US tv series (2001-2004). Fireworks Entertainment/Tribune Entertainment/Marvel Studios. Syndicated. Created by Avi Arad. Produced by Adam Haight and Peter Mohan. Cast includes Karen Cliche, Forbes March, Victoria Pratt, John Shea, Lauren Lee Smith and Victor Webster. Directors included Andrew Potter, Bill Corcoran, Jorge Mantesi. Writers included Marak Amato, Howard Chaykin and David Newman. 66 44-minute episodes. Colour.
Mutant X is the name of a covert government project led by Adam Kane (Shea) to create Mutants with Superpowers via Genetic Engineering. The team's primary goal is to search out, and assist other mutants in the world by helping them develop their abilities. They encounter various threats including powerful hostile mutants, as well as being constantly tracked by shadowy government operatives who wished to use the team's powers for their own purposes. Team members are Shalimar Fox (Pratt), a woman with both human and animal DNA which give her great physical strength, speed, agility, and enhanced senses among other powers; Jesse Kilmann (March), a man who can alter the density of his body from becoming intangible to "super-density" making him nearly indestructible; Brennan Mulwray (Webster) is an "electrical elemental," able to generate vast amounts of electricity, and to shoot electrical bolts from the palms of his hands. Lexa Pierce (Cliche), the project's original creation, is able to become invisible for brief periods of time by bending light (see Invisibility), and can also project brilliant beams of light from her fingertips. Emma De Lauro (Smith) possesses various forms of telekinesis, including projecting beams of psychic energy strong enough to kill opponents if she wishes. She can also sense the emotions of others and communicate them to third parties. De Lauro was the only member of the team to die during the series run.
Although still very popular, the programme ended when Fireworks Entertainment dissolved in 2003, leading to an unresolved cliffhanger in the last-aired episode. 20th Century Fox sued Marvel and the various production companies on the ground that this series was too similar to The X-Men, a Marvel Comics property to which Fox owned all cinematic rights; the lawsuit was settled in a confidential agreement between Marvel and the film studio in 2003. Further Fox lawsuits against Tribune Entertainment, and Fireworks Entertainment continued for some time, their final resolution remaining unclear. The programme can now be seen as a forerunner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which later proved so successful. [GFi]
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