Sure, it’s just a rumour at this stage, but as the Beach Boys once sang: Wouldn’t it be nice?
The thing about the ’90s X-Men cartoon is that it was peak comic-related media. Some people might find it a bit cheesy, but guess what? Comics were cheesy in the nineties and they were better for it – especially the Marvel comics.
Perhaps I’m viewing the ’90s X-Men with rose-coloured goggles designed to manage my mutant optic blasts, but I’m down for any media which promotes inclusivity.
Sure, it might be hard for modern X-Men fans to take it seriously nowadays but that goes both ways: I’ve never really taken to the live-action X-Men films because all the characters look like they raided Batman’s closet.
First though, let’s see where the rumour has come from.
’90s X-Men Cartoon Disney+ Profile Pictures And Disney Discussions
Disney+, Disney’s foray into the world of online streaming services, gives the user the ability to use an account profile picture. Mine, for instance, is Todd from Fox and the Hound because foxes are awesome.
Disney+ recently added the ability to use the X-Men wearing their ’90s costumes as profile pictures.
On top of that, Larry Houston (Producer and Director of the X-Men Animated Series, which is the actual name of the ’90s X-Men cartoon) has confirmed that he’s told Disney he’d be happy to revisit the show.
So let’s assume, just for fun, that there just might be a reboot of the ’90s X-Men cartoon.
The ’90s X-Men Cartoon Might Be Better Than You Remember (Or Imagine)
My teen daughter and I have recently finished watching the Netflix She-Ra series, and after it was done (CATRADORA FANS REPRESENT!) she was curious about the original She-Ra series. We watched some of it and – oh man, that show has not aged well, animation-wise.
So, we decided to watch the ’90s X-Men Cartoon (because it was my turn to pick a show) and we were both pleasantly surprised by many aspects of it.
The writing deals with serious social issues in a fairly breezy yet impactful manner. The first episode, for instance, deals with the following issues in the space of around 20 minutes without minimising their effects: Adoption, fascism, workplace rivalry, bigotry and fear of ‘the other’, self-worth, vandalism committed by individuals vs vandalism committed by the authorities, and government-based conspiracies.
The voice acting is just as garish as the brightly-coloured costumes, and it’s absolutely perfect for the show.
With the exception of the existence of Morph (a short-lived character who was invented for the show), the ’90s X-Men cartoon is, by far, the most comic-accurate portrayal of the X-Men to date (outside of the actual comics, obviously) and it should get more love for that fact alone.
Let’s take Wolverine for example: Do you know why he wears his yellow and blue costume in the comics? It’s because he’s so self-assured that he wants to make stealth more difficult for himself, because he’s bored with how good he is at it.
Or, in other words: Comic Wolverine wear bright colours because he believes his stealth abilities to be so OP (overpowered) that he’s chosen to nerf (handicap) himself.
I love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the movies, but he’s usually just the perfect tough guy.
Comic Wolverine is just as skilled, but often pays for his pride with pain, and sometimes it costs other people their lives. He’s flawed because he’s human – not unbeatable because he’s a mutant. He’s very inclusive (especially for a tough guy) but he also has some toxic views on women. Jesus, Logan – Jean is with Scott, just give it up already! He tries his very best to be a decent person, but he also understands that his particular skillset means that he’ll be wading knee-deep in corpses more often than not.
As he often says in the comics: I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn’t pretty.
And that’s the Wolverine we see in the ’90s X-Men Cartoon: Imperfect, but stubborn enough to see the job through.
Did you know that Comic Wolverine has had sidekicks more often than not? And they’re usually (but not always) teen girls? One of them remains one of my favourite characters, because she reminds me of my teen years and how incredibly cringeworthy that the ’90s were – in all the right ways.
The ’90s X-Men Cartoon Had A Teen Female Lead In A Series Full Of Adults
To be clear, she’s only the lead for the first few story arcs until she finds her place on the team. But she’s clearly designed (in the comics and the show) to be the ‘point of view’ character, much like Mr Spock in Star Trek or Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy.
The big difference with Jubilee (whose real name is Jubilation Lee because comic characters are allowed to have ridiculous names which is probably why they choose to use codenames) is that she doesn’t want to be involved. She just wants to be left alone. This is probably why she was the only X-Men member who chose to hang out with Wolverine – because they’re both loners at heart.
And sure, her apparently-raincoat-inspired outfit was ridiculously loud, even for the the ’90s, but the character herself is relatable.
Storm can control the weather. Jean Grey can float your body and hack your mind. Wolverine can survive almost anything. Beast is a genius-level scientist who has the agility of a trapeze artist. Even Cyclops, by far the lamest of the X-Men (fight me), can shoot ultra-powerful concussive beams from his eyes.
And what are Jubilee’s mutant powers?
She can produce fireworks from her hands.
That’s it. That’s her mutant power. Sometimes she can destroy electrical equipment by touching it, but she’s rarely shown to have any control over that.
As a teen, I found that incredibly relatable. She’s around all these heavy hitters and she’s basically useless. It’s like everyone else is a firefighter and she’s just standing there with a water pistol going ‘Yay, I’m helping!’
And as an adult, I find it relatable and poignant.
That’s why I’m hoping that they remake the ’90s X-Men cartoon – because I miss Jubilee and her stupid outfit and her ridiculous ’90s-era dialogue because she reminds me that being a good team-member is more important than being powerful or highly skilled, or even stylish. Because everyone matters.
As my daughter said when we’d finished watching the first episode: ‘Jubilee is iconic.’
In the comics, Jubilee eventually becomes a vampire. This is because comics are weird. Do you know what else is weird? Reading this article without commenting below!