Monday, August 13, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Mutant X

Mutant X is a 2001 television show that ran for three season, totally a whopping 66 episodes.
Mutant X
This show had problems right from the start when FOX and Marvel had a dispute about Mutant X being so similar to the X-Men, which FOX had the exclusive rights to. I'm sure this changed the trajectory of the series and it seems they went out of their way to distance themselves from the X-Men. First, Mutant X are, of course, all mutants. But they call them "new mutants" because then that's different than the X-Men. For comic book fans, this invokes THE New Mutants but Mutant X doesn't have any characters from the comics in it and the characters aren't teenagers like the New Mutants comic book. Comic book fans might also expect this show to have some link to the comic book with the same name (which featured reality jumping mutants) but, again - no.

Despite this name confusion and the creators' intentions to differ from the X-Men, Mutant X IS still remarkably similar to the X-Men. Both teams are a mutant strike team with a wise leader that stays home and doesn't go on the missions. Both teams have a super-high tech jet and a high-tech base. Both teams even have a holographic "danger room." I could go on and on but you get my drift. Basically, Mutant X is like a poor carbon copy of the X-Men - they took all of the dressings but none of the heart.

Wikipedia says that this show had good ratings but I have no idea why. It's, frankly, horrible. It's got pretty people running around punching each other and "acting" all angst-ridden about how they can't lead a normal life because they're "special." If the X-Men are a metaphor that explore's society's bigotry, Mutant X is a metaphor that explores how upset pretty people feel because everybody keeps looking at them all of the time and is jealous of them.

The acting is atrocious. Horrible. Maybe it was the dreadful scripts or the lackluster directing but none of these actors seem to be able to muster any genuine emotion at all. There's not only emotionally touching or humorous moment in the entire series. The actors deliver their lines as if they are sleepwalking.

At almost every turn, this show chooses style over substance. The base for Mutant X is this bizarre space with tilted walls and a weird, elevated red "danger room." In one episode, all of Mutant X's powers get enhanced almost at the same time and it's quickly explained away as a continued evolution. But why did it happen at the same time? And why didn't it happen for any of the rest of the mutants?

Most episodes have the same plot structure as a Power Rangers episode. There are two main bad guys throughout the series and then send their mutant henchmen (one at a time) and their legions of disposable goons into combat with Mutant X. Mutant X inevitably wins and the mutant henchmen is never seen from again. One wonders if Eckhard (the main villain) had so many mutants at his disposal why doesn't he just send them all after Mutant X at one time and wipe them out for good?

Visually, this show is a train wreck. Every episode relies heavily (and I mean HEAVILY) on color filters. I don't know if the intent was to invoke some emotion or perhaps make it look more like a comic book but the end result is that everything simply looks miserable. CGI effects are, I suppose, passable for that time and for TV but the all-CGI shots look like a Super Nintendo rendered them.

In no way, shape, manner, or form can I recommend that you watch this show. It's only redeeming quality is that the cast is easy on the eyes.

1LR REVIEW - 4 out of 20! It's a Total Failure!


  1. Did you watch the whole series!? If so, I admire your persistence. I couldn't sit through more than 5 minutes of this dreck. Only thing I really remember about this show was the lead character would stand in a dark room, monotone his way through stilted dialog, send off his pretty mutants to battle/investigate/shop, and then stare sternly into the middle distance, brooding.

    1. I'll be honest... I didn't watch all 66 episodes. I watched probably 6-8 hours including the first four episodes and some season premiers and season ending episodes and I thought that was enough to make a fair evaluation of the series.

      Good observations... "If only people weren't so quick to judge others, perhaps we'd all be able to live in harmony. I'm afraid I must send my team yet again into a dangerous world that fears them." (Stare into space)