|2002 - 2004|
X-Men: Evolution is an American animated television series about the Marvel Comics superhero team, the X-Men. In this incarnation, many of the characters are teenagers rather than adults. The series ran for a total of four seasons (52 episodes) from November 2000 until October 2003 on Kids' WB, which has made it the third longest-running Marvel Comics animated series, behind only Fox Kids' X-Men: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. The series then moved to Cartoon Network. In 2003 the series began airing on Cartoon Network's SVES programming block and in 2004 it began airing on Cartoon Network's Miguzi programming block. The series began running on Disney XD on June 15, 2009. In the United Kingdom the series aired on Toonami UK. In the United States, the series also appeared on Kids' WB's afternoon Toonami block in 2001. According to Toonami co-creator, Jason DeMarco, the rights to the series were never made available to Cartoon Network's Toonami block.
The first season introduces the core characters and lays the foundations for future story lines. Professor X, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Jean Grey make up the original X-Men. As the season develops, the ranks of the X-Men are bolstered by the appearance of Nightcrawler in the first episode, Shadowcat in the second, Spyke in the fifth and Rogue (who originally joins the Brotherhood in the third episode) in the seventh. In the later episodes of this season, Nightcrawler discovers the identity of his birth mother, Wolverine finds answers to his past, Rogue switches sides to join the X-Men and Xavier's half-brother, Juggernaut, is released from his prison.
Confrontations are typically with the Brotherhood, who vie for new recruits with the X-Men over the course of the season. Toad is the first to be introduced, followed by Avalanche, Blob and Quicksilver. The Brotherhood, led by Mystique, are in fact being directed by a higher power, the identity of whom was "revealed" in the two-part season finale as being Magneto. After Cyclops discovers that his brother Alex actually survived the plane crash that killed their parents, they are both taken by Magneto into his "sanctuary" on Asteroid M. Magneto captures several X-Men and Brotherhood members in an attempt to amplify their mutant abilities and remove their emotions. The brotherhood and X-Men show up leaving Magneto and Mystique trapped on the asteroid. Asteroid M is destroyed by Scott and Alex Summers, but not before two metal spheres fly from the exploding asteroid.
The second season sees the addition of several new mutants, including Beast, who becomes a teacher at the Xavier Institute and an X-Man, as well as a version of the New Mutants: Boom Boom, Sunspot, Iceman, Wolfsbane, Magma, Multiple, Jubilee, Berzerker and Cannonball. During the course of the season, it is revealed that the villains who supposedly perished on Asteroid M are actually alive. Sabretooth continues his pursuit of Wolverine, while Magneto continues to work on his own agenda. Mystique poses as Risty Wilde, a high school student at Bayville High who befriends Rogue and breaks into the mansion to steal Xavier's Cerebro files. Using the files, she recovers Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, Magneto's daughter and Quicksilver's sister. The mentally unstable mutant joins the Brotherhood upon Mystique's return, allowing them to defeat the X-Men in a battle at the Bayville Mall. Before the finale, a pivotal episode aired featuring the telepath Mesmero opening one of three doors that would unleash a mutant known as Apocalypse.
In the season finale, Xavier rigorously trains his X-Men to face Magneto, pairing them with the Brotherhood. Cyclops, furious with having to work with his former adversaries, leaves the team. The mansion is later set to self-destruct with Cyclops and several students still inside. Magneto, meanwhile, recruits Sabretooth, Gambit, Pyro and Colossus as his Acolytes to fight the X-Men/Brotherhood team. At the same time, Wolverine is captured by Bolivar Trask to use as a test subject for the anti-mutant weapon, the Sentinel. Magneto continues to manipulate events by unleashing the Sentinel onto the city, forcing the X-Men to use their powers in public. Wanda tracks down Magneto and attacks him while he is trying to deal with the Sentinel that is targeting him. The Sentinel is damaged and apparently crushes Magneto as it falls. When the mutants who have not been captured by the Sentinel return to the remains of the mansion, Cyclops and the students emerge from the explosion with minor injuries. Scott throws Xavier from his wheelchair and blames him for blowing up the mansion. Everyone is shocked as Xavier calmly stands up, transforming into Mystique.
