The Marvel Sci-Fi X-Men Rip-Off You Can Stream Without Disney+

By Douglas Helm | Published

mutant x

Looking for a Marvel series about mutants that isn’t about the X-Men? In 2001, a strange show called Mutant X was released under the Marvel Comics license, but it definitely wasn’t similar to X-Men at all, guys (according to Marvel). If you want to check out all three seasons of the show that dodged a lawsuit from 20th Century Fox, you can stream it for free on Tubi.

Mutant X

Mutant X was created by Avi Arad and follows the titular team of mutants, who have powers from genetic engineering experiments after being used as test subjects by the government.

The team makes it their mission to find and protect fellow mutants. So, these mutants operate in secret to prevent mutants from being used as tools or ostracized by society, which is totally not like the X-Men and very legally distinct from that franchise.

X-Men Ripoff

Jokes aside, Mutant X is an overall decent show despite the fact Marvel clearly wanted to make a live-action X-Men series but couldn’t due to 20th Century Fox’s rights to the characters.

Interestingly enough, the show wasn’t even canceled due to this contentious legal gray area. Instead, it was canceled in 2004 when one of the show’s production companies was dismantled, leaving the show ending on a cliffhanger.

Mutant X Lawsuits

mutant x

But, just because Mutant X didn’t end over a legal battle, it doesn’t mean that 20th Century Fox didn’t try.

The same year the show aired its first season, 20th Century Fox sued Marvel and the show’s other production companies, Tribune Entertainment and Fireworks Entertainment.

The Lawsuit stated that Marvel breached their licensing agreement and engaged in false advertising.

No X-Men To Promote

mutant x

Fox’s lawsuit stated it has exclusive rights to develop X-Men projects, and the fact that Mutant X was so similar meant that Marvel was trying to make an X-Men replacement. Of course, Marvel countersued and said that the franchises were very different.

The courts decided the show could continue production as long as Marvel didn’t use the X-Men to promote the show.

Not A Bad X-Men Knockoff

mutant x

Marvel and Fox eventually settled the lawsuit confidentially, but Fox continued with its lawsuit against Tribune and Fireworks.

Then, Tribune decided to sue Marvel for fraud and breach of contract, saying that Marvel pushed for Tribune to connect Mutant X to the X-Men. This suit was also settled confidentially.

Mutant X certainly had a lot of drama behind the scenes, and the funny part is that it’s pretty obvious how similar the show was to X-Men, despite Marvel’s insistence to the contrary.

Did the show ever reach the heights of the X-Men franchise anyway and was it worth all the trouble? No, but we viewers can still enjoy a pretty good X-Men knockoff as a result.

Mutant X On Tubi

mutant x

Of course, the Disney machine eventually snapped up both Marvel and 20th Century Fox, so now everyone is all under the same umbrella and there probably won’t be any more Marvel X-Men knockoffs.

And next week we’ll get a new season of the classic animated X-Men series, now titled X-Men ‘97. In the meantime, you can check out Mutant X for free on Tubi.