Wolverine and the X-Men, Vol. 4: Fate of the Future
Featuring the voices of Steve Blum, Jennifer Hale, Tom Kane
Release Date: February 2, 2010
While it is especially satisfying to find an episodic cartoon that is a cut above the rest and rises above the genre itself, there is nothing wrong with a simple kid’s cartoon that hits all the right entertaining beats. This is exactly what the Wolverine and The X-Men Vol. 4 delivers.
For those who have just joined the ride, Wolvie and the X-Men is the continuing story of an alternate X-Men universe. This world is not exactly “world turned upside down” different, but the subtle changes, along with the additions of some of the details from the comic and movie version gives this an almost Elseworlds type of feel.
In this story, an unknown enemy has attack the X-mansion, leaving the X-Men in disarray. Professor X is left comatose (and somehow trapped in an all too familiar “Days of the Future Past” timeline) and Jean Grey is presumed dead. With humans who fear them hellbent on destroying them and renegade mutants thirsty for their blood, it is up to Wolverine to reassemble the team and hope to prevent the bleak future that awaits them.
Like I said, this X-Men feels at times very familiar but also strangely different. Wolverine is still the brawling, tough as nails Canuck we know and love, but he was once part of the Weapon-X program side by side with Mystique? And they were going to get married? Nightcrawler is in love with Scarlet Witch? Slight changes aside, the cartoon is still pretty entertaining. The action is exciting but also kid friendly (no bloodshed and Wolverine doesn’t even poke anyone with his claw). It is light and enjoyable fun.
The writing, though at times heavy handed, is also pretty faithful to the characters and does its best maintain a linear storyline that is easy to jump on for people who just started watching and those who have stuck around since day one. I also like the writer’s attempt to expand and develop this X-Universe. I love seeing the not so famous but popular characters like Silver Samurai, Bishop, and even Mojo. My only question is, with two Mojo inspired episodes already produced, where the man with the lucky hand Longshot? Hopefully, he will show up in the next set of episodes.
I have several gripes with the show itself though. The whole professor stuck in another time, but still communicates to only Wolverine plotline seems a tired. While it plays up to the fact that the X-Men does really need Professor X in the mix, him popping in from time to time via astral projections seems hokey, even for a cartoon.
I also get that Craig Kyle and Chris Yost, creators of the previous X-Men cartoon and also creators of this series are an important creative force for the show, but do they have to make it so much about them. It seems everywhere I look on this series they make it a point to pat each other on the back with every contribution they have made for the X-Men.
When Wolverine goes on secret mission, what uniform does he choose to wear. Why the costume he wears in the X-Force series, which is also written by Yost and Kyle. When Wolverine breaks into Weapon X to save the daughter of a friend, who does he meet for briefest of brief moments for no reason other than to show her off? Why X-13, the “daughter” of Wolverine, a Kyle/Yost creation. I would hope the both of them have gotten this trend out of their systems so they can add relevant characters into their stories that progresses the storyline.
Aside from this, Wolverine and The X-Men is a pretty fun ride. The stories are interesting and the action is dynamic. Fans appear to think so too, as the series has been renewed for another season. Hopefully, the creators can streamline some of the issues and make the series go from a good cartoon to a great one.