X-Men: The Animated Series
A change is coming. A new breed of man, gifted with strange and frightening powers, has emerged. Many of these mutants believe they should rule—and that open conflict with the human majority is inevitable. Hated and feared by those they've sworn to protect, one group stands in defense of a world on the brink of genetic war. Cyclops. Wolverine. Storm. Jean Grey. Rogue. Beast. Gambit. Jubilee. Students of Professor Charles Xavier. Mutants all, children of the atom who have banded together to defend their kind from prejudice and persecution. United, they form a team dedicated to bringing humanity together in peace. Stan Lee presents… X-Men: The Animated Series.
At the height of the X-Men's popularity in the (love or hate) 90s era, Fox debuted X-Men: The Animated Series on Oct 31st, 1992. The series was Marvel's second attempt to at animated X-Men after their failed "Pryde of the X-Men". The series was developed around the Claremont/Byrne/Cockrum era, using Jim Lee's designs, set in the (then) modern 90s using the main comic cast at that time. During this five season run they retold many classic X-Stories: Phoenix Saga, Proteus, Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, Fall of the Mutants, X-tinction Agenda, Mutant Genesis, Phalanx Covenant, Age of Apocalypse, etc. The series ended on Sept 20th, 1997.
The animated series is Marvel's longest running cartoon at 76 episodes. Spider-Man: The Animated series comes in second with 65 episodes, including a two part episode "Mutant Agenda" which brings the animated X-Men cast over to the Spider-Man cartoon. Storm, would later return in the final season for a "Secret Wars" four part episode.
The show was both acclaimed and commercially successful. Along with Batman: The Animated Series, the series success helped launch numerous comic book shows in the 1990s. In its prime, X-Men garnered very high ratings for a Saturday morning cartoon, and like Batman: The Animated Series, it received wide critical praise for its portrayal of many different storylines from the comics and adult themes. In 2009, IGN ranked X-Men as the 13th greatest animated show of all time in their Top 100 list, the third-highest standing for a comic book-adapted show on the list. The show also ranks in at 106 on IMDB's Highest Rated TV Shows with At Least 5,000 Votes. A spin-off titled "X-Men Adventures" ran along side the series and printed the retold cartoon episodes in comic form. The entire series is now available on DVD, but prior it was one of the most requested TV on DVDs.
Many fanboys and non-fanboys alike credit the series as their first exposure to the X-Men. The cast remains to be the most well known X-team to date, as well as some of the most well known comic characters. Celebrate, appreciate, and love not hate the best there is at what they do, the strangest teens of all... X-Men: The Animated Series!