The Brotherhood of Mutants In Animation - A Retrospective

Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four - Part Five - Part 6

With a short fourth season, Evo creative crew did not have a lot of chances to use the Brotherhood. They had to create Apocalypse as a major threat, wrap up plot lines for everyone from X-23 to Spyke, and still wanted to introduce some new characters like Legion and Dani Moonstar.

Quite frankly, the Brotherhood had two moments in the final seasons, but they were moments that perfectly captured the crew's balancing act between good and bad.

"No Good Deed" put the Brotherhood in a completely new light. I originally wrote the review of this episode for the Marvel Animation Age.

"No Good Deed" could have been a very contrived episode. (Having the bad guys look like good guys is not a new trick.) Instead, the creative team decided why each character would be willing to perpetuate the lie. Their reasons are sometimes simple, sometimes complex but always spot-on.

Pietro loves attention... and the money doesn't hurt. He has been an A-lister in his own mind since he was a child, and he liked seeing the public finally agree.

Todd's motivation is similar to Pietro. The difference being he is not used to acceptance or praise. Todd has been maligned from day one, but suddenly all the things that made him a freak and an outcast have made him a hero.

Fred... well, Fred doesn't get a lot of character development, does he? He hates being teased. Likes being respected, and obviously is loyal to a fault (especially to Lance and Todd). The guy's a follower.

Lance wanted to get one on the X-Men, especially Summers. (It makes one wonder if Lance and Scott realize how alike they are. Both orphans. Both leaders. Both mutants. Both the only people with cars in their respective cliques. OK, the last one was reaching. But it's hard not to see Lance and Scott as mirror images.

For Wanda, it's another issue of loyalty. She doesn't get involved until Pietro says the X-Men threatened them. Lance and Wanda are the dual, moral centers of the Brotherhood. Wanda demonstrated her moral sensibilities immediately by abstaining. It took Lance awhile to decide what was right... like in their second important appearance of the season.

In "Ascension," the Brotherhood have no interest in teaming up. They don't want to save the world. (They tried to be heroes before, and it didn't work.) The X-Men even sent Kitty, perhaps thinking she could sway Lance. Only Wanda offers to help and only after she hears her father is in danger.

The Brotherhood wait until almost the absolute last moment until they ride to the rescue of two of their favorite girls, Wanda and Kitty. That moment cements them as heroes, at least for the moment.

We don't really know what happens to the Brotherhood after that. We see indications of a reconciliation between Pietro, Wanda and Magneto. We also see Kitty and Lance clinging to each other in the episode's final moments. That doesn't mean Magneto stuck around or Kitty and Lance didn't argue seven seconds after the episode.

The Brotherhood is, after all, nothing if not dynamic.

We see hints that Pietro, Wanda, Lance, Fred and Todd got a government gig when they grew up, functioning as the Freedom Force most likely. That sounds about right for these guys, straddling the line of good and bad. Anything less would be boring.

Whenever the X-Men are around, the Brotherhood are never far behind. They started as Magneto's soldiers, but they've played almost every possible side of the fence in their various incarnations. Voice actors for some Brotherhood members have already been confirmed for "Wolverine and the X-Men." Odds are they'll be villains. Possibly working for Magneto or Mystique.

But, who knows? Maybe the creative team will find a more creative use for them.