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This article is written from the Real World perspective Stan Lee
X-Men
X-MenTitle
Beginning date October 31, 1992
End date September 20, 1997
Number of Episodes 76
Season One
Season Two
Season Three
Season Four
Season Five
Producers Avi Arad
Original Channel Fox Kids
Previous Series Solarman (Failed Pilot)
The Incredible Hulk (Series)
Next Series Iron Man

X-Men is the first series in ultimately what would become the Marvel Animated Universe. The series aired from October 31, 1992 to September 20, 1997.

With seventy-six episodes and five seasons, the series is the longest running animated series based on Marvel Comics, followed by its sister series Spider-Man.

It is the first of four series based on the X-Men franchise, followed by X-Men: Evolution, Wolverine and the X-Men, and Marvel Anime: X-Men.

Along with Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men helped launch the numerous comic book shows that debuted during the 1990s. And, like Batman, is considered one of the most faithful to the original comic book version.

BackgroundEdit

This series was the second attempt to make an animated version of the X-Men comics. The first was a half-hour special titled "Pryde of the X-Men". Although aired numerous times between 1989 and 1992, Pryde was poorly received and was not picked up. Pryde was said to have almost killed any chances of a series being picked up. Executives objected to Wolverine's Australian accent and the dragon sidekick. Eventually the idea was reworked into this series.

Fox Kids vice-chairman Margaret Loesch and executive Sidney Iwanter bargained for a second chance. Loesch vowed not to make the same mistakes as "Pryde of the X-Men". She brought in Haim Saban of Saban Entertainment and Graz Entertainment. They hired Eric Lewald to be the executive story producer. They worked with Bob Harras to fill the staff with comic book geeks like Will Meugniot, Larry Houston, and Eric's wife Julia.

Loesch brought in Haim Saban of Saban Entertainment to produce the show. However, they did not have sufficient staff to do the entire series in-house as contracted so they brought in Graz Entertainment to help.[1]

As a child, Eric Lewald was not a comic book fan having given away his modest collection to a friend. Most of the staff were X-Men fanatics and did not allow the series to stray too far from the comics. He does credit his lack of knowledge combined with his love of the characters to have benefited the series. "I had to learn them quickly and understand what it was about their nature and stories that made fans so fanatical. My and head writer Mark Edens' entire agenda was to tell compelling heroic stories that suited TV animation." Several writers submitted scripts that contained more characters and events from the comics, but would be difficult to make into a twenty-two minute episode. He felt that some of the bigger fans couldn't see past their passion. At the time, the X-Men were relatively unfamiliar outside the comic book realm and the Lewald's distance helped the series to connect with new audiences.[2]

Meugniot was the first person hired.[3] Houston was the second and Eric Lewald was the third.

Meugniot and Houston were big X-Men fans since their childhoods reading the original comics. Eric Lewald was not yet a fan and simply wanted to tell good stories.

Outside of The Incredible Hulk, Marvel had had moderate success in television and almost no success in film. Loesch believed in the show and put her career on the line to get the show made even though senior executives, advertisers, and station owners did not.

Everyone involved knew that the characters needed to be taken seriously despite varying tones in the comics. Iwanter would refer to this series as "hard rock" and Batman: The Animated Series as "cool jazz."

Compared to Batman, the series had a much smaller budget. Batman had the more substantial resources of Warner Brothers, whereas Fox had much less. Batman had more time for production. X-Men was hurried and ragtag. Any mistake could have cost thousands. Iwanter attributed this to the series "rawness."

Iwanter was always challenging the creative decisions and directions while also not giving up. Saban attributed his perseverance, tenacity, and passion to the series success. Saban said he doesn't like "yes men" and wants people to challenge him.

Early in the series' development, Stan Lee expressed interest in running the show. He wanted something closer to the original comics of the 1960s with a teen vibe. The series writers decided to go with the intensity of the 1970s.

Eric Lewald said, "There were rumblings of 'This could really flop.' [Executives would say,] 'The scripts aren't funny.' 'These scripts seem a little dark.' 'Gosh, I'm afraid this is going to be a disaster.' There was serious anxiety until the first screening. But from that day onward, no anxiety."

