Thursday, July 20, 2017

Favorites - Best Animated Versions of the X-Men Part 2

Here are the rest of list from a couple days of ago. Not only are there heroes, but there are some villains.

If you think I’m not a fan of ‘ole Slim, you’d be mistaken. Someone cool had to start this part of the list off! Cyclops is more or less accurate in all three shows. The 90’s show is probably the one is most comic accurate since he’s leading the X-Men, married to Jean, ticking off Logan, and being a little uptight at times. On X-Men Evolution (EVO), Scott led the team into battle and was pretty cool at times. As for the Cyclops of Wolverine and the X-Men (WATXM), he was a little off the rocker. Since Jean was presumed dead, he quit the team and only came back because Logan asked him to. Even though he’s not leading the group, he does get a few moments to shine in the season.

It’s kind of easy to throw Scott in the “overbearing good guy who never breaks the rules” group. To be fair, it’s not a bad thing for him since I’d follow him into battle. The problem is that he really doesn’t come off as cool to most folk. While I liked Cyclops from the 90’s show, he was a little lame at times. Also, his voice actor was okay. Then, we get to WATXM’s Cyclops who was pretty much depressed all the time. I know he’s been at that stage in the comics too, but the creators go overboard with it on the show.

This is why I choose Cyclops from EVO. When re-watching the show, I really thought he was a cool guy. He could even have a little fun from time to time. You can’t say that about the rest of the Scotts. While throwing him and some of the others into high school was a weird move, I think it helped me like the character a little bit more. We got to see him grow into one into being a good leader. Yeah, he’s not butting heads with Logan over Jean (that would have been creepy…), but everything else worked.

Next up is the other blue dude of the group: Dr. Hank McCoy, aka Beast. Beast was in an interesting predicament for the first season of the 90’s show: he was locked up. After that arc, he was on the team for the remainder of the show. Beast didn’t show up on EVO until the second season but when he came, he came hard. We even got to see his transformation into his blue form. On WATXM, he was the first former X-Man Logan went to in order to bring the team back together.

I always felt that Beast was underused on these shows. Since there are always a lot of characters, he and others seemed to get the short shrift. He definitely got that on WATXM. While he was the tech guy and strong dude, that was about it. We did get to see a little more on the other shows. On EVO, he struggled with his powers and with how people regarded his appearance. Even though he didn’t get many times to shine, he was probably best used on the 90’s show. There was his prison time I mentioned earlier and a few times where he got to shine on his own. In the end, it’s the 90’s version of Beast that wins.

Jean Grey
Next up is the resident telepathic telekinetic. Jean Grey isn’t one of my favorite characters but I like her. I think most of that stems from her portrayal in the 90’s show. Outside of her time as Phoenix, she wasn’t really all that cool. The writers also went the Phoenix route on WATXM and Jean didn’t appear much. She was actually presumed dead until the last few episodes of the season. EVO didn’t go the Phoenix route but they did make Jean more assertive and less of a pushover. They also had an episode where her powers started to go out of control.

When it comes to which version was the best, I may be going with EVO again. I liked how assertive this version was. She also wasn’t just a love interest. We actually got to see her relationship with Scott grow over time. They also made her pretty powerful even without being Phoenix. The other versions were just okay. WATXM’s Jean was pretty cool but not around long. As for 90’s Jean, she wasn’t much without the Phoenix. She also came off as weak too many times. Her triangle with Scott and Logan was cool, though. In the end, EVO gets this win.

Next on the list is a character that was barely used on the shows: Warren Worthington III. He only appeared a handful of times. It’s weird that WATXM was the only show that actually had him be an X-Man though the 90’s show did retcon him in towards its end. By the way, that was weird. We also see him get turned into Archangel in all shows except for EVO. It’s weird since Apocalypse was a major force at the end of EVO. I guess the writers wanted to do something different for their Four Horsemen.

When it comes to which version I liked the best, it’s a little tough. Since the character was barely around, there really isn’t much to latch on to. Warren from the 90’s show was okay but a bit rough. After his transformation into Archangel, he swore vengeance against Apocalypse and he came off as annoying to me. The Angel from EVO was okay but not much was done with him. As for the Angel on WAXTM, that one was probably used the best. His transformation into Archangel was interesting. Plus, he had a relationship with Storm even though it appeared out of nowhere. WATXM gets he vote since he was used to great effect there. It’s too bad that we didn’t get to see his story play out since the show only had one season.

Next up is the evil version of Wolverine: Sabertooth. While he wasn’t used too much, Victor Creed has shown up on all three shows. He was one of the first villains that the X-Men and Wolverine faced on the 90’s show. He’d come back only a few more times after that. He was also pretty present on EVO for a bit since he was a part of Magneto’s Brotherhood teams. He only appeared in one episode of WAXTM, though.

