X-Men Evolution is not the sort of X-Men cartoon I want to watch. What's
wrong? Well... I'd say standing in the long shadow of X-Men TAS is
enough to discredit it.
Goth Rogue was enough for me to check out completely. I mean, I'm
no huge X-Men comic book fan, I've gathered bits and pieces of knowledge
over my years online, and really, some parts of X-Men lore I'd rather
not know, like all the stories about Rogue and Magneto having a
relationship, that's just fucking weird and gross. But Rogue never
struck me in the comics or TAS as a goth, she always seemed like this
fiery southern belle. It didn't make any sense for her character to
suddenly go in that direction.
To me, X-Men Evolution really suffered from the same problem as The
Batman. They were both following up on great shows and tried something
different but it didn't work. Nobody has a problem if you go out and try
something new and it's better. But if you change it up and it's just
obviously worse than its predecessor, well... that's not a show people
are going to like.
X-Men TAS was a triumph, and this is coming from a guy who isn't even an
X-Men comics fan. Sure, it wasn't quite at the level of Batman TAS at
the time, but it was still darn good.
X-Men TAS utilized Jim Lee's great 90s costumes, which are still
probably the definitive looks for the characters in any medium. Jim
Lee's redesign of the outfits in X-Men #1 has to be the greatest
redesign by any artist in comic book history, spanning some 80 years.
X-Men Evo's costumes looked terrible by comparison. X-Men TAS's art
style was mostly realistic, which I loved. X-Men Evo had a much more
stylized and cartoony look. X-Men TAS had the cast as mature adults,
with full control of their powers, while X-Men Evo had them as whiny
teenagers who didn't know jack. The stories in X-Men TAS were also
mostly taken from the comic books, remaining faithful to the source
material. And of course, X-Men Evo had goth Rogue, which was a terrible creative decision.
Also, I think this is the final nail in the coffin:
TAS had an amazing intro sequence, with instantly iconic music.
Evolution had pretty poor music set to... well, just some random clips
taken from various episodes. They couldn't even be bothered to create a
unique intro sequence. Thank god I grew up in the 90s.