Eric Drumm's picture
By Eric Drumm

REVIEW: WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN

Unlike some other comic properties, the X-Men have always had a good track record when it came to getting the animation treatment.  “Wolverine and the X-Men” is no exception.

The story rolls out in the classic X-Verse model:  Humans hate mutants, mutants need protection.  The mainstay of all these incarnations is that Charles Xavier, the bald headed fella who puts the "X" in X-Men had been leading the charge.  But what if Professor X got iced in the first five minutes of a new show, decimating the X-Men and leaving the leadership role open?

That’s exactly what happens here.

Wolverine, the eternal loner (even though he is on about a million teams right now in the comics) picks up the reins and decides to rebuilt the team with himself as leader.  Knowing that he really isn’t cut out for the job, his own self doubts and impulsive rage puts others and himself in danger.  With anti-mutant groups and the Brotherhood after them, its going to be a rocky journey to build themselves up to what they once were.

What I really like about the show is that it draws on so many different aspects of the X-Men.  If the X-Mythos were a buffet, this show would be the fattest kid in the joint.  Everything from the movies to ASTONISHING X-MEN to “Civil War” is all here.  “Civil War” in particular is very loudly echoed in this show.  Which I think is great because the X-Men were neutral (for the most part) during “Civil War,” and now we get to see what it would be like if they got their hands dirty.  The main antagonists, the MRDs led by classic X-asshole Senator Kelly are forcing mutants to register their powers.  That should sound familiar.  But here its interesting because we get to see a "What If" for an X-contained “Civil War.”  Aside the plot elements, I love the little bits of characters that stayed true.  Colossus and Kitty Pryde’s playfulness, Beast’s pacifism, Cyclops and Wolvie’s animosity.  It’s all there.  

It will be interesting to watch as the line up builds.  I’m guessing as the show progresses, the team will get bigger, and already there are implications that there will be some side switching between the X-Men and the Brotherhood.  But already the line up is awesome.  So far we are looking at Wolvie, Beast, Ice-Man, Angel and Kitty Pryde.  Don’t want to drop too big of a spoiler, but by the end of the first season I predict a cross between the ASTONISHING and the GIANT SIZE X-MEN rosters.  Which, by all means, is fucking incredible.

Drawbacks?  Some.  We never find out what MRD stands for (I think its probably Mutant Registration Division).  There are some awkward "Xavier goes into pain, everything goes white" moments that don’t really make any sense.  And the events that lead up to the disbanding are little hard to follow, especially for a kid’s show.  But all in all I think that the kinks will be worked out.

Is it as good as the show from the 90’s?  Not yet.  But I think it will get there.

“Wolverine and the X-Men” is kid tested, Drumm approved.

Thanks to Agent M and Marvel.com for video and images.  For more, check out www.marvel.com