In seasons three and four, the show notably begins to take a much more serious tone. After the battle with the Sentinel, the mutants are no longer a secret and public reaction is one of hostility. The show is brought into more traditional X-Men lore, dealing with themes of prejudice, public misconception, and larger threats. As the season progresses, the real Xavier is found, Mystique is defeated, the mansion is rebuilt and the X-Men allowed back into Bayville High. Wanda continues to search for Magneto (who was saved by his son, Quicksilver, at the last minute) until Magneto uses the telepathic mutant Mastermind to change her childhood memories. Scott and Jean develop a stronger and closer romantic relationship (particularly after Mystique kidnaps Scott and brings him to Mexico), and Spyke leaves the X-Men when his mutant ability becomes uncontrollable, deciding to live with the sewer-dwelling mutants, the Morlocks.
As part of the series arc, Rogue loses control of her powers, leading to her hospitalization. During this time, she learns she was the adoptive daughter of Mystique. Mystique, through the visions of the mutant Destiny, foresaw that the fate of Rogue and herself lay in the hands of an ancient mutant that would be resurrected. Apocalypse emerges in the season's final episodes. Mesmero manipulates Magneto into opening the second door, and uses Mystique and a hypnotized Rogue to open the last, turning Mystique to stone in the process. Now released, Apocalypse easily defeats the combined strength of the X-Men, Magneto, the Acolytes, and the Brotherhood before escaping.
The final season contained only nine episodes. In the season premiere, Apocalypse apparently kills Magneto while Rogue murders Mystique by pushing her petrified figure off a cliff, leaving Nightcrawler without closure. The Brotherhood become temporary do-gooders, Wolverine's teenage girl clone X-23 returns, Spyke and the Morlocks rise to the surface, Shadowcat discovers a mutant ghost who is found in an underground cave, Rogue is kidnapped by Gambit and taken to Louisiana to help free his father, and Xavier travels to Scotland in order to confront his son Lucas. The character Leech is also introduced as a young boy.
In the finale, Apocalypse defeats Xavier and Storm, transforming them, along with Magneto and Mystique, into his Four Horsemen. Apocalypse instructs his Horsemen to protect his three domes and his 'base of operations', which will turn the entire world population into mutants. In the final battle, the Horsemen are returned to normal and Apocalypse is sent through time. Rogue and Nightcrawler refuse the excuses of their mother, Shadowcat and Avalanche find love once again, Magneto is reunited with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, Storm and Spyke are also reunited, and Xavier sees his students reunited as the X-Men.
Cyclops — Scott Summers is somewhat toned down from his comic book counterpart; he is less stiff and possesses a more open sense of humor. Contrasting with many other incarnations, Cyclops is not the aloof, doubtful loner, but a handsome and confident leader who exudes natural authority, although he is still somewhat standoffish. While the other students tend to look up to him, his competitive nature and closely held temper will get in the way at times. He is the most officious and rule-abiding of the X-Men and the least likely to fool around.
Jean Grey — Jean is "Miss Popular" of the X-Men: smart, athletic, beautiful, well-liked, and the second-in-command after Cyclops. However, she is more insecure than her comic book counterpart and possesses a jealous streak when it comes to Scott Summers. Unlike many mutants who began as social outcasts and came to find their horizons expanded through their association with the Institute, Jean starts out from a high position of status.
Nightcrawler — Kurt Wagner is the teleporting humorist of the team. The Evolution Nightcrawler is very similar to his comic version and has a friendly big-brother relationship with Cyclops. During his early days at the institute, he was still feeling very insecure about fitting in and compensated for it with excessive goofiness until the episode "Middleverse." Kurt is the biological son of Mystique, but was raised by kind foster parents in Germany (instead of being abandoned by Mystique, she accidentally dropped him over a bridge while escaping Magneto, and when she saw he had been taken in by foster parents, she decided to let him remain with them).
