web stats

CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #178

This is the one-hundred and seventy-eighth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and seventy-seven.

Special Theme Week! Some how, some way, this week features three legends involving the animated version of the X-Men!

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Steve Vai did the theme song for the X-Men animated series

STATUS: False

Reader Mikey Reynolds wrote in the other day to ask:

Is it true that world renowned axe master Steve Vai wrote the theme song to the nostalgia filled 90s X-Men cartoon? I’ve heard this rumour countless times…

If you don’t know who Steve Vai is, he is a popular rock ‘n’ roll guitarist who got his big break playing guitar in Frank Zappa’s backing band when Vai was in his early 20s. He started a solo career soon afterwards, and has released over a dozen solo albums.

Now, right off the bat, I sorta figured “no way.” Then again,

A. It’s not like Steve Vai has not done some cheezy stuff in the past, like that Ralph Macchio movie during the 80s!

B. It was not just Mikey who was wondering this – I saw the Vai piece of information a bunch of other times on the ‘net.

So I figured it was worth looking into, and, when I did so, yeah, it is not Steve Vai.

The X-Men series had two theme music composers, Ron Wasserman and Shuki Levy. Wasserman did most of the series, but it was Levy who wrote the actual theme song.

Levy has the song available on his website for those who are interested. Check it out here!

Wasserman’s website has a neat music player, too, here, with some rather interesting songs (the Trollz cartoon series did not need nearly as good of a theme song as Wasserman gives it).

So there ya go!

Thanks to Mikey for the question and thanks to Levy and Wasserman for the nifty websites!

COMIC LEGEND: The X-Men appeared on a 60s cartoon series.

STATUS: True

If you ask most people where the X-Men first showed up on cartoons, they’d tell you the ubiquitous failed cartoon pilot, “Pryde of the X-Men,” which was aired quite a few times in the late 80s and early 90s.

This was the one that featured Wolverine as Australian instead of Canadian (an Australian as Wolverine?!?!? That’s prepostero…oh, wait…).

Some fans, though, might recall that the X-Men had a few rather ignoble appearance on the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends series, as Firestar and Iceman were, after all, intended to be former X-Men at the time.

However, the X-Men made their ACTUAL debut almost two decades earlier, in about as unlikely of a source as you might imagine – the Sub-Mariner TV show!!!

Readers Britt and Mick both wrote in to explain the deal, and it’s quite fascinating.

You see, the cartoons at the time were made up of basically just crudely animated actual comics by Marvel (as you might imagine, the artists who were having their work animated without being compensated were not too pleased). The problem was that was that the Fantastic Four were licensed to another cartoon company, so in this cartoon, made up of mostly an Fantastic Four comic book, the X-Men were substituted for the FF, fighting against the Mole Man.

Professor X shows up to say a precursor to Machine Man’s classic Nextwave line, as Xavier says, “My mutant brain senses danger!”

Xavier says this a couple of times, and finally, he sends the X-Men into action against the Mole Man’s crew…

Here comes the high-flying Angel!

Here’s Jean Grey!

There goes the Beast!

Here’s Iceman, running like an imbecile…

And here is Cyclops, ready to blast the Mole Man and his pals!

Pretty cool, huh?

COMIC LEGEND: The first two episodes of the X-Men animated series aired before they were ready.

STATUS: True

The X-Men Animated Series debuted on Halloween, 1992, with the first part of a two-parter called “The Night of the Sentinels.”

The premiere was a gigantic success. One Fox Kids executive noted that while the success of Power Rangers made Fox Kids a force to be reckoned with, it was the premiere of X-Men that took the network from third to first among viewers.

That’s how notable the series premiere was.

The amazing thing to note now, though, is that the premiere was aired before it was actually truly ready to be shown!!

The first episode was originally meant to air soon after Labor Day in 1992. It was moved back a month, from September 12, 1992 to October 10, 1992.

However, the animation on the program was just not ready yet, so it was pushed back another two weeks to October 24, 1992.

Finally, with delays still affecting the series, it was pushed to October 31, 1992.

At this point, the important thing was just making sure the series got started – a month and a half delay to the debut of a heavily promoted TV series is not a good way to go, so finally, the decision was made to just go with what they had so far, and what they had so far was an unfinished project, not so’s that most fans noticed, though.

