In many ways, the new Wolverine and the X-Men series officially kicks off with its fourth episode, "Overflow." After spending the debut three-part story arc establishing this new hybrid status quo and the team's unique new purpose and mission, the series is now free to dive into the nitty gritty of telling compelling individual stories that also progress the first season's over-arching saga. The end result is an entertaining and well-crafted episode, and it also reveals a lot about what we can expect from the series moving forward.
The show opens with Professor Xavier summoning Wolverine from the future with an important message: if the X-Men don't act soon, Africa will be completely destroyed by a devastating catastrophe one brought about by Storm, of all people. This set-up is definitely formulaic in two regards. First, it reveals what many of us suspected following the three-part "Hindsight" story that a lot of this show will center around Professor X relaying some specific aspect of his grim alternate reality future, with the X-Men then running off to overt the inciting event from ever happening. Second, it's also an example of the "getting the band back together" theme that's likely to play out throughout this first season. Judging by the sheer number of mutant characters this series promises to incorporate, I expect a number of these early episodes to deal with the X-Men re-recruiting one of their former teammates. Depending on your tastes, the formulaic nature of this set-up may or may not be a good thing.
Like last week's episode, this installment's biggest asset is Emma Frost, who brings some much needed personality and dramatic depth to the show whenever she appears on screen. The Emma Frost/Wolverine dynamic immediately takes center stage in the episode, as Emma overhears Xavier's message to Wolverine and then points out, to Wolvie's chagrin, that he needs her to use Cerebro to locate Storm. The character rift between these two is a lot of fun, and fans of Emma in particular will get a kick out of the way she essentially plays Wolverine like a fiddle to get what she wants. The way the episode simultaneously has Frost prove her worth to the X-Men while hinting at a possible nefarious hidden agenda reveals a lot about the rich potential of this character, and I can't wait to see more from her. Me? I'll take Emma over Jean Grey any day of the week, and I'm counting down the episodes until her inevitable manipulative romance with Cylcops gets underway.
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