We all dream when we’re young. Some of us dream bigger than others. The man who designed X-MEN: The Animated Series and directed its course for its crucial first season had the nerve, as an adolescent comic-book fan, to write to Stan Lee and ask him how to get into the comics business. I can only imagine how earnest and sincere Will Meugniot’s original letter was. You can see Marvel’s thoughtful response below. The vision Will had for himself was a crucial element in our show’s success. Twenty-six years after that letter, Will cared enough about a comic-book to fight every needed fight — and there were a lot of them — to keep X-MEN:TAS on track . I’m sure teen-aged Will had no idea that he would one day find himself responsible for much of the creative direction of what would become, by some measures, the most successful comic-book-based series in television history, animated or live-action. But sometimes it pays to dream big.
The Logan blu-ray that we got today has a black-and-white version of the film along with the theatrical release. How appropriate. Two of the characters that have meant the most to many of us for decades fight heroically and die — as all great heroes need to. The original movie’s look is grim and de-saturated to start with, leaving black-and-white the only way it could be made “darker.”
In late 1974, Marvel Comics employee Len Wein was given a heads up by his boss that the long-suspended X-Men title might come back, but this time with a more international team. Taking a chance, he made a guest star that he was working on for a Hulk story a short, gruff Canadian mutant – just in case there might be a place for him on the X-Men team. There was. Then in late 1992, thanks to the underappreciated voice-over actor Cal Dodd, we all heard Logan’s proper voice for the first time: “I go… where I wanna go…”
In Logan, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart act their hearts out, knowing this is the end. Much as we yearn for it to be a perfect movie, it isn’t. But Logan and Charles don’t let us down. We have depended upon their strength and commitment for decades, and now, despite being enfeebled and in doubt, they persevere.
That’s the new title! I handed in the second draft of the book yesterday, and the publisher and I and a dozen cast and crew that I asked all agreed it’s the best title.
Previously on X-MEN
The Making of an Animated Series
Current estimated publishing date is September 1, 2017.
In celebration, Julia and I are taking a short vacation back in Tennessee, where the co-writers of much of the series live. Mark and Michael Edens wrote “The Phoenix Saga” five-part episode with me, so it’s only right that we have Phoenix, below, helping us celebrate.