Tuesday, August 16, 2016

From Comics to Toons: Pryde of the X-Men (1989)

Everyone knows that the X-Men eventually would star in their own hit series after guest appearances on Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends. However, while the series we know launched in 1992, airing in syndication and on Fox, an earlier pilot suggests a completely different take on the team.

X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men is a loose adaptation of events in Uncanny X-Men that took place beginning a decade earlier, as created by Chris Claremont & John Byrne. Young Katharine "Kitty" Pryde (Kath Soucie, The Real Ghostbusters) arrives at the X-Men's mansion headquarters in New York, scared of what she has discovered via a letter she received from Professor Charles Xavier (John Stephenson).

The long & short of it is predictable fare. Kitty sneaks aboard the team's jet, the Blackbird, and lends a hand in defeating Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutant "terrorists" (otherwise, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from the comics), who number Emma Frost, the White Queen, among their membership. In the books, Frost was a member of another evil group, the Hellfire Club, but later spent time with the X-Men, as did Magneto. The Brotherhood of this story is an amalgam of Magneto's original team, which includes the Toad, and a later group fronted by the shape-shifting Mystique.

Opening as it does with a cheesy theme song composed in the style of Marvel Productions' action entries of the day (i.e. G. I. Joe), Pryde of the X-Men received mixed reviews when it first aired in syndication on Marvel Action Universe. Of course, when the team was finally granted its own series three years later, Kitty wasn't a regular part of the team, and her role as the juvenile mutant-in-training was taken by Jubilee.

Here's Pryde of the X-Men, the last Marvel Productions entry narrated by Stan Lee.

Rating: C.


Silverstar said...

This pilot will forever live in infamy due to the presence of the disco-era mutant Dazzler and the Australian accented Wolverine.

hobbyfan said...

Dazzler, who came along roughly around the same time Kitty did, was still an active member of the X-Men by the time this story came out. As for Wolverine having an Aussie accent, artist Rick Hoberg later acknowledged in an interview that he was pressed into service as a voice director on this project. Apparently, someone at Marble was planning on changing Wolverine from a Canadian to an Aussie, but, thankfully, it didn't take, although Hugh Jackman, an Aussie, was cast as Wolverine 11 years later.