Shadowcat — Kitty Pryde possesses the mutant ability to become cognitively intangible, allowing her to pass or "phase" through solid objects at will. She is the second youngest member of the team; her culinary skills are a constant source of dismay among the others. Kitty led a very sheltered life before joining the X-Men and was initially afraid of Nightcrawler's "demonic" appearance, but she has since grown into a very open-minded and worldly young lady, and she and Kurt Wagner eventually develop a very close brother and sister friendship.
Spyke — Evan Daniels is Storm's nephew, with the ability to project bonelike spikes from his skin. He is the youngest member of the team. Spyke would much rather play basketball or skateboard than study; he has problems with authority, making him the "rebel" of the main team. Spyke and Quicksilver had an ongoing rivalry since childhood that culminated when Pietro framed Evan for robbery. Later in the series, he joins the Morlocks, but reappears as a protector of mutants.
Wolverine — Logan, though similar in most ways to the classic Wolverine, has been seriously toned down in violence, has a slightly different hairstyle, and is designed to be more of a role model for the students and appeared more as a "gruff uncle" type character. He is also in charge of the students combat and survival training and is famous among the students for his apparently difficult and challenging methods, as well as his strict and unyielding teaching manner.
Storm — Ororo Munroe, like her codename implies, is able to harness and manipulate the forces of nature. Storm can summon lightning from a benign sky, manifest violent storms, call up freezing blizzards and bring all forms of precipitation to bear. She can even harness the power of wind, allowing her to fly. Ororo is known for her calm personality and regal manner, and she was even worshipped as a Goddess in Africa due to her ability to summon the rains.
Rogue — Rogue is a reclusive, paranoid goth. She has a great deal of angst with respect to her powers, which keep her from ever safely touching anyone. Due to the machinations of Mystique, Rogue initially distrusted the X-Men, but after learning that Mystique tricked her by attacking her posing as members of the X-Men, she accepted their membership. At first annoyed by Nightcrawler's joking behavior, she becomes close to him after learning that she is his adopted sister, and both renounce Mystique for abusing them. The series established no birth name for Rogue and gave no hints to it after her introductory episode. Rogue's mutant ability allows her to draw upon the aspects of another (memories, habits, speech patterns, powers [if mutant]) through bare skin to skin contact. It is uncontrollable and possibly deadly.
Beast — Hank McCoy joins the team during the second season. Beast is similar to his comic counterpart in most ways, though the Evolution version speaks more casually. He was originally a gym coach and chemistry teacher at Bayville High before his latent transformation into the apelike Beast could no longer be controlled with the medications he had formulated upon first learning of his mutation. This change of fortune forced him to retire and join the X-Men, where he could continue to teach. It was during the initial discovery of his mutation that he became acquainted with Professor Xavier.
Iceman — Bobby Drake, the most outgoing of the new recruits, later becomes a standby X-Man to take the place of Spyke. After Spyke's departure, he became a regular in X-Men missions, including being considered one of the more "experienced" students during the season three finale to join Cyclops, Storm, Jean, Beast, Nightcrawler, Rogue, and Shadowcat to fight Apocalypse. He also has the ability to convert his body to ice and to produce ice from his hands.
Cannonball — Sam Guthrie is Bobby's more practical-minded friend. He also deserves mention for nearly beating Wolverine in a motorbike race, though his urge to "go Cannonball" ruined his chances. Tall, gawky, and clumsy, he has unintentionally knocked down several walls in the Institute. If he hits something he cannot demolish, he falls over, dazed.
