Episode 32: X-Men vs X-men Evolution – Side by Side

Sentinels at their absolute stupidest!

"It appears to be the Ace of Spades!"

This week, we’re joined by Geekcast creator and Evolution-denier, TFG1 Blanchard. We compare the original X-Men animated series to the more modern X-Men Evolution. We challenge our guest to make an argument in favor of the 1992 series.

Here’s a game for our listeners. Take a drink for every time Blanchard appeals to his nostalgia instead of the actual quality of the shows. You will be passed out before the show ends.

Episode Topics
“And that’s great, but…”
Only 267 awesome moments out of 52 episodes!
Not punching someone makes you a douche bag.
Having awesome horsemen is like Carly talking to Megatron. (WHAT?!)
“The name’s Bishop. Remember it.”
Giant robots in purple underwear
X-Men on a boat that can’t stop. Worst episode ever.
Shockingly, not a single creationism joke from Neil.
The only card you need is the Ace of Spades! The Ace of Spades!

10 thoughts on “Episode 32: X-Men vs X-men Evolution – Side by Side

  1. Hahah, oh boy I didn’t contribute to that Anime X-Men intro did I? If so that was awesome, oh you guys are like the greatest medicine for me “Cry for Moon”, priceless. Now I get what Ben meant when he told me not to be a Blanchard. However he had some great points. I grew up with X-Men from 92 so the nostalgia is what gives that series power. Evolution is a great take in a very creative way on X-Men, this definitely makes me want see the series again since I never got a chance to see it all. I remember that episode of “It appears to be the ace of spades” as a kid I didn’t catch the derp then, but now that’s as derpy as the nineties can get right there. Keep it coming fellahs

    • Our point against nostalgia is that that’s simply not why we invited him on the show to defend X-Men 92. Blanchard kept appealing to the era in which he grew up, but he forgets that at the end, we tend to ask, “Would you recommend this to a new audience?”. Blanchard was supposed to spend the episode building a case. Why the hell was he even here?! What did he spend the last nearly two hours trying to prove? That he’s a fan? That’s not the topic of the show. We already knew that coming in.

      It’s not like he didn’t try to treat his nostalgia as if it was irrelevant. He used his nostalgia goggles many times to blatantly dismiss whatever we were saying. We make a lot of solid arguments, and then we just hit this wall of denial, where he simply says, “That’s fine, but I just prefer the old series better.” Goddammit! We’re not asking him which one he likes better. We’re asking him which one he thinks would appeal to a new audience.

      His recommendation of the show at the end was based entirely on a point that he never made a case for, which is that X-Men 92 is more adult. I would encourage our listeners to give me a point in the show that Blanchard ever made a case for this. His entire assumption that Evolution is less mature is based on that part of the story takes place in high school, which is entirely irrelevant. You can have a show about kids that tackle mature themes, just as you can make a show about adults that is entirely juvenile. That was the case Ben and I made. What was Blanchard’s counter to this? Hint: You won’t find it, because he never makes it.

      The point at which I almost stopped the show was when Ben made a solid case for Evolution’s Four Horsemen, to which Blanchard’s response was, “Yeah. Whatever.” What the FFFFF….!??!?

      Blanchard tries to argue that although he doesn’t mind having the Four Horsemen be the most powerful mutants on the planet, the show producers should, as he states, “Just make them other mutants.”

      WHY!? Why do that?! Why would anyone nerf the biggest holy-shit-moment of the show? I’m gonna have to start calling that boy WTFG1 Mike Blanchard from now on.

      You know, we made a case for Justice League that the betrayal of Hawkgirl was brilliant and risky, because it took a character that you came to love, and it ripped your heart out by having her turn against her friends. The fight becomes dramatic and very personal, because now the heroes are against someone they truly love.

      In a similar sense, Evolution’s finale puts the heroes in a very dramatic position of fighting a battle that they don’t want to fight. Blanchard, for reasons that were never EVER stated, believes that this moment should have been nerfed by making entirely new Horsemen that nobody actually cares about.

    • Ronnie, just read what you said. You didn’t say the ‘diverse storylines’, the ‘apt storytelling’, the ‘colorful characterization’ or even ‘the splended animation’ gave Fox’s X-men it’s power(which you can’t, because this series lacked all that).

