Wednesday, September 26, 2012

X-MEN Episode Ten - February 27, 1993

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.

Continuity Notes:
· 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!"


wwk5d said...

Interestingly enough, the group fight scenes on JLA were beyond awesome. I guess a decade or so later must have changed things somehow.

As for X-men, technically the fight scenes are a bit dodgy, but the inner fan-geek in me loved them, if only because I was seeing teams of x-related characters beating the crap out of each other.

Matt said...

Wow, I totally remember that "I know more of this world..." line, and the exact tone and inflection with which it was spoken. Apocalypse's voice really was pretty amazing on this show.

I just checked IMDB, and apparently he was played by John Colicos -- a.k.a. the Klingon Kor, from Star Trek and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! All these years, and I had no idea!

Anonymous said...

That rocks of the Eternal Shore line was pure gold lol I remember, I had this and the last episode on VHS and I watched them constantly because of Cable and Apocalypse. Classic stuff!

Anonymous said...

I think the voice actor for Apocalypse changed at one point (I remember it sounding quite different in the latter half of the show). If I'm not mistaken, one of the two actors also voiced Skeletor in Masters of the Universe.

arw1985 said...

"Crash against me and be broken!"
"The name is Gambit! Remember it!"

If there's anything I remember about Apocalypse, it's that voice and those quotes.

Anonymous said...

LOL for Apocalypse. I also remember a later episode that featured Ship from X-Factor where he referred to Beast as "little blue man" or something. I'm not sure anyone enjoyed being evil as much as he did. Too bad he only actually succeeds in alternate realities.

Teebore said...

As nonsensical as the whole "Archangel/Death" bit was on the show, I always appreciated the way the show managed to adapt the original story. For all its faults, one of its strength was always good adaptations.

@Matt: I just checked IMDB, and apparently he was played by John Colicos -- a.k.a. the Klingon Kor, from Star Trek and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! All these years, and I had no idea!

Huh, me neither. That's pretty awesome.

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