Wolverine and the X-Men Animated Series

Creating Wolverine and the X-Men

Associate Producer Joshua Fine talks about bringing the series to life! Plus see the early pencil test animation of the tit

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Relive the full experience of Wolverine's quest to save the future with "Wolverine and the X-Men: The Complete Series" on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, October 12. With the X-Men disbanded, Wolverine is given a dark portent of things to come. Now the most legendary of all X-Men must bring the team back together, leading them on their ultimate mission: to protect mutantkind, to uphold Xavier's dream of equality, and to prevent the world's very destruction. "Wolverine and the X-Men: The Complete Series" contains all 26 episodes from the hit show, and is yours to bring home on October 12!

 

By Kat Jones & Marc Strom

Wolverine bares his claws
Associate Producer Joshua Fine shepherded "Wolverine and the X-Men" through its run, and come Tuesday, October 12, he'll be able to hold the entire run in his hands with "Wolverine and the X-Men: The Complete Series." But before that, Marvel.com spoke with Fine about his experiences on the series and what he enjoyed most about working on it.

And if that weren't enough, check out the pencil test animation for the opening credits of "Wolverine and the X-Men" at the end of the article, and see just how the animators went about bringing the sequence to animated life!

 

Marvel.com: What is it about this show that sets it apart from previous X-Men shows? What is so unique about this show?

Joshua Fine: I think the epic and dark storyline is what sets "Wolverine and the X-Men" apart from its predecessors--the combination of huge stakes and great action alongside emotional, character-driven moments.

Of all of Marvel's characters, the X-Men have had some of the most beloved animated series in the past. In creating the concept for "Wolverine and the X-Men," series Supervising Producer Craig Kyle and series Head Writer Greg Johnson were looking to take the classic comic approach done in the '90s "X-Men" series, leveraging the most well-known storylines from the comics and the classic character portrayals, and to combine that with the kind of deep character development and complex story arcs found in "X-Men: Evolution."

The X-Men assemble
Along with Supervising Director Boyd Kirkland, we were aiming to tell an ongoing story that feels intrinsically "X-Men" but one that also has some unexpected twists and turns even for longtime fans of the comics. In the end this goal of combining the old with the new has made "Wolverine and the X-Men" its own unique experience.

Marvel.com: What was your prime motivation and inspiration behind Wolverine and the X-Men?

Joshua Fine: When we were first getting into development on the show, Greg Johnson approached us with the idea of basing the overarching story for the series around the "Days of Future Past" run from the comics. This was certainly one of our biggest influences in creating an overall structure for the series.

But we didn't limit ourselves to any one particular run of the comics. Both the storytelling and the art direction pull from just about every corner of X-lore you can think of, from ULTIMATE X-MEN and the X-Men films to ASTONISHING X-MEN and X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. And of course we've got one episode inspired directly from Wolverine's first appearance in HULK #181.

Marvel.com: How is "Wolverine and the X-Men" different from other Marvel animated series?

Joshua Fine: I think the X-Men resonate with people differently than any other characters in Marvel's library. The X-Universe touches people on an emotional level--it's about being different, being an outcast, doing the right thing even when the world thinks you're an abomination. That serious emotional core and the fact that these stories work as an allegory for so many different human experiences is what I think makes the X-Men special.


A contemplative Rogue
"Wolverine and the X-Men" really showcases that. These stories have real-world relevance set against a backdrop of huge, epic action and uncanny mutant abilities.

Marvel.com: Which character was your personal favorite to explore and develop throughout the season?

Joshua Fine: That...is a very tough question. It's hard to choose just one. So I won't!

In no particular order:

Cyclops, because it was great to play with the role reversal of him and Wolverine. To explore what it meant to have a Scott Summers who was in a place where he's legitimately not fit to lead the team. A Scott who's just a hair's breadth away from losing that disciplined control that he's clung to his whole life and just cutting loose.

Emma Frost is just an incredible character to be able to work with. She creates such an interesting and fun-to-watch dynamic with all of the other characters, and she brings an additional layer of mystery and unpredictability into the mix.

Gambit's my favorite Marvel character. I was really excited that we got a couple of Gambit cameos into the series.

Domino has some of the best moments and some of the best dialogue in the series. She really brings focus to the mutant vs. human struggle and makes you feel for her cause.


Logan and Beast have a chat

With Magneto, we're not just talking about one of the greatest villains in comics, but one of the greatest villains in any fiction. He's just such a deep, complex, brilliant character, it's hard not to have fun working with him.

