Episode 4: Overflow
Storm has returned to her home in Africa, but the Shadow King takes over Storm’s body and seeks to destroy the entire continent. Xavier warns Wolverine and the team, who must stop the destruction before it’s too late. This is an interesting aspect into Storm’s African origin, something that was not so fully explored in Evolution or the live-action films. Kevin Michael Richardson was the perfect voicecasting choice for the spookily parasitic Shadow King, and the final “essence battle” between the Shadow King and Emma was wonderfully executed as well.
This is also the first episode with a direct storyline link to another X-Men show: the Shadow King appears in X-Men 1992’s “Whatever It Takes”. In this version, the Shadow King possesses Storm’s spiritual son, Mjnari; Rogue and Storm travel to Africa to rescue Mjnari and return the Shadow King to the Astral Plane. Aside from Mjnari, 1992’s most striking difference is Rogue’s presence, as she has not yet reappeared in Wolvie. Nevertheless, it was nice to see her ’92 incarnation again, as it’s probably the truest we’ve ever seen her outside of comics.
I am reluctantly beginning to like Emma Frost, perhaps because she’s finally in a lead role. But what still bothers me is not her personality: it’s that her grossly unattainable body has translated to the series, and after finding a witty and enlightening entry about the animated X-Men and female body image, I’m glad I’m not alone in this. Emma’s chest size may be ridiculous (see left), but all the Wolvie X-ladies sport thin legs and arms and size 0 waists, and many have revealing costumes too (see the screencaps from the above entry). I love X-Men not only for its political themes, but also as one of few series that features strong, independent women with integrity; and like the author of the above entry, I’m disconcerted that Wolvie will be enforcing this Barbie mindset to its younger viewers.
Stay tuned for reviews of episodes 5 & 6, which feature Gambit and Nightcrawler! And in the meantime, what do you think about the Wolverine and the X-Men episodes so far?