Another variation on Ty Templeton’s X-Men pose, this one created by an unknown artist for the first VHS release of the series.
Night of the Sentinels (Part Two)
Written by Mark Edward Edens
Summary: Wolverine detects the guards’ trap, enabling Storm to sweep the men away. The X-Men finish destroying the files, but are ambushed by an army of Sentinels while making their escape. Morph is apparently killed and Beast is captured during the battle. Later, Cyclops lures a Sentinel to Jubilee’s foster parents’ home, and after he damages it, the X-Men follow it to the Sentinel manufacturing plant. They rescue Jubilee, but Trask and Gyrich escape.
Approved By Broadcast Standards: The story points out on numerous occasions that the Mutant Registration Program is not an official government agency, even though it has received government funding in the past. The President calls Henry Gyrich to her office (yes, “her,” you horrible sexist) and orders him to scrap the program when she fears mutant civil liberties are being violated. Keep your faith in government, kids!
I Love the '90s: Cyclops agrees to surrender to a Sentinel…"NOT!"
Review: Death on Saturday morning was pretty much unthinkable at the time, so you’ve got to give the producers a lot of credit for being willing to test FOX’s Broadcast and Standards so early on in the series’ run. FOX Kids president Margaret Loesch (a former executive at Marvel’s animation studio) was adamant that the X-Men cartoon reflect the comics, which does mean the occasional casualty. The words “killed” and “death” are never uttered, but it’s painfully obvious what’s happened to Morph. During the fight, the scene abruptly cuts to Jean and Xavier, who are observing events telepathically at the mansion. “It’s Morph. Can’t you feel it?” Jean asks. Xavier picks up Cerebro and responds, “I don’t feel…anything.” Soon, the disoriented team returns home to have their worst fears confirmed. Wolverine, adamant about going back, tries to convince the others that Beast and Morph could still be alive. “Beast is,” replies Jean. This is harsh material for Saturday morning, and it generates some of the voice cast’s best material.
A flashback to the events reveals that Cyclops ordered the team to retreat in the heat of battle. Morph had taken a direct hit by a Sentinel, while Beast was blasted into an electric fence. Outnumbered and sustaining casualties, he saw no other option. Wolverine, of course, was willing to fight over this, forcing Rogue to use her powers and subdue him. This is quintessential X-drama, isn’t it? It’s easy to imagine these scenes playing out in the comics, right down to Wolverine’s punch into Cyclops’ gut after they exit the plane (it’s a little odd that he isn’t mad at Rogue, though). According to interviews, Bob Harras and Stan Lee had a great deal of input into the early episodes (Lee didn’t just attach his name to show, he apparently wrote extensive notes for the first six or seven episodes of the series), which probably explains where much of this melodrama is coming from. In spite of the happy ending that has Jubilee escaping harm, making peace with her foster parents, and joining the team, this is a fairly brutal introduction to the X-Men. The series will rarely reach this level of intensity again, but it’s done more than enough in these opening episodes to show a new generation of fans what to expect from X-Men stories.