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The Stuff Of Heroes
Review and Media by Stu

Episode #32 - The Stuff Of Heroes
Original Airdate September 21st, 2002

With The Professor still missing, Beast and Storm head to Washington to address the 'mutant problem'. Meanwhile, the mutant propaganda continues as Juggernaut causes mayhem, blacking out an entire city. Can the X-Men defeat The Unstoppable?

Story By: Greg Johnson
Written By: Bob Forward
Directed By: Curt Geda
Music Composed By: William Anderson
Guest Starring: Paul Dobson as Juggernaut.

Review: The season continues as Beast and Storm deal with the mutant problem in Washington and The X-Kids are left to defeat Juggernaut on their own. I love it when shows really embrace their own continuity, with the stories continuing from episode to episode. Standalones are fine, but the show becomes so much bigger when the story carries over. I found the recent Cadmus arc in Justice League Unlimited to be a great example of this.

The majority of this season followed the “Are mutants dangerous?” story rather than misfits trying to fit in at a school, which basically killed any chance of development for the teens. I truly believe this season was a hell of a lot stronger than the previous two because of it.

The return of Juggernaut was a nice surprise, and a great surprise to me. I’ve always liked Juggernaut and I thought he was the perfect threat here. If you remember, the last time The X-Men faced Juggernaut, Wolverine, The Brotherhood and more importantly Xavier were there to help. Now, we’re introduced to the main point of this particular episode, The X-Kids are alone. They’ve learned what they can from the mentors, and, as the Wolverine/Scott scene in the cave demonstrates, they’ve outgrown them. Add this to the fact that the fight scene with Juggernaut is arguably one of the very best in the show, then you’ve got one hell of an episode on your hand.

This episode is the first to be directed by Curt Geda, who most fans know as the director of the excellent Batman Beyond: Return Of The Joker Direct-To-DVD feature. There truly are some outstanding visuals in this episode besides the fight with Juggernaut. The opening scene with Rouge trying to look low-key whilst complaining she looks fat on TV, the use of powers in the pocket TV in the cave, hell, even how Storm shows her authority in Washington among the delegates. Truly the show featured a string of very talented directors and Geda was no exception.

All in all, a great story that greatly help shape the series, all wrapped up with some great action scenes. The one drawback was that Wolverine’s new Ultimate X-Men inspired costume was introduced. Now, this costume isn’t bad, but it’s nowhere near as good as the orange and black suit. A minor nitpick in what stands as one of the best X-Men: Evolution episodes ever.