With mainstream audiences currently devouring superhero movies like they're buttered popcorn, Marvel and DC are both faced with the difficult task of streamlining their convoluted comic book continuities into more palatable, accessible versions. Now, with two of their superhero film franchises well on their way to fourth installments, Marvel is pressed with an even more complicated task: finding a happy marriage between the continuity of the popular films and the canon of the comics.
Marvel and Nickelodeon's new X-Men animated series, Wolverine and the X-Men, marks the latest and most obvious attempt by a comic book company to strike a balance between what movie goers will recognize and what die-hard comics fans will accept. It's a mishmash of story elements from the trilogy of X-films and a number of renowned storylines from the comics, and as a result, it's a little awkward, and feels a little too much like the writers are trying to have their cake and eat it too. Still, it's well made, and most importantly, entertaining. From those standpoints, it's definitely worth any X-fan's time and attention.
The debut episode is the first of a three-part story, and as a result, it's understandably mostly set-up in terms of story. The episode opens with Wolverine saying good-bye to his teammates before leaving Xavier's Mansion the first of many scenes that'll be familiar to fans of the films. The story then takes a (relatively) unexpected turn, as Xavier and Jean Grey experience a mysterious psionic attack. Chaos ensues, and just as we expect to learn what's happening, the story cuts to Wolverine in the future. From there, the episode goes on to slowly reveal the details of this status quo, and it becomes apparent that we're witnessing a strange hybrid of the comic and film continuities.
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