One fan, though, DRG4, noted them all, and DRG4 helpfully lists them all at a website here, including deleted scenes, edited scenes, etc, DRG4 shows the original clip followed by the edited clip. Great stuff.

Here are a sampling of some of the changes (DRG4 has a lot more, though – again, do check out the site here).

Jubilee was in a scene she was not meant to be in…

The soldiers fighting the X-Men changed looks between Part 1 and Part 2, so that was fixed…

Cyclops’ glasses weren’t red…

Rogue absorbed Wolverine’s powers while her hand was colored as though she had a full gloved hand…

Gambit’s eyes weren’t glowing….

Beast was not finished being shaded….

And the special effects weren’t all put into the cartoon…

The corrections were made soon enough, and in January of 1993, the corrected versions ran as a one hour version of the X-Men (episodes 1 and 2 together).

Still, it’s amazing that the show as such a hit when it wasn’t even finished!

Thanks, of course, to DRG4 for the amazing amount of work put into detailing the changes! Be sure to check out DRG4′s site for more Marvel cartoon info!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com.

See you next week!

71 Comments

The Sub-Mariner story was from X-Men #6.

IIRC, most of that Sub-Mariner cartoon was taken from Fantastic Four Annual #3: The Wedding of Reed & Sue, including the X-Men scenes. In the comic itself, Doom & a horde of villains decide the advertised wedding would be a good time for an en mass attact. Of course it’s probably the worst time, as the X-Men, Daredevil, The Avengers and The X-Men are all attending. Notice above that Xavier is wearing a tuxedo.

The version of the X-Men in this cartoon, along with the rest of the heroes, were called collectively as “The Allies For Peace”.

Some of those goofs are fairly minor, but some of them (like Storm’s non-lightening bolts)…how did I miss that? Apparently I was too geeked as a kid to be watching an X-Men cartoon to really pay attention to it.

i’ve never heard the steve vai / x-men theme rumor before. i do know that joe perry of aerosmith plays the solo on the 90s spider-man cartoon (and i was surprised just now to find out that he composed the song as well). they kept cutting the spidey theme down as the seasons progressed to the point where the solo was barely audible during the theme. that used to annoy me cause i loved that theme song (although i thought that 90s spidey show was pretty damned awful).

Brian, No mention of Colossus turning into a BEAR in his Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends episode?

Also, they showed those first two episodes of X-Men: TAS over and over and over and over again. I remember being so frustrated by that as a kid.

On the other hand, i hope they only have the first three episodes of BRAVE AND THE BOLD ready because then kids will see Jaime Reyes over and over and over and over again and it might actually help Blue Beetle’s sales.

I bought that video tape because it said it was starring the X-Men. On the back of the box, there is a full shot, that is a length of the box, of Wolverine. I bought it already knowing the cartoon was from the ’60′s and Wolverine couldn’t possibly be in the original cartoon, but I thought, maybe he was in an additional feature thrown on the tape. It was the first time I was a victim of false advertising.

“Brian, No mention of Colossus turning into a BEAR in his Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends episode?”

I think it was Thunderbird who turned into a bear.

Not that that makes any more sense.

But thinking about it, if more superheroes spontaneously turned into bears, I might read more superhero comics today.

Paul-

You are totally right. My memory failed this morning. The X-Men cartoon was from the FF Annual.

The X-Men appeared twice on “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends”.

There was another episode, entitled “A Firestar is Born” which retells the origin of Firestar, while at the same time Juggernaut attacks the X-Mansion. Of the two amazing friends episodes, this one is the better one.

An aside, that 60′s shot of Iceman is funny. Really, really funny. I laughed.

These legends are no longer “Urban?” When did that happen?

I woke up at 6:00 AM every Saturday morning to watch Marvel Superheroes. As much for the guest appearances as anything else. Captain America usually had the Avengers. Incredible Hulk had the original Avengers in the (Avengers #2) Space Phantom story. What was strange was that there was no chronological sense to the episodes. One week you’d have Hank Pym as Goliath in a story featuring the Super Adaptoid, the following week Giant Man would appear fighting The Masters of Evil.

