“X-Men: The Animated Series” debuted on Fox in 1992

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“X-Men: The Animated Series” debuted on Fox in 1992

“X-Men”, also known as “X-Men: The Animated Series”, debuted on October 31, 1992, on the Fox Network and ran until September 20, 1997. “X-Men” was a very popular show in the 90’s and rightly so. For a lot of children, it was probably one of the most grown-up cartoons available. The Series continues to define superhero storytelling today. For ‘90’s kids it was their gateway into the Marvel universe. For Marvel, it was their first truly successful adaptation of a property for television. The X-Men consisted of the original line up, Professor X, Wolverine, Storm, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Gambit, Rogue, Beast, and Jubilee. It also featured an original character, Morph. The characters were very similar in appearance to how they were drawn in the comics by Jim Lee. Many other characters made appearances throughout the 5 seasons that it aired for. The series dealt with many social issues, including divorce, Christianity, the Holocaust, AIDS hysteria, and feelings of loneliness. “X-Men” quickly became a ratings powerhouse for Fox and put the studio in the prime position of being able to tap into Marvel’s vast catalog of characters to tell countless stories. All the while Marvel Entertainment didn’t bother to pay too much attention to what Fox was doing, giving a certain degree of creative freedom. But that same freedom sometimes came at a cost: Marvel could still pull rank on Fox and the “X-Men” creative team at a moments notice. Fox canceled the series in large part because the network did not like that Marvel Studios controlled their most popular animated series. Thus, they pulled the plug on both “X-Men” and “Spider-Man” animated series despite the fact that both received good ratings. Many fans predicted the series’ cancellation because of the noticeable drop in the quality of the animation and story during the second half of the final season. Fox soon realized just how popular the “X-Men” animated series was when ratings dropped 31% after the network stopped showing it in heavy rotation.

By Ken Warren, 2018

Look back at the 1992 intro for “X-Men: The Animated Series”

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