Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

Episode 73 Call for Questions – X-Men: Evolution with Robert N. Skir!

Rachel here!

As some of you know, Miles is up at PAX this week, so I’m flying solo on Episode 73. I’ve lined up a super cool guest: Robert N. Skir, who–in addition to writing a handful of episodes of the ’90s X-Men cartoon–is one of the folks responsible for developing X-Men: Evolution, and co-author of the show’s series bible.

If you’ve got questions for Bob–or Evolution questions in general, NOW’S THE TIME TO SEND ‘EM IN! Drop them in the comments here or over at the Tumblr askbox any time today.


While I appreciate that people are so excited, the episode was recorded on Saturday, 8/29. You’re welcome to keep posting questions if it makes you happy to do so, but understand that at this point you’re yelling into the void. -R


  1. Hey Bob,

    Not sure if you were around for Season 3, but I’m very curious about the development of X-23. What drew the writers to the idea of a female Wolverine, and how much of her eventual backstory/personality was there from the beginning?


  2. Hi Bob,

    I know you’ve written for series that had a somewhat volatile reaction from fans, like Transformers: Beast Machines. How would you characterize the reaction you received to Evolution?

  3. Dear Mr. Skir

    Having watched the show as a kid (thank you for introducing me to the X-Men), I always wanted to know where the show would have gone after the last episode? What was the show’s take on the Phoenix saga and all the other stuff teased.

    Thank you

  4. One question I have is, why go with adult versions of Wolverine and Storm rather than teen versions. I liked the choice myself, but considering Wolverine’s popularity I would have thought a teen wolverine might have been more of a central character (or at least a different kind of central character).

  5. 1.) What do you think of the 616 version of X-23? Certainly quite a different interpret8ion of the character, after all, but she’s still very much Evolution’s longest lasting impact on the Marvel Universe as a whole. By extension, what are your thoughts on her taking up the mantle of Wolverine proper?
    2.) What was the process behind deciding which characters were going to be teenagers on Evolution, and which were going to be fully grown adults? Wolverine was certainly a natural choice as an adult, but why was, say, Storm picked as an instructor and not a student?
    3.) Why Spyke. Like, no offense. But why? Why not just use Marrow, and if you wanted a black character, make her black?

  6. Dear Mr. Skir:
    In season 2, you introduce new students, from the Silver Age, New Mutants and even Morlocks, how did you decide the line up, based on powers, personalities or simply by who was your favorites?

    PS. I loved the show, it was my introduction to the amazing Kitty Pride

  7. If the show wasn’t cancelled, how were you going to interpret the various iconic xmen storylines as well as some of the over the top fan-favourite characters? Or were you going to interpret them at all?

    The evolution cartoon seemed much more grounded in reality so I can’t see there being space adventures or time travel being introduced. But they are so integral to storylines like the Days of Future Past, Dark Phoenix and important characters like Corsair I was wondering how you would have interpreted them into the Evolution setting.

  8. Just wasnt to say that X-Men Evolution remains my favourite X-Men cartoon!

    (Also a big fan of Beast Machines (Poor Nightscream, every time he points out how unreasonable the Maximals are being BOOM! someone shoots him), but that’s not especially germane right now)

    Are there any characters you really wanted to feature in X-M:E, but weren’t able to for whatever reason?

    I’ve seen written somewhere, that Doug Ramsey was mentioned in the series bible as being a friend of Kitty’s from school, but never showed up in person. Was he ever thought of as one of the Season 2 New Mutants?

  9. Yo, Bob.

    Xmen-Evolution is my favorite X-men cartoon. And for my questions:

    1)Was the Rogue/Cyclops tease intentional or did it happen?
    2)What was the decision behind Jean dating Duncan Matthews?
    3)Was there a character that you feel you could’ve done better?

  10. At the very end of the very last episode of the series there’s a remarkable bit where we see glimpses of the characters as they may have … evolved in the future.
    Magneto teaching X-kids, Dark Phoenix, Rogue having the power of flight, and the Brotherhood seemingly working for SHEILD a a Freedom Force.
    Are these things that had been planned to be covered some day and the show ended before the ideas did or were they more of a made up on the spot sort of thing?

  11. Was the character Spyke influenced in any way from the drawing of “Spike Man” seen very briefly in the Rob Leifeld Levis 501 button fly jeans commercial? There are several similarities: the name, the ethnicity, the (implied) and powers, the camera clearly strapped on his head.

  12. Robert, I have many questions and love Evolution. I would be honored if you were able to answer even part of one of my questions.

    How did you decide what to put into the series bible and what to leave out? X-men is a fairly expansive and complicated series so, how did you decide what character traits and plot lines to include and what to leave out? Was anything left out because of the high school setting?

    Why Spyke? Was he supposed to represent the Xtreme 90’s? Was he a compromise between wanting Adam X and Marrow on the team? His personality always seemed to be an attempt at being cool and radical to get kids invested which felt like pandering when I was a kid. He is basically Poochie from the Simpsons.

    It was pretty messed up how Toad didn’t tell Wanda how she got brainwashed, and how he constantly harasses her. If the show was on the air today would he complain about being in the “friendzone” would he “mansplain?”

    Why was Blob so date rape-y in his first appearance? That episode was disturbing to me as a child.

    What was the decision behind having Avalanche and Kitty romantically paired? I admit I shipped them.

    Were there plans for Kitty and Colossus to become romantically paired later? In the season finale for season 3 this seems to be set up with their interactions and I read somewhere that in the series bible she was supposed to be studying Russian at school.

    With Apocalypse’s technology apparently coming from space (according to the hieroglyphs Beast reads) and from the future (according to Xavier when he uses the Egyptian Cerebro), were there ever any plans to incorporate time travel or space travel to the show?

    Were there ever any plans for piratical mustaches on the show? Either through Cyclops growing facial hair as a sign of getting older or Corsair showing up?

    In the flashes of the future Xavier gets in the series finale one of them includes an older Brotherhood and Pyro in front of a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo. If the series continued would this have been the shows version of Freedom Force? Would Val Cooper been involved? Would Mystique of eventually impersonated whoever was in charge like she did to Dazzler in Bendis’ Uncanny X-men run? Impersonating people to manipulate people is what Mystique does.

    What was up with that Africa episode? Did the guys after Storm in that episode have magic powers? No one else in the series seemed to have magic? Was Hungan a mutant? Was the Shadow King originally intended to be part of that episode? Was a follow up for that episode planned?

    Were there any other plans for Legion besides his one episode in Season 4?

    How would Season 5 of gone down?

    Rachel, I didn’t like the girl gang episode. It felt like pandering to me. This isn’t really a question, but if you just talked about why that episode is great to you for the entire podcast I bet it would be very entertaining.

  13. So, Spike. Were you aware of Marrow’s similar powerset or was it a desire to create another original character for the audience? Why make him the typical “McDuffy Character” Ie skateboard riding black teenager?

  14. First question: If you were able to cross X-Men Evolution with any Marvel series around that time (or earlier), what would it have been?

    Second question: Ditto the Spyke questions above.

    Third question: Beyond the Kitty/Rogue dance, what other Buffy references did the show runners throw in?

    Fourth question: Same question as third question except as to any pop culture reference.

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