12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: X-MEN EVOLUTION: ON ANGEL WINGS

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ON ANGEL WINGS
CAST
Meghan Black (Elf)
Alexandera Carter (Masters of Horror)
Neil Denis (Stargate SG.1)
Mark Hildreth (Earthsea)
Christopher Judge (Lord of The Elves)
David Kaye (Beast Wars)
Michael Kopsa (Dark Angel)
Scott McNeil (Highlander: The Series)
Kirby Morrow (The Flash)
Maggie Blue O’Hara (Dragon Ball Z)
Venus Terzo (Da Vinci’s Inquest)
Kirsten Williamson (Juno)
Christmas time in New York City. In Worthington Tower, a man watches the news. A disabled woman is trapped inside of a burning building and no one is able to reach her. Warren walks out to the balcony, takes off his coat and spreads his wings. Outside of the building, firemen are holding back a teenage girl, named Jamie who keeps begging them to let her go in and save her mother. Angel flies in through a window and saves the woman without being seen. He drops her off on a bench nearby and flies away. The woman calls over her daughter and tells her that she was saved by a real angel. At the Institute, a holiday party is underway. Kitty, Jubilee, and Amara are all opening presents from Jean. Kurt shows up with mistletoe and chases Kitty around trying to get a kiss. Xavier invites Logan to stay and spend the holidays with them. Logan tells him that he has important things to catch up on. Rogue gives Scott a gift, and tells him that it might be fun with just the two of them, Xavier and Beast for the holidays. Jean watches from across the room as Scott opens his gift and acts kinda jealous. Kurt finally corners Kitty on a sofa. As he closes his eyes and leans in for a kiss, she slides out of the way and he kisses Bobby instead.
Later, Everyone loads up into cars and heads home for the holidays. Ororo is dropping off Jubilee, Bobby, & Sam, while Ray is dropping off Kitty, Jean and kurt. Presumably all at airports. While reading The Daily Bugle Angel catches a mugger in Central Park. As the victim explains to a mounted policeman that he was saved by an angel, his briefcase drops from the sky and lands between them. The victim points up and they both see him flying away. As Warren picks up his coat and walks away, he’s watched by a man hiding behind some trees. The news starts reporting all of the Angel sightings. Xavier tells the others that he thinks that the “angel” is really a mutant. He sends Rogue and Scott to NY to try and recruit him. In NY, they go about questioning all of the witnesses. Scott shares some personal stories with Rogue, while they warm up in a diner.The man from Central Park continues to follow Angel. As Angel is flying over the Brooklyn Bridge, the man uses his powers to cause a car accident in such a way that it could only be Magneto. Angel goes to the rescue of a little girl and her family and saves them just as their car is about to go off of the bridge. As the crowd ohhs and ahhs over him, Magneto coils a bridge cable around his leg, causing him to knock the little girl, Hailee off of the bridge. He manages to pull her out of the water, but Magneto yells out that he saw him knock her in on purpose. The crowd turns on Angel, calling him a freak and Angel flies off.
Hailee ends up sick and in the hospital. Angel flies in through her window to visit her. He gets trapped by a nurse and disguises himself as a doctor to sneak out of the room. At the desk, Rogue and Scott are asking to speak with her parents. The doctor tells them that they said they were going to their church to pray. Angel overhears this as he walks by, but as he leaves, a feather falls out of his coat. Rogue sees the feather and they chase after Angel. He escapes from a window and they watch as he flies away. At the church, Angel watches the parents as they pray. Magneto shows up and tries to recruit him. When Angel refuses, Magneto tries to take him by force. Rogue and Cyclops arrive just in time, and between the three of them they’re able to knock Magneto out. Rogue manages to touch him, but Magneto comes to and knocks her away. When he takes off, Rogue flies after him (using his own power). She chases him through the city, but he ambushes her and uses a magnetic pulse to send her flying into a building. She saves herself at the last minute, but he sends a huge piece a building hurtling towards her. It knocks her out and she falls towards the ground. Angel arrives at the last second to scoop her up and save her.
Later, back at the hospital, Rogue and Scott invite Angel to come and visit the Institute and meet Xavier. A doctor comes in and tells the parents that Hailee will be okay. Scott tells Rogue that he doesn’t think that Angel will come with them. They join Angel at a window to watch as the parents hug the little girl. They show the other X-Men celebrating the holidays with their families. Jean and her family are picking out a Christmas tree. Kitty is lighting a menorah as her parents watch. Kurt meets his parents in the airport as he arrives home. Evan, Storm, and his parents have a snowball fight. Wolverine is in a bar alone, shooting pool. And Beast and the Professor sit in front of the Christmas together.
On_A's_Wings_-_5_rogueA great Christmas episode for the holidays and a great way to introduce Angel, who every round this time of year mistakes for a real Angel. Its a heartwarming story and real pleasure to watch at Xmas.
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REVIEW: X-MEN: EVOLUTION – SEASON 1-4

