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Animated series centering on the X-men after the school was attacked by an unknown force and Professor X vanishes. Wolverine tries to bring the X-Men back together to find out what happened. Eventually they find Professor X in a comatose state. But he contacts them from the future where he awakes. And they have deal with new challenges. Written by
'Wolverine and the X-Men' is a new animated X-Men series that manages to surpass its predecessors thanks to some solid writing and refreshingly unique but surprisingly accurate portrayals of all the mutants. 'Wolverine' also succeeds in telling a more mature, straight forward storyline without all the cheese and convoluted plots and sub-plots from 1992's 'X-Men: The Animated Series.' Also gone is the teenage cast from 'Evolution.' 'Wolverine' sports a mostly adult cast of characters and mutants, giving a more appropriate take on the X-Men and their universe.
'Wolverine' plays it smart by not spending so much precious time expounding and explaining away the very basic, common knowledge that most people already know when going into an X-Men series: Why it is the X-Men exist, their purpose, and the reason for this conflict that exists between regular humans and evolved humans with special powers. Instead of explaining the same axioms again for the umpteenth time, 'Wolverine' rightfully assumes you possess basic knowledge of the X-Men universe and focuses on its own story.
The plot unfolds early on as the X-Men are assaulted by an unknown force, causing the disappearance of Professor X and Jean Grey, and leaving the Xavier Institute along with remaining team members in shambles. After an ordeal Wolverine faces, he moves to reunite the X-Men to solve the mystery behind the attack. Having seen up to the tenth episode myself, there's been a healthy balance of action and plot development within each episode. The action scenes are fun and inventive, with clever and unique usage of the mutant's powers. There's also the subtle and not so subtle humor in 'Wolverine,' some of which is very well done and wouldn't be out of place in a feature length movie.
Perhaps what's most interesting about 'Wolverine and the X-Men' is the attention given to some of the more unfamiliar characters who are often overlooked, or underdeveloped in prior series. You never know who will show up in an episode of 'Wolverine,' whether that be from the X-Men universe or perhaps even another Marvel license. Also explored in greater detail is the inherent ambiguity between some of the various characters and factions. Are they friend, foe, or are they simply misunderstood? These are questions you'll find yourself asking of both the familiar and the unfamiliar in 'Wolverine and the X-Men.'
Finally, the production values are all quite good, and the voice cast deserves a mention for their work. Excellent voice work all around, with proper inflections and careful avoidance of hammy overacting. The only one area I would fault 'Wolverine' in is the animation, of which I am a huge lunatic when it comes to fluidity of motion in animation. Simply put, more fluid animation would have worked wonders for several of the action sequences. Still, I don't want to disparage it too much as it's pretty typical of what you'd expect from an animated TV series, or kid's cartoons. However, what is not so typical is the overall quality and ease of viewing of the show. It's the best animated X-Men yet and it's an absolute shame it hasn't appeared on American television yet.
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