X-Men title card
|Format||Animated series, Action, Adventure|
|Created by||Larry Houston
|Voices of||Cedric Smith
Cathal J. Dodd
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||76 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||22 min|
|Production company(s)||Marvel Productions Ltd.|
|Original channel||FOX (Fox Kids)|
|Original run||October 31, 1992 – September 20, 1997|
|Preceded by||X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men|
|Followed by||X-Men Evolution|
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 the Fox Network as part of its Fox Kids Saturday morning lineup (see 1992 in television).
X-Men is Marvel Comics' second attempt at an animated X-Men program, after the pilot "X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men" which was not picked up for a series, though it was broadcast multiple times between 1989 and 1992. The popularity and success of X-Men (along with Batman: The Animated Series, which also debuted in the Fox Kids 1992–93 season) helped launch a number of popular comic-based animated series in the 1990s.
X-Men was originally to premiere over the Labor Day weekend in September; however, due to production delays, it was pushed to the end of October. The "Night of the Sentinels" two-part episode originally aired as a "sneak preview" even though it truly wasn't ready for broadcast. There were many animation errors in these two episodes, but the errors were later corrected when Fox re-aired the pilot in early 1993.
X-Men was one of the longest-lasting series on Fox Kids, second only to Batman: The Animated Series. Despite its final new episode airing in late 1997 after five complete seasons, Fox did not remove the show from their line-up until 1998. The show is also one of the highest rated and most viewed Saturday morning programs in American history. During its peak years (1995 and 1996), the show was often shown weekday afternoons, in addition to Saturday mornings.
X-Men also stands as the longest-running Marvel Comics-based show, running for five seasons and 76 episodes. The second longest, Spider-Man: The Animated Series, lasted for five seasons and 65 episodes. Although produced by different animation studios, both series were set in the same animated universe, and the X-Men even made guest appearances on Spider-Man's show. (The second X-Men animated series, X-Men Evolution, does not share this continuity.)
After the box office success of the live-action X-Men movie in the summer of 2000, Fox began airing reruns of the cartoon on weekday afternoons. At first, only episodes that primarily featured those in the movie were broadcast. Later, the series was aired in proper order, but the series was pulled from the air in early 2001. Soon after, ABC Family and Toon Disney began airing reruns, due to Disney's buyout of all Saban Entertainment programs.
The show features an X-Men similar in look and line-up to the early 1990s X-Men drawn by Jim Lee, 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 Kevin Sydney). Though they were not part of the team as featured in the animated series, the following X-Men have all guest-starred in at least one episode: Colossus, Nightcrawler, Emma Frost, Forge, Havok, Polaris, Cannonball, Banshee, Iceman, Archangel, Longshot, Dazzler, Sunfire, Psylocke, Cable, and Bishop. Keen-eyed fans may also spot cameos by other familiar mutants, such as Feral, Rictor, Deadpool, and Blink.
A number of famous storylines and events from the comics are loosely adapted in the series, such as The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, the Phalanx Covenant, and the Legacy Virus. The third 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 X-Men #1. The season four episodes "Sanctuary, Parts I & II," which involve Magneto creating an orbiting haven for mutants, were influenced by several storylines from the comics, chiefly the first three issues of X-Men (Volume 2) and the "Fatal Attractions" crossover.
Beyond faithfully recreating many of the popular characters and stories from the comic books, the series also dealt fairly openly with mature social issues. The ills of prejudice, intolerance, isolation, and racism were all frequent themes in the animated series, as they were in the comics. The series also deals with other social issues, albeit sometimes in subtext, that are not often handled by children's programming: divorce ("Proteus"), Christianity ("Nightcrawler" & "Bloodlines"), the Holocaust ("Enter Magneto," "Deadly Reunions," "Days of Future Past," and "The Phalanx Covenant"), AIDS hysteria ("Time Fugitives"), and even satires of television itself ("Mojovision" and "Longshot"). The Friends of Humanity, a prominent anti-mutant group that appears in the second season, bears great resemblance to the Ku Klux Klan and other white-supremacy groups.
In its prime, X-Men garnered very high ratings for a Saturday morning cartoon, and received wide critical praise for its portrayal of many different storylines from the comics.
The original opening sequence featured the X-Men demonstrating their mutant abilities to a now very distinctive instrumental theme (written by Ron Wasserman). This intro is used throughout the first four seasons. A modified version is eventually introduced in season five, episode one ("Phalanx Covenant, Part One"). In this new intro, the beginning of the theme is slightly changed. New fighting scenes are also added.
In the first season only, the end credit sequence consisted of computer-animated rotating 3D models of the different team-members created by graphic design artist, Dave McCarty, set to a different, electric-guitar-based heavy-metal theme. In subsequent seasons, the computer-animated sequence and guitar-based closing theme were dropped and replaced with clips from the regular animation over the regular instrumental theme. When UPN began airing repeats on Sunday mornings an alternate credits sequence was used: a high-quality Japanese-animated version of the original opening.
Rede Globo cut all of the intro sequence except for the logo at its end—which they do to almost all animated series they air. The American intro was retained when it was aired later on Fox Kids and Jetix.
The opening intro was replaced with a new, Japanese-animated segment of the characters as well as a new Japanese theme with vocals called "Rising" (ライジング), by the Japanese band Ambience (アンビエンス), which features odd moments such as Magneto summoning Brood to fight the X-Men and Cable fighting giant robots in power armor. Starting with episode 46 an alternate anime intro was used, featuring the new theme "Dakishimetai Dare Yori Mo" (抱きしめたい誰よりも…). The end credits sequence was also changed: it featured shots of X-Men comic books set to the song "Back to You" (バック･トウ･ユー), also by Ambience.
