Friday, July 5, 2013

X-MEN Episode Twenty-Five - February 12, 1994



Reunion - Part 1
Written by Len Wein

Summary:  The X-Men respond to a message left by Morph, who’s terrified of Mr. Sinister.  When they arrive, the Nasty Boys ambush the team and kidnap Jean Grey.  In the Savage Land, Xavier and Magneto are abducted by the Savage Land Mutates.  Sinister uses Sauron’s hypnotism to force Xavier into calling the X-Men to his citadel.  The X-Men willfully enter the trap in order to rescue Jean and Xavier.

Continuity Notes:  

  • Sinister explains that Xavier’s ability to walk was an unintended side effect of the field he uses to dampen mutant powers.
  • Morph is living as an actor, starring in the role of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  The version of Mr. Hyde he transforms into strongly resembles the Marvel supervillain.

Review:  I don’t think it’s a big secret that many of the early episodes of this series were directly inspired by the Claremont/Lee issues of Uncanny X-Men, which would explain the version of the Savage Land Mutates used here.  With the exception of miniskirt Vertigo, this cast of Mutates is identical to the one used circa Uncanny X-Men #275, a collection of villains I have a lot of nostalgia for (although it would’ve been nice to see Whiteout and Worm, as well).  After weeks of teasing, we finally see the Mutates actually accomplish something and bring in Xavier and Magneto, just in time for the big season finale.  Wein’s able to pull together the three Sinister-related threads that have run throughout the season (Morph’s resurrection, Xavier and Magneto’s Savage Land adventure, and Sinister’s obsession with Scott and Jean) organically, making this feel like a legitimate payoff after months of waiting.  The only real cheat is the explanation for Xavier’s sudden ability to walk; as if having a damaged spinal cord is in some way connected with telepathic powers.  As absurd as this is, it does introduce a question the show never asked -- would Xavier give up his mutant powers if it meant walking again?

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

1 comment:

cyke68 said...

DIG this finale. The season as a whole was paced superbly, balancing the time given to the ongoing Savage Land subplot so that it clips along while never overstaying its welcome. It successfully whets your appetite for the big payoff. Watching as a kid, I can recall not exactly KNOWING where it was headed, but having a sense that the only logical course was to wrap this up in the season finale. I was really looking forward to the Magneto/Xavier stuff moving front and center. It's an example of a narrative formula put to good use, and I think one of those early light bulb moments where I recognized the structure of serialized drama married with a television production schedule. I knew I was being led around by the nose, but enjoyed the experience all the same.

Notably, Wolverine actually slashes Sinister in the back with his claws. I know Sinister had his T-1000 healing thing going on, but he still doubles over and grimaces in pain. It was, I believe, the only instance of Wolverine inflicting any kind of damage on a non-robotic adversary with those things so it stands out. (Makes you wonder, just what were the rules, anyway? Technically qualifies as bloodless violence, so OK? And incidentally, Sinister seems to have solved the problem of his body arbitrarily and immediately melting when exposed to optic blasts. Cyclops zaps him approximately 700 times here and he's able to shake it off.)

And hey, an episode packed with Lee/Claremont hallmarks, written by the guy who revived the series in the '70s... only to unceremoniously leave the book after three issues and be regarded as one of the LEAST iconic creators to be associated with X-Men.

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