With all the great spin off cartoons we have of our favorite superheroes now, sometimes we forget about the not so old classics. X-men Evolution began in 2000 and ran for 4 seasons, and was the story of the amazing X-Men as teenagers (most of them, anyway.)
The series starts by introducing its main characters. Our main high schoolers are exposed as Jean Grey, the once popular cheerleader is a telekinetic, Scott Summers with his killer optic eyes, Kurt Wagner the teleporter and Todd “Toad” Tolensky, a human toad. As the series goes on, they bring in most of the original X-Men as well to Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. The “school” part of that is just teaching the young mutants how to master their powers and how to handle themselves in a fight. They do all the real world learning at the local high school Bayville High, which brings in a new element of drama to this series, like forbidden love, teenage angst, keeping the mutant secret while still getting homework done after saving the world. Learning to work with their enemies, The Brotherhood, in several different episodes was a key part in this. The Brotherhood was Magneto’s band of merry misfits and consisted of Lance Alvers (Avalanche), Toad, Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver), Fred Dukes (The Blob), and Wanda Maximoff (Scarlett Witch) who is Pietro’s twin sister and Magneto’s daughter. Although they were labeled the bad guys, The Brotherhood had their redeeming qualities that made us love them.
The problem most fans had with this version however, was that Xavier seemed a bit out of character. He would immediately let in those who he saw as one of the good guys, and never gave a chance to those with troubled pasts or some dark spots. Most portrayals of the telepath show him as an accepting father figure to all outcasts, but here he seems no better than the popular clique, only choosing who he deems worthy.
X-Men Evolution wasn’t as popular a show as it should have been, given the sometimes intense storylines and a whole new universe to work in, with them being in high school and adding in that element. The characters are made to be much more relatable, therefore loveable, and you end up cheering for them and crying with them every episode.