Individual episodes were given out to individual writers instead of being developed in a shared writer's room, as with other dramas. Eric Lewald would conceive story arcs and bounce the ideas between individual writers. He would then take those to Marvel and piece them together into the show.

The series was perhaps the first animated series to have on-going series. Before X-Men, shows were episodic focusing only one the weekly story. Most stories would be wrapped up by the end of the episode and have little to no effect on subsequent stories. X-Men was the first to create continuity between the episodes creating a larger story. Besides multi-part stories like Days of Future Past and The Phoenix Saga, the show had story threads that continued throughout the seasons. For example, the first season had the subplot of Beast facing trial and building up to a big confrontation with Master Mold while the second season had Professor X and Magneto in the Savage Land that was unrelated to most stories of the season.[4]

There were a number of concerns regarding serialized storytelling as it added new problems to the mix. There were concerns that episodes would be ready in the proper order, and in some cases they were not like "No Mutant is an Island". They worried about how the younger demographic would deal with an episode that has a cliffhanger, as well as viewers who missed previous episodes. This is why they came up with the "Previously on X-Men..." recap, which is now a common practice. Julia Lewald credits editor Sharon Janis for those sequences as she had no direction and did them entirely herself.

To help the writers create a different kind of animated series the producers sent out a memo to sum up their vision before the show began which stated:[5]

A Forward to Writers and Artists

More than most animated series, "X-Men" will rely on the creative contributions of writers and artists who have preceded the current development team. While we are responsible for the quality of the television series, we will be using many characters, images, and ideas that have been created by others. We respect their work and are heavily in their debt.

The "X-Men" comic book series is a world-wide phenomenon. It represents a thirty-year tradition of story-telling, begun by creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and developed by dozens of writers and artists such as Len Wein, Chris Claremont, and John Byrne. Our ambition with this series is to continue that tradition in another medium, not to change it, "update" it, or pretend that we have found a new way to improve upon it. If you want to know the essence of the show, read the comics.

We do not intend for this respect of the "X-Men" legacy to discourage your integrity and invention. We look on the tradition we have inherited as a gold mine of inspiration, not a straight-jacket. But please remember that much of our audience will know these characters and have definite expectations of the series. Our job, in thirteen short shows, will be to both satisfy and surprise the fans as we introduce the excitement and drama of "X-Men" to a whole new audience.

What is an "X-Men" Story?

"X-Men" is different from most animated action adventure shows you may have seen or written. It is more about the lives of our characters -- heroes and villains alike -- than ingenious plots or non-stop, death-defying physical jeopardy. It's not important whether or not a bad guy succeeds in blowing up the Pentagon. What matters most is how Wolverine deals with the pain of losing a friend while trying to stop it. Use plot to showcase character, not the other way around.

Which is not to say that "X-Men" will lack action, pace, or intensity. We want these shows to move fast and be dense with dramatic crises. Action scenes will play like "Terminator 2" on speed. But more often than not the crisis is personal, not physical. Think of the famous Star Trek scene where Kirk has to let the woman he loves get killed for the sake of future lives. There was matchless dramatic tension created by a man watching a woman slowly walking across a street. The drama was inside the character.

"X-Men" is a show of grey areas. We understand most of our villains, even sympathize with some. X-Men victories tend to be mixed blessings and are never achieved without a loss of some kind. "Good guys" fight each other, have bad days, and are capable of being petty and intolerant. One might even leave the X-Men in disgust and join the enemy.

Through it all, however, our X-Men distinguish themselves by maintaining their values of friendship, loyalty, and personal sacrifice. Whatever the cost, they must do what must be done.

ERIC

Lewald claimed that without Len Wein the series would not have been made. He noted that the original X-Men comics stopped in the 1960s, saying it was a good idea not quite done right, and it was Wein who revived it in the 1970s, who made the series what it is today. However, he was not involved with the series until after the first season. Lewald hadn't known Wein was in Los Angeles working in animation. It was Bob Skir who brought Wein to Lewald's attention. When he came to the series, Wein was a fan of the series, appreciating that it respected the original material.