The Iron Man, Thor and Sub-Mariver features were presented partucularly well, considering there was very little animation. I can still picture the dramatic panels of Iron Man fighting the original Black Knight, Thor battling Hercules and Namor taking it to The Seaweed Monster during “The Quest”.

Aside from Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, I don’t remember any other Marvel themed super-hero programs in the 60s. Learned something new today.

Hey Adam T, you’re lucky

When I bought that Sub Mariner tape “Atlantis Under Attack”, it did say guest starring Thor and the X-Men on the cover with a big old picture of Wolverine on the back cover. My tape didn’t even have that flipping episode, “Dr. Doom’s Day”, on it. It just had the first episode where Namor foils Attuma’s plot and that was it. If I didn’t get it on sale with a bunch of other Marvel tapes and comics at Odd Job maybe I could have gotten a refund. I doubt I would have really wanted a refund though.

Why does Beast have only four toes on each foot? Is that part of his mutation that I’m unware of?

The goof that I most remember from the X-Men cartoon was the end of episode 7 in season 1. The X-Men return from Genosha and land at the mansion, but episode 8 starts with a recap that shows them discovering a destroyed mansion (because Juggernaut had come for Xavier). The final scene of episode 7 first aired in the recap before episode 8, and was retroactively added to episode 7. If you go to the in-depth episode guide on DRG4′s site, you can see a short mention of it.

lol..i hated that Xmen show…it was horrible…the choppy animation and character design were horrible…i tried to watch it numerous times and then just hated to see it was on..

i did like that X-Men Evolution tho…and plotzed the first time i saw the Pryde of the Xmen cartoon…i remember id plugged my tv in while i was moving into the dorm imy freshman year and just happened to see it on and had to stop moving things while i watched it…lol..

“These legends are no longer “Urban?” When did that happen?”

Someone decided that anything Urban is not part of the REAL CBR.

(Sorry, couldn’t resist)

If we’re going down the path of comic-based animation: please address the whole JSA / Justice Guild mess from the first season of Justice League (I don’t think it’s ever come up). I know I’ve got the Quicktime trailer with the JSA burned to a disc somewhere, but I’d bet it’s up on Youtube.

Brian from Canada

October 24, 2008 at 10:55 am

Speaking of the Sub-Mariner, here’s a question: according to rumors, the Marvel Superheroes episodes have been mastered for DVD and were set to be released as a box set — but that never happened. Did it have something to do with Disney’s handling of the Spider-Man cartoon episodes from the 90s, or did Marvel have second thoughts about releasing it to shelves?

Stephen:

Bruce Timm has stated that he planned on using the JSA, however the original Golden Age versions. Paul Levitz denied their use, suggesting it would disrespect the original JSA, as well as the current modern version of the team. A compromise was reached, allowing them to use a “not quite” version of the JSA.

What’s funny is that some of the characters, specifically The Green Guardsman and The Black Siren are very similar to Alan Scott and Black Canary, however Cat-Man (Wildcat) and Tom Turbine (Atom) more closely resemble the Silver Age Batman and Superman than their counterparts and The Streak, more like Earth 3′s Johnny Quick.

It looks like Iceman had nothing to do, so started to do a little dance.

Paul:

Well, Paul Levitz sounds like a whiny little git in that story, doesn’t he?

As I remember it, The X-Men show took three or four showings before they got every thing fixed.
I kept re-recording it to get the best version.
I think Rogue touching Wolverine went from still being gloved, to not being gloved, but touching Wolvie where his costume covered him, to finally touching his arm.

Michael:

I suppose, although it’s happened before. The 1967 Fantastic Four had a great Sub-Mariner episode, but they changed Namor’s name to Triton and colored him blue. Atlantis became “Pacifica”. I believe that may have been a copyright issue, however.

The primary storyline for the Sub-Mariner cartoon was a combo of FF Annual #3 & FF#6, but since Hanna-Barbera had the rights to the animated FF, Reed, Sue, Ben & Johnny themselves couldn’t appear! Thus the X-Men became the “hosts” for the gathering of heroes. Conversely, the 60s FF cartoon did an adaptation of “Danger in the Depths” with “Triton” (not the green-scaled Inhuman, but a modified Namor) in place of the Sub-Mariner as ruler of Atlantis, but all the other characters from the original story, including Attuma, Lady Dorma and Vashti, appearing! And, Doctor Doom appeared in BOTH the Sub-Mariner & FF animated series!

