Flashback Friday: X-Men The Animated Series

(Image: Marvel Comics)

Previously, On X-Men…..

That’s how my Saturday mornings began back in the early 1990’s when I was a kid. X-Men the Animated Series made its debut on the Fox Kids network in October 31, 1992 and fandom would never be the same again. This cartoon series is responsible for creating a generation of life long super hero/comic book fans.

The show was more than just your average Saturday morning cartoon show. It was ahead of its time. It dealt with mature themes, like persecution, bigotry and hate in a meaningful way. Plot lines that were planted in the first season pay later in the fourth and fifth seasons. That’s common for live action dramas but outside of anime, was practically unheard of for cartoons at that time. The show as also very inclusive as the team was comprised of four men and four women. All characters were shown to be equal and had their moments.

Some of my favorite episodes include the two part pilot, The Night of the Sentinels. Right from the start, I knew this show was something different as a main character was killed off. I can’t really remember an American cartoon show doing something so bold at that time. The series also adapted classic X-Men stories like Days of Future Past, Fatal Attractions and the Dark Phoenix Saga. Other stand out episodes include the team taking on the Sentinel creating machine, Master Mold, Wolverine’s fight against Sabretooth any episode with Apocalypse and I could keep going.

This show is THE reason why I am a comic book fan today. I was given Batman and Spider-Man comics as a kid, but not until this show did I seek comic books on my own. Knowing that I could also read about these characters made me want to hunt down their adventures. My story is similar to many others as I said before, this transformed a generation of children into fans.

Of course, I can’t talk about this show without mentioning the theme song. The rock like intro hyped me up every Saturday for what I was about to witness. Play the theme to any 90’s kid and most will instantly recognize it. I’m surprised the films have yet to use it but I’m sure it will eventually will be. Now the show was not perfect, and it does not hold up as well as I would have liked, but the impact of this cartoon cannot be understated.

Were you a fan of the X-Men Animated Series growing up? What were some of your favorite characters and episodes? Let us know in the comments below as well as our Facebook and Twitter page.

Written by Eddie Sampson

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