Mutant X is a science fiction television series that debuted on October 6, 2001. The show was created by Avi Arad, and it centers around Mutant X, a team of "New Mutants" who possess extraordinary powers as a result of genetic engineering. The members of Mutant X were used as test subjects in a series of covert government experiments. The mission of Mutant X is to seek out and protect their fellow New Mutants. The series was filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Even though the series had high ratings and was meant to be renewed for a fourth season, it was abruptly canceled in 2004 after the dismantling of Fireworks Entertainment, one of the show's production companies. Several years ago a company called Genomex carried out a series of illegal and immoral experiments on human subjects, forever altering the DNA of any children they might have, to make them mutations from the norm. Now many of those children have grown up, and it has become increasingly difficult for the rest of the world to ignore the New Mutants in their midst. Genomex, under the direction of Mason Eckhart, one of the original scientists, seeks to exploit its creations. Others seek to protect them. A New Mutant Underground has sprung up, and one of the most prominent cells in that organization is Mutant X, a team of powerful New Mutants led by Adam Kane, head chief biogeneticist of The Genomex scientists who participated in the experiments which have altered the world forever.
In May 2002, Marvel Comics released a tie-in comic called Mutant X: Origin which chronicled the early life of Adam Kane. In the story Adam and a friend Paul did research of the DNA of the mustard plant in college which drew the attention of the U.S. government, who offered them the Genomex company to work on a cure to genetic diseases. During this story Eckhart is exposed to radiation which leads to his vulnerability to diseases.
In 2001, 20th Century Fox sued Marvel, Tribute Entertainment, and Fireworks Entertainment for breach of their licensing agreement and false advertisement. Fox stated it had exclusive rights from Marvel to develop the X-Men property, and anything similar was an infringement. Fox claimed that Mutant X was too similar to X-Men, and Mutant X was being advertised as an "X-Men replacement."
Marvel counter-sued Fox, saying that the two were dissimilar and asking the courts to allow Mutant X production to go forward. Production was allowed, as long as X-Men material was not used in the promotion of Mutant X. Apparently, the title "Mutant X" itself was deemed too close to "X-Men" to be effectively leveraged.
In 2003, Fox and Marvel resolved their differences in a confidential settlement of their suits. Meanwhile, Fox continued to pursue their case against Tribune and Fireworks. Tribune sued Marvel for fraud and breach of contract, claiming Marvel encouraged Tribune to connect Mutant X to the X-Men, misrepresented what they were getting in their license, and caused millions in losses due to the need to alter story lines and characters to ensure the mandated distance between Mutant X and X-Men, as well as fighting Fox's litigation.