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Mutant X FAQ: Is the show based on the comic books?

The Mutant X Comic Books

There are two completely separate comic book series bearing the title "Mutant X."

1. Howard Mackie's "Mutant X" comic book series

In October 1998, Marvel Comics hired writer Howard Mackie and artist Tom Raney to create an X-Men comic book series called "Mutant X," to pick up Havok's storyline after "X-Factor" #149. The first issue, "In the End...As in the Beginning," begins after Alex Summers (a.k.a. Havok) was blown up by Greystone's time machine in "X-Factor." His spirit is transported into a parallel dimension in which Scott Summers (a.k.a. Cyclops) and his parents have been captured by the evil Shi'Ar, Magneto is the leader of the X-Men, and Havok is the leader of The Six, a team of mutants that includes Bloodstorm (Storm turned into a vampire by Dracula), Brute (a green, mentally challenged version of The Beast), The Fallen (a fire-breathing Archangel with leather bat wings), Marvel Woman/Goblin Queen (Jean Grey's clone, Madelyn Prior, is Havok's wife), and Ice-Man (Iceman with uncontrolled powers). The series grew in popularity among some X-Men fans, spawned a generation of action figures, and ran for 32 issues and 3 serials until it was discontinued in June 2001.

It is important to note that even though (a) production of the Mutant X television show began almost immediately after Mackie's series ended, and (b) Marvel helped produce the television show, the main characters from the television show are clearly completely unrelated to those of Mackie's comic books. In a 2000 Cinescape interview, executive producer Rick Ungar stated that the Marvel production team forgot that there already existed a "Mutant X" comic book series when they were deciding on titles for the television show:

The original working name was Genome X, but we all kind of decided that didn`t tell ya anything," Ungar explained. "Interestingly enough, when we came up with the title Mutant X for this show, we actually had forgotten - or at least I had - we had a comic called Mutant X. It was helpful that we already owned the title, needless to say, but that`s kind of where any similarities end. This show really has no relationship to the X-Men, or anything that`s existed in the Marvel Universe before. It`s brand spankin` new."

To learn more about the sometimes confusing, often litiginous, history between the Mutant X television series and the X-Men film universe, look here.

2. Marvel's "Mutant X" one shots.

In early 2002, Marvel planned three one-shot Mutant X comic books which were actually based upon events in the television show. These comic books were meant to give more background information about the characters, for example, the origins of Genomex's embryonic research and Shalimar Fox's teenaged years. Hard-core fans of the television show, however, will notice several discrepancies between the histories in the comics and those presented in the series. Despite the fact that the comic books' release had been pushed forward from October 2001 in order to capitalize on the show's predicted popularity, both fan and reviewer reception to these one-shots was lukewarm, and no more comic books were forthcoming...and definitely no action figures.

The first book, "Origin: Once Upon a Time," portrays the early relationship between Dr. Paul Breedlove and Adam Kane, and the infamous "Incident X," which destroyed Mason ('Marcus') Eckhart's immune system:

Journey to a brand new world where genetic experiments have created a brand new race of human beings. How did they come to exist? Who is responsible for their creation? What dark secret will be revealed to those who wish to find it out? It's not revealed in the TV show, but it's revealed here. Plus: this first double-sized issue includes special behind-the-scenes bonus material from the set of the TV show.

Sample pages from "Origin" can be found here.

Origin Released: May 2002
Written by: David Tischman & Howard Chaykin
Penciled by: Lee Ferguson
Inked by: Jon Holdredge
Lettered by: Tom Orzechowski
Colored by: Hi-Fi Design
Assistant Editors: Mike Raicht & Lynne Yoshii
Editors: Mike Marts & Andrew Lis
Editor-in-Chief: Joe Quesada
President: Bill Jemas

The second Mutant X two-part book, "Dangerous Decisions," was about a Mutant X team adventure ("Part 1, Still Water") and Shalimar Fox's high school years (Part 2, "Dangerous Games"):

This double-sized special includes an adventure with the entire Mutant X team, as well as a glimpse behind the scenes, revealing how Shalimar became a hero! Join us for two full-length stories, one of which has art by fan-favorite Stuart Immonen (THOR)!

A review is here. Sample pages from "Dangerous Decisions" can be viewed here.

Part One: "Dangerous Decisions #1: Still Water"
Released: June 2002
Written by: Kathryn Kuder
Penciled by: Stuart Immonen
Inked by: Karl Story
Lettered by: Tom Orzechowski
Colored by: Hi-Fi Designs

Part Two: "Dangerous Decisions #2: Dangerous Games"
Written by: Paul D. Storrie
Penciled by: Stefano Caselli
Inked by: Rich Perrota
Lettered by: Letterin' Fool
Colored by: Hi-Fi Designs

Assistant Editor: Lynne Yoshii
Editor: Andrew Lis
Editor-in-Chief: Joe Quesada
President: Bill Jemas

The last book, "Future Shock," was about a Mutant X team mission:

X-Treme X-Men writer Chris Claremont is set to pen a story set in the world of the syndicated TV series Mutant X this May in the Mutant X: Future Shock one-shot.

"Mutant X: Future Shock is by Chris Claremont and {artist} Paul Rivoche," editor Andrew Lis told X-Fan. "I'm pretty happy about it - Chris wrote a nice, breezy script and Paul is one of the all-time greats. The story centers around the entire Mutant X team, and, in Chris's words, gives the squad it's Magneto character."

Here's how Marvel will solicit the third in a series of three Mutant X one-shots in the upcoming May Previews:

THE SCOOP: The master of mutant mayhem goes Mutant X in a big way this month, proving he's got the juice whether we're in the Marvel Universe, or on TV!
THE STORY: Focusing on Shalimar, the most feral, savage member of the team, Claremont weaves an exciting tale that provides the group with their antithesis: a mutant with an evil agenda! As an added bonus, Marvel welcomes Paul Rivoche, formerly of WB Animation, to the hallowed halls. His stunning art and designs will leave you gasping for more, more, more Mutant X! But we've only got 42 pages, so suck it up!
THE FORMAT: 48 pages, with ads.

Mutant X: Future Shock is scheduled to go on sale May 22.

Future Shock Written by: Chris Claremont
Penciled and inked by: Paul Rivoche

*Many thanks to lonelywalker for providing some of this information, and to Comicvine for the images:

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