Cyclops In Animation - A Retrospective

Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four

With several members of both teams kidnapped, the X-Men and The Brotherhood once again team up to retrieve their respective members with Mystique once again pulling the kids strings, and they were powerless to discover where she was keeping Professor Xavier captive. With a helping hand from Nick Fury, they learn the captives are being held in Area 51 and spring forth to rescue them. Upon doing so, Scott calls Mystqiue’s bluff and seals off her exit, demanding to know where Xavier. She refuses, and she is captured. His plan, whilst clever, didn’t help him, in fact, it greatly hindered matters – how was he supposed to find where the Professor was when the only person who knew was locked up in a secret location?

With no mansion, no leader and nothing to lose, the remaining X-Men hid out in a cave while Storm and Beast went to Washington to explain the situation – they are not to be victims of a witch hunt, mutants are people they just have gifts. When they are initially attacked by the military, Wolverine tells the team to retaliate, Cyclops refuses, stating that The Professor wouldn’t have them attack the soldiers. It truly is his defining moment.

Wolverine: Listen Kid— Cyclops: No, we're the X-Men. We're not kids anymore. You trained us, and you know something, we're good. Very good.

He then leads the kids into battle against the unstoppable Juggernaut and unleashes everything he has against him. Being that he is Juggernaut, it merely fazes him until Rouge is able to absorb his powers and memories, thus revealing the location of Professor Xavier. After that, it was back to school for Scott. The day doesn’t being well with everyone looking at all the weirdoes from the Institute with their freaky powers and Scott’s girlfriend Taryn dumping him with but a glance. Cartoons have this annoying tenancy to completely ignore romantic relationships these days and unfortunately, X-Men: Evolution was no exception. It’s especially annoying as Evo was usually good with their romantic relationships and they all tended to come screeching to a halt because the network thought that the audience wasn’t interested. Morons. I wonder how this trait will affect the upcoming Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon?

I’ve stated several times that I never cared for Bayville high but it worked as a good metaphor for acceptance and prejudice in this episode, especially as a few groups went out of their way to ensure that Scott and all the other mutants would be kicked out of school as soon as possible.

Blind Alley takes it’s queue from prior episodes (I love it when they do that!) as Mystqiue returns to make life miserable for her jailer. Stealing Scott’s glasses and leaving him stranded in the desert is an idea that could create an incredibly original story or be just plain dumb. Luckily, this episode is one of the show’s best – something completely different but very much driven by it’s characters. It’s unpredictable from start to finish – how is Scott supposed to do anything if he can’t see?

It has a world class ending with Scott and Jean finally getting together. It’s not a full on “I love you!” “I love you more!” moment (Kids WB! were not for that) but it’s subtle, which is the best way to go with romances in my opinion. Nothing much happened between them after this, so I consider us lucky to get this far.

The season was on high form, no doubt. One of the many highlights include the original five X-Men from the comics travelling to good ol’ England to stop Apocalypse’s resurrection which meant a thrown down between them, Magneto and his Acolytes and a giant spider. It seems they were finally breaking away and dealing with X-Men stuff, and the shoe became so much better for it. The rest of the important episodes of the show deal with the threat of Apocalypse which had been building since the middle of season two – it was gripping, gripping stuff. To say how poor the opening season was, and how mediocre a lot of the second season was, seasons three and four were among the strongest cartoons I’ve ever watched.

We do get a nice break from Apocalypse, much to Scott’s chagrin as The Brotherhood are proven to be heroes of Bayville after Toad “pulls a Homer”. Reviling in the perks of the hero business, they decide once isn’t enough and begin staging crimes only so they can turn up at just the right time to save the day. They inevitably fall as they are The Brotherhood but it’s unusual to see Scott so frustrated – he’s usually got the one up on The Brotherhood with little effort involved.

They had to fill pretty much every character they’d already introduced into the finale so Scott doesn’t really get a defining moment. We do see a glimpse of the future which hints towards Phoenix and a possible relationship between Scott and Rouge while they sport bad ass new costumes but nothing more ever came of X-Men: Evolution.

Unfortunately, season four was the last X-Men: Evolution would ever do. The show hit the 52 episode mark and pretty much disappeared straight away. There must be some reason why Cartoon Network’s highest rated action cartoon didn’t air all the episodes and why it failed to return to airwaves during any of the X-Men movie tie in opportunities – for such a popular show to never be shown again is a little too unusual. It’s annoyed many people – some areas aren’t able to get Kids WB! and season four hasn’t been released on DVD – the episodes aren’t legally available for many to watch. That may change in the future, nothing prompts a DVD cash in quicker than a movie in theatres and Wolverine is getting his own solo movie next summer – get cracking, Warner Home Video.

Speaking of the future, Cyclops will be returning to TV in a new X-Men show dubbed Wolverine And The X-Men. I’m impressed with the design I’ve seen for him so far and Nolan North has been cast – I’m expecting good things from this show and am really looking forward to sitting down and watching the X-Men on TV again. Hopefully, it will be just like old times.