plans to control the human population, but the daring gang faces a tough fight against their evil foe and his robot armies.
Is it any good?
Shifting the action to a new supernatural locale in this spidey series gives the writers the freedom to tinker with the hero's well-known storyline and develop a show aimed at older kids. Counter-Earth, according to lore, is just like our own planet, but opposite -- a mysterious celestial body where anything can happen. With its focus on racial purity, ethnic cleansing, and totalitarianism, Spider-Man Unlimited is more complex than the average kids' superhero series.
It's also a bit more violent than other shows. Spidey and his revolutionary pals clash frequently with the High Evolutionary's henchmen and robot armies, and the tone and content of these fight scenes can be more complex than the standard rock-'em-sock-'em battles. Expect fewer quips and more actual anger. Some civilians even get caught up in the action, becoming collateral damage as Spider-Man fights to protect humanity. Bottom line? It's edgy, but this is the kind of cartoon that die-hard fans of the comic books will be able to appreciate.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about racism and how it relates to Spider-Man Unlimited. Why does the High Evolutionary think humans are inferior to his animal-hybrid creations? How does he treat them? Do you think it’s fair for him to discriminate against humans? Does this seem similar to the way some people are treated in real life? Can you think of any historical characters who seem similar to the High Evolutionary?
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