Wolverine & X-Men (Mania.com)

By:Rob Vaux
Review Date: Sunday, May 31, 2009
Source: Mania

The cargo ship carrying Nightcrawler (voiced by Liam O'Brien) and the mutant refugees under his care arrives in Genosha. They are greeted by Magneto (voiced by Tom Kane), who tells Kurt that "all of Xavier's children" are welcome and grants him full access to the island. He even provides a tour guide: the Scarlet Witch (voiced by Kate Higgins), who shows him that Genosha is truly a paradise for Homo Superior.

Back at the X-Mansion, Angel (voiced by Liam O'Brien) stops by to check in on the Professor, only to have Wolverine (voiced by Steve Blum) attack him seemingly at random. "He" then reveals himself to be Mystique (voiced by Tamara Bernier) in disguise. Her motives for sneaking in are unknown, but she apparently remembers Wolverine from his days as Weapon X. She intimates as much before making her escape from the Mansion.

Nightcrawler contacts the X-Men to tell them of his findings, then spends an evening with the Witch at a concert. On the way home, they come across an enraged mutant attacking several passersby. Kurt knocks him out, then asks the Witch to show him where the "unenlightened mutants are kept. She takes him to Genosha's prison, which seems humane enough. When he arrives back at his room, however, he's greeted by a mysterious stranger named Dust (voiced by Tara Strong) who takes him back and shows him the truth: the prison he saw was a façade, hiding a medieval gulag behind its pristine walls.

Magneto arrives and explains that the mutant prisoners require "reorientation" before they can integrate into Genoshan society. Kurt doesn't buy it, and after a brief scuffle, begins teleporting his way yard by yard across the stormy ocean. He arrives at the Mansion--bedraggled but alive--to tell the X-Men about Magneto's plans. Unfortunately, he runs into Mystique first. Disguised as Logan, she knocks him unconscious and hauls him back to Genosha: she had come to the Mansion at Magneto's behest to learn the status of Professor X.

 

Help me, Mystique. You're my only hope.

The Good

No episode featuring Nightcrawler can be all bad. This one hits its high points when it revels in his dashing romanticism: putting the moves on the Scarlet Witch, classing up the place in a James Bond tuxedo, and undergoing a Herculean journey across the Atlantic in an effort to aid Magneto's prisoners. His chemistry with the Witch is intriguing, and the pain of his eventual capture sets up a good thread for future episodes. This week also made a great opportunity to play Spot the Mutant. (Disco-era Dazzler? Who doesn't love that?)

 

The Bad

Unfortunately, beyond its leading man, tonight's episode had comparatively little going for it. It relies on a shocking twist that turns out the be less than shocking--Magneto's still a bad guy, try to contain your surprise--while the X-Men themselves are sidelined for the second straight week. Mystique's appearance smacks of undue contrivance, and leaves a number of plot holes which demand more rigorous justification. (Why does Wolverine just give up on the pursuit when she leaves the Mansion? Why can't use his tracking ability to make sure she's off the property and possibly keep Kurt from getting pimp-slapped on the front driveway?) Furthermore, the distinction between Genosha's phony "nice" prison and real "awful" one seemed pretty blurry--far too blurry to serve as the fulcrum for an entire half-hour. Expository episodes are necessary sometimes, but this one felt too slow and gimmicky to justify the effort.

 

Dag, Logan! Watch da claws, foo!

The Prognosis

Wolvie seems to be heading up north to go poking around his past again. That didn't work too well in the Hulk episode, but he's got a new sparring partner this time… and hopefully, the season's first appearance of Sabretooth won't disappoint.



Mania Grade: C+
Title: Wolverine and the X-Men
Season: 1
Episode: Greetings From Genosha
Starring the Voices of: Steve Blum, Fred Tatasciore, Liam O'Brien, Kate Higgins, Tamara Evans, Susan Dalain, Danielle Judovits, Nolan North, and Tom Kane.
Written by: Christ Yost
Directed by: Doug Murphy
Network: NickToons
Series: Wolverine and the X-Men