Several very well-known seiyū (Japanese voice actors) played roles in the TV Tokyo edition of the Japanese dub, such as Kōichi Yamadera (Cyclops), Shinobu Adachi (Jean Grey), Rihoko Yoshida (Storm), Akiko Hiramatsu (Jubilee), Masashi Ebara (Wolverine), Norio Wakamoto (Mr. Sinister), Yūko Kobayashi (Rogue), Yoshito Yasuhara (Gambit), Ayako Shirashi (Dazzler), Ryūzaburō Ōtomo (Magneto) and Rokurō Naya (Professor X).
|Professor Charles Xavier||Cedric Smith||X-Men (Leader)|
|Cyclops/Scott Summers||Norm Spencer||X-Men|
|Jean Grey/Phoenix||Catherine Disher||X-Men|
|Wolverine/Logan||Cal Dodd||X-Men, Alpha Flight, Weapon X|
|Storm/Ororo Munroe||Iona Morris (1992)
Alison Sealy-Smith (1992–1997)
|Beast/Doctor Henry "Hank" McCoy||George Buza||X-Men|
|Gambit/Remy LeBeau||Chris Potter (1992–1996)
Tony Daniels (1997)
|X-Men, Thieves Guild|
|Rogue||Lenore Zann||X-Men, Brotherhood|
|Jubilee/Jubilation Lee||Alyson Court||X-Men|
|Magneto/Jonathan Magnus||David Hemblen||Himself|
|Forge||Marc Strange||X-Factor (Leader)|
|Mister Sinister/Nathaniel Essex||Christopher Britton II||Nasty Boys and Savage Land Mutates (Leader)/Apocalypse|
|Juggernaut/Cain Marko||Rick Bennett||None|
|Colossus/Piotr Rasputin||Robert Cait||X-Men (Temporarily)|
|Bishop||Philip Akin||Xavier's Security Enforcers/X-Men|
|Lady Deathstrike/Yuriko Oyama||Tasha Simms||Reavers|
|Sabretooth/Victor Creed||Don Francks||Magneto|
|Puck/Eugene Milton Judd||Alpha Flight|
|Morph||Ron Rubin||X-Men/Sinister (Temporarily)|
|Cable||Lawrence Bayne||Clan Chosen/X-Men|
|Erik the Redd||Lawrence Bayne||Shi'ar Empire (Evil)|
|Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner||Paul Haddad||X-Men (Temporarily)(Mystique's Secret Son)|
|Banshee/Sean Cassidy||Jeremy Ratchford||X-Men (Temporarily)|
|Doctor Moira McTaggart||Lally Cadeau||X-Men|
|Lilandra Neramani||Camilla Scott||Shi'ar Empire|
|Snowbird||Melissa Sue Anderson||Alpha Flight|
|Carol Danvers/Ms Marvel||Roscoe Handford||None|
|Longshot||Rod Wilson||X-Men (Temporarily)|
|Gorgeous George||Rod Wilson||Nasty Boys|
|Apocalypse/En Sabah Nur||John Colicos
|Horsemen of Apocalypse (Leader)|
|Amelia Voght||Susan Roman||Acolytes/X-Men (Temporarily)|
|Archangel/Angel/Warren Worthington III/Death||Stephen Ouimette||X-Men/Horsemen of Apocalypse (Temporarily)|
|Mystique/Raven Darkholme||Randall Carpenter
|Brotherhood (Leader), Rogue's Foster Mother|
|Avalanche/Dominic Szilard Petros||Rod Coneybeare||Brotherhood|
|Pyro/St. John Allerdyce||Graham Halley||Brotherhood,|
|Quicksilver/Pietro Lehnsherr||Adrian Egan||Brotherhood, Magneto|
|The Blob/Frederick J. Dukes||Robert Calt||Brotherhood|
|Ilyana Rasputin||Tara Strong||none (Colossus' sister)|
|Henry Peter Gyrich||Barry Flatman||Project Wideawake (Temporary Leader)|
|Graydon Creed||John Stocker||Friends of Humanity|
|Shadow King||Maurice Dean Wint||Himself|
|Master Mold||David Fox||Sentinels (Leader)|
|Sasquatch/Doctor Walter Langkowski||Harvey Atkin||Alpha Flight|
|Darkstar||Elizabeth Rukavina||Soviet Union/Herself|
|Famine||Cathy Gallant||Horsemen of Apocalypse|
|War||James Millington||Horsemen of Apocalypse|
|Pestilence||Judy Marshak||Morlocks, Horsemen of Apocalypse|
|Ruckus||Dan Hennessey||Nasty Boys|
|Amphibius||Peter McCowatt||Savage Land Mutates|
|Vertigo||Megan Smith||Savage Land Mutates, Nasty Boys|
|Northstar||Rene Lemieux||Alpha Flight|
X-Men Adventures vol. 1 #1 (Nov 1992).
Art by Steve Lightle.
|Publication date||November 1992–March 1997|
|Number of issues||53|
X-Men Adventures was a comic book spin-off of the animated series. Beginning in November 1992, it adapted the first three seasons of the show; in April 1996, it became Adventures of the X-Men, which contained original stories set within the same continuity. The comic book lasted until March 1997, shortly after the show's cancellation by the Fox Network.
In the final issue of Adventures of the X-Men, it is revealed that the Marvel animated universe existed prior to the main Marvel Universe, and was destroyed by the fracturing of the M'Kraan Crystal.
Volume 5 of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcovers lists the X-Men cartoon as part of the Marvel multiverse, inhabiting Earth-92131. also, the plague infested future that Bishop tried to prevent in Season 2 is listed as Earth-13393 while Cable's release then immediate cure of the plague is listed as Earth-121893.