- Looking for another article with the name X-Men? Check out the X-Men disambiguation page.
X-Men, also known as X-Men: The Animated Series, is an American animated television series which debuted on October 31, 1992, in the United States on Fox, as part of Fox Kids Saturday morning lineup. X-Men was Marvel Comics' second attempt at an animated X-Men TV series after the pilot, Pryde of the X-Men, was not picked up.
- 1 Background
- 2 Synopsis
- 3 Cast and Characters
- 4 Reception
- 5 Episodes
- 6 Connections to Spider-Man: The Animated Series
- 7 Opening
In 1991, Margaret Loesch became the head of Fox Children's Network. Having championed the Pryde of the X-Men pilot in 1989, she was quick to set up an order of thirteen episodes of X-Men. Saban Entertainment was contracted to produce the show and hired a small studio Graz Entertainment to produce the episodes as it did not have sufficient staff at the time to handle production in house. Graz employed the creative staff wrote and designed each episode, and drew the storyboards. The voice work was done using Canadian studios and South Korean studio AKOM was hired to animate the episodes, X-Men was originally to premiere over the Labor Day weekend in September; due to production delays, it was pushed to the end of October. When the animation team AKOM turned in the first episode, it contained hundreds of animation errors, which AKOM refused to fix. Because of time constraints, the episode was aired in an unfinished form. The second episode was turned in just before deadline, with fifty scenes missing and only a single day reserved for editing. In "Night of the Sentinels" two-part episode originally aired as a "sneak preview" on October 31, 1992.
Because of the production delays and animation errors in these two episodes, Fox threatened to sever AKOM's contracts. When Fox re-aired the pilot in early 1993, the errors were corrected. The series earned top ratings through it's first season, and was renewed for a second season of thirteen episodes.
After the box office success of the first live-action X-Men film in the summer of 2000, Fox began airing reruns of the cartoon on weekday afternoons. At first, only episodes that primarily featured content in the movie were broadcast. Later, the series was aired in proper order, but it was pulled from the air in early 2001. Soon after, ABC Family and Toon Disney began airing reruns, due to Disney's buyout of Saban Entertainment programs. X-Men was taken off the air again after Toon Disney was discontinued and Disney XD took over it's programming.
The show features X-Men similar in look and line-up to the early 1990's X-Men drawn by Jim Lee (specifically, Cyclops' Blue Team, established in the early issues of X-Men: Legacy), composed of Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Professor X, as well as an original character, Morph (an adaptation of previous X-Men member Changeling).
The series dealt with social issues, including divorce ("Proteus"), Christianity ("Nightcrawler and Bloodlines"), the Holocaust ("Enter Magneto", "Deadly Reunions", "Days of Future Past" and "The Phalanx Covenant") and AIDS hysteria ("Time Fugitives"), and feelings of loneliness ("No Mutant is an Island"). Television was satirized in the episodes "Mojovision" and "Longshot".
The first season of the show brought the X-Men into conflict with human conspirators building mutant-exterminating Sentinel robots, Magneto and his attempts to instigate a human-mutant war, and the powerful mutant Apocalypse's plans to eradicate the weak, both human and mutant alike. Other storylines including X-Men member Morph's death at the hands of Sentinels. Beast's incarceration, and an assassination attempt on U.S. senator Robert Kelly by Apocalypse's minions to turn human sentiment against the mutants. The second season sees Cyclops and Jean get married and become the targets of Mister Sinister, who hopes to use the genetically perfect combination of their DNA to create an army of obedient mutants. Morph returns, having been rescued by Sinister and brainwashed into forcing the X-Men apart. The season also features the growing rift between humans and mutants, spearheaded by the Friends of Humanity, an anti-mutant group who lead the persecution of all mutants. Apocalypse also returns, developing a deadly plague to be blamed on mutants, fueling mutant hatred.
The third season focuses on the cosmic force, the Phoenix, which merges with Jean Grey and eventually turns her into the malevolent and powerful Dark Phoenix. The season also introduced the Shi'ar Empire who want to stop the Dark Phoenix, including Lilandra and Gladiator. Other storylines include the introduction of Wolverine's former lover turned mercenary, Lady Deathstrike, former X-Men member Iceman, and the villainous Shadow King.
