Wolverine has always been a very popular Marvel Comics character, but coming off of the heels of Wolverine's popularity in the X-Men film franchise meant that he could be marketed to a much wider audience, most notably, the Saturday morning cartoon franchise.
Wolverine has been seen in animation form so many times whether it's in episodes of the 80's cartoon Spider-man and Friends, on the failed X-Men pilot Pryde of the X-Men or the two X-Men series on Fox and Kids WB. Wolverine was always a main character, but he could never be the violent maverick he was in the comics due to the practices and standards of television censors. It wasn't really a big deal because Wolverine had the other X-Men there to support him. If he ever got out of line, they'd put him back in line and that was that.
When Wolverine and the X-Men was announced, expectations arose. It sounded like a catastrophe: an animated series that centered on Wolverine? How fluffy would he be? The answer here is, not that fluffy. Surprisingly, Wolverine and the X-Men is one of the most faithful adaptations of the X-Men stories combing both new storylines from the comic book line (Emma Frost joins the X-Men) and old storylines. (Rogue is in The Brotherhood of Mutants, Pyslocke, and other surprises.)
The first episodes set up Wolverine as the leader of the X-Men due to Jean Grey's disappearance and Cyclop's inability to cope with her absence. I naturally would think that Professor X would have assigned Storm the leader, like what has happened numerous times in the comics and in the last X-Men movie, but who would watch a cartoon called Storm and the X-Men? I would, but marketing has put Wolverine front and center for this one.
The series takes a while to set-up situations, but once it gets started, boy does it FLY!!!!!!! Some of the best moments of the X-Men storylines are captured in this series and some of the most interesting couplings as well. Storm and Angel? Who'd have thought? Also, characters that almost never get to shine properly in the animated form, like Scarlet Witch, Marrow and Polaris, make their appearances here.
The series juggles multi-storylines all at once: Jean Grey's disappearance, Emma Frost's motives, The Sentinels, Xavier in the Future and many more I don't care to list, but the strength in the show lies in the strong storytelling aspect.
And finally, Wolverine is not "fluffy" in the show. The original X-Men animated series and X-Men Evolution always had him being tamed by his team mates. In this new incarnation, Wolverine has chosen to tame himself for the sake of the team, and I think that works for his character.
A season 2 was planned for this series, picking up after a kick-ass cliffhanger, but those plans have been scraped. But with good news comes bad news. Wolverine and the X-Men is now going to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 12th. You know I'm going to be all over this.