Magma — Amara Juliana Olivia Aquilla is the only New Mutant who was the lead character of an episode ("Cruise Control"). She has a somewhat haughty, "royal" attitude at times, and is easily discouraged when she does not live up to her own expectations. Magma has a physiological connection with the earth, and becomes physically ill when she is separated from it for a long period of time (such as when on a boat trip). She also has an unlikely but deep friendship with Tabitha Smith, aka Boom Boom. Magma's appearance has been significantly altered from her comic book incarnation, where she has blond hair and blue eyes; in Evolution, she is fully Brazilian with brown hair and brown eyes. Amara's mutant ability allows her to harness the power of the earth elements, allowing her to simulate effects associated with volcanic activity. Just like Bobby, she can transform her body, in this case, into lava.
Jubilee — Jubilation Lee, unlike in X-Men: The Animated Series, plays a minor role. She retains the playfulness of her comic counterpart, and was often involved with Bobby's antics and seems to have a liking towards him. As a nod towards the original character, she always wears a yellow jacket when not in uniform. She was removed in the third season (after the public revelation of mutants, her parents no longer felt the Institute was a good place for her), but appeared in a cameo during the series finale. Jubilee has the ability to generate colorful plasma. She can form this energy into explosive streamers and light shows, which she playfully refers to as 'Fireworks'.
Wolfsbane — Rahne Sinclair is a relatively serene individual, only speaking in four episodes and eventually being altogether removed from the cast during the third season, but returned in a cameo during the series finale. She is of Scottish decent and is able to transform into a lupine form. Her name was mispronounced as "Rohn-ee" in "Retreat," but is correctly pronounced as 'rain' in "Mainstream."
Multiple — Jamie Madrox, the youngest of the group, is constantly picked upon by his older peers. He has a hard time controlling his powers, with a running gag that whenever Jamie bumps into something the result is the frequent creation of numerous duplicates. Multiple also seems to have taken a liking to Shadowcat.
Berzerker — Ray Crisp is a departure from the mainstream continuity, where he is an extremely violent Morlock. Here, he is fairly mellow, though he still has a temper. He was initially intended to have an on-going rivalry with Sunspot, but aside from one scene this was phased out of the show. His power allows him to harness electricity. It is shown in a later episode that he was allied with the Morlocks before he joined Xavier's School and tried to stop Spyke from joining them.
Sunspot — Roberto Da Costa is shown to be a perfectionist and an overachiever. Roberto's unique mutant ability is derived from the sun, effectively allowing him to become a living solar panel. The energy absorbed from the sun allows Sunspot to "power up" into an all-black radiating form and convert the solar energy into physical strength, thermonuclear thrust for flight, generate a bright orange fiery corona around his body, and absorb and re-channel both heat and light.
Mystique — Raven Darkholme is initially designed similarly to her comic counterpart, with her trademark white dress (similar to a qipao) and iconic skull belt. From the second season onwards, Mystique is given a drastic redesign, accentuating her similarity to her son Kurt, and sporting a form-fitting black combat outfit. In earlier appearances, Mystique used her real name as the disguised principal of Bayville High to spy on the X-Men and recruit members of the Brotherhood for Magneto. After her powers are exponentially increased due to an accident on Magneto's part, she parts ways with him and begins to operate under her own agenda. Mystique later becomes instrumental in Apocalypse's reawakening. Her backstory reveals that Mystique adopted a four-year-old Rogue, leaving her to be raised by a foster mother (Irene Adler), and Mystique is also the biological mother of Nightcrawler. Though she cares deeply for her children, her actions usually suggest otherwise. The show's incarnation of Mystique also has a fierce and dangerous temper, and often throws tantrums when annoyed, usually when dealing with Toad.
