Friday, July 12, 2013

X-MEN Episode Twenty-Eight - August 5, 1994

Out of the Past - Part Two
Written by Len Wein
Summary:  The spacecraft is revealed as a prison cell containing a gaseous monster called the Spirit Drinker.  It proceeds to absorb the life essences of Jubilee, the Morlocks, Lady Deathstrike, and the Reavers.  Professor Xavier summons the rest of the team, and with their help, examines the ship.  When the X-Men fight to keep the Spirit Drinker away from the surface, Wolverine discovers the electrified third subway rail can harm the alien.  Gambit throws his metal staff on the railroad track and electrifies the Spirit Drinker.  Its victims return to normal as the alien dissipates.
Continuity Notes:  
  • The Spirit Drinker, also known as the Soul Drinker, first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #107 during the initial Shi’ar storyline.
  • Xavier has visions of the Shi’ar after he touches the interior of the ship.
  • A teaser added to the end of the episode (featuring animation clearly done by a different studio), announces that “The Phoenix Saga” is coming soon.


Review:  As a gaseous monster with no clear motives or coherent consciousness, the Spirit Drinker isn’t the most interesting villain in the canon.  The story manages to get some emotional weight out of the concept by allowing the alien to absorb Jubilee, however, which gives Wolverine some additional angst to deal with.  Plus, it’s just nice to see the united X-Men in action when animated by a credible animation studio.  The X-Men vs. Spirit Drinker fight just might be the nicest looking action sequence in the entire run of the show.  


For hardcore fans, the real highlight of the episode is the teaser for “The Phoenix Saga,” although it might take some effort for anyone reading this today to remember a time when the Phoenix concept hadn’t been run into the ground in every imaginable format.

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