      Nostalgia is the weapon you picked. And Nostalgia is like trying to attack an armed man with a fluffy pillow: It may be filled with a ton of feelings, but it’s going to have a feather-like impact, mostly be soft, and ultimately not move the argument.

      Blanchard himself confessed to not being familiar with the comics themselves, but instead the trading cards his friends had. Lots of his knowledge of the comics was second hand, from friends who probably were all about going “OH MY GOD! Wolverine is so awesome!” How can I say this for sure? Because every school in America with boys had this phenomenon. And you were expected to give a damn for these characters through osmosis; absorbing the good feelings from the guy you knew that actually liked comics, him showing you his binder full of trading cards(which BTW aren’t worth much to this day), and any stray Jim Lee issues you might have picked up, intentionally or accidentally.

      The cartoon itself aped on the comics instead of aping on the characters. And it survives today due to nostalgia. Note that of these has nothing to do with the merits in the writing, or in the animation itself. It’s my belief C- animation can be carried by A+ storytelling. Fox’s X-Men has C- animation…. and C- Storytelling. It can’t carry itself as a product.

      Evolution, on the other hand, aped on the characters, not the comics. It was about creating new storylines instead of photocopying existing ones. It was about making new versions of these characters instead of taking Jim Lee’s sketchbook. Evolution probably had the biggest pair of balls out of all of Marvel’s 90’s animation for actually trying.

      In the end, I think the telling sign was when Blanchard admitted that Evolution was better for a new viewer. it’s a sign that, without the ‘crowd of friends showing off their Marvel masterpieces’, there is no ready-built audience for this show.

      • Ah, there was that as well, I believe I’d be a drunk then unfortunatelly, I did not have an Vodka around for the shots. The only other thing I would mention with the 92 series other then nostalgia would be the research that I would have to do over the years to understand all the things that went on that I didn’t understand, which I tend to enjoy more then hate. Without internet it was mostly by ear and that wasn’t always reliable either.

        So without a doubt Evolution is much more preferable since research was not required, and one could just enjoy it. But the part with Spike was tough, since I knew who Marrow was and would have prefered her ever him. As a black guy I find it annoying that he was a sports junky, I mean, really?.. I did like what they did to remedy it by changing his mutation to make him all renegade. So what do you guys have planned next, I’d love a hint? =)

        • There is a etymological angle to 92 that cannot be denied. Heck, one of the perks of this show is going back through the history of animation and finding out just what went on during a particular era simply by observing how different studios dealt with technical limitations. In that, X-Men is as good as resource as any.

          And since its so heavily tied to the comics, it’s an excellent example of adaptation gone wrong. In that regard, it is actually quite fascinating, and I would fully recommend it to someone who wants to look at in a historical context.

          But for pure enjoyment, no. God no.

  2. An interesting thing went on a few days ago. I was babysitting my little sister who is 9. We were watching Netflix and I thought about introducing her to the X-Men. So I chose Evolution as the best option and we watched about 3 episodes before it was time for me to go. The next day when I came back, I assumed she was going to wait for me to watch the rest, but that wasn’t the case, in fact, she was at episode 42. I was quite shocked, that series certainly has something specially to grab her attention like that. I thought it was amusing that she was telling me what was going on instead of the other way around.

    • Good, now show her the ‘more adult’ stories of the Fox series… let me know when she goes “Uncle Ronnie! Can we watch something else?” My bet? Before the ep is over.

      • Haha, oh my no. Believe it or not my “little sister” would watch that too. I wouldn’t be surprised if she saw it without telling me to see if there were more X-men shows on Netflix. I’d rather not show it to her, because I would be way to tired explaining what happend in that show. She’s a real interesting kid, for some reason she just loves watching She-Ra and I certainly had no influence for that, not with He-Man anyway lol

  3. FYI, the change of Wolverine’s costume from the masked orange and black to the maskless black/yellow/blue wasn’t made because of the movie, it was made to match the design of Wolverine in the Ultimate X-Men comic who had become popular enough were they attempted the streamline that look for Wolverine in all media he appeared in at that time (He also had that visual design briefly in the 616 normal Marvel Uncanny X-Men comic, as well as toy, and clothing merchandise at that time.)

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