The debut episode of Wolverine and the X-Men had a lot of intriguing elements to it, most of which concerned the way this new series is attempting to find a delicate synergy between the continuity of the popular films and the canon of the comics. Sure, the production quality was high and the animation sharp, but because the debut was "Part 1" of a three-part storyline and thus mostly set-up, the vast majority of my enjoyment of the show derived from my curiosity at seeing this strange hybrid of a status quo slowly unfold. Appealing to both casual fans of the movies and diehard followers of the comics is without a doubt a tricky balancing act, and it's one that very few projects have been able to pull off.
With this in mind, I tuned into the show's second outing, "Hindsight, Part 2," expecting that same curiosity to keep me engaged in the episode, and was pleasantly surprised to find a story that was juicy enough to hold my attention. To be clear, my main interest in the show still revolves around watching the series' writers dance between the timelines of the movies and various classic comic stories. That this episode's plot also kept me engaged is just icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned, and more importantly, proof that this show has a chance to turn into more than just a failed experiment at mass market appeal.
The episode picks up where "Hindsight, Part 1" left off, with Wolverine and Beast setting out to "get the band back together," so to speak. First, though, we're introduced to Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants in an opening scene that sees Quicksilver, the Blob and Domino free Toad from the back of an MRD (Mutant Registration Department) patrol car. Like a number of scenes from the debut episode, this sequence parallels a similar scene from X-Men: The Last Stand, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your opinion of that film. What's important is that the scene works on its own merits, establishing the modus operandi of the Brotherhood in a manner that pays tribute to both the films and the comics.
From there, we dive into the meat of the episode's story, and are introduced to the rabblerousing Senator Kelly and his familiar anti-mutant agenda, which here includes debuting a new, scorpion-like "Sentinel Drone" to a crowd of his passionate followers. To Senator Kelly's dismay, however, his demonstration of the new technology goes haywire when the activated drone recognizes Rogue in the crowd, leading to an action sequence that sees Rogue, Wolverine, Beast and Angel all work together to take out the sentinel. For all my concerns over the first episode's GI-Joe-esque approach to violence (i.e. no one ever gets hurt), this scene actually left me a little more optimistic, as the show's writers take a page from Samurai Jack and let Wolverine go all-out on the evil robot. As long as we see Wolvie fight more sentinels than MRD agents, the show's all-ages approach to violence might not be too much of a problem. We'll see.
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