Although the majority of series's stories are original, a number of storylines and events from the comics are loosely adapted in the series, such as:
- The two part Pilot episode "Night of the Sentinels" features "The Mutant Registration Act" which was first used in "Days of Future Past" from Uncanny X-Men #141 (January, 1981). Also the battle at the shopping mall is adapted from Jubilee's first appearance in the story "Ladies' Night" from Uncanny X-Men #244 (May, 1989). In that story, Jubilee is attacked by the M-Squad and is rescued by female X-Men and the final sequence wherein Jubilee arrives at the X-Mansion is based on a similar sequence when Kitty Pryde first arrived at the X-Mansion following the funeral for Phoenix in "Elegy" from X-Men #138 (October, 1980).
- The episode, "Enter Magneto", features a confrontation at a missile base: this is largely based on the X-Men's first battle with Magneto, as told in their 1963 debut story "X-Men" in X-Men #1 (September, 1963).
- "Captive Hearts" is loosely based on events depicted in "Catacombs" and "Dancin' in the Dark" from Uncanny X-Men #169-170 (May-June, 1983), except that the X-Men kidnapped by The Morlocks in those stories was Angel, rather than Cyclops.
- In the episode "Slave Island", Genosha's treatment of mutants as slave labor is adapted from "Welcome to Genosha"/"Busting Loose"/"Who's Human?"/Gonna be a Revolution" in Uncanny X-Men #235-#238 (October-November, 1989). However, the premise of how the Genoshan's enslaved mutants is greatly retooled, likely to be more appropriate for children's television.
- In the episode "The Unstoppable Juggernaut", The Juggernaut's origins is adapted from the story "The Origin of Professor X!" in X-Men #12 (July, 1965). Also the X-Men clashing with Juggernaut at the bank is adapted loosely from the story "Juggernaut's Back in Town" in Uncanny X-Men #194, particularly the portions where the X-Men are staking out the bank before the Juggernaut attacks and the origin of Colossus is adapted from deadly Genesis! in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May, 1975).
- "The Cure" features a flashback to Rogue's origins detailing her kiss with Cody Robbins, which is adapted from "Public Enemy" in Uncanny X-Men #185 (September, 1984).
- Apocalypse's creation of his Four Horsemen in "Come the Apocalypse" is very loosely adapted from issues 310 "Falling Angel!", #12 "Boom Boom Boom!", #15 "Whose Death is it, Anyway?", #19 "All Together Now!" and #24 "Masks" from X-Factor.
- The first part of the two part episode story "Days of Future Past" is loosely based on X-Men #141 (January, 1981), the first part of the "Days of Future Past" story arc. The entire story was retooled to fit the continuity established in the animated series, however some original elements remained such as Wolverine leading a resistance against the Sentinels. However, Bishop's role as a tracker of mutant rebels is reminiscent of Rachel Summers role as a Hound, likely adapted from Uncanny X-Men #189. Similarly, Bishop's betrayal of the Sentinels and travel back in time is adapted from Kate Pryde's similar stunt in X-Men #141 and Nimrod's appearance and battle with the X-Men is likely adapted from "Raiders of the Lost Temple!" in Uncanny X-Men #191 (March, 1985) and 194 (June, 1985). Also Bishop's assertion that Gambit betrayed the X-Men is adapted from "Bishop to King's Five!" in Uncanny X-Men #287 (April, 1992) wherein Bishop's future the X-Men were apparently killed by one of their own, and as Gambit was the only survivor Bishop long suspected him of betraying the X-Men.
- The second part of "Days of Future Past" is adapted from "Mind Out of Time" in Uncanny X-Men #142 (February, 1981), wherein the X-Men prevent the Brotherhood of Evil Mutant's from assassinating Senator Kelly. The story was altered to fit the continuity of the animated series, wherein Bishop takes the place of Kitty Pryde, however it deviates from the original story when Magneto abducts Kelly.
