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Repo Man
Review by Stu, Media by Jim Harvey

Episode #18 - Repo Man
Original Airdate 20th November 1993

Wolverine is kidnapped by Alpha Flight, a group of Goverment operated superpowered Canadian's who Wolverine abandoned to join the X-Men. They wish to learn how he survived the procedure which gave him his adamantium skeleton, no matter the cost...

Written By: Len Wein
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy
Animation Services By: AKOM
Guest Starring: Harvey Aitken as Sasquatch, Melissa Sue Anderson as Snowbird, Barry Flatman as Vindicator/James MacDonald Hudson Don Francks as Puck/Shaman, Rebecca Jenkins as Heather McNeil Hudson, and Rene Lemieux as Northstar

Review: X-Men is completely different to all the Marvel cartoons, hell, it’s different to all other cartoons. It’s not really a superhero show, despite the fact that 90% of the show’s occupants wear spandex. It’s also one of those shows were it’s simply too damn hard to pick your favourite. Iron Man, Hulk and Fantastic Four’s best episodes are easily identified but X-Men? You could spend all day discussing which episode is it’s finest. For such a large number of episodes, there’s actually very few bad episodes.

This episode? Well, it may very well be the series’ best. The truth of the matter is, the X-Men are barely in it. Nope, this episode is pretty much an episode of Wolverine: The Animated Series, the cartoon we all wanted to come after this but didn’t happen.

Wolverine was always my favourite character in this show, and I always felt, given how interesting his history is, that he should’ve had a few solo episodes, if only to show the viewer what made him the man he is today. There’s a lot more to cover with Wolverine that say, Cyclops and Jean and it needs fleshing out unlike say, Gambit, who’s mystery is a big part of what makes the character appealing.

I’ve never really gone to any great effort to read X-Men comics but episodes like this tempt me so much. The rest of Alpha Flight may suffer from being a little lame, but Vindicator was a great heel, an arrogant suck up and a great foil for the rebellious hero in Wolverine. Given how this series basically opened in the middle of everything, it’s nice to see them occasionally go back to the past and see what they were like before they became X-Men. I personally would’ve loved to see Logan meet Xavier for the first time. I understand time constrictions basically meant we couldn’t see it here, but the justification of why Logan left Alpha Flight is clear, he was tired of being a weapon.

The episode is one of many which divulge into Wolverine’s past, right at the point where it all begins, Dr. Cornelius’ experiments with bonding adamantium to Logan’s skeleton. I find the following scene to be more interesting, however. His struggle to regain his humanity after having his memory wiped out, and the introduction of Alpha Flight who essentially become the bad guys in this episode.

As great as the story is, I like the opening best. Only Wolverine can pull off lines like “You and what army?” and still sound the most badass man in Canada. Dodd was excellent throughout, constantly delivering. The man is Wolverine, no question. This may have been his very best performance throughout the series.

For those wanting a solid Wolverine episode, filled with characterisation and action, this is the one to look out for. Arguably the series’ best.