Out of all the cartoons and comics that have ever existed, the X-Men and every comic they’ve spawned since has been able to show what discrimination is all about on a very different level. Going well beyond skin color and the backward belief that any sentient being is better or worse than another, the X-Men have been persecuted since they first came on the scene for the simple fact that mutants can do things that human beings cannot and as a result, they’ve been hated for it while using the old belief that humanity hates what it fears and fears what can’t be understood. As much as the powers of each mutant differ and however improbable they might be thanks to physics and how a person’s anatomy can work, the X-Men have almost always been seen as hated simply for their differences, and they’ve come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and from various regions of the globe. The animated series has made use of several individuals that were taken from the comics and is currently streaming on Disney+. While a lot of the characters that made it onto the show were white, one of the fan favorites, Storm, has been there since the second team was first brought into the comics. Anyone that knows their history when it comes to the X-Men should know that the team has been comprised of a great number of people from around the world, but Ororo was by far one of the first, while Thunderbird, who has been shown rarely apart from the comics, is another that adds diversity to the team.
Over the years the team’s diversity has only increased as Danielle Moonstar was featured in The New Mutants movie, Domino became a black woman in Deadpool 2, Russell, aka Firefist, is also a POC, and several people in the comics have added to the diverse roster that’s been growing for a while. Plus, X-Men: First Class had greater diversity than the original team, and even X-Men: Days of Future Past had a more diverse cast. In the cartoon, diversity is a bit of a problem since Storm was one of the only POC’s around, but this is still a noticeable improvement from the original team, who were all white. But the X-Men have been more inclusive of women in recent years as well the LGBTQ+ community since it’s been established in the comics that Iceman is in fact gay, or bisexual, it’s hard to tell sometimes with the storylines, but Northstar, who’s spent time with the X-Men, is also gay, and there have been allusions to Colossus being homosexual and the idea that Deadpool is pansexual. Diversity isn’t as big of a problem as people tend to think it is when it comes to the comics or even the movies at this point, but not being overly diverse appears to be the big problem.
Perhaps if the animated series ever received a reboot it could add in more characters since there are plenty around now, from Latinx to Middle Eastern to various other regions where people are coming from. The diversity of the X-Men is actually one of their strengths since when it comes down to being a mutant it doesn’t matter what color or what race they are, they’re bound together by the fact that human beings absolutely hate them and want to destroy them for various reasons. And yet the X-Men are tasked with saving humanity more often than not, the same humanity that wants them dead or in concentration camps. There are plenty of mutants in the animated series that will actively fight against humans to show them that they’re nowhere near as powerful as they think, and those such as Magneto and various others are powerful enough to do some major damage if they really wanted. The only ones stopping them are the X-Men and on occasion, other super-powered teams that are capable of taking on said evil mutants, but it’s amusing how so many human beings don’t hate the Avengers that are super-powered or the Fantastic Four or any other powerful individuals that aren’t regular humans. In a big way, the X-Men are one of Marvel’s answers to the issue of discrimination and how it can affect a large group of people when applied in a forceful and prolonged manner.
The cartoon started out focusing on Jubilee in a very meaningful way since she’d been registered by her father as a mutant, and she eventually wound up at Professor Xavier’s mansion where she would eventually meet several of the X-Men. Eventually, the focus would shift and Jubilee would become part of the group, but not always someone that was bound to be noticed. The X-Men animated series is definitely a throwback from childhood for a lot of us, but hopefully, someone will have enough ambition one day to continue the episodes in a meaningful way.