Wednesday, September 19, 2012

X-MEN Episode Six - February 6, 1993



Cold Vengeance
Written by Michael Edens

Summary: Wolverine seeks solitude in the Canadian wilderness, but his peace is disturbed by Sabretooth. After surviving one of Sabretooth's attacks, Wolverine escapes and is accepted by a group of Inuit. A young man envious of Wolverine inadvertently leads Sabretooth to the village. Sabretooth kidnaps the villagers and destroys their homes, but Wolverine is able to defeat Sabretooth in battle and rescue his friends. Meanwhile, Cyclops sends Storm, Gambit, and Jubilee to investigate the island-nation of Genosha, which claims to welcome mutants. Shortly after their arrival, the trio is attacked by Sentinels.

Continuity Notes: The metal housings for Wolverine’s claws are mistakenly drawn on his bare hands instead of his gloves throughout the episode. The cartoon will make this mistake regularly.

Saban Quality: Since the characters’ model sheets rarely change during the first season, Jubilee and Gambit are still wearing their trademark rain slicker and trenchcoat while on vacation in sunny Genosha.

Review: This is the first episode to give an X-Man a solo adventure, and it's not a surprise to see which one is selected as the star. Wolverine is not an easy character to translate to Saturday morning TV, but I think the producers were confident that he would become the breakout star after the series debuted. Ironically, the qualities that make Wolverine so appealing to his adolescent fan base are the same ones that turn the young Inuit against him in this episode. I don't know if this was an intentional commentary on Edens' part, but there's a certain logic to this. It's great to read stories about Wolverine the manly man, but if someone like this appeared in your real life and usurped your role as the tribe's best fisherman, storyteller, and ladies' man, you probably would hate the guy.

There's nothing much deeper in the episode, though. The young Inuit learns a lesson about envy, Wolverine forgives him for his stupidity, Sabretooth is scared away, and everyone lives happily ever after. My favorite sequence in this episode as a kid was the ending, which sets up the next episode's Genosha story. I loved the Jim Lee designs for Genoshan technology as a kid (I pored over his issues of "X-Tinction Agenda" for months, having no idea he was inspired by something called "manga"), so seeing them animated for the first time was a big deal. Looking at this now, I wonder what Madhouse could do with an "X-Tinction Agenda" adaptation. That’s not to say the Akom interpretation is horrible; it’s just typical of the Akom work of the era.

7 comments:

Matt said...

Because of the cartoon's frequent mistake of drawing the claw housings on Wolverine's bare hands, for a long time I thought he was supposed to be drawn that way, and occasions where they were left off were mistakes.

(I really got into X-Men through the cartoon, having only read a few of the comics here and there up to that point.)

Anonymous said...

I'm also a big fan of the Appleseed inspired tech stuff that showed up in the early 90s X-Books, and I'd love to see some kind of anime take on the 90s X-Men. Marvel should get on this; I liked the New X-Men style of the first Madhouse series, but there's something about the bright colors and pseudo-functional costume elements of old-school x-men that I love.

Teebore said...

Like you, I remember enjoying this episode more for the Genosha stuff than the (what was rote even for a new reader like me) Wolverine story. Which makes it a lot like some issues of the comic, I suppose, in that I enjoy the subplots more than the main plot.

I pored over his issues of "X-Tinction Agenda" for months, having no idea he was inspired by something called "manga"

Ditto on both counts.

Anonymous said...

The lack of sub-plots in modern comics, especially in the X-books where it was so important, is one of the main reasons the comics have gone downhill since the 1980s.

wwk5d said...

For those of you interested, here are the links to the Japanese version of the opening on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptn4yE5-APE

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El0H26Gxak0

Compared to the US version, they are awesome. Sure, a few glitches here and there with regards to the characters, and the English phrases they use are dodgy ("Cry for the moon!" Um, huh?), it kicks the US verion's ass. I mean, Cyclops decapitating various Brood? For the win!

G. Kendall said...

I was just thinking about those. The Genoshan soldiers look pretty cool in those, along with the rest of the villains. But that rubbery Blackbird...

Dan Lichtenberg said...

The metal housings for Wolverine’s claws are mistakenly drawn on his bare hands instead of his gloves throughout the episode. The cartoon will make this mistake regularly.

I don't have any sources to back me up, but I was positive I had read that this was done intentionally because it was less gruesome than having the blades just puncturing his skin. It might have been an old Wizard issue; I seem to remember a couple of articles in there about the censorship of this show (I for certain remember them talking about having to draw a shirt over Lady Deathstrike's cleavage in Season 3).

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