Avalanche — Lance Alvers, a grungy, hotheaded and rebellious loner, is the Brotherhood's field leader and is known for his rivalry with the straight-laced Cyclops. Like his comic book counterpart, Avalanche possess geological manipulation by generating seismic waves from his hands. Avalanche is often irrational and driven by his temper, but as the series progresses, he becomes more mature and pragmatic, taking on a more morally ambiguous role. He is reluctant to be a villain, rather he is angered by societal hatred and contempt for mutants, whether good or evil, and has been known to lapse into heroic roles. While Lance is mostly irritated by his teammates, he tends to act as the "caretaker", only committing petty crimes to pay for bills and groceries. When the Brotherhood begins creating disaster scenarios to put them in a heroic light, Lance is the only one who intentionally does anything heroic; he rescues a paraplegic woman from the crashed subway that started it all, and when the final disaster goes wrong, he is the only one who stays to help. Avalanche has a soft spot and a romantic interest in Shadowcat, even joining the X-Men briefly just to be closer to her. At the start of Season Two, Lance makes several attempts to impress Kitty by causing earthquakes during a school assembly; after saving her life, they become lab partners and close friends. It is during this time that the two start dating, in spite of their friends' protests. During the third episode of Season 3 the two break up briefly when Kitty learns that Lance was going to assist Duncan in beating up the X-Men (Cyclops specifically). Lance and Kitty's relationship seemingly ended, realizing that as long as they are on rival teams their relationship would not work out. However they reunite in the final episode of Season 4. At the end of the series, Lance and his team have a change of heart and join the S.H.I.E.L.D. Freedom Force.
Toad — Todd Tolanski, like his comic book counterpart, is a weak, smart mouthed, and weaselly punk with extremely poor hygiene (resulting in, among other things, very noticeable body odor) and a wise guy attitude. On the show he is often used for comic relief. He seems to revel in his own weirdness with a self-deprecating humor and feigned over-confidence. Toad can be seen as Nightcrawler's counterpart, as they both have animal-like appearances (Toad's webbed hands, elongated tongue, red/yellow eyes, bowlegged, hunched stance, frog-like face shape), are superhuman acrobats, have an unusual method of transportation (in Toad's case he tends to jump and squat rather than walk and stand) and are the jokesters of their teams. While Toad is really nothing more a coward at heart with absolutely no fighting skill and is mostly useless in battle, he tends to act as a burglar or spy, and, in doing so, gaining useful information for the team. He is seen in a more sympathetic, heroic role in episode 37, "The Toad, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", when he is nearly killed by Magneto when he saves his love interest Scarlet Witch from him. Like Avalanche, Toad is given another name in X-Men: Evolution (the original being Mortimer Toynbee). He often tries to flirt with Scarlet Witch, though she is usually repulsed by him. His strongest friend in the Brotherhood is Blob, a fellow "freak amongst freaks," and he and Nightcrawler are often depicted as rivals due to their acrobatic abilities, though they are on friendly terms after "The Toad, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". He often acts as a scapegoat for the rest of the Brotherhood, bearing the brunt of blame for their actions.
Blob — Fred Dukes, like the comic version, is a bully with a big mouth and a small brain. Unlike the comic version, this Blob seems to hide a sensitive side (as seen by the rather obsessive way he treated Jean in the first episode he appeared, and his later closeness to the rest of the Brotherhood). He is also one of the few characters to change aspects of his physical appearance throughout the series. Most notably his 'haircut', but this is because of a prank he received from Boom Boom that Toad recommends he keep.
Quicksilver — Pietro Maximoff, unlike Avalanche, retains most of his original counterpart's personality traits, including his impatience, arrogance, and real name. The similarities end there- this Quicksilver is a self-serving villain who will betray his friends and even family to save himself. He is loyal to his father, Magneto, though only out of convenience. At the end of season 1, he wasn't seen making it out of the explosion on Asteroid M and many fans thought he died, but his unconscious body is actually seen being evacuated out by Spyke in a quick scene, hence his return in season 2. Though he has a hand in betraying his sister Wanda, and is initially afraid of her temper and power, he grows to care for his sister as the series progresses. In season 3, Quicksilver becomes the official team leader due to Magneto's influence, and even after Magneto's demise, continues to assume leadership, giving the team some much-needed ambition. Early in the series, he was shown to have a grudge against Spyke; after the first season, this is never mentioned again.