- The entire Sentinel plot from the episode "The Final Decision", including Master Mold forcing Trask to do his bidding is adapted from "Among Us Stalk... the Sentinels/Prisoners of the Mysterious Master Mold/The Supreme Sacrifice!" in X-Men #14-16 (November, 1965-January, 1966). Whilst Scott's marriage proposal to Jean and Mister Sinister's interest, which is explored in season two, is very loosely adapted from "Inferno, Part the Fourth: Ashes!" in Uncanny X-Men #243 (April, 1989) among other issues where Sinister manipulated Scott's marriage to Madelyne Pryor for his own twisted ends.
- The episode "Whatever It Takes" features a flashback depicting Mjnari's birth is based on the story "Lide-Death II" from Uncanny X-Men #198 (October, 1985). In that story, Storm discovered Shani's tribe after losing her mutant powers, and resuscitated Shani's (unnamed) son as in this episode. The story also features a tribal elder named MjNari, who chose to die when Shani's son was born, so that the tribe would not become too numerous for it's resources.
- The episode "Repo Man" is based on "Shoot-Out at the Stampede!" from Uncanny X-Men #121 (May, 1979), and the "Weapon X" story from Marvel Comics Presents #72-84 (March-September 1991).
- The episode "X-Ternally Yours" is based upon the "Gambit" 4 issue mini-series featuring "Tithing"/Honor Amongst Thieves"/"The Benefactress"/"Thief of Time" (which was published literally around the same time that episode first aired) (December, 1993-March, 1994) though in it Gambit's brother is named Henri instead of Bobby.
- In "The Time Fugitives (parts 1 & 2)" features a variation of the "Legacy Virus" story line where it was the creation of Apocalypse, who had created the virus with the aid of Graydon Creed and the Friends of Humanity, infecting innocent people and claiming that mutants were the ones who had caused the plague. In an attempt to stop the plague, Bishop came back from the future to destroy Apocalypse's work before the virus could move on to mutants, but as a result vital antibodies that would allow the mutant race to survive future plagues were never created. Traveling back from even further in the future, Cable was able to come up with a compromise that allowed both Bishop's and his own missions to succeed; although the plague never made the jump to mutants on a large-scale basis, Cable nevertheless ensured that Wolverine would be infected, thus creating the necessary antibodies while not killing any mutants thanks to Wolverine's healing factor.
- Parts of the episode "A Rogue's Tale" are based on "Rogue Redux" in Uncanny X-Men #269 (October, 1990) and "By Friends -- Betrayed!" in Avengers Annual #10 (August, 1981).
- "The Phoenix Saga, Part I: Sacrifice" is loosely based on "My Brother, My Enemy!" in Uncanny X-Men #97 (February, 1976), "Deathstar, Rising"/"Greater Love Hath No X-Man..."/"Phoenix Unleashed" in Uncanny X-Men #90-100 (June-August 1976).
- "The Phoenix Saga, Part II: The Dark Shroud" is loosely based on "Like a Phoenix, from the Ashes" in Uncanny X-Men #101 (October, 1976) and "Dark shroud of the Past!" in Uncanny X-Men #106 (August, 1977).
- "The Phoenix Saga, Part III: Cry of the Banshee" is loosely based on "Who Will Stop the Juggernaut?"/"The Fall of the Tower"/"The Gentleman's Name is Magneto" in Uncanny X-Men #102-105 (December, 1976-June, 1977).
- "The Phoenix Saga, Part IV: The Star Jammers" is loosely based on "Where No X-Man Has Gone Before!" in Uncanny X-Men #107 (October, 1977).
- "The Phoenix Saga, Part V: Child of Light" is loosely based on "Armageddon Now" in Uncanny X-Men #108 (December, 1977).
- "The Dark Phoenix Saga, Part I: Dazzled" is both based heavily and loosely on different areas, of the story lines "Dazzler"/"Run for Your Life!"/"And Hellfire is Their Name1" from Uncanny X-Men #130-132 (February-April, 1980).
- "The Dark Phoenix Saga, Part II: The Inner Circle" is based on "Wolverine: Alone!" in Uncanny X-Men #133 (May, 1980) & "Too Late, the Heroes!" in Uncanny X-Men #134 (June, 1980). The battle with the Inner Circle follows the original comics very closely, with Beast taking the role of Nightcrawler (when juggling Sebastian Shaw), and Rogue taking the role of Colossus (tearing the arm off Pierce).
