First Impressions: Wolverine and the X-Men My Reviews 12 DEC 2008

Wolverine and the X MenFanboys of the world, unite! Man, I’ve been watching the first couple of episodes of Wolverine and the X-Men, one of Marvel Entertainment’s latest forays into the animated series world and damn they’ve got it right.

Officially this is the fourth animated instalment based on the X-Men universe, the first three being Pryde of the X-Men, X-Men: The Animated Series and finally X-Men: Evolution.

The storyline for the series so far focuses on an initial mysterious explosion at the Xavier Institute mansion which leaves Professor Charles Xavier and Jean Grey missing, the X-Men disbanded and Cyclops suffering from severe depression. Discrimination against mutants is escalating in its severity and a recent move by the Mutant Response Division (MRD) forces Wolverine back into action, banding together with Beast as they seek to reunite the remaining X-Men and present a united front against this new threat towards mutantkind. And then there is the missing Charles Xavier and Jean Grey still to consider…

From the episodes that I have so far watched, the writing on this new series is simply top notch. Tight continuity, an intriguing mystery and of course plenty of X action as what you’ve come to expect from the world’s premier group of mutants, never mind the fact that the entire show places everyone’s favourite adamantium-clawed hero in the focal point – and as the leader of the X-Men to boot!

I must admit to being a little thrown by the writers’ choice to seemingly arbitrarily decide the age of the various X-Men, but once this purist streak within me abated, I certainly sat back and enjoyed each and every episode so far. And with a jaded viewer like myself on the couch, this is quite the impressive deed let me tell you.

The animation used is pretty neat, stylish to a degree but nicely enough detailed to not come across as simplified as say the DC Animated universe. The character models all look good and the action sequences are fluid and well choreographed. Colouring is vibrant (but perhaps a little bit too cartoonish), but this fits the tone and style of the show perfectly, so no real complaint there.

Voice acting also happens to be pretty top notch, same with the musical score. Heck, even the opening sequence is a move away from the classic animated series sing and dance start routine that usually accompanies all the other Marvel animated releases. Perhaps they’ve stolen a page out of Justice League Unlimited’s page, but whatever the case, it certainly makes this series more accessible to the more mature audience!

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is simple. If you like the X-Men and love your animated shows, then Wolverine and the X-Men is MOST definitely worth the watch!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.