Scarlet Witch — Wanda Maximoff is a tortured young soul. Locked up in an asylum by her father, Magneto, due to his inability to control her powerful mutant ability, she grew bitter and vengeful against the world. She was released from imprisonment by Mystique, who sought to use her in her own revenge against Magneto. Wanda spent much of her introductory series searching for her father, eventually finding and attempting to kill him. However, after being subjected to the powers of Mastermind, she now believes her father to be kind and caring, resulting in a saner, calmer, more well-adjusted Wanda who is fiercely devoted to Magneto's cause. Wanda's unique mutant ability allows her to harness and manipulate the force of probability. Her power, already dangerous in its own right, is easily tainted by her anger and fury, making her all the more deadly. She can use hex bolts and hex spheres to interfere with other mutants' powers, causing them to go haywire, or for attacks to be shot back at the original attacker. She can generally cause bad luck for people, making them trip or drop things when under the influence of her powers. Wanda is also able to affect inanimate objects - things will break, move (sometimes to accomplish a specific goal like trapping someone), and so on.
Magneto — Erik Magnus Lehnsherr is a powerful mutant supremacist. He is essentially unchanged from his comic book version, but toned down a bit so that he appears more a manipulator than a terrorist. In addition, the ambiguous nature of Magneto's personality has been changed to make him a more effective villain (though he was seen as a child in a concentration camp), resembling the 1960s version of the character, with an apparent (but unstated) interested solely in mutant dominance, with himself as leader.
Sabretooth — Victor Creed is a violent brawler who has a deep enmity against Wolverine, but not the psychotic killer of the comics. Little is revealed about Sabretooth except that he had some involvement with Wolverine and Weapon X, and that he is one of Magneto's most loyal followers. Oddly, he was depicted as a loner in the first season, but from the first season's finale (The Cauldron) onward he was almost never seen without Magneto.
Gambit — Remy LeBeau, is outwardly similar to the original Gambit, but is different in that he is a willing accomplice to Magneto. Trained as a thief, Gambit is an amoral mercenary who will give his services to the highest bidder. He appears to have a soft spot for Rogue (originally meant only as a nod to their relationship in the comics) especially during the season four episode, "Cajun Spice", in which he kisses his favourite playing card (the Queen of Hearts, his "lucky lady") during a train journey and then gives her this same card at the end, but whether or not he has sincere affection for her is unconfirmed. However, in the final sequence at the end of the series, Gambit was shown with the extended team of X-Men, with an arm around Rogue. His nickname for Rogue is "Chérie" which is French for darling.
Colossus — Piotr Rasputin is very similar to his comic counterpart. In this version, he is pressured into serving Magneto, who has abducted his family. The whereabouts of his family remain unknown at the end of the series. In the special feature 'X-Men Season 3: X-Posed' on the season 3 DVD, Colossus' sister is specifically mentioned as being Magneto's hostage, with no mention of other family members, contrary (but not contradictory) to what is stated in the series. This was likely an intended plot point for future seasons.
Pyro — John Allerdyce is a mad pyromaniac with a cackling laugh and a broken Australian accent. The original Pyro was more controlled, whereas this version's affinity for destruction and complete ignorance of consequence border on outright insanity. In one notable scene he is watching footage of Magneto's supposed demise at the hands of Apocalypse, rewinding, playing back, and laughing several times. He differs from his comic book counterpart in that he needs a constant stream of flame to sustain his power; when Wolverine fights him midway through his repeated viewing of Magneto's death, Wolverine severs his flamethrower pack and the fires already conjured fade away. The special feature 'Cerebro Mutant Files: The Acolytes' on the Season 3 DVD reveals that, like the movie, the name St. John Allerdyce (as Pyro is named in the comics) is simplified to John Allerdyce.
Mastermind — Jason Wyngarde is the group's telepath, though his membership on the team appears to be unofficial, as he seldom appears. While his comic book counterpart could only cast illusions, this version of Mastermind is also capable of telepathy, as well as reading and even rewriting memories of other people (as he did to Wanda.)
