In the Marvel Comics universe, mutants, people with genetically endowed superpowers, are a persecuted by a hateful and fearful populous. One shelter from this is Professor Xavier's Academy for Gifted Children. But the school has a secret function as a training centre for mutants to control their abilities so they can function in regular society. It also serves as a secret headquarters of a superhero team, called the X-Men formed both to be a positive example of mutants and as an opposing force against those mutants who seek to force the world to kneel to their perceived superiority. This series recounts their adventures as they struggle to make the world accept them, while battling villains like Magneto, Apocalypse and the genocidal robots known as the Sentinels. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
I remember back in 1992 when this show debuted, I thought it was one of the best cartoons on the air, along with "Batman: The Animated Series". The characters had great powers but no one was so incredibly powered that they couldn't get knocked down and knocked around. Plus they were always getting on each others nerves. As cool as Wolverine and Gambit were, I always held great fondness for Cyclops and Beast, I guess because I admired Cyclops for being so stalwart and steadfast and Beast for being so damn smart, laid back and intelligent. Gambit's love/hate relationship with Rogue, the hottest virgin super-heroine in comic books, was always good for a laugh and only occasionally got dramatic but never so much that it got sappy. Professor Xavier, Storm, Jean, and Jubilee rounded out the cast of heroes with their own powers and self-doubts and dreams. Well, actually the only character who probably didn't benefit from the series was Jean Grey, who for some strange reason was always fainting in action scenes. I'm guessing the writers simply didn't have a good grasp of her character or a strong idea of how to make her powers look cool and dynamic compared to the weather controlling Storm, high flying super tanker Rogue or even fire work shooting Jubilee.
One of my few regrets/complaints about this show was that the X-Men's big villain, Magneto, was only a villain or rather a well meaning if twisted and tainted anti-hero for only the first two episodes in which he appeared, and so the role of #1 agitator to the X-Men went to Mr. Sinister during the 2nd season along with the usual stock villains of racist Americans. The first 3 seasons were probably the best, after that it kind of started to wane. Also I regret that Colossus and Night-Crawler were not regular members of the cast, as Night-Crawler was a very soulful character and Colossus, well, he's just so damn cool.
But these complaints are very minor in light of what was otherwise one of the best comic book to cartoon adaptations ever to air. Certainly superior to the now defunct Wolverine & the X-Men, though X-Men Evolution featured a stronger version of Jean Grey.
The X-Men later made some guest appearances on "Spider-Man", which had a lot of promise and brighter animation but ultimately squandered its potential. Captain America later guest starred in both X-Men and Spider-Man.
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