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CAST (VOICES)

David Kaye (Happy Gilmore)
Kirby Morrow (Ninja Turtles: Next Mutation)
Venus Terzo (Arrow)
Brad Swaile (Zoids)
Maggie Blue O’Hara (My Little Pony Tales)
Neil Dneis (Stargate SG.1)
Scott McNeil (Beast Wars)
Kirsten Williamson (Juno)
Meghan Black (Elf)
Michael Kopsa (Apollo 18)


RECURRING / NORABLE GUEST CAST

Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Christopher Judge (Stargate SG.1)
Alessandro Juliani(Smallville)
Michael Adamthwaite (BLack Xmas)
Megan Leitch (IT)
Mark Hildreth (V)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Jim Byrnes (Highlander: The Series)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)

UntitledThe first season introduces the core characters and lays the foundations for future story lines. Professor X, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Jean Grey make up the original X-Men. As the season develops, the ranks of the X-Men are bolstered by the appearance of Nightcrawler in the first episode,[2] Shadowcat in the second, Spyke in the fifth, and Rogue (who originally joins the Brotherhood in the fourth episode) in the third. In the later episodes of this season, Nightcrawler discovers the identity of his birth mother, Wolverine finds answers to his past, Rogue switches sides to join the X-Men and Xavier’s half-brother, Juggernaut, is released from his prison.UntitledConfrontations are typically with the Brotherhood, who vie for new recruits with the X-Men over the course of the season. Toad is the first to be introduced, followed by Avalanche, Blob and Quicksilver. The Brotherhood, led by Mystique, are in fact being directed by a higher power, the identity of whom was “revealed” in the two-part season finale as being Magneto. After Cyclops discovers that his brother Alex actually survived the plane crash that killed their parents, they are both taken by Magneto into his “sanctuary” on Asteroid M. Magneto captures several X-Men and Brotherhood members in an attempt to amplify their mutant abilities and remove their emotions. The Brotherhood and X-Men show up leaving Magneto, Sabretooth and Mystique trapped on the asteroid. Asteroid M is destroyed by Scott and Alex Summers, but not before two metal spheres fly from the exploding asteroid.

UntitledThe second season sees the addition of several new mutants, including Beast, who becomes a teacher at the Xavier Institute and an X-Man, as well as a version of the New Mutants: Boom Boom, Sunspot, Iceman, Wolfsbane, Magma, Multiple, Jubilee, Berzerker, and Cannonball. During the course of the season, it is revealed that the villains who supposedly perished on Asteroid M are actually alive. Sabretooth continues his pursuit of Wolverine, while Magneto continues to work his own agenda. Mystique poses as Risty Wilde, a high school student at Bayville High who befriends Rogue and breaks into the mansion to steal Xavier’s Cerebro files. Using the files, she recovers Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, Magneto’s daughter and Quicksilver’s sister. The mentally unstable mutant joins the Brotherhood upon Mystique’s return, allowing them to defeat the X-Men in a battle at the Bayville Mall. Before the finale, a pivotal episode aired featuring the telepath Mesmero opening one of three doors that would unleash a mutant known as Apocalypse.