Boom-Boom — Tabitha Smith has a troubled past and a criminal father. Originally one of the New Mutants, she felt that she did not fit in and moved in with the Brotherhood, who were more her style. She often played practical jokes on the boys (such as shaving off Blob's Mohawk while he slept) and abused their hospitality, though they did little to stop her. She left following Mystique's return. Her role in the series was significantly diminished afterward; she lived on her own and appeared mostly in the company of her friend Amara. Her powers are making energy 'time bombs' that can explode at will. In the final episode, she is pictured with the X-Men.
The Morlocks — The Morlocks made several appearances on the show. Like in the comics, the Morlocks live down in the sewers, because their mutations were far too apparent to stop humans from shunning them from society. The characters included:
- Callisto, the leader of the group, who has enhanced senses. She is more passive and reasonable than her comic-book counterpart.
- Caliban a chalk-white character able to detect the presence of other mutants.
- Cybelle, a black female with an acid touch.
- Torpid, a mute little girl with huge hands who possesses a paralyzing touch. She was created exclusively for the series.
- Facade, who can blend into his surroundings. He was created exclusively for the series.
- Lucid, a froglike mutant who can see through solid objects. He was created exclusively for the series.
- Scaleface (who can shapeshift into a fire-breathing reptilian creature) appeared in one episode. She tried to prevent Berzerker from escaping the Morlocks, a nod to their relationship in the comics.
X-23 — X-23 is a female clone of Wolverine who was raised since "birth" to be a killer for HYDRA. She has two claws in each hand instead of three, and a single claw in each foot. At first X-23 blames Wolverine for her wretched existence and tries to kill him, but relents when she realizes that he had nothing to do with her creation or emotional and mental abuse. In scenes from the future on the final episode, X-23 is found as a member of the X-Men. It is noteworthy in that she was created for and made her debut on X-Men: Evolution, and was later adopted as a comic character.
Angel — Warren Worthington III, a young multi-millionaire, donned a costume and a mask to perform heroic deeds in New York City, but stopped after his actions garnered negative attention from Magneto. He eventually joins the X-Men in their concerted assault against Apocalypse, and in scenes from the future in the final episode, Angel is shown as a full member of the X-Men.
Forge — Fprge, in great contrast to his comic counterpart, is a Bayville High student and mutant inventor from the late 1970s who was trapped in a pocket dimension he called "Middleverse" for several years. Only when Nightcrawler found his way there and the X-Men found a way to free him did Forge return, though he was, as he put it, "twenty years late for curfew." While he is an ally of the X-Men, he only appeared once more to test equipment that would enhance Nightcrawler's teleportation range, at the cost of releasing extra-dimensional monsters into the world. He is curiously absent from the final shot of the series, which included the X-Men and the various allies they had gathered throughout the series. He is shown as having a mechanical arm that seems able either to actually shift into flesh or simulate it, and aside from his evident genius displays no other power.
Havok — Alex Masters/Summers, Cyclops' brother, was long believed to be dead, Alex (who was adopted by the Masters family rather than the Blanding family as his comic counterpart was) is reunited with his brother Scott, though Alex has come under the influence of Magneto, leading Scott away from the X-Men. Eventually, Alex and Scott realize that Magneto has tricked them and help put an end to his plans. Alex turns down an offer to join the X-Men, preferring to stay in Hawaii and become a professional surfer. Despite this, he agrees to help in the fight against Apocalypse, even donning an X-Men training uniform.
Danielle Moonstar — Danielle is a Native American mutant who befriends Kitty. Her powers of psychic projection exposed the worst fears of her neighbors, which resulted in the entire population of her small town moving away and leaving her and her grandfather the only residents of a ghost town. Her story coincidentally parallels that of Forge, the only other Native American in the series.
Destiny — Irene Adler, a blind mutant who has visions of future possibilities and events. In "Rogue Recruit", it is implied that Destiny is employed by Magneto, but her true loyalties lie with her longtime friend Mystique. She raised Rogue in Caldecott, Mississippi, waiting for the day in which her potentially unlimited power would manifest. Though Irene lies to Rogue on several occasions (such as telling her that she must always cover her skin due to a phony illness, and convincing her that the X-Men are dangerous mutant hunters), she clearly has genuine affection for the girl.
