"Man is evil! Capable of nothing but destruction!"
....... Okay. Moving on...
In this final week of X-Men month, I've looked at two things that are similar but different. They're also a different look at the X-Men. While the last post covered a more mature version of the X-Men (Ultimate X-Men), this post is going to look at a show that had a lighter tone: X-Men Evolution (aka Fast Times at Mutant High, Xavier's School of the Gifted, 90210, and my favorite..."The show that had the X-Men in high school").
I don't know when I ran across this show. I think I saw a preview for it in a magzine or something. The show came out the same year the movie came out. I remember watching the show every Saturday moring on the WB. Hmm...I think Men in Black was still on, Pokemon was still on (I never did the cards but I did watch the show from time to time), and of course there were the Power Rangers. I unfortunately missed most of the third and fourth season thanks to marching band and the fact that the WB aired the show irregularly. After that, I really never saw reruns of the show for a while. I did see a couple of random episodes on Cartoon Network. I've wanted to look at it all for a long while. Thanks to Netflix, I have finally done that.
Yes, there are things to like about this show. Once you get past the whole fact that it's they're in high school, you really find things to like.
- Great Characters - All of the X-Men (even the annoying ones), The Brotherhood (...even the annoying ones), and the guest stars/heroes/villains are pretty great. This show probably had the best version of Cyclops and Jean Grey in the shows and movies. While Rogue had that Goth thing going on here, she was pretty cool as well. Logan (of course) was awesome as the edgy/tough mentor.
- Animation is pretty good - Overall, I thought the animation was pretty good. The action scenes were sweet. This show might have some of the best action scenes out of all of them. The costumes were interesting for the most part. Some were mixtures of former costumes and some were all together new.
- The whole "school" aspect is used well - For once, the Mansion actually felt like a freakin' school! yeah, you had the stuff underground, but this was really the first time the institute didn't feel like cover-up for a superhero team. We got to see the members of the team live here, eat here, and fight here.
- Good voice-casting - The voice casting was good. No complaints there.
- Not constantly focusing on the awesomeness of Wolverine (yes, that is a good thing)! - We only get four Logan-centered episodes in the whole series, which is good. While he is my favorite X-Men character, it's cool to see a show where the main focus is on the other members. He's pretty much the main muscle here, which is still awesome.
- Acknowledges a lot of X-Men history - There was a lot thrown in over the four seasons. While it wasn't completly true to the comic, we still get a lot of the convoluted relationships like the Kurt/Rogue/Mystique relationship. We also get a lot of characters showing up. We even get the New Mutants, Arcade (who was done in a cool way), and of all characters, Legion !
- Moves gradually from sorta lighthearted to dark and serious over show's course - The first two seasons (except a few episodes) had a lighthearted feel to them. That pretty much stopped after the awesome season finale of season 2 where the X-Men were revealed the world. The last two seasons then began to play a lot like the other series. The X-Men had to deal with persecution and the threat of Apocalypse in these last seasons.
- I can say more, but I won't. Go watch the show!
Seeing this for all of two minutes was freakin' awesome!
Are there cons to this show? Oh yes...
- First season was not that good - To me, the weakest season of the four was definitely the first. A lot of it is students joining either the X-Men or the Brotherhood. The show really doesn't amp up until the last few episodes in the season. The threats are also not that epic or big until the last few episodes of the first season. It also repeated itself a lot. The only opponents the X-Men had were the Brotherhood and they were basically the Bulk and Skull of the series.
- Some characters were a little annoying - Some characters had some annoying stages to them. Kurt and Spyke definitely had their annoying phases. The both do get less annoying over time, but it took way longer for Spyke.
- Magneto's voiced by Teal'C...Eh? - This isn't a dislike, but it is weird that Christopher Judge from Stargate SG-1 is voicing Magneto. When I imagine the voice of Erik, the actors from the 90's show, Wolverine and the X-Men, the movies, and the X-Men Legends video games come to mind. "Mr. Indeed" doesn't come to mind. I'm not saying that he was bad. He was pretty good. I just think that his voice wasn't the right fit for the character.
- It ended - Even though it did have a great last episode, it still sucks that it ended. It seemed like that more could be done on the show. Now, I have to enter into Rant Mode. Just bear with me: I hate the 52 episode rule. I just do. You hear me Warner Brothers, Disney, and whoever else is out there??? Stop it! For the love of all that's good, stop doing that to shows especially ones I like!!!.....................Rant done.
While The Brotherhood wasn't too bad, they had their annoying phases especially Toad.
Finally, here some of my favorite episodes of the series:
- Strategy X - It's the first episode and it shows what the tone of the show will be for a while.
- Grim Reminder - One of the only Logan episodes. It involves the Weapon X program.
- The Cauldron - We finally see Magneto's face and we end the season with a bang.
- Power Surge - Jean start to lose control of her powers....and Hank McCoy shows up in a cool way. When I first saw him in the episode, I was like "Woah! It's Beast!"
- The Beast of Bayville - Guess who it involves...yep. Beast.
- On Angel's Wings - A good holiday episode.
- Operation: Rebirth - An interesting take on Captain America. Nick Fury shows up as well.
- Day of Reckoning - This is one of their best episodes. All I can say is this: Uber-powered Sentinel.
- I'd say just watch all of Seasons Three and Four because this list is getting too long.
- X-Men: TAS - This show is number one because it's what drew me to the X-Men as a whole. It was well adapted from the comics. It also kept that serious, mature feel of the comics as well as the overarching feel for a few seasons. It had great voice acting and pretty decent animation. It also tried its best to focus on all of the X-Men, including Morph, a character they made for the show.
- X-Men: Evolution - X-Men Evolution had too many good things about it. The characters were cool. The show actually lived up to its name. We get to see these young men and women evolve into a team that literally saves the world. While the school drama drug it down a little bit, the show was still good.
- Wolverine and the X-Men - While this was really centered on Logan, it had its good moments. The show was probably the darkest of all of the shows. The episodes that took place in the future were pretty cool.