I always find it difficult to watch an adaptation of something I’m protective of. But regardless of my hesitancy, I’m glad to finally watch the first episode of the new X-Men animated series, Wolverine and the X-Men. It premiered last year, but new first season episodes are still being aired on Nicktoons in the States (but not everyone gets that channel, including me, so this is my first opportunity).
First of all, I grew up watching the X-Men Animated Series and X-Men: Evolution; they first introduced me to the wonderful world of mutants, and, along with Batman, it’s the reason I’m parked in my chair writing this blog. So about the first five minutes consisted of my not-so-silent mumblings of how the characters so resemble Evolution’s with deliberate mistakes: Nightcrawler has aged ten years and Storm got some major volumizing shampoo, for starters.
But to be fair, the essence of X-Men is still intact. One year ago, Jean and Xavier were attacked by an unknown enemy and subsequently disappear, causing the X-Men to go their separate ways. Fast-forward to present day: Wolverine re-recruits the X-Men to find Jean and Xavier, and tackle the slew of anti-mutant organizations and enemies, such as the Sentinels and Mutant Response Division (MRD). Additionally, Genosha is still alive, with Magneto as its president. Wolverine is definitely more adult than Evolution, focusing less on high school troubles and more on the mutant political situation. There are plenty of cameos that fans will appreciate, and the voice actors do a relatively good job bringing their characters to life.
Wolverine has also taken some deliberate steps to distinguish itself from its TV predecessors; most significantly, Wolverine is now the head honcho of the team. I personally like the change–making the anti-hero the leader is a lot more interesting as opposed to Cyclops, who always seemed rather bland. Instead, Jean’s disappearance makes Cyclops withdrawn and melancholy, much like the beginning of X-Men 3. (Which isn’t a real movie, but a nightmare of our imagination. Moving on!) Also, Emma Frost will become a major supporting character for the first time, and Beast steps into the limelight as well as Wolverine’s right hand man.
You can watch the first five episodes on Wolvie’s homepage at Marvel.com.
PS – I’ve decided to continue reviewing the entire series! Check back for more reviews and put in your own two cents as well!