X-Men Early Promo Art

Early promotions for the series lacked Jean Grey, Beast, and Gambit. When production started in February of 1992, the producers were told that Jean and Beast were secondary characters as they were less interesting to the core audience. However, as they were writing the first season the producers enjoyed them more and more. They felt that Jean became the emotional core and that, while everyone else fought amongst each other, everyone trusted and respected Jean saying she had a quiet strength. They found Beast fun to write for as there was no one like him. He was the most mutated yet most at ease with his mutation. He spouted obscure poetry but was powerful, agile, and courageous, calling him a writer's dream. They ignored the suggestion to minimize the two. Gambit, however, was simply left off the promotion despite always being intended to be featured from the beginning.[6]

The entire cast was chosen and recorded in Canada as Fox Kids had had luck there with Beetlejuice. It was also cheaper when dealing with residual payments. Unfortunately, the first recordings came back very young and cartoonish. Since no one had done a serious animated show like this before, the voice actors were simply used to this style. Sidney Iwanter and Houston went to Toronto to tell the casting directors that this was different. They wanted serious, realistic, and move-like. Toronto has a large theater industry and they found classically trained actors to establish a new tone. Casting director Karen Goora and voice director Dan Hennessey succeeded in bringing in the dramatic adult actors for the tough roles as the producers wanted.[1]

As Saban didn't own the property, he was only getting a fee regardless of how much it cost. If the budget went up it would come out of his pocket. He was always looking to economize and often his reaction to creative decisions was, "What's that going to cost?" He noted that it all starts with the script saying that if a story isn't memorable with likable characters it doesn't matter how big of a budget it has. He said, "If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage...regardless of the budget."

There were times when the censors made the series pull back. When the show got close to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Fox made the series scale back any script that contained a city in flames. Eric Lewald said, "The rules for Saturday morning are so restrictive that to make something intense, with a lot at stake, and people who really wanted to slaughter each other...It was a real balancing act.

The series became a hit but the success was spread over four or five companies all working on it. Unfortunately, Saban cut five-hundred dollars off the script fee for the writers. According to Eric Lewald, his reasoning was, "It's a hit. They want to be part of it, so they'll take less money" as well as "And if not, there's a line out the door of people who will."

Throughout the production, they were under pressure to dumb it down making it younger and sillier, like having a pet dog. Marvel would tell them to put toys in or give Wolverine some Wolverine curtains. The creative side banded together saying they would have to be fired first. They reasoned that a series about serious defenders of right and justice wouldn't have something like pajamas of themselves or special phones.

The Beyong Good and Evil story was originally going to be the end of the series. However, Fox ordered additional scripts. Unfortunately, it is unknown who ended the series after that and even the creators are unsure who did it. Meugniot stated the series wasn't really cancelled, as it went beyond the originally intended sixty-five episodes of the original order, but was more like it fulfilled the contract.

Speaking on the series' influence on the film X-Men: Days of Future Past, writer Julia Lewald said, "X-Men was a preexisting property and had taken those risks before. With that, the animated series was able to tell those stories because they were part of the X-Men world. I don't know if any new property could have been created that told these stories in the way the X-Men were able to. Again, there was no talking down to the audience. There was no 'They won't understand this,' no recapping it. Kids got exposed to a lot of important ideas that are paying off now."[7]

The entire cast and crew got leather jackets with the series logo and their character's name on the back. The cast also got framed cels of their characters.

They would throw a wrap-up party every season. The last party was the biggest, going all night and ending up at Cathal J. Dodd's house.

CharactersEdit

The show featured a line-up primarily of Professor X, Cyclops, Beast, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Rogue, Gambit, Storm, and Jubilee who were all popular in the comics at the time. Morph, while many believe to be original, was an adaptation of Changeling who at the time was deceased and the writers thought of him as a blank slate to do with as they wished. Other X-Men that appeared but were not necessarily part of the team included Colossus, Nightcrawler, Emma Frost, Forge, Havok, Polaris, Cannonball, Banshee, Iceman, Angel, Longshot, Dazzler, Sunfire, Psylocke, Cable, and Bishop.

