Wolverine in X-Men: The Animated Series
Movies - TV
How X-Men: The Animated Series Tricked Marvel Into Approving The Show
The 1990s were an interesting time for superhero costume designs, with many characters wearing outlandish outfits, such as Jim Lee's 1992 "Uncanny X-Men" drawings.
"X-Men: The Animated Series" used Lee’s designs, but they ran into issues with Marvel. The costumes would have been changed without writer Will Meugniot’s trick.
In a 2003 book by Eric Lewald, Meugnoit shared he was given a note by Marvel saying he had to "put away all the Jim Lee references. We can't do a show that looks like his stuff."
He added, "They wouldn't say why. But of course, the problem turned out to be that Jim and the other major Marvel guys had announced that they were leaving to found Image Comics."
Meugniot was determined to use Lee’s design and used a trick to fool the Marvel executives. He presented two costumes: the one he wanted and the one he knew would be rejected.
His plan was "to do a model sheet that's so dumb that they will be forced into using the right ones." He did a "wrong, young/funny Hanna-Barbera, 1970s version of the team."
Meugniot’s bosses were shocked by his models, including Stan Lee. The writer said that artist/designer Rick Hoberg didn’t know about the politics and was baffled by the designs.
Meugniot shared, "He [Hoberg] was on the phone to Stan and others, horrified, saying, 'We can't do this, we can't do that, what is Will thinking?! He’s going to ruin the show!'"
He added, "After that they realized that they had to do the version that was more like Jim Lee, so we took the Lee costume designs and made them a little bit more animate-able."