We started this site in July, so this is our first holiday season. Our family always takes a holiday picture. This year we celebrate X-MEN, a larger family that has given us so much over the years. You can see in the photo that the extended Lewald family are all fans, espcially our niece, who is helping us on the X-MEN:TAS book. Please forgive the infrequent posts this month: there is always more to do over the holidays than you plan for. Best wishes from the xmentas.com crew, and here’s to an X-ceptional 2017. Eric & Julia.
I heard there was a movie coming out today with the name of one of our X-MEN:TAS team in the title. And since there is only one Rogue, I can’t see how I could be mistaken. Let’s hope that “Rogue One” lives up to our hero’s name.
Yuriko is all up-in-arms over the fact that we have reached another Twitter milestone on @xmentas. 4000 followers. Real fans, no bots. Thanks again for your continued interest and for telling your friends about us. It seems we have established a basic pace — adding 1000 people about every month-and-a-half. We appreciate the response and will never take it for granted. As we look forward to the publication of the X-MEN:TAS book (currently set for mid-July, with 32 cast and crew interviews completed so far), a little teaser of a look ahead: There’s a sub-chapter about a controversy over Lady Deathstryke’s design. No spoilers. You’ll just have to guess for now.
You’ll have to forgive me. I have friends shivering in Toronto, Boston, Denver, and Minneapolis, and I’m down here in Southern California laid up with a cold. So no deep thoughts the last couple of days. And today, just fun. Since we went online in July, we have seen thousands of X-MEN:TAS-realted images. Some of them just make me smile. Today I have deceided to arbitrarily make the first of many occasional posts just for the fun of it. December is a time for “best of” lists. So I thought I’d start with the Cosplay image that I liked best over the past year, that of Mystique in mid-shape-shift. It is hard to “animate” cosplay, yet this ingenious young woman managed it perfectly. Thanks for the memories as I chug chicken soup.
There is an endless fascination of “who would beat who” in the immense, ever-expanding world of superheroes. I can’t imagine a more classic (and over-used) comic-book cover than the pairing of one beloved character or team against another. It’s also a no-brainer for 2-D or 3-D-Fighter video games: combat is their essence. Feature movies have tried “A vs. B” with mixed success (Alien vs. Predator, The Avengers: Civil War). It doesn’t even need to make any sense — it just sets up a challenge, a deeply human competition complete with a satifying mix of spectacle. It compels us: we gotta know who wins. I was reminded of this yesterday when I saw the announcement of the most recent Capcom-vs.-Marvel game, “Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite,” specially featuring characters from X-Men and Street Fighter (see below). This spoke to me since I and producer Will Muegniot and my wife Julia and writer Michael Edens were part of the core creative teams on both of these animated series, nearly back-to-back. Their worlds were so different that it never would have occurred to any of us to pit one set of characters against the other. But that didn’t stop a more imaginative Capcom from creating a 20-year run of incredibly successful games. Powers and fighting were an essential part of our stories on X-MEN:TAS and even more so on Streetfighter:TAS. But the human side of the characters was even more important to us. We could tell a good story with very little fighting, but we couldn’t tell a lasting story without the humanity.
I’m not sure that we did Gambit justice. I feel like I know Logan and Scott and Jean and Hank and Rogue and Jubilee and Prof X, but I’m not sure I know Remy Le Beau. Part of that is because for X-MEN:TAS we needed Gambit to be mysterious. Twice in the first season we had the team seriously doubt Gambit’s loyalty: on “Slave Island” and during our version of “Days of Future Past.” If our audience didn’t truly believe that Gambit might be guilty of betraying his friends the stories wouldn’t have worked. We could have never tried that with Cyclops or Beast — no one would have bought it. Gambit was a recent Marvel addition and started out with a mysterious background: semi-mystical backwoods allegiences, semi-hidden past. The mystery made him distinct from all of our other heroes. It also fit with his overt sexiness (Gambit was recently voted near the top of this category in pop culture history). Little sexuality is allowed in kids’ TV — we gave most of our allotment to Gambit (and Rogue). A movie has been in the works for quite a while, starring Channing Tatum (below, right). Our Gambit, Chris Potter (below, left), would have actually had the right look for the character during the years we recorded him. Word has been that the feature movie has been a tough nut to crack. I symptathize: it’s tough writing for a man of mystery.
CHRIS POTTER CHANNING TATUM