While developing the series, there were certain characters the producers felt were obvious inclusions: Professor X, Wolverine, Cyclops, and Jean Grey. They decided to pass on Kitty Pryde in favor of Jubilee for the teenager role. Marvel pushed for Gambit as he had been recently introduced.

Beast was one of Eric Lewald's favorites but Marvel voted against him. This is why he was arrested for the first season and sent to jail. However, as they continued writing him the more they wanted to go back to him. After the season, both sides agreed to keep Beast one and he was freed from literal and figurative jail.

According to Julia Lewald, Fox Kids pushed for the inclusion of a strong character of color. "They were very conscious of making the show inclusive without being intrusive about it. Bishop was that." This is why Bishop was used as the time traveler in "Days of Future Past, Part One" rather than the original comic use of Kitty.

Eric Lewald was proud of the number of powerful women on the series and the number of female writers on the show. "We always get crap out here when we're doing shows, 'This is for boys. Don't have any girl characters.' Margaret was probably the main reason. It was her show. Storm and Rogue's toys didn't sell as well. [Usually] they would tell you no matter how good Storm is in the episode, the toys will sell half as many as the male characters. But it was a time when there were no toys selling well for Marvel. We didn't have the pressure from the toy companies."

The series was one of the first to feature a large number of women on the team, with women making up four of the nine members. At the time, most series would feature mostly men with one or two women. Most of the crew were tired of the idea that animation was a "boy's adventure" series or that boys wouldn't watch female heroes. The producer did not set out to have stories featuring the female characters, just that they were making the most intense stories they could. They felt that having mostly men with one or two women would have weakened the story.

The inclusion of the Sentinels allowed the series to sidestep broadcast censor problems. Eric Lewald said, "Thank God for Sentinels, in terms of action, what action we can have." His wife Julia said, "If action's going to be big, it's going to involve Sentinels getting bits torn off and thrown about. You couldn't do that with living things on the shows."

The series contained a number of cameos of other superheroes and villain. These were among Larry Houston's favorite easter eggs. He never added a cameo if it distracted from the main story. However, there was only one he was barred from adding: Spider-Man. He did sneak the character into an episode by just having a shadow and arm shooting webbing. Houston never asked permission to feature a cameo and never stopped. For the first season they were below the radar of everyone's concern. He felt it was the best place to be for everyone involved.

CastEdit

Main CastEdit

Actor Role(s)
George Buza Beast/Hank McCoy
Alyson Court Jubilee/Jubilation Lee
Catherine Disher Jean Grey
Phoenix
Cathal J. Dodd Wolverine/Logan
Iona Morris
Alison Sealy-Smith
Storm/Ororo Munroe
Chris Potter
Tony Daniels
Gambit/Remy LeBeau
Cedric Smith Professor X/Charles Xavier
James Xavier
Norm Spencer Cyclops/Scott Summers
Lenore Zann Rogue

The actors all recorded their lines together. Lenore Zann compared to a radio drama with everyone in the same room in a circle relating to each other, acting, and responding. At the time, the actors were allowed to smoke in the studio. This became an issue when Catherine Disher became pregnant. Cathal J. Dodd always recorded next to Norm Spencer.

Iona Morris played Storm for the first season. Alison Sealy-Smith replaced her starting the second season and redubbed the voice for reairings of the first.

Tony Daniels took over the role of Gambit partway through the fifth season replacing Chris Potter.

All of the main cast reprised their voices for their appearances on Spider-Man. Though Morris played Storm rather than Sealy-Smith.

It is rumored, though unconfirmed, that Norm Spencer also voiced Havok, his character's brother.

Many in the cast went on to play characters in Silver Surfer and The Avengers: United They Stand.

