Come the Apocalypse
Written by Michael Edens
Summary: Angel is transformed by Apocalypse into Archangel, the first of his Horsemen. Soon, more mutants seeking a cure are changed into Famine, Pestilence, and War. They're sent to Paris to attack an international peace treaty. The X-Men arrive to stop them, and in the battle, Rogue's touch removes Apocalypse's influence from Archangel. He turns against the Horsemen, which gives the X-Men the edge against Apocalypse. Apocalypse retreats and the remaining Horsemen escape in the confusion.
· Rogue sees Mystique in her true form for the first time in the show's continuity. She doesn't recognize Mystique as her mother until later in the season.
· Archangel's blades are inexplicably drawn as arrowheads. I mean fully detailed, real-life Native American arrowheads. I can only assume some error in translation is responsible for this, and the producers didn't have the budget available to fix the mistake.
“Um, Actually…”: Angel became Death, or Death Angel, after losing his mutant wings during the "Mutant Massacre" crossover. Apocalypse restored his wings and created his new form in X-Factor #23-25. He didn't take the name Archangel until the end of the "Inferno" storyline, years later.
Approved By Broadcast Standards: The Horsemen attack a helicopter in France, smashing it into the Eiffel Tower. Surprisingly, no survivors are shown parachuting out in the nick of time.
Review: The conclusion to the initial Apocalypse storyline doesn't have the impact of the previous episode, largely because the intricate plotting has been replaced with extensive action scenes. This is a kid-friendly action cartoon, so that makes sense, although I think the action sequences are rarely a highlight of the series. Bruce Timm for years dismissed the idea of doing a Justice League cartoon, citing the difficulty of choreographing elaborate action sequences as the main reason (and listing X-Men as an example of how he wouldn't do them). Unfortunately, the fight scenes in this episode do grow tiresome, even though I think the initial battle in Paris is pretty effective. Looking past the action, the TV audience is introduced to Archangel (Whose name is nonsensical at this point; how can he be an Archangel and the Horseman of Death simultaneously?), and even if he doesn't go on to join the X-Men, maybe Toy Biz was able to sell some of his old action figures. Archangel's story is reproduced rather faithfully, detailing most of the drama and angst of the comic's version, making this a fairly intense story for the standards of the time. And, even if he does run away in the end, this arc does serve as a great introduction to Apocalypse. It's hard not to love a deep baritone delivering lines like "I know more of this world than you can even dream. That is why I must destroy it! " or "I am the rocks of the eternal shore. Crash against me and be broken!"