Marvel.com: What story elements and sub-plots did you enjoy developing the most?

Joshua Fine: One of the joys of basing your series on "Days of Future Past" is that you get the opportunity to play around in that nightmarish, Sentinel-controlled future. I loved working on Xavier's storyline.

Nightcrawler's sub-plot was another standout for me. Following that character in all of his swash-buckling glory as, separated from the X-Men, he made his independent journey to Genosha was a ton of fun.

Lastly, I think this series does a great job of introducing the world to the Sentinels. You really get to see the gradual build towards their creation, from the introduction of the gear that the M.R.D. has all the way up through the Sentinels' final evolution in the future.

Marvel.com: Any particular episodes that really stick out as your personal favorites?

Josh Fine: Episode 20, "Breakdown," is definitely my favorite. I loved getting to see Cyclops' backstory--especially with the X-Men: First Class in their original costumes!

Episode 19, "Guardian Angel," is another standout in my mind. I love Angel's character arc for the series and seeing it come to a head in this episode still gives me shivers whenever I watch it.

Episode 14, "Stolen Lives," because it had a super awesome writer...me!

Episode 9, "Future X," is definitely a favorite because I love the "Days of Future Past" setting. In addition to getting to see some great moments from Xavier and a whole slew of great character cameos, this one has a climactic action sequence that rocks. It also has probably my favorite ending of any episode in the series.

And then episodes 24, 25, and 26, because oh man are they huge! If you're searching for epic, look no further.

Marvel.com: What would you like to tell every X-Men fan who will be out on Tuesday, October 12 to pick up the complete series on DVD or Blu-Ray?

Josh Fine: We're very excited to be able to bring you the whole series in one package with some great bonus features. I really encourage people to check out the series on Blu-Ray-the first time these episodes have been available in High Def. As a producer, every time you finish working on an episode there's always a bittersweet feeling knowing that no one will probably ever see or hear that episode at quite the quality that you've just watched it from-coming off of the source. But with Blu-Ray you actually get pretty darn close. Experience it the way it was made to be seen!

And now, we present the early pencil test animation for the opening sequence of "Wolverine and the X-Men" for your viewing pleasure!

 

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Comments

10 comments
sbmccloud
sbmccloud

Don't buy into this blu ray promation. What was marvel doing when they were putting out volumes of the show? Very slowly might I add. Anyway. canada had the whole season dvd box set almost 2 years ago. I wonder what marvels scheme is. I am sure some people purchased the individual volumes, now you want them to purchase the whole season. Where is this money going to? Should't the money you made from the dvd's and ratings from the show be more than enough to supply a second season. I agree AoA was a story and crossover event before its time. There will never be a better story, especially how x-men comics are today.

blue-elf123
blue-elf123

havent you guys at marvel ever heard of fundraising! You cant cancell the show, just shcedual it for later on in or ever do important lives, we can wait. either that or give nightcrale is on series

TS_Calibrate
TS_Calibrate

I enjoyed the interview.I hope Marvel brings the show back.

Voulge
Voulge

Yeah its a shame they canceled this one especially since the next arc would be Age of Apocalypse. And we all like the AoA. Well at least we get to read uncanny x-force now trying to kill apocalypse.Also Spectacular spiderman is canceled, that was also one of the better series.

Zekk_Jedi
Zekk_Jedi member

In youngcrawford's defense, I waited for this release because I see no reason to shell out money for volume discs of a show when I can just wait to buy the season for cheaper (I'm not getting the Blu-Ray though).That said there is no defense for thinking someone voiced Wolverine better than Steve Blum and comparing this show to 90's X-Men is equally laughable, except if your going for nostalgia.This show really was the best X-Men in a while

sbmccloud
sbmccloud

A, look at what (youngcrawford)said. " I will buy the blu ray so I can watch it whenever I want. I still miss Cal Dodd's voice as Wolverine from the original 90's X-men show, but Steve Blum did an excellent job as well. I"m more of a Cal Dodd fan." LOL

youngcrawford
youngcrawford member

It's a shame this show has been cancelled. I will buy the blu ray so I can watch it whenever I want. I still miss Cal Dodd's voice as Wolverine from the original 90's X-men show, but Steve Blum did an excellent job as well. I"m more of a Cal Dodd fan.

sbmccloud
sbmccloud

Look! If the show is not in production anymore, stop talking about it. It is almost like your rubbing it in. This show was better than recent X-comic books. You canceled possibly the greatest x-men show in your marvel history, let that be the end of it.