Sabertooth’s done best when he goes up against Wolverine. Luckily, all these versions got to do that and then some. He’s that one tie to Logan’s past that unfortunately keeps coming back. WATXM only had him for one episode and even then, he wasn’t the main threat. EVO did have them going up against each other a few times but that’s about it. To me, the 90’s show did him the best. Not only was he pretty threatening to everyone, we even got some more backstory on him in some episodes. Plus, I thought his voice actor rocked. I’m not sure about that costume, though.

Next up is another blue person: Mystique. The X-Men just has that “Blue-Person Quota” filled, don’t they? Mystique has appeared as the villain in all of these shows. On the 90’s show, she led the Brotherhood of Mutants. She was also a pawn of Apocalypse. On EVO, she was Magneto’s second-in-command with the Brotherhood of Mutants. She did eventually set out on her own. On WATXM, she was part of the Brotherhood. She also had a history with Logan and may had been his former lover.

Mystique’s has always been one of those characters that is kind of interesting. I always wonder how her power set actually works. The shows did their best to show her off since I don’t remember there being many female villains on them. She was fine on the 90’s show but her voice actress was kind of bad. I did like her interactions with Rogue and Nightcrawler, though. The one on WATXM was interesting but not much was done with her. In my opinion, EVO treated the character best. Not only did she have a good voice actress behind her, the stories that involved her were pretty entertaining. Her relationships with Rogue and Nightcrawler were handled well there too.

Next up for the list is “The First Mutant” himself: En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse. Now, Apocalypse really only appeared on the first two shows. He was one of the major villains from the 90’s show. On EVO, he was the last major threat the X-Men had to face at the end of the series. They really changed up his character for that show especially his look. While he did make a small cameo at the end of WATXM, he pretty much plays no role. It is hinted that Mr. Sinister is working for him, though. He’s seen with him in that cameo too.

Apocalypse is a pretty cool villain in general. I even liked him in X-Men: Apocalypse which is something I need to touch upon one day. When it comes to which version was the best, I have to go with the 90’s version. While EVO’s version was pretty cool and pretty powerful, the 90’s version almost became ruler of space and time. I don’t think you can beat that. Plus, the dude had some awesome quotes. It was hilarious when I was going back over them on YouTube. It also helped that sci-fi alum John Colicos was voicing him. The 90’s show definitely knew how to treat their big villains especially the one who is “the rocks of the eternal shore.”

Next up is the master of Magnetism: Erik Lensherr. Magneto is one of the biggest X-Villains, so you know he’s going to be present in these shows. He has to be since his goals of mutant supremacy is opposed to Xavier’s goal of coexistence. On the 90’s show, he was the villain we know to be as well as a bit complex. After the first season, he was less of an antagonist to the X-Men. On EVO, he was handled in an interesting way. We don’t fully see him until the end of the first season. For a while, all we got was Christopher Judge’s booming voice from the shadows, and yes, Teal’C voiced Magneto. On WATXM, he was the leader of Genosha and was pretty much the guy we know him to be. There aren’t many guys who’ll re-program Sentinels and use to them to destroy New York.

All the versions were good to some degree. They were all pretty truthful to the source material. They tried to show that there was more to him than just being a guy who hates humanity. Plus, they were well voice-acted. Even though Christopher Judge felt a little miscast with that booming voice, I liked it. When it comes to my favorite version, I have to go with the 90’s show. The writers did their best to show all sides to Magneto. While he did hate humanity, they showed that he had a noble side to him as well. While the other shows tried to show different sides to him, the 90’s show just did it for me.

Professor Charles Xavier
Finally, we got the heart and the soul of the X-Men: Professor Charles Xavier. He was pretty much a mainstay for all three shows. The 90’s show and EVO pretty much gave us the iconic Xavier. He’s teaching students, leading the X-Men, and doing his best to keep the peace. He’d even get in on the action sometimes and had some questionable voice-acting. WATXM really took him for a loop in that he was kind of out of commission. After the incident at the Mansion which led to the X-Men’s disbanding, he some got put into coma. His mind ended up in the future along with other mutants like Bishop, Marrow, and others. It’s there where he does his best to keep in contact with the X-Men of the present and help out the X-Men of the future.

Xavier’s not one of my favorite from the X-Men but he’s still cool. He was the founder of the X-Men, after all. The 90’s show did its best to showcase Xavier in a lot of ways. We got his backstory, we got to see him in action, and we even got to see him walk. EVO’s Xavier was downplayed a little bit since he was pretty much the teacher and not much else. WATXM did do something pretty interesting with him by keeping him separated from the X-Men. You could definitely tell that his presence was missed by the team. At the end, the 90’s show did it for me when regarding Xavier. We just got to see so much with the character.


Well, that is that. If I was running a tally on which show would win, the 90’s show would win in spades. So much was done to get those characters right. Even though EVO and WATXM didn’t have the best representations of some characters, they still worked for their shows. Other than a few pitfalls, these were some good shows. Maybe the X-Men will return to animation one day. For now, I have these shows, the comics, and the live action movies to keep me satisfied. Well, I’m outta here. Peace, God Bless, and be careful out there.

By the way, “This one’s for you, Morph!”

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