behind-the-scenes, X-Men Show


Who would have thought that a “boys action” superhero series played on Saturday mornings would be full of romance?  Yet it was.  Everyone knows that Scott and Jean were engaged to be married — and that Wolverine had to struggle with his feelings for her.  Wolverine was old enough (95) and sufficiently romantic that he had former lovers littered across the globe.  Professor X and Dr. Moira McTaggart had cared deeply for one another, and surely Gambit felt some true affection underneath his non-stop flirting.  Beast fell for a blind girl whose sight he restored.  And Rogue yearned for a man’s touch that forever eluded her.   Even Jubliee had a short flirtation (Longshot).  Saturday morning cartoons aren’t supposed to showcase adult love and heartbreak.  Few ever have or ever will.  But we insisted that X-MEN:TAS was peopled with intense adults who would have these feelings.  And much to the surprise of the endless experts who constantly told us and still tell us to make shows “age appropriate,” our audience loved these moments.  Five-year-olds may not know what adult love and yearning entail, but they understand personal attachment and caring and the drama inherent in threats to both.  There was some basis for the Scott-Jean-Wolverine love triangle in the books (though X-MEN:TAS writer Bob Skir takes some credit for highlighting it — let the debate begin).  But I’m pretty sure the Wolverine/Storm kiss in our time-travel story “One Man’s Worth” is our original.  Time travelers tell future Wolverine and Storm that they must go back in time to change the world.  But this would mean that they wouldn’t have each other.  Wolverine says screw it — he’s not going to give up their love, even to save the whole world.  To paraphrase Casablanca: “Yes, he loves her that much.”  But Storm is more clear-headed: they must do their duty.  She gives Logan a heart-felt kiss, and the adventure to save the planet begins.



2 thoughts on “X-MEN:TAS ROMANCES”

  1. I loved the depth of the X-Men cartoon. Batman had moments, but Bruce Wayne was a loner who could never let anyone get close. Spider-Man had Peter’s love for Mary Jane, and that was certainly compelling. But the X-Men cartoon showed it and highlighted it the most for sure. I loved Scott and Jean’s relationship, in the comics and in the show. The comics really messed around with it, in the 80s and later in the 2000s (the latter best forgotten). But they AND their relationship really were the backbone of the whole deal.

    By the time Scott and Jean actually got married in the mid-90s in the comics, Wolverine was basically long-since over his infatuation with Jean, which had mainly been a 70s thing. In fact, Scott and Logan mostly got along by that point, not FRIENDS per say, but there was mutual trust and respect. But Scott and Jean, to me, as a pre-teen and then teen, was a big deal. Even with all of the drama and danger they had to deal with, they had each other. And that was, and is, the kind of relationship I want. I’ve always wanted to find “my Jean”. And that was, again, due in large part to your show and your portrayal of those characters.

  2. As someone who was in your target audience back when this show came out, I always appreciated media that didn’t talk down to me. Experts are always trying to define what kids can or can’t handle, but they’re smarter and more capable of understanding things than people give them credit for these days. Just look at things like Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Today the experts would tell you those are to intense for young minds, but whole generations grew up on those.

    Thank you for taking us seriously.

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