UntitledIn the season finale, Xavier rigorously trains his X-Men to face Magneto, pairing them with the Brotherhood. Cyclops, furious with having to work with his former adversaries, leaves the team. The mansion is later set to self-destruct with Cyclops and several students still inside. Magneto, meanwhile, recruits Sabretooth, Gambit, Pyro and Colossus as his Acolytes to fight the X-Men/Brotherhood team. At the same time, Wolverine is captured by Bolivar Trask to use as a test subject for the anti-mutant weapon, the Sentinel. Magneto continues to manipulate events by unleashing the Sentinel onto the city, forcing the X-Men to use their powers in public. Wanda tracks down Magneto and attacks him while he is trying to deal with the Sentinel that is targeting him. The Sentinel is damaged and apparently crushes Magneto as it falls. When the mutants who have not been captured by the Sentinel return to the remains of the mansion, Cyclops and the students emerge from the explosion with minor injuries. Scott throws Xavier from his wheelchair and blames him for blowing up the mansion. Everyone is shocked as Xavier calmly stands up, transforming into Mystique.

In seasons three and four, the show notably begins to take a much more serious tone. After the battle with the Sentinel, the mutants are no longer a secret and public reaction is one of hostility. The show is brought into more traditional X-Men lore, dealing with themes of prejudice, public misconception, and larger threats. As the season progresses, the real Xavier is found, Mystique is defeated, the mansion is rebuilt, and the X-Men allowed back into Bayville High. Wanda continues to search for Magneto, who she discovers was saved by Quicksilver at the last second, until Magneto uses the telepathic mutant Mastermind to change her childhood memories. Scott and Jean develop a stronger and closer romantic relationship (particularly after Mystique kidnaps Scott and brings him to Mexico), and Spyke leaves the X-Men when his mutant ability becomes uncontrollable, deciding to live with the sewer-dwelling mutants known as the Morlocks.

 

As part of the series arc, Rogue loses control of her powers, leading to her hospitalization. During this time, she learns that she is in fact Mystique’s adoptive daughter. Mystique, through the visions of the mutant Destiny, foresaw that the fate of Rogue and herself lay in the hands of an ancient mutant that would be resurrected. Apocalypse emerges in the season’s final episodes. Mesmero manipulates Magneto into opening the second door, and uses Mystique and a hypnotized Rogue to open the last, turning Mystique to stone in the process. Now released, Apocalypse easily defeats the combined strength of the X-Men, Magneto, the Acolytes, and the Brotherhood before escaping

The final season contained only for nine episodes. In the season premiere, Apocalypse apparently kills Magneto while Rogue murders Mystique by pushing her petrified figure off a cliff, leaving Nightcrawler without closure. The Brotherhood become temporary do-gooders, Wolverine’s teenage girl clone X-23 returns, Spyke and the Morlocks rise to the surface, Shadowcat discovers a mutant ghost who is found in an underground cave, Rogue is kidnapped by Gambit and taken to Louisiana to help free his father, and Xavier travels to Scotland in order to confront his son David. The character Leech is also introduced as a young boy named “Dorian Leach”.

In the finale, Apocalypse defeats Xavier and Storm, transforming them, along with Magneto and Mystique, into his Four Horsemen. Apocalypse instructs his Horsemen to protect his three domes and his ‘base of operations’, which will turn the majority of the world population into mutants. In the final battle, the Horsemen are returned to normal and Apocalypse is sent through time. Rogue and Nightcrawler refuse the excuses of their mother, Shadowcat and Avalanche find love once again, Magneto is reunited with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, Storm and Spyke are also reunited, and Xavier sees his students reunited as the X-Men.