- "The Dark Phoenix Saga, Part III: The Dark Phoenix" is based on "Dark Phoenix" in Uncanny X-Men #135 (July, 1980) and "Child of Light and Darkness" in Uncanny X-Men #136 (August, 1980).
- "The Dark Phoenix Saga, Part IV: The Fate of the Phoenix" is based on the comic of the same name ("The Fate of the Phoenix!") in Uncanny X-Men #137 (September, 1980).
- The episode "Orphan's End" is based on "Reunion" in Uncanny X-Men #155.
- "Sanctuary, Part I" is loosely based on "Rubicon" in X-Men(Vol. 2) #1 (October, 1991)and "Firestorm" from X-Men: Legacy series and the "Fatal Attractions" crossover storyline.
- "Sanctuary, Part II" is loosely based on "Fallout!" X-Men (Vol. 2) #3 (December, 1991) from the X-Men: Legacy series and the "Fatal Attractions" crossover storyline.
- In "One Man's Worth (Parts 1 & 2)" is loosely based on "The Age of Apocalypse" storyline which ran through the X-Men comics from 1995 to 1996.
- The episode "Weapon X, Lies, & Videotape" is loosely based on the story-lines "The Shiva Scenario, Part 1: Dreams of Gore, Phase 1"/"Shiva Scenario, Part 2: Dreams of Gore, Phase 2"/"Shiva Scenario, Part 3: Dreams of Gore, Phase 3" from Wolverine #48-50 (November, 1992-January, 1993), with a bit of the storyline "Nightmare Quest"/"Reunion!"/"Bastions of glory!"/"What Goes Around..." from issues #61-64 (September-December 1992) thrown in, as well (though the robot Talos is called "Shivia" there, and the Weapon X project has more members).
- The two part final season opener "Phalanx Covenant" was adapted from the comic of the same name (September-October 1994) with Beast as the central character. The Phalanx were conceived to be fully alien and not mutant hating humans who were infected with the technology, becoming more like the Technarchy, with Cameron Hodge working along with them serving much the same role as in the comics. During the two parter, Beast teams up with Warlock, Amelia Voght (who was working on Muir Island at the time) and Magneto.
- The episode "Jubilee's Fairytale Theater" is based on "Kitty's Fairy Tale" in Uncanny X-Men #153 (January, 1982). Where Kitty told a fairytale to Illyana Rasputin, replacing Kitty Pryde with Jubilee and Illyana Rasputin with school children.
- The episode "Old Soldiers" is loosely based on "Madripoor Knights" in Uncanny X-Men #268 (September, 1990).
Cast and Characters
|Norm Spencer||Cyclops / Scott Summers|
|Cathal J. Dodd||Wolverine / Logan|
|Iona Morris||Storm / Ororo Munroe|
(Season 1 & 2)
|Alison Sealy-Smith||Storm / Ororo Munroe|
|George Buza||Beast / Henry McCoy|
|Chris Potter||Gambit / Remy LeBeau|
|Tony Daniels||Gambit / Remy LeBeau|
|Alyson Court||Jubilee / Jubilation Lee|
|Catherine Disher||Jean Grey|
|Cedric Smith||Professor X / Charles Xavier|
|Susan Roman||Scarlet Witch / Wanda Maximoff|
|John Colicos||Apocalypse / En Sabah Nur|
(Season 2 & 3)
|James Blendick||Apocalypse / En Sabah Nur|
|Rod Coneybeare||Avalanche / Dominikos Petrakis|
|Jeremy Ratchrofd||Banshee / Sean Cassidy|
|Rick Bennett||Juggernaut / Cain Marko|
Colossus / Piotr Rasputin
|Robert Cait||Blob / Fred Dukes|
Colossus / Piotr Rasputin
|Brett Halsey||Bolivar Trask|
|Lawrence Bayne||Cable / Nathan Summers|
|Stephan Ouimette||Angel / Warren Worthington III|
|Tracey Moore||Dark Phoenix|
|Richard Epcar||Gladiator / Kallark|
|John Stocker||Graydon Creed|
|Barry Flatman||Henry Peter Gyrich|
|Dennis Akiyama||Iceman / Bobby Drake|
|Tasha Simms||Lady Deathstrike / Yuriko Oyama|
|David Hemblen||Magneto / Erik Magnus Lehnsherr|
|Christopher Britton||Mister Sinister / Nathaniel Essex|
|Lally Cadeau||Moira MacTaggert|
|Adrian Hough||Nightcrawler / Kurt Wagner|
|Len Doncheff||Omego Red|
|Robert Bockstale||Sauron / Karl Lykos|
|Len Carlson||Robert Kelly|
|Rod Wilson||Gorgeous George|
|Tara Strong||Illyana Rasputin|
|Roscoe Handford||Ms. Marvel / Carol Danvers|
|Terri Hawkes||Polaris / Lorna Dane|
|Maurice Dean Wint||Shadow King|
|Melissa Sue Anderson||Snowbird|
|David Corban||Tar Baby|
|Rebecca Jenkins||Heather Hudson|
The show was both acclaimed and commercially successful. Along with Batman: The Animated Series, the series success helped launch numerous comic book shows in the 1990's.