Ya know, the reason the X-men were so prominent in that ’66 Sub-Mariner cartoon was that Marvel was licensing the Fantastic Four to Hanna-Barbera at the time. When the Baxter Building (I mean, the uh..headquarters of the Allies of Peace) goes into space, the X-men are substituted for the FF from that point on. Interestingly, Grantray-Lawrence had rights to Sub-Mariner for another year, so HB’s famous FF series of 1967 had no Sub-Mariner, but a doppelganger called Prince Triton of Pacifica!

Just another update from the Department of Redundancy Department.

PS: Paul is right. “Atlantis” became “Pacifica”. My bad…
Interesting how supporting characters appeared in BOTH the Marvel Super Heroes & FF series…
Attuma, Dorma, Dr. Doom, Mole Man…any I left out?
In particular, did the Watcher pop up in any of the Marvel SH episodes?

Britt:

Yes, the Watcher appeared in two episodes of The Incredible Hulk, if my memory serves me right.

I remember being PISSED that the Marvel Superheroes weren’t released. I’m more pissed that all they seem to be releasing is dvd versions of the Marvel Comics Video Library in Canada. Complete crap!

Way back when the X-Men cartoon was airing, a friend of mine noticed that the theme song was basically just a sped up version of the theme from “Perry Mason.”

Along with the “Prince Triton of Pacifica” thing that Mick mentioned, the HB FF series also adapted the very first Namor story from the FF comic, where they replaced Subby with a criminal scientist mutated into a fish-man by the radioactive ruins of his island hq after the FF blew the place to smithereens in his absence (they professed ignorance of the presence of any nuclear material when they saw the mushroom cloud). One other thing is that Mick’s description of the Sub-Mariner cartoon sounds quite like Namor’s second appearance in FF, which was also Doom’s second, and their first joint appearance (the Baxter building going into space with both of them as well as the FF on board; I’ve never read the wedding story and so ask, did Marvel really do that twice within a couple of years?).

I finally figured out who Iceman looks like in that panel. He reminds me of Cheswick flipping out in “One Flew Over The Cookoo’s Nest” when Nurse Rached rationed his cigarettes after he gambled them all away to McMurphy. “GIVE ME BACK MY CIGARETTES!!!!!”

We had a running joke in our house about the X-Men cartoon. No matter where I was and what I was doing, when the X-Men theme song played, I would race to my wife, and right on cue, mime the single “bong” of the tubular bell, like Ed Grimley waiting for his triangle solo, and then run off. Always got a laugh.

Great show, as was the Spider-Man series of that time, which my daughter is now watching on Jetix while we wait for new episodes of Spectacular. (Of course, she’s also watching the train wreck that was Spider-Man Unlimited, but what can you do…) While the Silver Surfer show LOOKED great, I thought the choices they made on the character (not remembering he was Norrin Radd, etc) were weak. and I could have started a drinking game with the phrase “To me, my flying board”

The X-Men actually appeared THREE times on “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends”…

First, “A Firestar Is Born” , which tells the origin of Firestar (and features Storm, Wolverine, Angel, Cyclops)
Second, “The X-Men Adventure” in which Cyberiad traps the team (which also includes Kitty, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Thunderbird
Third, “VideoMan” has a VERY brief apperance of teh X-Men at the end, when Spidey & co. drop off Frances Byte at the Xavier Institute

Also, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast and Iceman appeared in the episode of Spider-Man and his Amazing friends called “The Origin or Iceman”. So, they actually appeared four times.

Some of the pictures from the 60′s XMEN cartoon are obviously Kirby-based. The “Iceman, running like an imbecile” one certainly isn’t.

the theme tune for the 80s x-men cartoon was f-ing sick

I’m somewhat addicted to the Captain America them song from the Marvel Superheroes.

DoubleWide check out this link:
http://tinyurl.com/6emtkz
It’s most of the Marvel cartoons from the 60′s

Scott MacIver check ou this link:
http://tinyurl.com/6mhs5v
The first time I had ever seen Wolverine was on that episode of “Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends”.

