This Monday, the long-awaited second venture of the X-Men franchise into live-action TV finally happened with the pilot premiere of “The Gifted” on Fox. Developed by Matt Nix, creator of “Burn Notice” on the USA Network, the show is a collaborative effort between 20Th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television. The pilot episode “eXposed” was also directed by Bryan Singer, who helmed most of the “X-Men” film series by Fox. The network scored a surprising success with their first X-series “Legion” earlier this year, and they hope to replicate it with “The Gifted.” To further hype up the beginning of the new series, Fox also managed to get Stan Lee, legendary creator of many Marvel superheroes, to do a cameo.

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The ‘X Lounge’

The Gifted” on Fox gets off to an intense start with its pilot episode “xPosed,” which sets the show in an alternative universe to the “X-Men” films wherein both the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants have disappeared.

In this status quo, laws criminalize the use of mutant powers in public, with offenders being pursued by agents of Sentinel Services and sent to mutant detainment centers where they “disappear.” Here, anti-mutant district attorney Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer, “True Blood”) finds his world turned upside-down when his two children are outed as mutants after their powers manifest at a school dance.

With thoughts of his family winning over his duty, Strucker goes underground with his wife Caitlin (Amy Acker, “Person of Interest”) and their “gifted” kids. It is midway through the episode that legendary Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee makes his cheeky cameo. At a dive bar where a mutant partisan (Sean Teale as Marco “Eclipse” Diaz) waits for Strucker to arrange his family’s exit from the US, a familiar old man walks out the bar “Tex’s Lounge.” But the neon sign spelling the name only partly lights up, reading “X’s Lounge” as a shout-out to the X-Men.

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‘King of Cameos’

Stan Lee’s appearance in “The Gifted” is the latest in his random appearances in most TV and film adaptations of Marvel properties, as early as narrating introductions to the 1982 “Incredible Hulk” cartoon series. He has shown up in about 30 films produced by 20th Century Fox (“X-Men”) and Marvel Studios (other heroes and the “Avengers”) since the year 2000.

It should be noted that his latest cameo is the first time “Stan the Man” had done an in-the-flesh appearance on Marvel TV for quite some time. In the Marvel Netflix series, he is mostly relegated to a recurring framed photograph of a police captain in an NYPD station or narrating on their trailers. “The Gifted” also stars Jamie Cheung, Emma Dumont, Blaire Redford and Garret Dillahunt. It airs every Monday on Fox.