X.M.E. T.V.



In February of 2002, Marvel released a comic book version of X-men: Evolution with the Studio XD team. The series was unforunately not very well received, and so only ran a short 9 issues. It is unfortunate the only attempt to cross Evolution over into a comic book version was so poorly handled, as it could have very easily been another very succesful X-men AU. However, poor (and slightly patronizing) writing, and an attempt to keep the comicbook "kid friendly" ultimately killed the project just as it was starting to find its feet. Still, they're a nice addition to any Evo fan's collection, if only for the art. If you can't find back issues at your local comic book store, I can always suggest Mile High Comics, who do great internet comicbook sales, or, if you prefer to go direct to the source, Marvel has all the issues available in digital comic format, for crazy cheep. I've decided to only post the first five pages of each comic in an attempt to encourage others to buy the rest of the comic on their own.

#1 - Lines in the Sand

Writer || Devin Grayson
Artwork || Udon, with Long Vo, Charles Park and Saka of Studio XD
Issue Date || Februrary 2002
Comments || As an introductory issue, I'm of two minds on this. The first time you read through this, mostly what you're struck by is the pace- which is insanely abrupt. Within the span of one issue we're introduced and given background on Xavier, Storm, Wolverine, Magneto, Mystique and Wolverine. Out of these characters, only Wolverine and Mystique feel remotely natural. Now- I'm not a very good writer (no, really?) so I do try to avoid unnesscarily critiquing others, but- it seemed like a strange pace to place a first issue. It's a good idea, trying to tell some of the stories that we didn't see on screne in the cartoon, but the story telling here is all just so "And then they were all there, Ta-daaah" it's a little bit off setting. This seems more like a story that could have been spread out over three or four issues cramed into one. Add on top of that very strange mistakes such as having Magneto and Xavier having a telepathic conversation- when Magneto is still wearing his helmet and you're left wondering if any actual research was done before writing began. Still- it's only the first issue, and often times starting is the hardest part, so over all, it's not so bad.

#2 - Seeing Clearly

Writer || Devin Grayson
Artwork || Udon, with Long Vo, Charles Park and Saka of Studio XD
Issue Date || March 2002
Comments || Issue two sits much better than issue one did. The story telling seems more natural, and the pace less frantic. For the most part, everyone seems in character: Scott is an optimist boyscout, Logan is a grumpy loner, and Xavier is a dick. Er, sorry, altruistic billionair. Yeah... Some of the dialogue seems a bit forced, but this mostly has to do with people rejecting mutants on the basis of being mutants, and I've always found that dialogue to be a bit strange regardless of the writer. Here we also encounter the first "cleaning up" of the violence, to keep things alright for kids, when Logan gets shot and... there's not even a hole, let alone blood. This all seems strange to me, seeing as how they're more than willing to wave guns around and put children in danger, but- not show any reprocussions to this. Such non-follow through on violence in a comic book- on an X-man comic to boot!-was a huge turn off for the few "original" X-men readers who had been willing to give this title a chance.
I will say though- I absolutely LOVE the cover on this. It's one of my favourite X-men covers, like- ever.

#3 - Hearing Things

Writer || Devin Grayson
Artwork || Udon, with Long Vo, Charles Park and Saka of Studio XD
Issue Date || April 2002
Comments || With issue 3 we're introduced to Jean and Toad. Jean's intro story is really quite nice, though, much like the first issue, it felt a little bit rushed. Though who am I to say how long it would take to train psychic powers, really. There are some really cute moments (especially with Scott), and some moments that just don't make sence. Also, throughout the past two issues and this one as well, they've been useing backgrounds stolen from the show as backgrounds for the comic. For the most part they're pretty good at disgusing this fact, and it doesn't look too awkward, but there are a few instances in this comic where it just looks weird. Additionally, at one point, a character goes from being trapped in one place, to being trapped in a completely different place. I get the feelign this was an artisic choice, as having someone trapped OUTside rather than inside was much easier to draw, but it's a huge break in continuity for me. Oh well. Bubble placement is very well utalized in the first half of this comic, to physically illustrate the crowding of voices in Jean's head.

#4 - Am I Blue

Writer || Devin Grayson
Artwork || Udon, with Long Vo, Charles Park and Saka of Studio XD
Issue Date || May 2002
Comments || With issue four, we move from "prequil" stories of Evo, and move into more "untold" stories that one assumes were intended to fit in between various episodes. This particular issue focuses on Kurt and one of his many (albeit deserved) neurosises. The story itself, I find to be just fine. There's a cute nod at the very start of the comic about the oddness and non-uniformity of codenams, but while the question is brought up, it is sneakily never answered. My bigest complaint with this comic is one that has been building up through previous issues in that- for some reason, the artist(s?) felt the need to insert strangely anime-influenced characters into the background. While I'm not at all expecting the art to be an exact match to that in the show, having everyone with hair that at least resembles what you might see on the show and then suddenly someone with blue or pink hair, or hair shaped like a crab is a very jarring choice. It's clear by other background characters that they CAN mesh- so why this oddity?
Oh and Kurt? You so failed that paper. It's a sweet ending, to be sure, but as concerned as that teacher is, now, about Kurt's possible manic depression, one word does not an essey make.

