Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wolverine and the X-Men

Completely by surprise Wolverine and the X-Men premiered on ToonNick or whatever they’re calling the Nickelodeon channel devoted to cartoons and I must say, it wasn’t bad. I will admit that the show has its issues like some lazy animation (not showing certain actions and letting the viewer fill in the blanks), awkward pauses, and mediocre voice acting, but the story is solid. Well the story should be solid since it’s the same old X-Men story that we have all grown up with. The only original spin the creators have put on this series so far is that Wolverine is the leader of the X-Men and even that isn’t too original because he’s been team leader before. It’s obvious to me that this show isn’t intended the hardcore fan, but for the kids who don’t know too much about the X-Men universe and haven’t seen the 90’s animated version (even though they can watch it on toondisney at 12 am CT) or X-Men Evolution.


There is mysterious explosion and the mansion and Professor X and Jean Grey disappear. Without their fearless leader, the X-Men disband and scatter to the ends of the earth. With mutant registration getting out of hand it is up to Wolverine to unite the X-Men and stop all this chaos. The plot is very straight forward, but here’s what strikes me as odd. They are running way too many story arcs at the same time. Right now they are running the Mutant registration arc along with the Magneto and Genosha arc and the Brotherhood of Evil arc. And even thought it makes sense on paper it’s a bit overwhelming when you sit down to watch it. At the end of the premiere they showed a dramatic preview of what’s to come later in the series. In the preview there were clips from the weapon X arc, Age of Apocalypse arc, and the Phonex Saga. Is that all going to happen in the first season or are they going to space that out over three?


What makes me very happy and very sad all at the same time is that they have chosen to bring a lot of mutants into the mix. The problem is that since the X-Men universe is so huge there isn’t enough time to focus on all of them. Only the core players like wolverine (of course), Cyclops, Kitty, Iceman, Beast, Rouge, Storm and Magneto are going to get a lot of air time, but it’s nice to see other characters like Boom Boom, Dust, Rockslide, and eventually Psylocke popping-up (more Psylocke please!!!).

Final Thoughts

There is nothing wrong with the series, but there is absolutely nothing new about it either. So don’t think it’s going to bring a whole new dimension to the X-universe. Take it for what it is, an action cartoon for 10 year olds with reduced violence (apparently an open palm strike to the face isn’t as violent as a close fisted punch) and watered down themes for kids to understand. I will certainly be watching the X-Men run around battling the forces of evil and come on, who doesn’t want to see Storm kick butt with a handful of thunderbolts or see crowd favorite Gambit blow things up with a smile.

I’m giving Wolverine and the X-Men 3 Wolverine growls out of 5

(Dont look so surprised by the review I gave your show Wolverine, you should be lucky you got a 3 out of 5 considering that you're one of my least favorite mutants)

1 comment:

  1. The series is a lot farther along in Canada right now, so through less than legal means I can tell you that it does improve as it goes on. I appreciate the creators taking the time to let the characters develop, rather than slapping a few cliche character traits on each person and calling it soup. And while I agree that it's not intended for hardcore fans, there's plenty of fodder for the old school nerd in all of us (I mean, I got to see Blink animated - that was a good day for me.) You will especially appreciate Nightcrawler when you see him.

    That being said, I'd hate the Wolvie-centricism of it all, it he wasn't voiced by the same guy as Spike from Bebop. I mean, that makes it kinda hard to hate him.
    There's 14 episodes available elsewhere though - let me know if you want them.