Now Hugh Jackman has confirmed that he will be suiting up as Wolverine in Deadpool 3, why not look back at another iconic Wolverine from the classic 1992 X-Men: The Animated Series? For many this was a huge part of their childhoods because of its great adaptations of classic stories and a very good voice cast. Oh, but they really didn’t have to try and make Jubilee a main character but that’s an argument for a different list. And if you’re a fan of the show, then the fact Marvel are doing a reboot makes this list even better. But before I properly get into the list, here is some history about the show.
X-Men: The Animated Series first debuted on Fox Kids Network in 1992 and ran for 5 seasons until 1997. Besides being a massively popular series, many of the episodes were better adaptations of classic stories than the X-Men films. Take for example Apocalypse. While the film of the same name was pretty rubbish, the Animated series did it proper justice and it is widely considered one of the best episodes. Also take the Phoenix Saga which was butchered twice in the X-Men films whereas the Animated Series genuinely brought emotional depth to both Jean and Scott. Now obviously the Animated Series has all the classic X-Men, Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Gray, Professor X and Storm. Oh and also my favourite X-Men Gambit and for some reason Jubilee was a main character. Now without further ado, here are the best episodes of the X Men Animated Series.
10: Red Dawn (S2, E4)
Kicking off the list of the best X-Men Animated Series episodes is Red Dawn. Now what makes this episode so good? Well for a start it places the X-Men as opponents to a crumbled Soviet government. Now the Soviets bring back Omega Red in order to rule the former Soviet Empire. Damn, that’s deep for what’s supposed to be a kids show. Anyway, it takes just about the entire X-Men lineup to finally end Omega Red’s tyranny with Storm freezing him in ice. Oh and if that isn’t enough then how about the fact this episode sees Magento and Professor X escaping dinosaurs in the Forbidden Land? Honestly an underrated episode….
9: Savage Land, Strange Heart Part One (S3, E12)
Speaking of the Savage Land, this episode sees the X-Men fighting Sauron. Now before you start asking when they cross over with Lord of the Rings don’t worry. Sauron in this case is a massive dinosaur-dragon creature who flies. And he’s decided to kidnap Storm in order to feed on her mutant energy. Weird but ok…. Anyway, this leads to Wolverine, Beast, Rogue and everyone’s least favourite main X-Men Jubilee returning to the Savage Land to save Storm. Now for anyone wondering what the Savage Land actually is, it’s basically a realm which still has dinosaurs roaming free. Oh and it’s where Kraven the Hunter hails from……
8: Time Fugitives Part 2 (S2, E8)
Speaking of mutants who have crossed into the MCU, let’s talk about everyone’s favourite time travelling mutant assassin: Cable. Desperate to save his son and finding the idea of killing fellow time traveller Bishop or Apocalypse off-putting Cable looks like he’s failed. Enter Wolverine. And what follows is a bonkers idea to infect Wolverine with a virus for his immune system to make antibodies to stop Apocalypse’s plague. This means everyone goes back to their respective timelines and is happy, with Bishop no longer being a plague and Cable finding his son alive. Now Marvel this is how you do alternate timelines effectively……
7: Slave Island (S1, E7)
Now speaking of Cable, he and Gambit play a massive part in freeing mutants from Genosha. Now why were they trapped in Genosha? Well ironically Storm, Jubilee and Gambit were being used along with others to build a dam to power a Sentinel factory. That’s a bit like Lex Luthor kidnapping Superman and making him build a dam to power a Kryptonite factory. Anyway, Gambit manages to escape alongside Cable but not before he frees the others and helps shutdown the facility. Man Gambit deserves more respect when it comes to the best X-Men competition….
6: Night of the Sentinels Part 1 (S1, E1)
Now if you love the Sentinels then you’ll love the show’s opening double header: Night of the Sentinels. Oh also there’s a lot of Jubilee in this episode. This is because her parents are debating getting rid of her because she’s a mutant. Yeah still no clue why people hate mutants but not superheroes. Anyway, the X-Men save Jubilee and she learns some very generic information about them. Whilst it may not be the best episode ever, it’s certainly one of the most important due to the fact it launched X-Men the Animated Series as a show.
5: Till Death Do Us Part: Part 2 (S2, E2)
Now if there was another positive for X-Men the Animated Series it was how many classic villains it used. Case in point, Mr Sinister. Here he kidnaps Scott and Jean on their honeymoon because how else would you know he’s a bad guy? Basically, he uses mutant, Morph, to trick the entire X-Men for his plan to work. However, he didn’t count on Beast escaping. Or him helping to free Wolverine who works out that something might be wrong with Professor X. So really Mr Sinister didn’t account for a lot in his very stupid plan. All of this sets up the X-Men racing to save Scott and Jean. And all while Professor X attempts to escape the Savage Land.
4: Days of Future Past Part 1 (S1, E12)
Now while the X-Men films often failed to deliver classic storylines like The Animated Series, Days of Future Past is a rare exception. So when Bishop travels back to the present to stop an X-Men assassinating Senator Kelly, he joins the X-Men to stop the assassination. However, shock horror, the assassin turns out to be Gambit….. Only kidding, it turns out to be Mystique disguising herself as Gambit to make the X-Men look bad. Now there’s an overused plot line in the X-Men media. But overall that’s not enough to stop Days of Future Past being a very good episode.
3: Come the Apocalypse (S1, E10)
Speaking of stories the Animated Series did better than the film’s, here comes Apocalypse. While the 2016 film was rubbish, the show nails it with Mystique alongside the fabled four horsemen to aid Apocalypse. After deciding to keep her powers, Rogue, to the surprise of no one finds out Mystique was disguised as a doctor who claims they have a cure for mutant powers. After failing to recruit Rogue, Mystique decides to follow Apocalypse in the 2016 film and sets her sights on making Archangel her next recruit.
2: No Mutant is An Island (S5, E4)
Now after the excellence of the Animated Series’ adaptations of Apocalypse, let’s now look at the aftermath of the Phoenix Saga. A now heartbroken Cyclops deals with the loss of Jean Gray and decides to quit the X-Men. He then decides to return to the orphanage where he grew up. Here he reunites with his childhood friend, Sarah, who he suspects is under the influence of Zebediah Killgrave. And yes that’s classic Jessica Jones The Purple Man there.
1: The Dark Phoenix Part IV: The Fate of the Phoenix (S3, E17)
And the best episode of X-Men the Animated Series is….. The Dark Phoenix Part IV: The Fate of the Phoenix. Now besides having a ludicrously long title, this is a fantastic episode of TV. The first reason is because Dark Phoenix is in full force after destroying an entire star system. The second reason is because it sees Professor X pit the X-Men against the Shi’ar Imperial Guard to determine whether or not they kill Jean. So not only is there a universe ending threat but also the X-Men are fighting on the Moon. That is enough of a reason to make this the best episode of the Animated Series even without the phenomenal character development for Jean.
What are your favourite X-Men the Animated Series episodes? Let me know in the comments below!