Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Badlands




Season: 1
Episode Number: 16
Season Episode Number: 16
Production Number: 116
Airdate: January 31, 2009

Writer: Kevin Hopps
Director: Doug Murphy

Voices: Steve Blum (Wolverine), Danielle Judovits (Shadowcat), Roger Craig Smith (Forge, Hellion), Jim Ward (Professor Xavier), Kevin Michael Richardson (Bishop), Gwendoline Yeo (Domino), Tara Strong (Marrow), Liza del Mundo (Polaris), Phil LaMarr (Bolivar Trask), Tom Kane (Magneto).

Plot: In the future, Xavier and his team of future X-Men are chased into the badlands by Sentinels. There they meet Polaris, but is she friend or foe? Meanwhile in the present, Wolverine, Shadowcat and Forge try to stop the production of the new robot Sentinels.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): After a few filler episodes, we finally move along with the main storyline which spins directly out of two episodes: Future X, where we see mutant life in the future, and Battle Lines, in which Senator Kelly unveils his new weapon against mutantkind, the Sentinels!

While this episode still doesn't feature the entire team, something that hasn't happened since Battle Lines, three episodes ago, we do get to see the X-Men of the future. This team of mutant refugees are lead by Xavier in a future where the world has been destroyed by Sentinels.

If there are three things I like about science-fiction storytelling, they are alternate futures, time travel and non-linear storytelling. This episode hits all three.

The alternate future as revealed in Hindsight, Part Three is what really captured my interest in the show. And this episode, which includes three different time periods, really prove that the writers are trying to create an epic story.

Unlike Spectacular Spider-Man or The Batman which features the titular hero at the beginning of their superhero career, Wolverine drops us right in the middle of the X-Men's long history, something that I wasn't too keen on at the beginning of the series but now have grown to absolutely love.

Although we saw Polaris briefly in a previous episode, Badlands is her real introduction. We learn that Magneto has died and with it his dream of mutant freedom. Humans have taken control and have destroyed the planet doing so. And even though Polaris doesn't serve any great purpose in this episode as far as the overall plot is concerned, you can bet, with an introduction like this, that she will be a major player in a later episode.

One last note: Wolverine, Shadowcat and Forge infiltrate an MRD base in new stealth costumes. Since when has Wolverine ever wanted, or needed a stealth costume? He has done plenty of reconnaissance work in past episodes and has never needed a change of outfit. It's an obvious plug for a Stealth Wolverine action figure that I'm sure will come out sooner or later. Just thought I'd say that.

DVD Releases:
  • Wolverine and the X-Men, The Complete First Season (Canada Exclusive)
  • Wolverine and the X-Men: Fate of the Future

  • Back to Episode Guide

    4 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    Where can you watch this episode?

    Anonymous said...

    I think the stealth costumes were a nod to the X-Men's uniforms in the current X-Force series.

    Ashley said...

    you know, wolverine's stealth costume's mask makes him look a bit like batman

    Orphen said...

    I must say how ambitious this project was to make the future and present work together so well, and make us actually like both the future team, and to see heroes that we usually do not get a chance to experience in animated form. Hellion in particular looked cool in this episode.