X-Men sold so poorly during the 1960s, it was cancelled for several years. When it relaunched in 1975, it became the most successful comic series in the world for decades. 1991's X-Men #1, for instance, sold 8.1 million copies, making it the best selling comic of all time.
Since X-Men seemed unstoppable, an adaptation sounded like the next logical step. Said adaptation arrived with the advent of the X-Men animated series, which debuted in 1992 and became an instant success. Even the creator of the series, Stan Lee, said the writers found more depth in the characters than he ever did while he was writing the comics.
Although there have been about a dozen cartoons based on the team since, the 1992 version is often considered to be the best animated incarnation of the team ever.
However, how X-Men came to be is just as entertaining as the show itself. Nobody thought it would succeed. In fact, one of the show's writers got chosen just a day before he started working on it. The whole thing was nearly cancelled twice by the time the first episode aired.
There are a whole host of fascinating facts about the nineties X-Men show, but these ones are the most mind-blowing of all...
10. The Whole Show Was Scrapped And Reworked After One Episode
Nowadays, it's common knowledge that X-Men had a failed pilot called Pryde of the X-Men. However, few people know the process of how that episode came to be.
Margaret Loesche, who was the executive producer of the show (as well as Spider-Man), was looking for a new cartoon to produce. Reading Marvel comics for research, she believed X-Men had more potential due to dealing with complex themes like racism, segregation, and prejudice. For eight years studios rejected her proposal, saying that the team was too obscure.
When the show was finally greenlit the studio still wasn't sure it would become a hit, and so decided to overstuff the pilot episode with as many characters as possible, hoping it would sell toys.
The episode wasn't bad. It was just... ok. Now, "ok" is fine for most cartoons. Kids aren't expecting Citizen Kane or anything. They just need to watch something entertaining for 20 minutes.
But Margaret Loesch didn't want the show to be ok. She wanted it to be great and so, reworked and recast everything. She was told that if the first season didn't bring in the ratings, she was fired.
After many months, the new pilot was ready to debut... but the problems didn't stop there.