#5 - Untouchable

Writer || Devin Grayson
Artwork || Udon, with Long Vo, Charles Park and Saka of Studio XD
Issue Date || May 2002
Comments || Here's where things get a little iffy again. There are more than a handful of counterdictions in this issue, which is a shame, because it's actually a really good, solid premise for a story. It's also our first time with the complete Brotherhood, which is always appreciated. Even if they have moved their couch and TV into the foyer for reasons unknown. This issue is amazingly schmaltzy, though when you're dealing with the drama-ridden Rogue, it's not too surprising. Still, the ending was pure saccharine. I do, however, give MAJOR props for not writing out Rogue's dialogue with her saying "Ah" for "I." Because that's never appropriate. Never. It's annoying as hell when ANYONE does it, and there are MUCH better ways at indicating an accent than that.

#6 - Just Like You

Writer || Devin Grayson
Artwork || Udon, with Long Vo, Charles Park and Saka of Studio XD
Issue Date || June 2002
Comments || The shiney cover by Kia Asamiya seems to be the style that Studio XD was attempting to get for the comic in general... but fell short of. It's a beautfiul cover, don't get me wrong, and a welcome addition to the seclection of Evo work out there, but I always have to roll my eyes a bit when the cover of a comic has absolutely nothing to do with what's going on inside. Which is what we have going on here. Other than both are "Evo" the cover doesn't reflect on the story, or the art within.
And speaking of the story- this story guest stars an X-men character not canon to Evo, but most well known from his appearances in Exiles. The story's an interesting one, though many people dislike Spyke, so likely won't like the story. I sort of wonder if that's the reason for the discrepency between the cover and the story- no one would have picked up a book with then-unknown Spyke on it- but oh well. This story line depends heavily on the "Xavier is a dick" principle, but even accounting for this, there seems to be several forced character changes with the last few pages of the comic, in order to force a resolution to the story. On the one hand, you can see why they would need this resolution, when the issue is supposed to take place between episodes of the show; they can't be adding characters or changing relationships. But on the other hand- they don't seem to mind disregarding OTHER points of establishd canon, so why limit themselves in this respect? A little bit dissapointing.

#7 - Beast of Burden

Writer || Devin Grayson
Artwork || Udon, with Long Vo, Charles Park and Saka of Studio XD
Issue Date || July 2002
Comments || With this issue, we catch up to the point of the New Recruits and Beast joining the team. There's some delightful power-usage in a mutant-powerd game of baseball, as well as groundwork starting to be laied for a story that never ends up happening. My only problems with this issue are rather nit-picking; speach bubbles being pointed at the wrong person, or sort of "huh?" moments against established cannon. Really, though, all in all, this issue is fun and cute. Though my scan of it it sorta sucks. The scan is not indicitive of ALL the printings of this comic, though.

#8 - Angel Underground

Writer || Devin Grayson
Artwork || Udon, with Long Vo, Charles Park and Saka of Studio XD
Issue Date || August 2002
Comments || It's really tempting to get all snitty about disregarding cannon and character designs in this issue, which introduces us to the Morlocks, but the fact of the matter is- this issue came out about 3 months prior to "X-Treme Measures," which was our first introduction to the Morlocks in the show. Which would be why there are no familiar faces like Lucid or Scale Face.
It's hard to give an unbiased oppinion on this issue, as any time I see something with the morlocks in it, all I hear is "Wahhhh, our life is so haaaarrrrd, waaaahhhhhh" and Linkin Park singing off somewhere in the background. That, combined with other counterdicting canon points (not counting the exception I mentioned above) just sort of makes this an "eh" issue for me, though there are some nice expressions in the art, if you can ignore the oddly computer generated sewer tunnels.

#9 - House Party

Writer || Jay Farber
Artwork || J.J. Kirby, Chris Walker
Issue Date || September 2002
Comments || This is, without a doubt, my favourite issue of the series. The art takes a sudden leap away from the style used in the cartoon, which, in my oppinion is a drastic improvement. The characters suddenly have life and emotion to them again- not to mention getting a new wardrobe, unlike the "one outfit only" theme of most TV shows. The story, while still being a bit on the "Rated G for General Audiences" side, doesn't offer any conflicting canon ideas from the show. All in all, I really wish there could have been more issues like this. Styalized? Yes. But so in a GOOD way.

Sneak Peak

At the end of issue 8, we were treated to a bit of a leadin for a story which never happened, due to the comic being cancled. If you weren't clever enough to "decode" the name Xessen, then never fear, for an image was released by Marvel to give a more exact clue. Apparently, there was a story involving Beast and Mr. Sinister in the works! What this story was to entail, though, there has yet to be any word. I've never found a larger or clearer image than the one I've re-posted here, though I'm sure there must be one out there somewhere...

All titles, characters, character names, logos and related indicia are and their respective creators. All characters are used without permission and not for profit. Layout lovingly ripped off from Mangastyle.net.