“Previously on, X-Men…” was one of the trademark openings kids in the nineties heard every Saturday morning while watching the FOX Kids line up. It was during this time, in the midst of the networks third year (which also included “Batman: The Animated Series”), that FOX and Saban Entertainment teamed up to take on on yet another very popular and ambitious comic book property: Marvel Comics’ “X-Men.” The series came to be widely known by FOX and hardcore fans as “X-Men: The Animated Series.”
“Pryde of the X-Men” (also known as “X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men”) is an animated pilot I mostly remember thanks to its VHS release in 1989 that my brother and I must have borrowed from my cousin a thousand times over. Despite its obscurity, however, this relic of the early Marvel Entertainment days is one of the many abandoned projects from Marvel that’d inadvertently become a classic. Before 1992’s “X-Men: The Animated Series,” there was 1989’s “X-Men,” a series that begun development after constant guest spots from the team during “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.” Watching it years later, it’s surprising just how much of the early episodes of the 1992 series were based on the “Pryde of the X-Men” pilot.
Ranking has become a fun, new tradition I do with all the other fellow geeks whenever a new movie from a series is released. While Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios has declared the upcoming “Spider-Man: Far from Home” to be the official end of Marvel Phase 4, it’s safe to say that I can list this ranking (inspired by “Birth.Movies.Death”) without altering much once the film is released in theaters. I think “Far from Home” will be great, but my top five MCU movies still remain basically the same, even after “Endgame.”
What is your ranking?
With “Avengers: Endgame” and the Mighty Marvel Cinematic Universe winning the box office and grabbing rave reviews, geeks of all walks of life are currently trying to deal with the emotional level of what unfolded in to the epic finale of the Infinity Gems arc. Now that you’ve seen “Endgame,” here are five animated Marvel movies that will keep the Mighty Marvel high going a little longer.
“Endgame” accomplishes a grand feat. It’s not only a sequel that resolves just about every question we had with “Infinity War,” but it also acts as a wonderful book end to the first ten years of Marvel movies. This movie is a kind of “What If?” if you will, and I loved how the Russo Brothers don’t just make good on closing the epic saga of the infinity stones, but also have some fun tinkering in the Marvel Cinematic Universe established by folks like Joss Whedon, and Jon Favreau prior. It’s a marvelous and brilliant compilation of everything we love about this cinematic universe, plus a dramatic pay off for folks that have come to fall in love with these heroes and villains for of all these years.
The 90s were a turbulent time for Marvel Comics. While they nearly saw financial ruin, they also met with success by teaming with Saban Entertainment to introduce two of the most beloved animated series of the decade: “X-Men: The Animated Series” and “Spider-Man: The Animated Series.” Boosted by their success with Saturday morning cartoons, it wasn’t long before Marvel attempted to bring even more of their biggest properties into the world of animation… with varying results.
While Marvel Comics has dabbled in animation since the mid-60s, it wasn’t until 1999, when they joined forces with Saban International and 20th Century Fox, that the publisher offered up its first animated series based on The Avengers. The series, “The Avengers: United They Stand,” was heavily promoted and much hyped among Marvel and comic based publications. The collective fan response upon its debut on FOX Kids, however, was less than enthusiastic, and even to this day, there’s a relatively middling response to “United They Stand” especially in the face of superior fare like “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”
After the downbeat ending of “The Avengers: Infinity War,” there stood some beacon of hope in the post credits scene where Nick Fury pressed a pager, signaling someone from outside Earth. That someone was Captain Marvel, Marvel Comics’ most dynamic and entertaining super heroine who is finally brought to the big screen. Not only does “Captain Marvel” stand on its own as a great, fun movie about empowerment and learning how to conjure up your inner strength, it sets the platform for Captain Marvel charging in to “Endgame,” and it also sets up the foundation for phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.