The themes from the other four 60s Marvel Superheroes show were more or less OK, but the Captain America theme has never been surpassed by *any* animated superhero series. Some were equally memorable (the Grantray-Lawrence “Spider-Man”, the WB “Superman”), but none better.

*Sigh* Yet another reminder of what a crime it is we don’t have Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends on DVD…

What amuses me about that first one is, when they removed Jubes in the first scene mentioned, they apparently added another error – take a look at Gambit’s hand in the ‘corrected’ screenshot. Either Remy’s been replaced with Reed Richards, or that table’s a cardboard cutout.

I went into HMV in England yesterday and found the first season of Spider-man and his amazing friends on DVD and also a collection of the Marvel Superheroes DVDs of the 60′s including the namor cartoons. I f people have multi-region DVD players I’m sure they could be ordered online.

“Well, Paul Levitz sounds like a whiny little git in that story, doesn’t he?”

Kind of, but then again I’m not really sure I want to think of Jay Garrick saying “You’re a credit to your people” to John Stewart.

I don’t know about “Pryde of the X-Men”, but Wolverine’s accent was Australian in at least one of his appearances on Spiderman/Amazing Friends.

(I think where Juggs attacks the school)

“THE ORIGIN OF FIRESTAR” THAT was the episode that got me into The X-Men. I saw issue 183 later that month and my cousin bought it for me and the rest is history. And I recently got it autographed by chris claremont ( who loved my story). THAT’S why they make these shows to get kids into the comics. i’ve been “making mine marvel” ever since

The 60s Marvel Toons are all on DVD… for region 2. Anyone with all-region players can order them from Amazon.co.uk like I did (And I’m in America!).

There’s supposedly a mention in an old issue of Wizard about how after so many delays, AKOM (original and majority animators of the 90s X-Men toon) president Nelson Shin was made to personally deliver to Fox/Saban HQ. Which he did. Except it was so unfinished there were numerous “scene missing” cards in almost every other scene! It probably wasn’t THAT bad, but that certainly turns things into an urban legend.

Akom gets a pretty bad rap. Their B:TAS episodes are the ugliest, after all, and season 1 of X-Men is pretty ugly. But they really did get their act together by season 2, and especially by the time Graz Animation, who were doing the layouts and main pre-production work on the show, folded into Dreamworks in 96. Episodes like “Bloodlines” and “Storm Front” really looked great. Unfortunately, once Graz was gone, they changed to Saban in-house for layouts and Philippine Animation Studio (the company who made their debut with the show by forgetting to cover Lady Deathstrike’s boobs properly, who were the pinch hitters for Akom from season 3 onward) became the main company doing the animation, and as such the final 6 episodes look just as bad as the first 6!

As for why no Marvel Super Heroes DVD in the US: During the 90s, Saban Entertainment ended up buying out all the rights to New World Animation, which got the rights to the Marvel toons by way of Marvel having been owned by New World Studios in the 80s! Anyway, Saban was buying loads of stuff, since they already owned X-Men and had a hand in Spider-Man (and were doing Hulk & Silver Surfer). So in 97, all the Marvel toons became part of Saban’s newly created Fox Family Worldwide. Which was then bought by Disney in 2001. So now it’s almost just like with the 60s Batman show, one company owns the shows themselves, one company owns the likeness and character rights. Disney owns the toons in the US, and Marvel gets to exercise their ownership of likenesses and such (meaning their lawsuit against Buena Vista, aka Disney? Is mainly grounded in the fact the DVDs they had done of the Fox Kids Marvel toons used ‘original’ artwork which they didn’t approve. Or something). Thus, other countries get these shows, and here, we’re awaiting lawsuits to thaw out.

But considering Disney owns JETIX, and they’ve just started running the vast majority of their Marvel toons again this Summer (which they stopped after the lawsuits started flinging), it seems like things may be getting straightened out. For the record, those Canadian releases currently being touted on TVShowsonDVD.com are some 8th level company using an old loophole to put their VHS tapes out in digital format. For instance, in 2002, the 60s Spidey toon came out in a DVD boxset, totally remastered from the original negatives by Disney. The Canadian DVDs out now use the original, second-gen unremastered stuff from a few 80s releases. They’re glorified, barely-semi official bootlegs, really.

