Monday, January 21, 2013

X-MEN Episode Fourteen - October 23, 1993


Till Death Do Us Part (Part 1)
Written by Mark Edward Edens

Summary:  Friends of Humanity leader Graydon Creed foments anti-mutant hysteria by faking a mutant attack on President Kelly.  Meanwhile, Cyclops and Jean are married, unaware that their minister is Morph in disguise.  Under the influence of Mr. Sinister, Morph lays traps for the team.  Ultimately, Gambit is left unconscious after kissing Rogue, Jubilee is ambushed at the Friends of Humanity’s headquarters, Beast is trapped inside the Danger Room, Professor Xavier is tricked into traveling to Antarctica, and Storm is sent to the hospital after being shot by police during an anti-mutant riot.

Continuity Notes:  

  • Graydon Creed, the Friends of Humanity, and Mr. Sinister make their official debuts on the series.  Sinister is still given the odd organic equipment, and sharpened teeth, from his earliest appearances in the comics.
  • A brief flashback to the events of the second episode shows Mr. Sinister rescuing Morph’s injured body on the grounds of the Mutant Control Agency.
  • Mole, a surviving Morlock who appeared during Louise Simonson’s X-Factor run, has a cameo as one of the FoH’s victims.  He claims that he has no actual powers, he just looks strange, which ignores his ability in the comics to tunnel through walls.
  • Jubilee’s foster parents from the first episode can be seen as guests at Cyclops and Jean’s wedding.  Oddly, the prejudiced judge from Beast’s hearing in episode number three stands behind President Kelly as he gives a speech on mutant rights.

“Um, Actually…”:  Senator Kelly never became President in the comics, although his position on mutants did soften at around this time during his comic appearances.  Years later in 2000, the comics ran a storyline about Kelly running for President that ended with his assassination.

Approved By Broadcast Standards:  The Friends of Humanity, and police, fire “energy weapons” as opposed to actual guns.

I Love the '90s:  Morph jokes that he’s “Makin’ Copies!” before impersonating Wolverine inside the mansion.

Miscellaneous Note:  The closing credits now feature a series of clips from the show, replacing the CGI models and profiles from the first season.

Review:  I remember the wait for the second season debut was excruciating.  The first season of the show surpassed all expectations (even if it did compare unfavorably to Batman), so everyone was eagerly anticipating the late October start of the second season.  When word leaked that Morph would be back, the anticipation became even more unbearable, especially amongst kids who weren’t familiar with comic book characters returning to life.  

Looking back, Mark Edward Edens stands out as the best writer of the first season, so I’m glad he’s returned to write the second season premiere.  As he demonstrated last season, Edens is extremely skilled at balancing various plotlines and juggling the large cast of characters.  The plot’s advanced virtually every minute of the episode, as two new threats to the team are introduced, a “deceased” member returns, numerous characters are left in cliffhangers, and Xavier is sent on the first step of his season-long adventure in the Savage Land.  I feel sorry for whoever had to adapt this episode in the X-Men Adventures comic book, because this would be a lot to cram into twenty-two pages.  (Had X-Men Adventures given up on adapting one episode per issue by this point?  I know at some point they had to, because the plotting of the show was often just too dense.)

The tone of this opening two-parter is surprisingly dark, right down to the gloomy color palate, which is a stark contrast to the look of the majority of the first season.  The episode begins with Wolverine “killing” Cyclops in the Danger Room while Cyclops and Jean exchange vows, and that’s the lightest moment of the show.  Morph is now insane, a new foe named Mr. Sinister lurks in the background, and the Friends of Humanity are doing the Saturday morning equivalent of mutant lynchings all across America.  The FoH consists of former followers of Senator Kelly who have now embraced the even more extreme views of Graydon Creed, and even if they do carry energy blasters instead of rifles, they’re rather effective in their role as generic anti-mutant thugs.  (It occurs to me that the X-Men movies could’ve followed up on Kelly’s supporters after the first film, and introducing Creed as their new leader wouldn’t be a bad avenue to explore.)

So, the second season is off to a strong start.  Actually, I only recall one or two flops in the second season.  Let’s see if the episodes stand up against my memories of the eighth grade…

Credit to http://marvel.toonzone.net/xmen/ for the screencap.

1 comment:

Teebore said...

I remember the wait for the second season debut was excruciating.

Me too.

And I also remember not being disappointed in this episode, nor most of the second season.

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