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David T. Cole

X-Men: Evolution

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Personally, I think XME is the best X-Men cartoon ever. I figure it's because we have actual teenaged mutants, as opposed to the mostly adult casts of X-Men and Wolverine & The X-Men. Casting the Brotherhood as the mutant versions of the Sweathogs was also pretty genius, even with the "will they or won't they" closemance between Kitty and Avalanche (whose real name I can't remember) and Mystique as the ballbusting principal.

 

ETA: Having Hank McCoy as the ultimate gym teacher and not a hyper-intellectual was a bonus. Apologies for the scattered thoughts . . . it's been so long since I gave any brain matter about the show.

Edited by Lantern7

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Evolution was my favorite of the X cartoons. It didn't sit right with me when they tried to retell classic X-stories with the 90s characters and it often didn't work very well. Plus, I liked the animation for Evolution better.

It just felt like its own entity rather than an attempt to cram decades of history into a very small time/team/area. Even if they alluded to past stories it felt like they gave it enough of a different spin to make it stand on its own.

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Though I created this forum, heh, the 90's show is my absolute all out favorite. I didn't care for this show when it first came out, and took me a second viewing to like it. Lantern, Avalanche's name was Lance.

 

I didn't like how Magneto was this one note, all out EVUHL villain with no layers whatsoever. Worse, that Pietro and Wanda were also villains. I really, really hated Pietro here. And since Rogue pretty much disowned Mystique here, I was left wondering how she got her super strength and flying ability, since, she stole them from Miss Marvel, right?  They all looked hulked up on steroids in the series finale.

 

I did enjoy watching Jean and Scott fall in love; seeing Alex and Scott reunite and become friends, something I was, dammit, what's the word? Deprived! That's it! Something I was deprived of in the 90s toon, other than Cyclops and Havok getting in each other's faces in "Cold Comfort" I think it was.

 

I did love Kurt/Nightcrawler. He was beyond adorable, and I'd believe Mystique was his mother, if her coloring had been more blue instead of the teal it was.

 

I also didn't care for the fact that Gambit/Remy worked for Magneto.

 

It was weird seeing Logan as Jean and Scott's teacher.

 

Duncan was an ass of the first order and must have been held back. Either that, or a loser, and felt wearing his jock jacket would make him look like a winner in the last season.

 

And I actually preferred the animation in the 90s toon.

 

That said, I do like this show, other than my what I didn't like.

 

I mean, this iteration made it seem like Magneto had something to do with the way Kurt turned out. Or something.

 

So glad I won't be "talking" to myself here!

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Evolution was my favorite of the X cartoons. It didn't sit right with me when they tried to retell classic X-stories with the 90s characters and it often didn't work very well. Plus, I liked the animation for Evolution better.

I think the animation of this show might be my favorite of ANY comic book based series. It probably isn't the one I'm most impressed with, but it is my favorite. There was something about the way many of the characters were animated (Rogue, Kurt, Toad just to start) that just drew me in to the characters more than usual. Just the animation made them more... likeable.

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I also consider myself a fan of this show.  Smart writing and beautiful animation make this my favorite X-Toon.  I'd definitely put it in my top ten toons of all time.

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For a long time, Rogue was one of my all-time absolute favorite characters in X-Men (don't get me started on her in the last 15 years, it makes me sad) and I'm just going to go on record as saying that Goth!Rogue in XME was a great choice. For one thing, she wasn't Emo Rogue or anything. She was still sassy and fiery, she just didn't fit in and making her part of a counter culture like the Goths (and also seeing that encouraged by Mystique and Destiny because they knew her powers would be dangerous was a clever twist) made sense to me.

 

There were things in XME that took me back to actual X-Men comics. Like Rogue and Kitty being roommates (they couldn't get into the whole Illyana thing so I'm fine with that) because in the books they were closest in age. Also, Rogue took on the Morlock style of dress very quickly and really liked it when the team was forced into hiding in the sewers with Callisto and the Morlocks. At that time, they dressed rather like New York street punks and Rogue's outfit was little more than a black body suit, a torn tanktop, ankle boots and then a bunch of studded leather belts and wristbands. In that sense, making her more Goth was fine by me.

