One can argue that X-Men: The Animated Series is the best version of X-Men ever put to screen and maybe even the best version of X-Men in general. It obviously has the best theme song.
But I'm not here to rile up a bunch of comic-book fans into re-aggravating old carpal tunnel injuries, so I think we can just all agree that The Animated Series was pretty damn great and still be intrigued by this next bit of news. Larry Houston, the former director/producer of X-Men: The Animated Series, revealed that there have been talks with Disney about a possible revival. Said Houston, "We've made conversation, and it's up to them to make the decision, but we've let them know that we're all available for whatever they want to do in the future."
This should be cause for celebration, but for some reason, beams of light aren't shooting out of my ass, and it's not just because I fail to possess any of the same mutant abilities as Jubilee. (I'm actually more of a Dazzler.) The truth is, I worry this is one '90s reboot that's best left alone. X-Men succeeded because, in my opinion, it took itself so, so, seriously, despite being ridiculous.
The cast delivers their lines like they are part of the 90210 extended universe. This isn't a superhero cartoon. It's a soap opera about mutants in tights and every moment, from Wolverine screaming to the heavens at the prospect of killing Jean, to him revealing that he hates ducks, is given 100% commitment and sincerity. That's why it ruled.
Modern shows, though, never take themselves as seriously. Just look Teen Titans Go!, the rebooted version of Teen Titans, which addresses the 4th wall within this clip:
There are plenty of other shows like this. The Powerpuff Girls reboot is much more self-aware than it's original. So too are the various Batman revivals. It's the trend of the time right now for the creators to wink at the audience and let everyone know that they, too, are in on the joke. But is that really for the better? I'd argue no, at least not for X-Men. We don't need a scene where Charles Xavier is choosing between Keeps and Hims in a bid to regrow his hair. We don't Wolverine ironically calling people "bub" and hamming it up as he says it because he too is aware of how dorky it sounds. Unfortunately, I'm skeptical modern audiences would be able to process a superhero show that isn't draped in 15 layers of irony.
Yeah, let's give it a shot.
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Top Image: Saban Entertainment