In it's prime, X-Men: The Animated Series garnered very high ratings for a Saturday morning cartoon, and like Batman: The Animated Series, it received wide critical praise for it's portrayal of many different storylines from the comics.
In 2009, IGN ranked X-Men: The Animated Series as the 13th greatest animated show of all time in their top 100 list, the third-highest standing for a comic book-adapted show on the list. The show also ranks in at 152 on IMDb's Highest Rated TV Shows with At Least 5,000 Votes.
- Night of the Sentinels, Part I
- Night of the Sentinels, Part II
- Enter Magneto
- Deadly Reunions
- Captive Hearts
- Cold Vengeance
- Slave Island
- The Unstoppable Juggernaut
- The Cure
- Come the Apocalypse
- Days of Future Past, Part I
- Days of Future Past, Part II
- The Final Decision
- Till Death Do Us Part, Part I
- Till Death Do Us Part, Part II
- Whatever it Takes
- Red Dawn
- Repo Man
- X-Ternally Yours
- Time Fugitives, Part I
- Time Fugitives, Part II
- A Rogue's Tale
- Beauty & The Beast
- Reunion, Part I
- Reunion, Part II
- Out of the Past, Part I
- Out of the Past, Part II
- The Phoenix Saga, Part I: Sacrifice
- The Phoenix Saga, Part II: The Dark Shroud
- The Phoenix Saga, Part III: Cry of the Banshee
- The Phoenix Saga, Part IV: The Starjammers
- The Phoenix Saga, Part V: Child of Light
- Savage Land, Strange Heart, Part I
- Savage Land, Strange Heart, Part I
- The Dark Phoenix, Part I: Dazzled
- The Dark Phoenix, Part II: The Inner Circle
- The Dark Phoenix, Part III: The Dark Phoenix
- The Dark Phoenix, Part IV: The Fate of the Phoenix
- Cold Comfort
- Orphan's End
- The Juggernaut Returns
- Weapon X, Lies, And Video Tape
- One Man's Worth, Part I
- One Man's Worth, Part II
- Proteus, Part I
- Proteus, Part II
- Sanctuary, Part I
- Sanctuary, Part II
- Beyond Good and Evil, Part I: The End of Time
- Beyond Good and Evil, Part II: Promise of Apocalypse
- Beyond Good and Evil, Part III: The Lazarus Chamber
- Beyond Good and Evil, Part IV: End and Beginning
- Have Yourself A Morlock Little X-Mas
- The Lotus and the Steel
- Love in Vain
- Secrets, Not Long Buried
- Xavier Remembers
- Family Ties
- The Phalanx Covenant, Part I
- The Phalanx Covenant, Part II
- A Deal with the Devil
- No Mutant is an Island
- Storm Front, Part I
- Storm Front, Part II
- Jubilee's Fairy Tale Theatre
- The Fifth Horseman
- Old Soldiers
- Hidden Agendas
- Graduation Day
Connections to Spider-Man: The Animated Series
All the X-Men appeared in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series episodes, The Mutant Agenda and Mutants' Revenge. Storm later appeared in the episodes Secret Wars, Chapter I: Arrival, Secret Wars, Chapter II: The Gauntlet of the Red Skull, and Secret Wars, Chapter III: Doom.