Heh, fear my mutant brain!

The X-Men cartoon from the 90s sucked badly, even if you disregard how childish it was. “The Pryde of the X-Men” despite some shortcomings was really good though.

An animated adaptation of a comic being delayed 3 times for finally being aired with unfinished art….

Irony, irony…

Spiderman and his Amazing Friends has just benn released as a region 2 4-disc box-set which features all 24 episdes from the three series.Series 1 was released a while ago seperately.series 2 and 3 have just been released as a combined set as well.So there is quite a choice.The release is currently being advertised in SCI-FI monthlies e.g. SFX.Can’t believe this hasn’t been released in region 1 format first.Makes a change to have something available this side of the atlantic first.

I’m surprised they fixed up the X-Men episodes at all. Batman: TAS and its decendents notwithstanding, kids cartoons aren’t known for their exacting standards (e.g. Transformers- I think there were at least two coloring mistakes per episode).

I remember seeing “Pryde of the X-Men” listed in the t.v. section of the newspaper and not believing it. An actual X-Men cartoon? Awesome! I remember being disappointed there was no X-Men cartoon the following week. I spent an awful lot of quarters on the arcade game based on that cartoon, however.

Didn’t that Morph guy lose his head in the first episode of the 90s X-Men series? I seem to remember that being the case. Am I wrong.

A kid from my High School actually got his family to get him a 7-string guitar like what Steve Vai plays and played it at the talent show. Very impressive, considering how difficult it is to play his stuff.

my favorite part of that Sub-mariner episode was iceman’s 75 year old smoker’s voice

“Pryde of the X-Men” was actually pretty decent. Good animation for the time, and holds up well today. I’m surprised it never became a series. Anyone remember the arcade game based on it?

I also became a fan of the X-men through Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends…

Brian from Canada

October 27, 2008 at 5:46 am

DVDs only premiere in the US *if* (a) it’s a show presently on television, (b) the show originates in the US, and (c) the producers do not have a co-production or licensing agreement that allows the UK broadcaster first rights of distribution.

None of the Marvel cartoons pre-MTV’s Spider-Man are affected by this. In fact, they can be released by whoever has the rights for that region. Since Marvel is only concerned with the domestic market (i.e., North America), it allows the UK to have whatever it wants whenever it wants.

Thus the UK doesn’t have to wait until there’s a cross-promotion to tag a DVD release to. DC’s really well known for this; Superman Returns was joined on DVD here in North America with re-releases of all four previous films (and Supergirl), along with Superboy season one. Batman: Gotham Knight came out around the time Dark Knight hit theatres, The Complete Animated Series box set is being timed around The Dark Knight’s DVD release.

The most famous Marvel-related one was the Dungeons & Dragons animated series — out for years before the US got it. However, once Hasbro really asked for it, a deal was struck and the DVDs came out… with bonus unaired final episode done as a radio play.

IF Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends comes on DVD to North America, expect it to be with the theatrical release of Spider-Man 4. Or an OAV release. But not before that.

Is it true the X-men cartoon was canceled because it was doing too well, drawing away from the popularity of Disney programs?

Also, can you confirm an early draft of the X-Men II movie was based on “God Loves, Man Kills”?

W-What? I am the only one that LOVED 90′s X-Men Cartoon? It wasn’t cheesy or childish, at that time I’ve never seen a cartoon that mature aired on an kids channel! (I saw It in an Argentinian kids local channel). I mean, hate against mutants, Morph going crazy and dying, Gyrich being a mutant hater and discovering being son of Mystique, the love triangle between Wolverine Cyclops and Jean, Rogue’s ex-boyfriend entering in comma after kissing Her, Storm not being able to express her deepest emotions cause that could make her a crazy storm-goddess, Rogue beated by her dad for being mutant, Lilandra giving the order of killing Phoenix despite her love for Xavier and so on. That was the reason why I started to buy marvel Comics, for God’s sake.
And I really liked the X-Men theme, I thought It was the official theme or something, and I was very dissapointed of not hearing It again….

