X-Men: Evolution

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X-Men: Evolution brought the fan favorite comic book title onto the TV screen. It is an American animated television series about the Marvel Comics superhero team X-Men. The series loosely follows the main stories of the original comic. The main cast have been turned into teenagers while others are kids (with the exception of Wolverine, Prof. X, and a few select others). Most of the fan favorites are accounted for, including Wolverine, Cyclops, and Storm.


Evolution follows the lives of six mutants (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Rogue, and a new original named Spyke) who attend Xavier's Institute for the Gifted. There, they learn how to control their powers and use them for good.

New Mutants

Berzerker, Boom-Boom, Cannonball, Iceman, Magma, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Multiple and Jubilee.


52 color episodes (52 half-hour episodes, 4 two-part episodes) from November 2000 until October 2003. Production: Marvel Enterprises.

Series overview

Season One

The first season introduced us to the core characters and laid the foundations for future storylines. Cyclops, Professor X, Wolverine, Storm and Jean Grey made up the original X-Men. As the season developed the ranks of the X-Men were bolstered by the appearance of Nightcrawler in the first episode, Shadowcat in the second, Rogue in the third, and Spyke in the fifth. In the thirteen episodes of this season, Nightcrawler discovered the identity of his birth mother, Wolverine found answers to his past, Rogue switched sides to join the X-Men, and Xavier's step-brother Juggernaut is released from his prison.

Confrontations were typically with the Brotherhood, who vied for new recruits with the X-Men over the course of the season. Toad was the first to be introduced, followed by Avalanche, Blob and Quicksilver. The Brotherhood, apparently led by Mystique, were 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 discovered that his brother, Alex (Havok), survived the plane crash that killed their parents, they were both taken by Magneto into his "sanctuary" on Asteroid M. Magneto captured several X-Men and Brotherhood members in an attempt to amplify their mutant abilities and remove their emotions, in his evolving machine. Scot and Alex went into the machine, and came out with white hair, and Cyclops could now control his powers. Asteroid M was destroyed by Cyclops and his brother, but not before two unidentified metal objects flew from the exploding rock.

Season Two

The second season saw the addition of several new mutants, including the Beast. During the course of the season it was revealed that the villains who supposedly perished on Asteroid M were in fact alive. Sabretooth, meanwhile, continued his pursuit of Wolverine, while Magneto continued to work his own agenda. Mystique posed as Risty Wilde, a high school student at Bayville High who befriends Rogue.Using her relationship with Rogue, she breaks into the mansion, stealing Xavier's Cerebro files. Using the files, she recovers Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, Magneto's daughter and Quicksilver's twin sister. The mentally unstable uber-mutant joined 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 trained his X-Men to face Magneto, pairing them with the Brotherhood. Cyclops, furious with having to work with his former adversaries, left the team. The mansion was later set to self-destruct with Cyclops and several students still inside. Magneto, meanwhile, recruited Sabretooth, Gambit, Pyro, and Colossus as his Acolytes to fight the X-Men/Brotherhood team. At the same time, Wolverine was captured by Bolivar Trask for use as a test subject for the anti-mutant weapon, the Sentinel. The Sentinel was unleashed onto the city, forcing the X-Men to use their powers in public. Scarlet Witch tracks down Magneto and attempted to crush him with the Sentinel. When the mutants who hadn't been captured by the Sentinel returned to the remains of the mansion, Cyclops and the students emerged from the explosion unharmed. Scott threw Xavier from his wheelchair and blamed him for blowing up the mansion. Xavier calmly stood up, transforming into Mystique.

Season Three

After the battle with the Sentinel, the mutant race was no longer a secret. The public reaction was one of hostility. As the season progressed, the real Xavier was found, Mystique defeated, the mansion rebuilt, and the X-Men allowed back into Bayville High. Wanda continued to search for Magneto (who was saved by his son, Quicksilver, at the last minute) until Magneto used the telepathic mutant Mastermind to change her childhood memories. Scott and Jean forged a deeper relationship, while the romance between Shadowcat and the Brotherhood member Avalanche ended. Also, Spyke left the X-Men when his power became uncontrollable, deciding to live with the sewer-dwelling deformities, the Morlocks.

As part of the series arc, Rogue loses control of her powers, leading to her hospitalization. During that time, she learned she was the adoptive daughter of Mystique. Mystique, through the visions of the mutant Destiny, foresaw that the fate of Rogue and herself lied in the hands of an ancient mutant that would be resurrected. The return of the long-awaited Apocalypse saga emerged in the season's final episodes. Mesmero manipulated Magneto into opening the second door, and used Mystique and Rogue to open the last, turning Mystique to stone in the process. Now released, Apocalypse easily defeated the combined strength of the X-Men, Magneto, the Acolytes, and the Brotherhood before escaping.

Season Four

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The whole X-Men Team!
The final (and darker) season contained only nine episodes. In the season premiere, Apocalypse killed Magneto while Rogue murdered Mystique by pushing her petrified figure off a cliff, leaving her distraught son, Nightcrawler, without closure. The Brotherhood became temporary do-gooders, Wolverine's teenage girl clone X23 returned, Spyke and the Morlocks rose to the surface, Shadowcat discovered a mutant ghost, Rogue was kidnapped by Gambit and taken to Louisiana to help free his father, and Xavier attempted to defeat his evil son. In the finale, Apocalypse defeated Xavier and Storm, transforming them, along with Magneto and Mystique, as his Four Horsemen. Apocalypse instructed his Horsemen to protect his four domes, which would turn the entire world population into mutants. In the final battle, the Horsemen were returned to normal and Apocalypse was once again entombed. Rogue and Nightcrawler refused the excuses of their mother, Shadowcat and Avalanche found love once again, and Xavier saw his students reunited as the X-Men.

Final Moments

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Xavier's vision; the future X-Men team!
The series ends with a speech by Charles Xavier, who had caught a glimpse of the future while being controlled by Apocalypse. Boyd Kirkland confirmed that the unproduced Season 5 would have expanded on several of these plot threads, with Dark Phoenix being the season's main villain. The following future scenarios were foreseen:
  • Anti-mutant sentiment continues.
  • The Sentinels attack, led by a Super Sentinel which is hinted to be Nimrod.
  • A reformed Magneto becomes the teacher of the New Mutants, which now includes the return of Wolfsbane, and Jubilee.
  • Jean Grey becomes possessed by the Phoenix Force and turns into the Phoenix. (NOTE: It's unknown whether the Phoenix would have been a cosmic entity or a part of Jean's mind; similar to the movies).
  • The future X-Men team (Picture on the right) consists of adult versions of Cyclops, X23, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Rogue (able to fly and, curiously, not wearing gloves), plus Storm and Colossus. The uniforms these future X-Men wear look very much like the dark uniforms in the Ultimate X-Men comic. Only X23 (who had a dark uniform from the start) looks the same.
  • X-Men The last scene (see picture above) shows the entire cast, which includes the X-Men, the New Mutants, Gambit and Colossus (former Acolytes), the previously unaligned Boom Boom, Havok, Angel, and X-23; along with the return of Jubilee, Spyke, and Wolfsbane.
  • The Brotherhood and Pyro join S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • If the show had not been canceled, the foreshadowing of Jean becoming Dark Phoenix, a possible arrival of Corsair, Magneto officially allying himself with Xavier, David Haller and Apocalypse returning, the arrival of the Shi'ar, Madelyne Pryor, Mister Sinister, Bishop, Cable and *Rachel Summers (from the present and future; although in the current timeline, Nathan and Rachel are twins whereas the others are not), and *Scott's marriage with Jean.
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