Even though X-Men: Evolution features many of the characters as teenagers, Marvel Characters president Rick Ungar said the new animated series on Kids' WB! will be faithful to the X-Men.
"I think it's faithful to who the characters very well may have been before the Marvel fans met them," Ungar states. "I think that's really the important point. No one's ever dealt with who they were when they were young kids.
"So I think it's very much faithful and we worked really hard to create them in a way that you can see how they became who we know.
"You see the seeds in Cyclops of the person who we ended up knowing in the comics. We tried really hard to do that. We didn't want to take a character off in a direction where you could never figure out how they grew another 10 years and became the person we know. That was a big part of the effort - to have legitimate characters traits that matched who they became, but were expressed in the body and mind of a young teenager."
The mutant bigotry issues in the comics won't be played up as much in the animated series.
"There's a different kind of angst," Ungar said. "It's the difference between the angst that teenagers experience in the real world and the angst which the X-Men experience as adults as a result of the problems caused by their powers.
"These teenagers - and I should add that some of these characters are not teenagers; Wolverine is a grown-up, Professor X is a grown-up, Storm is a grown-up - but these kids have to deal with two kinds of angst. They have the difficulty of adjusting to the knowledge that there are very different from anybody else as a result of the mutant gene. And they are trying to deal with the usual angst that every teenager on the planet goes through when they hit that age."
Ungar said making the characters younger was at least partially because of the Saturday morning audience the show is targeting.
"The trick is to try and provide something on Saturday morning that is relatable to the audience that is watching," Ungar said. "The WB has a lot of knowledge about what the kids are looking for in that block and we tried to respond to that and come up with something that would be applicable, but, at the same time, stay true to the X-Men.
"It wasn't easy, but the result was good and I think it was worth it."
The X-Men movie continued the characters' popularity, but Ungar said the choice was not to base the animated series directly on the movie.
"There might have been a time where there was a thought of that, but it didn't go very far," he said. "I think everybody responded to the idea of taking them back in time, as opposed to where we know them now. It was more difficult to do it well, but I think it worked. And now I'm glad we did it."
X-Men: Evolution premieres on Kids' WB! on Saturday, Nov. 4.