Episode Number: 1
Season Episode Number: 1
Production Number: 101
Airdate: September 6, 2008
Writer: Craig Johnson, Craig Kyle
Director: Boyd Kirkland
Voices: Steve Blum (Wolverine), Nolan North (Cyclops, Pyro), Jennifer Hale (Jean Grey), Fred Tatasciore (Beast), Danielle Judovits (Shadowcat), Jim Ward (Colossus), Liam O'Brien (Nightcrawler), Kieren van den Blink (Rogue), Michael Ironside (Col. John Moss), Unknown (Dad), Unknown (Mom), Unknown (Girl), Crystal Scales (Boom-Boom).
Plot: A year after an explosion leaves the X-Mansion in ruins and Professor X and Jean Grey missing, the government passes the Mutant Registration Act which requires all mutants to register their power or be locked up forever. Wolverine realizes that the world needs the X-Men now more than ever and sets out to reform his team.
Review (Warning! Spoilers!): As far as first episodes go, the one is pretty decent. But not amazing, like the way I felt after watching the first episode of Spectacular Spider-Man. The plot is a bit slow (probably due to this being a three-part episode) and the animation while really good in some parts has a few "What??" moments.
The animation, by Liberation Entertainment, is strong for a television series and includes nice visuals and special effects. I found, however, that the acting didn't really fit with the tone of the voices, especially during the Rogue scene. I know this is only the first episode so I am willing to forgive these things and let the show grow and improve.
A few bigger problems with this episode steam from the writing. I have to wonder what kids who have never seen an episode of X-Men or read an issue of the comics before will think of this show. Will they understand?
We come into the middle of the story. There is no explanation about what a mutant is or why they are being hunted. Professor X and Jean start to get a headache, and we fans know it's because they are both under some sort of psychic attack, but they never say that. Little things like that are found throughout the episode making it seem that the writers are assuming that their audience already knows the X-Men.
My other beef is the characterization of Wolverine. He comes off a bit like a wuss when he is not in his uniform. He just doesn't have the gruff attitude that we all know and love, except when he puts on his Wolverine uniform. This is a change to his character that I'm not sure that I like because Wolverine is Wolverine whether or not he is in his costume.
All in all, this the first part of a three-part pilot so I'll give it until the end of the third episode before I decide if this is the best X-Men cartoon yet.