1 9 9 2 – 1 9 9 6 (USA)
76 x 25 minute episodes
Based on the Marvel Comic book, which first appeared in 1963, this animated series featured the exploits of superheroic mutants who worked for the good of mankind on Earth in spite of being rejected and feared by the public.
Calm, bald Professor Charles Xavier (voiced by Cedric Smith) – known as Professor X – had the ability to transmit thoughts telepathically and read minds and led the crew of mutants, convincing them to practice their powers at his Academy for Gifted Children.
The mutants had become aware of their powers while they were teenagers, and as the hulking but all-knowing X-Man, Beast, succinctly put it, their mutations came from “Gamma rays, pollution, ozone depletion . . . television.”
Scott Summers – known as “Cyclops” and voiced by Norm Spencer – stored solar energy which he used to shoot beams from his glasses, and was the nominal head of missions.
Other X-Men included “Wolverine” (also known as Logan and voiced by Cal Dodd), a hot-headed loner with long retractable claws capable of cutting virtually anything; “Rogue” (Lenore Zann), a combative Southern Belle who absorbed the strengths of others to fuel her powers; suave Cajun “Gambit” – real name, Remy LeBeau (voiced by Chris Potter at first and then Tony Daniels) – who could charge objects to explode, and “Storm” – known as “Mistress of the Elements” because she was able to control the weather (voiced initially by Iona Morris and then Alison Sealy-Smith).
Professor X’s aide, Jean Grey – also known as “Phoenix” – also possessed telekinetic and telepathic powers.
The premiere episode introduced the latest addition to the group, the adolescent “Jubilee” (born Jubilation Lee), who had the electromagnetic power to blast others away. She was abducted by robots working for the Mutant Control Agency, a private organisation “occasionally supported by the government” which tried to suppress the X-Men.
After the X-Men freed Jubilee, she joined them in their adventures against fantastic foes such as Magneto, Apocalypse and the genocidal robots known as the Sentinels while they tried in vain to convince their fellow humans that mutants deserved fair treatment.
X-Men was an immediate success, leading Fox to the top of the Saturday morning market by the mid-1990s and leaving the audience wondering why the rather intelligently written cartoon had not appeared sooner (a syndicated pilot did appear in 1988 with a somewhat different cast).
The show had its pilot debut as a two-part special on 31 October and 7 November 1992 before debuting as a series proper in early 1993.
Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X)
Cyclops (Scott Summers)
Gambit (Remy LeBeau)
Chris Potter (1)
Tony Daniels (2)
Iona Morris (1)
Alison Sealy-Smith (2)
Jubilee (Jubilation Lee)
Jean Grey (Phoenix)