X-Men, the 90s Fox show, was canceled simply because the people who were running Fox Kids at the time felt the show had run it course. Between having 76 episodes already, and the usual ratings decline any series gets the longer its on, the decision to end it and start up some new series about another Marvel property was easy for them (like Silver Surfer or Avengers). Of course, this was way before the movies, and once the first one was in the works, Marvel was dealing with DC’s parent company, and thus came X-Men: Evolution. X-Men originally didn’t perform that well when it went to daily reruns: Fall 95 started the strip run of seasons 1-3 on Fox Kids, which was cut short in January 96 (literally at the last minute). Even in Summer 96, X-Men lost its Saturday slot, sending it to Fridays. This was the time when choosing to continue the show would’ve been made, and with results like that, it’s no wonder they ended it. I don’t recall it ever performing immensely well in repeats, since the Saban Syndication of it in 97-98 wasn’t exactly huge, and the same goes for its UPN Kids Sunday run in 98-99. Maybe the Summer 2000 return to Fox Kids did well? Obviously not well enough to insure it stuck around for long. But when they ran it on ABC Family, I do recall it doing bigger than it had in a long while.

It’s the Fox Kids Spider-Man show that has the best history of “you idiots!” to the guys running the channel. Initial order of 65 episodes, it does huge at the start, begins to taper off as they go along, so nobody orders an extention. Those running the series figure “hey, X-Men got an extention, so let’s not wrap everything up at once” (sort of like comics decompression half a decade early!) The guys running the network pretty much write off Spidey, burning off a few eps in the Summer, even taking it off Saturdays for its last season. But then, don’t ya know it, its reruns turn massive numbers during 1998. And even 99. So they scramble to revive it, but everybody involved has gone elsewhere, so they scrounge up “Spider-Man Unlimited” to try to compete with “Batman Beyond” (instead of just continuing, ya know, what was WORKING to begin with). It gets canceled within 2 episodes thanks to the Pokemon boom, while the 90s Spidey toon continues to successfully air reruns!

It wasn’t cheesy or childish, at that time I’ve never seen a cartoon that mature aired on an kids channel!

Does that pre-date The Phantom 2040? That holds that title for me.

does anyone remember at the END of an episode aired on fox. they showed some x-men cartoon that was anime style. if so, let me know if it was an actual episode and what it was called

Well, Phantom 2040 wasn’t aired in Argentina, I can’t tell

Is it just me or didnt the X-Men theme have some striking similarities to a Rod Stewart song that came out about the same time or just a few years before? I had always wondered about that.

The Fiendish Dr. Samsara

November 11, 2008 at 12:55 pm

“The Iron Man, Thor and Sub-Mariner features were presented particularly well, considering there was very little animation. I can still picture the dramatic panels of Iron Man fighting the original Black Knight, Thor battling Hercules and Namor taking it to The Seaweed Monster during “The Quest”.”

My four-year old daughter is a fiend for superheroes. A few months ago, it dawned on me to look for the Marvel Superheroes on YouTube. N9w, I hadn’t seen these cartoons sicne the early 70′s when soem local station showed them in the afternoons.

I was stunned.

Although the use of the original art was done to be cheap (and sucks for Kirby), the result was that these cartoons actually feel like the comics brought to life (choppy, semi-animated life, but still). And, becuase they are using the comic art, the stories are not as dumbed-down-for-television as kost cartoon versions of the comics.

I do hope for a nice, DVD edition one day.

“It’s not like Steve Vai has not done some cheezy stuff in the past, like that Ralph Macchio movie during the 80s!”

Hey I enjoyed Crossroads….

I, too, enjoyed Crossroads(not the Britney Spears one, the Ralph Macchio one)…it’s an awesome movie if you like the blues! The cheesiest part about the whole thing is when Steve Vai and Ralph Macchio are “Cuttin’ Heads”. Also, awesome post, as I absolutely LOVED the animated X-Men when I was a younger geek…

Now that Disney owes Marvel, and presumably the rights to the MSH tv show AND the character likenesses….why can’t we get those classics on disc, STILL??

There ARE authorized DVD sets of several characters’ episodes from Marvel SuperHeroes.
Unfortunately, they’re British DVDs, encoded “Region 2″ (America is “Region 1″) and only play on region-free players here in the USA.

[...] my opinion, X-Men is a terrible cartoon with a wonderful theme song. It's composed by Shuki Levy, who's got a pretty impressive list of [...]

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives