Pointless Nonsense

Posted in tv by Bill on June 25, 2012

X-Men Evolution is a cartoon that ran from 2000-2003, which I didn’t watch because at the time the 90s X-Men series was the beginning and end of all things X-Men (which, looking back, is kinda hilarious… the show did have a solid voice cast, but the Jim Lee costumes were ridiculous and by season 3 the plots were insane). But having just finished all the British series I had made a note to check on, I am struggling for things to watch. So I queued up a few superhero cartoons to watch on Netflix: this, Wolverine and the X-Men, and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Anyway, the concept is kinda silly. Xavier is recruiting young mutants for his institute, which for some reason isn’t a school, so Cyclops and Jean Grey and company go to the local high school. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is also recruiting young mutants, and keeping them at a high school run by Principal Darkholme, aka Mystique, which just so happens to be the same high school the X-Men go to. In the 7th episode, the X-kids are finally told that they are at a high school full of evil mutants run by Mystique. But they still haven’t explained why Xavier wouldn’t just transfer them or something.

Also confusing, Mystique seems to be consistently interested in finding the location of Xavier’s institute, which he keeps secret. However, Magneto has shown up at the school before (with his helmet on, so Charles couldn’t erase his memory), and Mystique works for him. So… why doesn’t she just ask her boss?

I instantly hated their takes on:

  • Professor X – just the voice, he sounds like goofy impression of Patrick Stewart.
  • Kitty Pryde – the voice and dialogue, she’s “like omg you know” annoying, which I could see for Jubilee but seems totally wrong for Kitty
  • Rogue – I kinda like gothy design for the character, but Jammer’s little sister from Edgemont has an atrocious southern accent.
  • Mystique – she sounds older and slightly mannish, while I’ve always thought of Mystique as a femme fatale
  • Magneto – voiced by Teal’c, for some reason, and they always have him in the shadows. He comes off as almost demonic, which ruins the best part of the classic X-men dynamic: Xavier and Magneto are friends who disagree over how to deal with human-mutant relations. This Magneto looks and sounds like a monster.

Storm is around, but older, so she plays bit parts in maybe half the episode. So to fill in the black quotient, they have Spyke, who I think was just made up for the show. I thought that was silly since there are about a billion X-Men characters to choose from, but Bishop is the only other black one I can think of that existed before this show started. And Bishop’s time travel backstory would probably not work with this setting.

Also, lots of people have Canadian accents, but ironically not Wolverine.

The production values are a bit low. I don’t think it’s just that the music is dated, it’s just generally cheap sounding. The animation is pretty clunky in parts.

It’s kinda interesting that they make some of the X-Men older, like Storm and Wolverine. Especially Wolverine, since that pretty much eliminates the possibility of the Jean/Cyclops/Logan love triangle that has been in basically every other X-Men adaptation ever. I guess they could do that, but Marvel probably would not have looked favorably upon having one of their most valuable characters interested in statch.

And yet despite all my complaints, I’m motoring through these episodes. They’re short, I basically already know the characters already, and I can zone out doing web browsing or whatever and pick the plot right back up. So I think while I consider the show quite bad, I’m going to end up watching all 4 seasons fairly quickly.

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