Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fifty-fifth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
As we've been doing it for some time now, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.
Stan Lee was originally going to narrate the opening credits of the X-Men Animated Series
The opening credits of the X-Men Animated Series have becoming iconic.
However, did you know that they were almost DRAMATICALLY different?
You see, when the series began, the series was going to have an opening narrated by Stan "The Man" Lee!
You may or may not recall that Stan Lee was the narrator on the second and third seasons of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (they also had him go back and re-narrate the first season).
Since the narration isn't really necessary, most of the episodes take Lee's narration off of them when they re-air nowadays (so they don't have to pay Stan Lee any royalties).
When the X-Men first had a try for a series, the infamous "Pryde of the X-Men," Stan Lee was along for the narrating...
Anyhow, when the X-Men Animated Series was set to come out, Stan was again going to be the one who did the narration for the series, only this time it would be in the famous opening credits!
The show runner of the series, Eric Lewald, wrote a great book called Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series
You can buy a copy of the book right from the publisher right here.
In the book, Eric describes how he did his best to at least TRY an opening narration for Lee, writing the following opening which would be delivered by Lee as Professor X...
OPENING 45-SECOND TITLE NARRATION
ROUGH FIRST ATTEMPT (5-25-92)
EXT. EARTH - SEEN FROM SPACE
The earth turns slowly. Have moody music, portending trouble.
PROFESSOR XAVIER (V.O.) Our world is experiencing a great transformation.
SHOW various action shots of X-Men and villains showcasing their powers, both in battle and in everyday use.
PROFESSOR XAVIER (V.O.) Genetic mutations have caused the emergence of a new species whose members possess powers so fantastic that they challenge the very notion of what it means to be human.
Show various shots of human crowds being scared, getting angry.
PROFESSOR XAVIER (V.O.) As fear of these super beings spreads among normal human populations –
SHOW mutants trying to fit in, being rebuffed, becoming sad, then angry.
PROFESSOR XAVIER (V.O.) – the mutants struggle to find their rightful place in societies around the globe.
Show humans attacking mutants, ending with some fighting back.
PROFESSOR XAVIER (V.O.) But fear breeds distrust and hatred. Mutants are being persecuted. Some are fighting back.
Show X-Men helping humans during crisis moments.
PROFESSOR XAVIER (V.O.) A peace must be found. Only then can humans and mutants build the trust and understanding needed to make the world safe for us all.
Show Xavier, the school, the War Room, Cerebro, instructing X-Men in the Danger Room, testifying in Congress.
PROFESSOR XAVIER (V.O.) I am Professor Charles Xavier. I have dedicated my life to teaching mutants to use their powers to help find a way for mutants and humans to live together.
Showcase upbeat demonstrations of the X-Men’s powers, ending with a smiling CU of Xavier approving their work.
PROFESSOR XAVIER (V.O.) The “X-Men,” men and women with X-traordinary powers, are my students, my children – my life.
Windup: heroic group shot, pull back to wide vista/sunset, heroic exit shot.
PROFESSOR XAVIER (V.O.) They fight for a better future for all of us. They are the world’s last, best hope.
That did not work and nor did Lee's personal attempt at an opening (which stressed atomic bomb testing and stuff like that), so Eric was eventually able to get the idea to be dropped, despite Lee really pushing for it (it did not hurt that Lee would get paid to do this for every episode).
Luckily, the final theme that we got was a total classic!
Thanks for the information, Eric! Everyone, go buy that book! It is so interesting!
Check out some legends from Legends Revealed:
Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week's legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!