Made in 2009, in anticipation for a movie that made X-Men 3 look like a masterpiece, this is Wolverine And The X-Men, a show that follows suit to the movies in that the show focuses on him, and everyone else is just along for the ride. The show ran on Nicktoons from January 23 to November 29, 2009.
The series starts off with Prof. X and Jean Grey getting mysterious headaches, and an explosion occurs that leaves the school in shambles, and presumably kills the Professor and Jean. Due to the loss of the Professor, Jean, and the mansion’s destruction, many of the X-Men have withered in their faith towards the stability of their former team and have since detached themselves from their former community. Storm returned to Africa, Cyclops became reclusive, Iceman and Shadowcat went back to their respective parents’ homes, leaving only Wolverine and Beast as the only remaining X-Men still active.
A year later, the US Government started the Mutant Response Division, in the hopes of detaining and registering existing mutants. The MRD begins capturing mutants from all over the country in response to the countless human protesters determined to protect the safety of humankind. This prompts Wolverine to reform the X-Men. Wolverine and Beast get Iceman, Shadowcat, and Forge. He tries to get Angel, but he’s too closely tied to his mutant-hating father, and Cyclops is still torn over Jean’s death. And then, there’s Rouge, she decided to join The Brotherhood, she’s still upset with Wolverine, he planned on leaving before the explosion, and resented him for it. She also sets up the X-Men into making people believe they were trying to assassinate Senator Kelly, After that, Wolverine was done with her (for now anyway).
Later, Emma Frost, a member of the Hellfire Club (renamed The Inter Circle for the show, because censors) approaches the team, stating that she can find The Professor, using their Mutant tracker Cerebro. She discovers that Prof. X is on Genosha, home of The X-Men’s old enemy: Magneto. Finally Cyclops joins the team, mainly because he hopes that Jean will be there too. They storm Genosha, and it goes as well as you’d think, with Magneto one-uping them. But before he can welcome the X-Men to die, he shows them The Professor, who’s in a coma, and willingly returns him.
Later, Prof. X (telepathically) tells the X-Men, that he’s going to be in a coma for 20 years, and reveals that when he wakes up, The Sentinels will lay waste to the world, and the X-Men are dead, and that only as a team can they change the future and appoints Wolverine as leader of The X-Men.
As the show progresses, other X-Men rejoin the team, Storm comes back and contributes pretty much nothing to the show, Nightcrawler gets his own subplot, where he cares for mutant refugees going to Genosha, befriending Scarlet Witch, and learning that Genosha is secretly a prison for Mutants (and considering that Magneto is a Holocaust survivor, this should strike a nerve with him).
In the episode “Future X”, Prof. X meets the surviving mutants, lead by Bishop. It’s here that The Professor, learns about The Sentinels’ Master, a computer program called Master Mold, which Wolverine learns is a program that Bolivar Trask is currently working on.
In “Battlelines” Rogue tells Wolverine Magneto’s plans, to goad Senator Kelly into war. Since she’s a former X-Man, he should believe her, but after the events in the pilot, he locks her in the brig. By they the time the X-Men can do something, The MRD were attacked by the Juggernaut, making mutant/human relations worst than they already were.
In “Excessive Force” Cyclops learns that Mister Sinister, might be holding Jean prisoner and runs off to find her by himself. Of course it was all a trap, and he didn’t have her at all. I bring this up, because Wolverine chews him out for running off on his own, and threatens to kick him off the team, and it’s odd considering he does that, ALL THE TIME!! In fact, he does that FIVE TIMES in this show. But, I digress… In “Guardian Angel”, Angel’s wings are severely damaged, his father has his wings cut off. Angel, goes to Sinister, who brainwashes him and turns him into ArcAngel, and that’s the last we see of him.
In “Breakdown”, we see Cyclops’ early years on the team, as a klutz who couldn’t do anything right without Jean there to make him feel better, and Wolverine showed up constantly hits on Jean, treats Cyclops like crap. Then, when he fights back, Jean tells him that he should apologize to Wolverine. We also learn the explosion was caused by Jean, through the Phoenix Force, we’ll get to that later. In “Backlash”, the X-Men and Brotherhood team up and destroy the present Master Mold, but the future remains the same, which means something else causes the end of the world. Prof. X shows both Magneto and Senator Kelly, the dark future that lies ahead, this convinces Kelly to end his Nazi-esque crusade against the mutants, Magneto however puts his ultimate plan to action. Emma and Cyclops find Jean, but she amnesia, how convenient. Emma double crosses the team by kidnapping Jean and sending her to The Hellfire Club.
In the finale, “Hindsight”, Mystique impersonates Senator Kelly and reprograms The Sentinels to attack Genosha, giving Magneto a reason to attack humanity. Emma explains the Phoenix Force to Jean, it’s an ancient power that’s inflicted telepaths since the dawn of time that could bring about the end humanity. This frightens Jean, but Emma assures her that she can destroy it. This upsets The Hellfire Club, who had plans to control the Phoenix. Emma retrieves Cyclops to help her unlock Jeans psychic barriers, but The Club gets the Phoenix to possess five of their accolytes, we also learn that the explosion, Jean’s amnesia, and Prof. X’s coma, were caused by Emma, and that she only joined the X-Men just to find Jean. During the battle between The Sentinels and the Poenix-posessed accolytes, Jean tries to reclaim it, but Emma steps in and takes it and sacrifices herself to save everyone. Afterwards, Xavier informs the X-Men that their mission was a success and that The Sentinels no longer destroy the world. However, there is a new and far more formidable future that has taken its place, a dark age, a sinister age, an Age Of Apocalypse.
The show was, a bit of a hit and miss for a lot of people. For a show that gives Wolverine top billing, the best episodes are the ones that focus on the other characters. Granted, Cyclops was very badly written, Beast, Iceman, Shadowcat, and Storm were basically side characters, and Jean didn’t even have a character arc until the final four episodes. Nightcrawler, Magneto, and Emma they’re at least given justice. The Days Of Future Past subplot was much more interesting than anything Wolverine was up to. The animation is better than most canceled cartoons, I wish could say the same thing about the pacing, the subplots tend to have large gabs between them, much to the main plots dismay, especially with most of Nightcrawler’s story arc. The show was also notable to feature Nick Fury as an African-American, who appeared in an episode that served as a follow-up to the straight to video double feature “Hulk VS”, which was the only time we see other Marvel heroes in the show. As a show that only focuses on Wolverine, it’s pretty weak, but if it focused on the other characters, maybe, just maybe it would’ve returned for a second season.
Next up, Iron Man returns only this time, he and his friends are teenagers… and in CG
RANK 3 out of 5