It's been more than five years since Marvel Comics' X-Men have starred in their own animated television series. Despite being one of the publisher's most popular group of characters, the X-Men have given way to the likes of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy when it comes to animated adventures.
Fans have held out hope that a new X-Men series would come along to rival the pop culture phenomenon that was X-Men: The Animated Series, but so far those hopes have come up empty. There were conflicting reports over the years that either 20th Century Fox held the animation rights to the X-Men, or Marvel held the rights but chose not to produce any X-Men cartoons, aside from Wolverine’s guest-appearances in Disney XD's Ultimate Spider-Man.
For now, those ownership concerns should be pushed to the side after Disney reached an agreement to purchase 20th Century Fox's film and television production studios. Everyone is understandably excited about the possibility of the X-Men joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but something that shouldn't be overlooked is the X-Men's television rights reverting back to the House of Ideas.
If/When Disney and Fox are able to reach an agreement, one project that needs to happen is the revival of an X-Men animated series.
X-Men Should Join Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy On Disney XD
Marvel Animation has a pretty good thing going on Disney XD with cartoons for the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man. As we mentioned earlier, fans have wanted a new X-Men animated series for years. Each cartoon from the X-Men's past has been a fan-favorite (X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men), so just imagine the possibilities that a show inside a shared Marvel animated universe could bring.
Something each X-Men cartoon successfully pulled off is differentiating itself from its predecessors. The 1990s X-Men: The Animated Series felt like it was ripped straight from the comics, with its lineup drawing inspiration from Jim Lee and Chris Claremont's X-Men cast and featuring adaptations of many iconic story arcs such as the "Dark Phoenix Saga," "Days of Future Past," and "Age of Apocalypse."
X-Men: Evolution ran from 2000 to 2003 and took Marvel's mutants back to high school, as they learned how to juggle their mutant abilities with schoolwork and being superheroes. One highlight of the four-season series is the first appearance of Wolverine's cloned daughter, X-23.
The last X-Men cartoon to air on TV was Wolverine and the X-Men in 2009. The series put Wolverine in a leadership role for the very first time, and followed Logan as he tried to reassemble the X-Men after the team split up. A Wolverine and the X-Men comic would launch in 2011 and starred the titular mutant as the headmaster of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.
Disney XD could build up its own corner of its Marvel Animation Universe with various X-Men teams or solo stars. Earlier this year, FXX announced a Deadpool animated series executive produced by Atlanta star Donald Glover, though its status may be up in the air if the Disney/Fox deal goes through. Given the Merc With a Mouth's adult nature, one can't envision an R-rated Deadpool airing on Disney XD. However, that shouldn't stop him from making his presence felt in a new X-Men animated series.