If I had been into comic books in 1963, being 11 at the time would have been a very good age to start reading about Marvel’s X-Men. However, it would take almost 30 years and the release of the first animated series based on the characters before I was bitten by the superhero bug.
Sure, I had always loved superheroes. After all, I was raised on Superman and Batman, but the shows that DC and Marvel produced in the 60s through 80s generally sucked. Later I liked “He-Man and The Masters of The Universe” and “ThunderCats”. However, I was in my thirties when the shows appeared and in those days mature men didn’t admit to liking cartoon shows.
When “X-Men: The Animated Series” arrived in late ’92 I was captivated by the entire presentation and the concept behind the plight of the mutants. I readily identified with the how people who are different in ways that ordinary humans couldn’t comprehend became outcasts. It immediately made me think that the producers of the series were aiming at not just geeks and nerds, but at gays and every other group who had faced unjustified prejudice, too. The amazing thing was that the outcasts here were the real heroes, not just disposable secondaries.
I have loved every thing connected with the X-Men since that first series aired. Bryan Singer, a gay film director, eventually brought the team to the big screen and their success has paved the way for the current onslaught of superhero movies.
Right now, Marvel’s Avengers are the biggest draw in comics because of the outrageous success of 2012’s movie featuring those superheroes in action. Someday soon, DC will hopefully succeed with a movie about its most important team, the Justice League of America. Yes, I’ll be excited to follow the adventures of all of those superheroes. But the exploits of the uncanny X-Men will always be my first love. That’s because they’re the best.
HAPPY 50TH, X-MEN!