For anyone out there who hasn't seen the Marvel comics, graphic
novels, previous animated series, or the two Hollywood blockbuster
films, the X-Men are a group of people who have a mutating
gene which allows them individual gifts or special abilities.
They live and train under the guidance of Professor Xavier,
who possesses remarkable mental powers, at his school for
the gifted. The team's mandate is to seek out and help new
mutants and to fight those who use their abilities for selfish
or destructive gain...
Evolution is a modern-looking traditional animated series
which is set early in the timeline of these popular characters.
Mainstays here are Professor X, Cyclops (alias Scott Summers,
who can unleash powerful optic blasts), and Jean Grey (who
possesses telepathic and increasing telekinetic abilities).
The suitably gruff, abrupt and bad-tempered Wolverine is a
member, but comes and goes, clashing sporadically with his
arch-nemesis Sabretooth. However, this series is more about
the youngsters. The first six episodes, three of which are
on this release explore the entry of newcomers to the fold.
In Strategy X, Kurt Wagner is brought to Xavier's mansion.
Originating from Germany, Kurt (alias Nightcrawler) is blue-skinned,
has pointed ears and a prehensile tail, but his astounding
gift is that of teleportation and uncanny agility. Toad is
a rather ugly and smelly boy with amphibian abilities who
the X-Men try to welcome, but he rejects the offer. The school
principal, who in reality is Mystique working for Magneto,
tries to extract information from Toad; however, Xavier has
already mentally wiped the boy's memories.
X-impulse, Avalanche,who can create minor earthquakes,
tricks Kitty Pryde into using her new-found powers to pass
through solid objects, to help him steal the exam questions
from a locked room computer. When she realises his objectives
Kitty (alias Shadowcat) refuses to help him further. In anger,
Avalanche causes a section of the school to crumble, but Kitty
uses her abilities to get the people out safely.
Rogue Recruit, the goth girl recluse Rogue is introduced.
When her powers of temporary memory and ability absorption
through touch emerge, Mystique let's Rogue slip through her
fingers. The battle is then on between Mystique and the X-Men
to get to her first. Rogue doesn't know who to trust, and
this fear is heightened when Mystique takes on the shape of
various X-Men. Taking on people's memories and abilities also
confuses Rogue, and as a teenager too she is uncertain of
her own identity.
quite short, these are very enjoyable stories. The physical
shapes of the characters look a little elongated to begin
with, but this is a purposeful attempt to capture the look
of the old Jack Kirby comic illustrations, and you soon get
used to it.
include optional introductions to each episode and a short
Evolution of X-Men featurette. I am confused as to
why this and the next intended release contain only three
tales, when X-Men: Evolution - Mutants Rising, which
has already been released contains five, as well as audio-visual
information on the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
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