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October 31, 2010

Stay Tooned Sundays: Wolverine and The X-Men

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Written by: nickz
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It’s time for a fresh episode of Stay Tooned Sundays. As you recall a few weeks ago, we reviewed the first volume of  X-Men , the animated series from the 90s. This week we check out the latest cartoon to feature the children of the atom, Wolverine and The X-Men. This complete series with all 26 episodes was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD. The three disc set includes 29 audio commentaries from the show creators, Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson, plus two behind the scenes featurettes.

Title: Wolverine and The X-Men
Company: Marvel  Entertainment
Distributed by: Lions Gate
US Release Date: October 12, 2010
Length: 598 min.
Rating: Not Rated
Volume: Complete Series

The series begins with a giant explosion that destroys the X-Mansion and possibly kills Jean Grey and Professor X. We then jump forward in time one year to find that the X-Men have disbanded, the government has set up a special ops group to deal with mutants called the Mutant Response Division (MRD), and Magneto has created a sanctuary for mutants on the island nation of Genosha. Wolverine returns to the X-Mansion in hopes of finding someone to help him rescue a family that was taken prisoner by the MRD for nursing him back to health while he was injured. Wolverine soon discovers that Beast is the only remaining resident of the mansion. Together the two X-Men save the family and Wolverine decides to get the X-Men back together.

Wolverine and Beast are in the process of  tracking down the other X-Men when Emma Frost shows up and claims she can help find Professor X, but only if she is allowed to join the team. Reluctantly the X-Men agree, and Emma begins her search for the Professor. Using Cerebro, Emma discovers that Xavier is on Genosha and the X-Men set out to rescue him. After defeating the X-Men in battle, Magneto allows them to leave Genosha and take Xavier, who is in a coma, with them. Once back at the mansion, the X-Men are soon contacted psychically by Professor X. He reveals that he has just awoken from his coma some 20 years in the future to a Sentinel controlled world. The Professor informs the X-Men that they must prevent said future from coming to pass, and only through Wolverine’s leadership can this be accomplished.

After this set up, the series goes on to follow many different ongoing story lines. The primary plot is of course the X-Men trying to prevent a war between humans (Senator Kelly) and mutants (Magneto), which they believe to be the cause of the horrible apocalyptic future that the Professor warned them about. Xavier continually contacts the present day X-Men as he learns more details about how this future comes to pass, while also helping a future band of X-Men to survive and overthrow Master Mold. Meanwhile, Rogue’s story arc involves her having to choose loyalties between the X-Men and Quicksilver’s Brotherhood. Cyclops also finds himself torn between his dedication to the team and his obsession with finding the missing Jean Grey. Scott is aided in his search by Emma Frost, who seems to have more than a passing interest in him. Nightcrawler has his hands busy helping some mutants get to Genosha, then giving life on the mutant paradise a try, and all the while developing a romance with the Scarlet Witch. There is also major drama in the “House of M” between Magneto and his three children, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Polaris. Angel  has to deal with his own daddy issues, which lead him down a dark, tragic path. In the midst of all this, the X-Men must also deal with the Weapon X project, the Mojoverse, the Hulk, SHIELD, Mr. Sinister, and much more.

Let me start off by admitting that I had never seen a single episode of this show before I watched it for this review. As a life long X-Men fan, some of the things I read about this show really dissuaded me from wanting to see it. Before going into this, I found there were two things that I needed to accept in order to make me able to appreciate and enjoy this show. The first thing I realized pretty quickly is that this is not an X-Men show, it is instead a Wolverine show that happens to feature the X-Men. Not to say that Wolverine is the main character in every episode, just most of them. The second realization I had to make was that the characters in this show are some kind of alternate reality X-Men and not the X-Men from the regular 616 Marvel Universe. Whether this rationale is true or not, it helped me to not question things like why Wolverine had to lead the team when both Cyclops and Storm are available, or why the X-Men would, after the mansion is attacked and Professor X and Jean Grey kidnapped, choose to disband instead of going to look for their missing teammates and find out who attacked them.

Once I found a way to get past these issues, I found the show to be pretty amazing. Evey episode is fun and full of great moments and adventures. One of the best episodes, entitled “Breakdown,” has Emma telepathically going through all the memories Cyclops has associated with Jean Grey. Amongst these memories, we get to see a young Scott after the plain crash that “killed” his parents; we also get to witness his first meeting with Jean Grey, and best of all, his experiences with the original team practicing in the Danger Room, and later taking on Magneto. Another great episode, likely the best of the series, is the three part series finale, “Foresight.” This three part episode takes all the crazy plot lines of the season and gives them each a satisfying ending. There is literally so much going on in these episodes that it seems unlikely that there is any way all the problems can be resolved in the time allotted. Not only are these episodes able to tie things up in an amazing and bittersweet way, they also set up the series for  what would have been an amazing second season. To all the X-Men fans out there that have not given this show a chance, you should definitely check it out because it really is a great X-Men saga.

Nick Zamora
nickz@comicattack.net

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4 Comments


  1. Billy

    I was very skeptical about this show as well. In the beginning, it seemed a little to ambiguous, but eventually I came to enjoy it for what it is.



  2. I think I’m one of the few people who have seen this show. I’ll probably start the DVDs when I have time to actually sit down and enjoy them.



  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, nick zamora. nick zamora said: Visit @ComicAttack.net today and check out the latest Stay Tooned Sundays. This week Wolverine & The X-Men! http://dft.ba/-STSWolverinexmen […]



  4. I watched the first two episodes and thought they were great. I think the cameo takes on the X-Men allow for so many to be seen. Great move, and I love the depiction of Iceman!



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