 

X-Men: Evolution may not hold a candle to the 90s series, but on its own merits it is decent. I can see why people dislike it as even on its own terms it does have glaring flaws, but I do think it should be judged on its own rather than being compared all the time. Okay, Season 1 wasn’t brilliant, there was a lot of cheesy dialogue, slow and melodramatic story lines, not enough Wolverine, a great character, and too much of Spike, one like Kitty that annoys me to no end, plus Rogue seems bland to me in this series. However, Season 2 onward was much stronger, the pacing is much crisper, the action scenes are exciting, the writing was a little more intelligent.

REVIEW: X-MEN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – SEASON 1-5

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CAST

Cedric Smith (Mutant X)
Norm Spencer (Rescue Heroes)
Catherine Disher (The Good Witch)
Cathal J. Dodd (Goosebumps)
Iona Morris (Robotech)
Alison Sealy-Smith (This Is Wonderland)
Chris Potter (The Waiting Game)
Tony Daniels (Yin Yang Yo!)
Alyson Court (Elvis Meets Nixon)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

John Colicos (Battlestar Galactica)
Jeremy Ratchford (Cold Case)
Lawrence Bayne (Highlander: TAS)
Barry Flatman (Odyssey 5)
Richard Epcar (Power Rangers)
David Hemblen (Earth: Final Conflict)
Don Francks (La Femme Nikita)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Len Carlson (Swamp Thing: TAS)
Susan Roman (The Racoons)
Dennis Akiyama (Pxiels)
Nigel Bennett (Andromeda)
Maurice Dean Wint (Robocop: Prime Directives)
Philip Akin (Highlander: The Series)

 

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I recently watched through the entire 90’s x-men Animated Series for the first time. So does the show hold up for someone who didn’t watch it when it first aired? Is it still a good show? Overall, the show is really good. It was also revolutionary as it was one of the first animated TV shows to have a continuing storyline throughout the first few seasons.

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Rather than creating exclusively new story lines, the show based most of its episodes on well known events from the comics. Stuff like the ultra-famous dark phoenix saga all the way to a modified version of Days of Future Past that included the time traveling mutant Bishop. Most of the episodes changed details here and there to keep thing simple, but the basic premise remains the same.

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The animation is a mixed bag. On the one hand, still shots look very good for a 90s cartoon. Both characters and environments are finely detailed and even facial expressions are usually well done. On the other hand, it doesn’t look too good in motion. The frame-rate is often choppy and at times characters in the background are just standing still. There are occasional continuity errors as well, like characters swapping outfits between shots (the episode titled “Nightcrawler” comes to mind).

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Characters are generally portrayed well in the TV show. The main team consists of Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Beast, Storm, Gambit, Rogue, and Jubilee. Professor X, Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast and Gambit are all portrayed well in the show. I found some of their voice actors were a little off-putting at first, but as I watched they grew on me. Rogue probably has the best voice acting of the bunch.

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I wasn’t quite as fond with the portrayal of Storm or Jubilee however. Storm was alright, but having her constantly talk about what she was commanding the weather to do is annoying at times. Does she have to verbally command the wind every time she blasts enemies with it? I get that she’s a bit of a showoff and that’s part of her charm, but still.

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The show has a great spotlight of different villains as well. It features everyone from mega villains like Magneto, Mr. Sinister, and Apocalypse to smaller villains like Vertigo, the Juggernaut, and even the Brood. The show even mentions the Juggernaut’s relationship to Xavier (they’re step brothers). Mr. Sinister in particular is very well portrayed in the series, and we even get an origins episode in season five (heavily modified of course).

If you have any interest in the X-men and want to try out the comics, this is a decent show for finding out some of the franchises back-story. It’s rarely as good as the original stories it’s based on, but it’s easier to find and for the most part, it’s an easy watch.