Recurring CastEdit

Actor Role(s)
Dennis Akayama Iceman/Bobby Drake
Silver Samurai
Sunfire
Philip Akin Bishop
Lawrence Bayne Cable
Corsair (Uncredited)
Captain America
Erik the Red
Rick Bennett Colossus
Juggernaut
Nigel Bennett Mastermind
James Blendick Apocalypse/En Sabah Nur
High Evolutionary
Robert Bockstael Ka-Zar
Sauron
Christopher Britton Mister Sinister
Lally Cadeau Moira MacTaggert
Robert Cait Blob
Colossus
Len Carlson Robert Kelly
Randall Carpenter Mystique/Raven Darkholme
John Colicos Apocalypse/En Sabah Nur
David Corbain Tar Baby
Rod Coneybeare Avalanche
Jennifer Dale Aurora
Mystique
Len Doncheff Omega Red
Adrian Egan Cannonball
Barry Flatman Henry Peter Gyrich
Vindicator/James Hudson
David Fox Master Mold
Sentinel
Don Francks Sabretooth/Graydon Creed, Sr.
Puck/Eugene Milton Judd
Paul Haddad Arkon
Nightcawler/Kurt Wagner
Catherine Gallant Famine
Graham Halley Quicksilver/Pietro Lehnsherr
Pyro
Brett Halsey Bolivar Trask
David Hemblen Magneto/Eric Magnus Lensherr
Dan Hennessey Ruckus
Sunder
Peter McCowatt Amphibius
Rene Lemieux Nothstar
Judy Marshak Pestilence/Plague
James Millington War
Stephen Ouimette Angel/Warren Worthington III
Cameron Hodge
Ross Petty Ape
Jeremy Ratchford Banshee/Sean Cassidy
Susan Roman Amelia Voght
Callisto
Scarlet Witch
Ron Rubin Morph
Elizabeth Rukavina Darkstar
Camilla Scott Lilandra Neramani
Tasha Simms Lady Deathstrike/Yuriko Oyama
Psylocke/Betsy Braddock
Megan Smith Vertigo
John Stocker Leech
Graydon Creed Jr.
Stuart Stone Proteus/Kevin MacTaggert
Marc Strange Forge
Kay Tremblay Annalee
Shard
Peter Wildman Mojo
Rod Wilson Gorgeous George
Longshot

Guest CastEdit

Actor Role(s)
Melissa Sue Anderson Snowbird
Harvey Atkin Sasquatch
Richard Epcar Gladiator
Roscoe Handford Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers
Terri Hawkes Lorna Dane
Rebecca Jenkins Heather Hudson
Tracey Moore Emma Frost
Tara Strong Ilyana Rasputin
Maurice Dean Wint Shadow King

StoryEdit

Plenty of famous comic book story lines appeared throughout the series such as the Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, Kitty's Fairy Tale, the Phalanx Covenant, Proteus, Age of Apocalypse, and the Legacy Virus. In addition numerous episodes featured references to particular comics. In the third episode the X-Men fought Magneto at a missile base, a reference to the X-Men's first battle with Magneto back in 1963 in X-Men #1. In season four, Magneto created an orbiting haven for mutants which was highly influenced by several story arcs in the comics.

AnimationEdit

The producers chose the look of Jim Lee's run on the comics as they felt he had a modern, sophisticated look to the characters. Meugniot and Houston had been disappointed with previous renditions and it took many fights to get this look. Senior designer Rick Hoberg took an early pass at the looks.[8]

The animation was initially provided by South Korean company AKOM.

The series suffered from lag due to the writers being in Los Angeles and cast being in Canada. The writers would send the material up to Canada where people would audition. The tapes would be sent by mail back to Los Angeles where it could be heard and analyzed. Worse yet, it would be three or four months for the animation to get back and close to the scheduled air date. If something went wrong the entire schedule would get screwed up. This is why the third episode aired so long after the first two. Loesch and Iwanter spent millions to delay the show so it would start right.

In 1994, footage from the series was reworked into thirty-second Public Service Announcements. New narration from a main character would would accompany the footage. It was shown between after-school programs. Storm had one about the multicultural world titled X-Men Come in Many Colors, Beast had one about staying in school, and Rogue had one called Girls Can't about what women could do. Eric Lewald and his brother-in-law Russ Wiederspahn, a journalist in Los Angeles, wrote the PSAs.[9]

As the series went on, Saban made efforts to use cheaper animation studios, each coming with various problems. One company caused a two-year delay in the episodes "No Mutant is an Island" and "Longshot". Some of the quality controls were lifted as budgets went down, especially in the fifth season. Eric Lewald claimed that while most of the stories did not become weaker, the animation definitely did.

