X-Men:TAS

BEAST, HANK, OR DR. HENRY MCCOY?

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Names.  How do you remember important characters that have multiple names?  Is it Logan or Wolverine?  Magnus, Magneto, or Erik Lehnsherr?  Since I had to decide what people called each other in the approximately 20,000 lines of dialogue in X-MEN:TAS, it became important.  Like most writers, I tried to fit the name to the circumstance and the speaker.  I had  Magento always refer to his old friend as “Charles.”  Calling him “Professor Xavier” or even “Professor” as others might would sound silly.  (Only Wolverine occasionally called him “Chuck.”)  A fellow professional might refer to Beast as “Dr. McCoy,” but the X-Men never did.  (I tried not to use this formal name without “Henry” in it because of the Star Trek Doctor McCoy.  If anyone cares, yes, our Dr. McCoy came first.)  “Beast” or “Hank” or even “Hank McCoy” could be equally friendly and informal.  This seems simple, straightforward logic, but late in the first season I discovered I had a problem.  Stan Lee hated using various names for characters.  If in a quiet moment I wanted Professor X to call his life-long friend “Magnus,” Stan objected.  Magneto was always “Magneto,” Wolverine was never “Logan.”  He seemed to believe that superhero names needed to be reinforced, that audiences would get confused if variation were allowed.  Despite all of Stan’s awe-inspiring accomplishments, I found this attitude limiting.  I wasn’t required to follow his suggestions, but I wanted to where I could.  Luckily he only gave us notes for the first dozen episodes.  From then on we were free to use the name most appropriate for the situation.

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The character in the top picture is clearly “Beast.” He is “Hank” or “Dr. McCoy” in the lower one.  Nowhere did we call him “The Beast” as he was sometimes in the comics.

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We’re Eric Lewald & Julia Lewald, two members of the creative force behind the animated X-Men series of the ’90s looking to celebrate and share our appreciation for it with the fan base that made this show the culture-changing mega-hit it is today.

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