O hai! It’s Lisa M! Welcome to my X-Men Animated Series nostalgia-fest recaps. You might be asking: Of all the ’90s cartoons you could be recapping, why X-Men?
The answer: X-Men fueled my feminist and geeky tendencies when I was but a wee Lisa M, and helped to shape me into the person I am today.
Really? All that from a cartoon? Yep.
Let’s break it down: out of the shows on TV, X-Men was the only one that had a blend of the following things: superheroes; action; multiple female adult characters; complex characters; main characters who were ostracized; and, of course, space pirates. Lady space pirates, to be specific.
One of the reasons that multiple adult female characters were so important is because I have a sister (and also so that episodes could pass the Bechel test, not that 8-year-old me knew what that was). When we played Ninja Turtles, she always got to be April because she was older. I had to play a turtle. When we played Batman, we had to have wild Deus Ex Machina storylines to turn villains into heroes to enable our make-believe. Then, when we wanted to play villains, we had to make those up because all the interesting ones had been turned into heroes. Not so with the X-Men. We had several female characters to choose from (she was generally Storm, and I was generally Rogue, though for a period there I was Queen Mary Sue herself, Jean Gray. And, when we got older, we started inventing our own X-Men characters).
Despite my love for the series, I never really got into the comics. For one thing, comics is something that, as a kid, you do kind of have to have someone to show you the ropes. They don’t work like book series, what with different universes, spinoffs, and the like. I’ve read some of the early ones and most of Astonishing X-Men, but there are too many different universes for me to have any desire to keep track of. For me, the Animated Series canon IS canon, end of story.
So the moral of the story is that X-Men rocked my socks when I was a kid and I am super-excited for an excuse to watch it again and share my love of it with you all.