 

But, really, Rogue was Rogue in XME (which was a delightful turn after the movies) she was more than ready to get in people's face about things, she stuck up for her friends, she took Mystique to task, she leapt before looking a lot of times. I really liked XME Rogue, it felt good to do so because I'm a fan of feisty Rogue. That's why I loved her in the first place.

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I've been rewatching Xmen Evolution on HULU lately, and I have to say how much I LOVE Jean Grey. It's odd because my first exposure to Jean Grey was through the 90s animated cartoon. I remember I hated her, Wolverine and Cyclops, and I enjoyed any episode where they had very limited exposure - excluding the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix sagas, of course. However, in Evolution, I find Jean to be one of the most intriguing characters on the cast. I love that the show made her a rootable and traditional heroine without making her perfect or judgmental. I love seeing her act like one of the kids while playing baseball, or dating the high school popular jock or even discussing future career opportunities with Prof X. This is contrasted with seeing her and the other young X-ladies going rogue - no pun intended - because they want to be seen as capable equals, her growing feelings for Scott that confused and scared her, or the show demonstrating Jean's quite formidable telepathy and telekinetic powers in battle without her fainting or screaming Scott every 3 seconds. Evolution shows that the Jean character can work; however, I think the thing I liked most about this interpretation of Jean's character was the exclusion of the Logan, Jean and Scott triangle and even the Phoenix sagas. 

 

I know my happiness that the show didn't delve into the Phoenix sagas may be seen as blasphemy, but I think without having to build up to Jean's demise, it gave them more time to focus on Jean as an actual character and not a needed plot point for a larger storyline. I also feel the show didn't feel the need to depower her in order to later contrast her normal mutant powers with that of the Phoenix force. Because Jean was not in the shadow of the Phoenix or the triangle, the show actually allowed her to be a dynamic character with her own fears, desires and agency which is something I felt other media portrayals of Jean has always lacked - the 90s cartoon, Wolverine and the Xmen which "killed" her off because of the Phoenix, the Xmen Anime which "killed" her off because of the Phoenix force or the Xmen movies. I would argue that the Phoenix storyline, which is arguably Jean's most iconic, is also the one that seems to limit her potential as a character.

I would love to hear from her Xmen or Jean fans. How do you think Evolution handled the Jean character? 

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I loved how they handled Jean. I actually liked their treatment of all of the characters in Evolution. (Well, except maybe Bobby but I felt that 'Joyride' was a fucking disaster that should have ended up with those kids in jail or something.)

I like how Jean's powers didn't immediately result in her passing out, that she was smart, friendly and athletic and also had strong ethics regarding her powers and their usage. It made sense in later seasons when the Professor had her as the face of the school not just because she looked 'normal' but that she was the most able to articulate what they worked so hard for because we had already seen what happened when Jean's powers spiked out of control.

I also liked how she and Scott were not a couple at the beginning. Sure, they obviously liked each other but it wasn't a Jean/Scott 4-Eva! from jump. It worked for me how their friendship and minor crushes on each other developed into a believable bond.

And I'm fine with never seeing the Phoenix saga in Evolution, too, despite getting the 'preview' of it at the very end. It does get used way way too often as a means of just killing her off to provide angst for Scott and Logan. I mean... Jean as Phoenix is wildly powerful but that's the challenge and they always do it way too fast. You're supposed to give a shit about Jean before the Phoenix and the Hellfire Club take her to the point of no return. That's the tragedy of the story but if you don't care about Jean the character then why does her 'death' matter?

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I loved X-Men Evolution except for how the show wrote for, and treated, Spyke.

Even in cartoons the writers can't get diversity right.

The amazingness of Uprising almost makes the whole thing worth it, but it gets nicked several points for ending with Spyke not returning to the team.

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A couple of things that I think are a bit remarkable is that this show managed to create X-23 who has made her way into the films and comics and that Jean's costume in X3: The Last Stand and Wanda's costume in much of the MCU seems to have been inspired by Wanda's costume in X-Men Evolution. For a show that isn't nearly as beloved as the 90s version, I think that's pretty impressive.

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