Social IssuesEdit

Like the comics, the show dealt with mature social issues such as prejudice, intolerance, isolation, and racism. Other issues that were handled in a less obvious matter were divorce, Christianity, the Holocaust, the AIDS hysteria, and even television producers themselves.

Even more subtle was the idea of homosexuality in the series. Cable once blasted Pyro for calling him "darling," though this may have been a simple jest. However, more obviously shapeshifting characters also raised the issue of gender identity. In various episodes Morph and Mystique would change forms and flirt with either sex depending on their form.

The producers credit Margaret Loesch for allowing them to deal with serious issues.[10] They were told many times to make it younger and goofier, but Meugniot and Houston maintained the style of the series.[11]

The producers felt that the women were always equal to the men.[12]

MusicEdit

The main theme song for the show was composed by Ron Wasserman.

Wasserman had become the main composer at Saban Entertainment following the success of his Mighty Morphin Power Rangers theme song Go Go Power Rangers. The company presented a video cut of the opening and the only note they gave was not to have lyrics, as opposed to the pilot "Pryde of the X-Men". He came up with the basic tempo then wrote the music to match the edits, as opposed to other shows or movies that would have edited to the music. He continued doing side scoring for the series despite primarily working on Power Rangers in addition to his work on Sweet Valley High and VR Troopers.[13]

The song was used as Eclipse's ringtone in the series premiere of the mutant-based show The Gifted. The inclusion started as a behind-the-scenes gag. Showrunner Matt Nix told The Hollywood Reporter, "Honestly, we did it initially as a joke for the cut. Then we were like, 'No, we have to do this.' We were told we couldn't do it, and we basically said, 'No, really, this needs to happen. We're doing this.' It's one of those things where there aren't a lot of those battles you get to win when you're making a network television show, but that one? We knew it cost more money than a regular ring tone, but it's so much fun so we're doing it. Pay the money. I was very happy we got that." When asked if it would be heard again, "It might reoccur! We don't want everyone to just be waiting around for it."[14]

Opening TitlesEdit

The opening title sequence was designed by Will Meugniot and Larry Houston.

Houston initially turned in a version that Meugniot claimed was better than the final version. It contained everybody the producers had intended to show up. However, Fox freaked out worried there would be too many characters on the show. He had focused on the concept of being hunted and hiding, with more moody and shadowy stuff. However, Loesch and Meugniot felt the opening was too slow and not the direction they wanted.

Meugniot redrew the opening scenes settling on the faster-paced action it ended up being. While talking on the phone with Sidney Iwanter, Meugniot began drawing individual character shots. They saved what they could, like the shot of Wolverine slashing a Sentinel and being on top of a pile of rubble, and built out from there. Houston drew the rest in the same style. He billboarded their names and showcased their mutant powers as dynamically as possible.

They ended up keeping roughly eighty percent of Houston's work. Meugniot came up with the name logos flying in so everyone got an introduction. After seeing the changes, Houston got the idea.

MerchandiseEdit

As with most shows of the time, the series produced a number of merchandise including books and action figures promoting the series. Toy Biz released a series of X-Men action figures, but it wasn't until after the second and third series when the figures began looking like the series characters that the merchandising took off. It was then that Toy Biz found their success for the 1990s.

The producers had a deal with Pizza Hut to release VHS copies of episodes.[15]

At one point, a problem with merchandise in Australia almost shut down the series. Someone had made a deal with a fast food franchise to have a X-Men toys giveaway in the country. However, who did this promised that the toys would appear in the series. The producers felt these were some of the worst designs possible and said no. Jim Graziano of Graz Entertainment called Will Meugniot and said, "Look, Marvel is threatening to pull the show from us if you don't cave on this." Then he said, "If you think it's important, we'll back you. But think very carefully, because there will probably be consequences." Meugniot responded by saying, "We can't cave on this, or we are going to have to cave on everything." Graziano back them and after a few days the producers won.

ContinuityEdit

The series was the first part in the interconnected series of shows, dubbed the Marvel Animated Universe, which includes Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man Unlimited, Silver Surfer, and The Avengers: United They Stand.