Leach — Dorian Leach is a young boy whose mutation nullifies any type of power, both energetic and mutant abilities, within range. His green skin marks him as a mutant, and his mother struggles to protect him from anti-mutant bigots. In his final appearance, Leech plays a vital role in the course of events when Rogue absorbs his powers to vanquish Apocalypse.
Juggernaut — In Juggernaut's first appearance on the show, it took the combined forces of the X-Men & Brotherhood to stop him from harming Xavier & Mystique. However in his second appearance, a substantially more experienced X-Men team managed to defeat Juggernaut with the help of the environment. The most noteworthy differences between the comic Juggernaut and the Evolution Juggernaut are that he is now Xavier's half-brother rather than his stepbrother and that he is now a mutant whose powers were activated by "mysticism." Another difference is the helmet he wore had buckle-like locks on it allowing for it to be easily taken off unlike his previous incarnation in the previous X-Men animated series where it was bolted on. However, Juggernaut still possessed the same general weakness from telepathic assault and his helmet was stated in his first appearance to still provide protection.
Apocalypse — Hinted at during the second season, Apocalypse became the primary focus of the third and fourth seasons, overshadowing even a fearful Magneto as the primary villain. Though his back story remains largely the same as his comic counterpart, this Apocalypse was sealed away behind three mystic doors in the Himalayas, using Mesmero to help him escape. Once free, Apocalypse quickly proved that even the combined forces of the X-Men and Magneto's Acolytes were no match for him, and set out to use the Eye of Ages to turn all humans into mutants (or as Beast put it, "reshape the world in his image").
This Apocalypse differed greatly from the original version, most notably his initial appearances showed him as an iridescent god-like being who never spoke. During the series finale he was altered to more closely resemble his original appearance by becoming a blue cyborg with a penchant for overly dramatic dialogue, which led to mixed reactions from fans.
The show contained various pop culture references: in episode 9 of the first season, one of Wolverine's defensive programs for the Danger Room is referred to as "Logan's Run X13", a clear reference to the novel/film Logan's Run. The Rogue/Kitty dance in "Spykecam" was modeled after a similar dance in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Bad Girls". The play used in the first season episode "Spykecam", Dracula: The Musical, is a real play. The song used, however, is an original song made for the episode. The writers of the show have also admitted that they were fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Using Shadowcat as the catalyst, the two shows appear similar: a teenage girl with superpowers fights powerful villains in order to save her high school. Buffy creator Joss Whedon has openly credited his inspiration for Buffy as Kitty Pryde.
Starting with the first episode of Season 4, "Impact", the episode title was no longer aired on-screen at the beginning of the show, and X-Men: Evolution became the third longest-running Marvel cartoon, behind Spider-Man: The Animated Series (5 seasons, 65 episodes) and X-Men: The Animated Series (5 seasons, 76 episodes).
The first three seasons have been released on DVD. Season 3 was released as a two disc set, while Seasons 1 & 2 were released in 4 volumes each. The fourth season has not yet been released on DVD as of 2013.All four seasons are available for download in SD format on iTunes (Only available for America), being released in 2009 by Marvel. All 4 seasons immediately broke into the Top 10 Animation charts on iTunes, with season 4 peaking at #3. As of 2013, only Season One is currently available on Netflix in the United States. All four seasons are also currently available on Hulu.
- ↑ "Why didn't you guys air X-Men evolution on toonami back in the day? ". ask.fm/Clarknova. August 9, 2018. https://ask.fm/Clarknova/answers/149218331369. Retrieved on August 10, 2018.
- ↑ "How, exactly? ". ask.fm/Clarknova. August 9, 2018. https://ask.fm/Clarknova/answers/149220257769. Retrieved on August 10, 2018.