Much like the original “Secret Wars” run, toy sales dictated much of “Spiderman: TAS” season 1. That meant that for first run of 13 episodes, John Semper and his team had to write 13 self-contained storylines, each introducing a new villain. But by the time season 2 started, Semper was in full control and began writing multi-episode arcs, adapting many of the best storylines from the comics. By season 5, the time had come to adapt “Secret Wars,” which has since become one of the more memorable storylines from the show.
But it could have been an even more momentous moment had Semper managed to pull off his plans to bring in the mutants from the equally beloved 90s cartoon “X-Men: The Animated Series.” Speaking to the Marvel Animation Age (via The World’s Finest), the former showrunner and head writer explained:
“I vaguely recall that I had wanted to do one episode of ‘Secret Wars’ that would have brought all of the X-Men back to the series. But that series of stories was running too long and I decided to cut that episode out. Also, I’m sure budgetary restrictions had something to do with why I eliminated it.”
Those budgetary restrictions actually seemed to play a bigger part than Semper let on. In an earlier interview, he claimed that Fox didn’t want to pay to fly X-Men voice actors from Canada to Los Angeles to record for “Spider-Man: TAS”:
“We lost one completely written chapter of ‘Secret Wars.’ It involved the X-Men, but they didn’t want to pay again for the whole cast, so I dropped the episode and used only Storm.”