The entire cast appeared on the Spider-Man episodes "The Mutant Agenda" and "The Mutants' Revenge". Storm would appear during the Secret Wars episodes "Arrival", "The Gauntlet of the Red Skull", and "Doom".

The X-Men have a robot of Hulk in the Danger Room seen in "The Unstoppable Juggernaut".

War Machine and Nick Fury appeared in "Time Fugitives, Part One".

Spider-Man appeared in "Child of Light" and "The Inner Circle".

Thor, Doctor Strange, and Uatu all appeared in "The Dark Phoenix".

The X-Men and Juggernaut appeared in the Fantastic Four episode "Nightmare in Green". Juggernaut appeared coming out of the Atlantic Ocean, a reference to him being knocked into the ocean in this show's episode "The Dark Shroud".

ErrorsEdit

There were two major errors across the series that were never reconciled.

In the episode "The Cure", Cyclops mentions that he has never met Angel before. This directly contradicts the comic books where the two are both founding members of the team. Later episodes would feature flashbacks to the team's early history showing both working together as the comics were.

The other error deals with Cable. In "Slave Island", he is shown to be a highly skilled mercenary. Then in the second season starting with "Time Fugitives, Part One" he is a time traveling soldier now with a metal arm, being more faithful to the comics.

SeasonsEdit

ReceptionEdit

The series became the top rated children's show on television. The series along with Batman: The Animated Series and Animaniacs also put Fox Kids on top of the networks when it previously had been at the bottom in a matter of months. By 1995, the top ten kids shows were all on Fox including Spider-Man. The producers credited Margaret Loesch with putting every show on that list.[16] The series brought in viewership ratings usually only seen on primetime.

X-Men is the longest-running Marvel Comics show with a total of five seasons and seventy-six episodes, the second being Spider-Man. The two series featured guest appearances on each others' shows regardless of the fact that the two were made by separate production studios. For their initial appearance on Spider-Man the entire cast was flown to Los Angeles for recording. Ultimate Spider-Man eventually surpassed the number of episodes in fewer seasons.

In January 2009, IGN dubbed X-Men the 13th best animated television series, the highest Marvel animated series on the list and second highest comic book series after Batman: The Animated Series. [2]

Newsarama ranked the series as the third greatest comic book animated series ever. They noted that the series introduced an entirely new generation to superheroes. They also cited the theme son as being catchy twenty years later. They noted the use of complicated and complex stories and adaptations of famous story arcs. They also felt Cathal J. Dodd's was the most iconic version of the character.[17]

On the Internet Movie Database it has a rating of 8.9 and 8.9 Great on TV.com.

LegacyEdit

While preparing for the first X-Men film, director Bryan Singer watched the entire series rather than engaging in the forty year comic book history. Much of the series would follow the major events in the series. Eric Lewald and Will Meugniot were brought in as consultants for the first film. Additionally, George Buza who was the voice of Beast played a truck driver in the first film. Buza had auditioned for a small part before the producers of the film found out that he had played Beast. Being fans of the series, they became excited about including him.

Saban approached Loesch about bringing Power Rangers to the United States. They were both told that they would be gambling their careers if they did. Thanks to the success of X-Men they were able to do it and it became a massively popular franchise. As a tribute, it was referenced in the episode "The Juggernaut Returns".

Lewald said of the series' impact on the films, "The many X-Men movies have carved out their own place in the film world. We believe that the filmmakers have chosen, in their casting and storytelling general attitude, to usually follow our 'serious' lead. No winking at the camera, no 'writing down' to a comic-book audience."

The show was the first to combine Bishop's home universe and the Days of Future Past. He originally came from a world called Forever Yesterday. Bishop of Wolverine and the X-Men and in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past also featured him from this universe rather than his original one.

X-Men, along with Batman: The Animated Series were the first to tell serious adult stories. Eric Lewald noted that before the 1990s there were maybe three or four superhero shows and movies a decade but by 2017 there were three or four a month. X-Men and Batman had much resistance in trying to tell serious stories. Margaret Loesch and Sidney Iwanter stood by them to tell adult stories. Lewald felt the series helped evolve the superhero genre, noting the success of Logan.

