April 7, 2010

Worth Watching: Wolverine and the X-Men

Why is it worth watching? Well, for one it's better than X-Men Evolution. Why is it better? Because the characters aren't whiny teenagers. This is how X-Men cartoons should be.

You might be wondering why it's called Wolverine and the X-Men. Good question. That's because, when the series starts, a mysterious explosion at the institute causes the disappearance of Jean Gray and sends Professor X into a coma. A coma he doesn't wake up from for another twenty years. From there, the story alternates between the present time, as Wolverine heads the X-Men in an attempt to stop the impending human/mutant war, and the grim future in which the war has caused to destruction of both the humans and mutants leading to a robot apocalypse lead by the AI Mastermold. Compelling stuff, indeed. Using cerebro, Professor X is able to communicate to Wolverine (don't even think about how that's possible) as the two work together to prevent the impending doom. It starts off strong and stays that way. The plot is always interesting and the characters seem much more developed than in Evolution (as far as I remember, anyway). Not to mention it ends with a major cliffhanger that sets up nicely for the next season. Needless to say, I'm hooked and ready for more.

Besides the writing I also prefer the animation and music to that of Evolution's. The artistic style of the show is very different, but really like it. It's hard to explain, but the character designs are just perfect for me. The casting is... interesting to say the least. It's not at all bad, but just unexpected I guess. First of all, Steve Blum voices Wolverine. He seemed like an odd choice to start out with but really grew on me later and I ended up really enjoying his interpretation of Wolverine. For those of you who don't recognize his name, Steve Blum voiced TOM on Toonami as well as Jamie on Megas XLR, in addition to many, many other characters. Second of all, and I still can't freaking believe it, Nolan "Everyman" North plays Cyclops. Ugh. But it does go well with the character. Tom Kane voices Magneto. I really hate that guys voice in most roles. He was Mr. Harrimen, Lord Monkey Fist, Professor Utonium, and Darwin (Thornberry) among others. Actually, I was rather upset that he was in Arkham Asylum, let alone voicing three characters: Gordon, Warden Sharp, and Amadeus Arkham. But, all in all, the voices work.

Something about this show is really compelling. It proves, to me, why the X-Men are the most interesting supergroup of Marvel's. Actually, it seems where Marvel succeeds in their movies, DC succeeds in their animated shows. Wolverine and the X-Men finally proves that Marvel can make a show that's just as good. Actually, I believe it's the same creative team that was behind Evolution. It seems that, this time, they went for a more mature and accurate (mostly) portrayal of the X-Men. And it's awesome.

Oh, and it happens to have my favorite opening as far as X-Men cartoons go. You can tell how cinematic it is when this guy sticks the Marvel movie thing in the beginning. It reminds me of the opening credits of a movie.

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