People often ask how we decided on what stories to tell. Every TV series has this dilemma: where do you focus? Is it big action spectacle? Surprise plot twists? “Big-idea” social themes? Exotic adventure? Old fan favorites? Links in a continuing saga? Newly revealed powers? Every one of those concerns is important, but the key for me was the characters. TV series live and die on how the viewer feels about the main characters. Everyone remembers Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, or even Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet. You know them like they are your family, because they are. Super-fans know plot details and favorite visuals, but all viewers cherish the characters. You can interchange one planet or villain in a Star Trek episode with little effect, but you can’t just substitute Scotty for Mr. Spock. They are unique and they resonate. That’s how Mark Edens and I laid out the first 26 episodes. We didn’t know the X-Men world any better than many first-time viewers (though we learned it quickly). We looked at the core cast we were given and asked: what stories will best showcase their individual characters? What’s the strongest “Storm story” or “Wolverine story.” Unless the audience knows and loves these people by the end of the first season, we’ve failed. That’s why we chose “The Cure” to showcase Rogue. We asked: which X-Men member might be lonely and desperate enough to want to get “cured” of his or her mutant nature? The one who can’t touch another human being. Every other bit of that story — villains, action, locations — became secondary to exploring what being a mutant meant to Rogue. We offered her a false hope that she could “opt out” of what she was, and she was tempted. So of all the X-Men merchandise I have seen over the past 24 years, the art below is one of my favorites. Enjoy.