Julia and Eric Lewald wrote a book titled Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series. They released it in 2017, on the show's twenty-fifth anniversary.[18]

ContinuationEdit

See also X-Men '92.
X-Men 92 Tease 2015

In 2014, Marvel began releasing teaser images to promote a then-mysterious cross-series event for the comics. In one of the latest images, they teased that the X-Men of this series would be participating.[19] The teaser image showed Jubilee, Storm, Gambit, Professor X, Wolverine, and Cyclops in the style shown on the series, though this was inspired by the comics at the time of production. Though noticeably missing are series regulars Jean Grey and Beast. It was later revealed that there would a multi-universe conflict involving the main Marvel universe and many others.[20]

The creative team of writer Chris Sims, writer Chad Bowers, artist Scott Koblish, and colorist Matt Millev work on the series. In an interview with Marvel, they revealed that they intend to maintain the feel of the time, the voices of those versions of the characters, and the relationships built in the series.[21]

Sims said of the show:

"I was ten years old in 1992, and that was the perfect time to get into the X-Men. There was just so much going on, and all those complicated stories and over-the-top characters were just so enticing, and not just because they were time-travelers with huge guns and scrappy little dudes with knives on their hands. It was this whole weird, complex world that I wanted to see more of, and now we're getting the chance to go in and make it even weirder."

Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said of the show and comic:

"For many of us, animated series based on the Marvel characters, with their exciting and accessible stories, provided a fresh new entry point for a new generation of Marvel fans. Now, through the magic of our digital-only Infinite Comic format, the new Secret Wars digital-exclusive X-Men '92 series will recapture the unique energy of the animated storytelling and continue to grow the legion of Marvel fans."

The first issue was be available digitally in May of 2015 and in print the following June.[22]

On September 22nd, 2015, Marvel announced that the series would be ongoing. Sims and Bowers will return as writers with Alti Firmansyah as interior artist and David Nakayama as cover artist. It will begin regular releases in Spring of 2016.[23]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 'X-Men' at 25: The Unlikely Story of the Animated Hit No Network Wanted at The Hollywood Reporter
  2. INTERVIEW: X-Men: TAS story editor & writer Eric Lewald on X-Men:TAS Book at Comics Beat
  3. A New Look For Our '92 Team at X-Men TAS
  4. What X-Men Can Teach About Storytelling at Kate Kilton
  5. Our Creative Intentions at X-Men TAS
  6. Very Early Team Pose Promo at X-Men TAS
  7. X-Men: The Animated Series Helped Set the Template for Today’s Comic-Book Movies at Vulture
  8. Character Design at X-Men TAS
  9. X-Men PSAs (Public Service Announcements at X-Men TAS
  10. X-Men TAS at Twitter
  11. Will & Larry - Heart and Soul of X-Men: TAS at X-Men: TAS
  12. Two of Our X-Women in Action at X-Men TAS
  13. Marvel 75: Ron Wasserman Composed Your '90s Childhood at Marvel
  14. The Gifted's X-Men: The Animated Series Shoutout Nearly Didn't Happen at Comic Book Resources
  15. X-Men Turns 25: The Animated Series That Changed Everything at Comic Book Resources
  16. Would We Succeed in 1992? Margaret Bets the Farm at X-Men: TAS
  17. 10 Best Comic Book Animated Series of All Time at Newsarama
  18. INTERVIEW: X-Men: TAS story editor & writer Eric Lewald on X-Men:TAS Book at Comics Beat
  19. Marvel at Twitter
  20. Marvel at Twitter
  21. Secret Wars Correspondence: X-Men '92 at Marvel
  22. Marvel's X-Men: '92 #1 will bring the '90s cartoon X-Men to modern comics at Polygon
  23. X-MEN '92 Returns As Ongoing Series In 2016 at Newsarama

External LinksEdit


X-Men series
Pre-MAU "Pryde of the X-Men"
MAU X-Men
Post-MAU X-Men: EvolutionWolverine and the X-MenMarvel Anime: WolverineMarvel Anime: X-Men

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