Monday, July 1, 2013

X-MEN Episode Twenty-Three - January 15, 1994




Beauty and the Beast
Written by Stephanie Mathison

Summary:  Beast works to cure a blind patient named Carly, but is targeted by the Friends of Humanity.  Following Jean’s advice, Wolverine uses stealth to infiltrate the FoH’s headquarters and learns more about its founder, Graydon Creed.  When the FoH again attacks the hospital and kidnaps a recently cured Carly, Wolverine contacts the X-Men and asks them to bring a hologram projector.  With the hologram, Wolverine proves to the FoH that their leader is the son of a mutant, Sabretooth.  Carly is rescued, but Beast refuses to pursue their relationship if it means endangering her.  Meanwhile, Xavier and Magneto narrowly escape the Savage Land Mutates.

Continuity Notes:  
  • For perhaps the first time in the show’s continuity, Wolverine’s bare hands are drawn properly without the circular metal housings.
  • The doctor working with Beast is named Donald Olson.  I wonder if he was originally intended to be Thor’s alter ego, Donald Blake, because there is a resemblance.
  • Wolverine gives his name to Graydon Creed as “John Logan.”

“Um, Actually…”:  

  • Pictures in Beast’s photo album imply that he slowly grew into his blue, furry state, contradicting the comic book’s continuity that Beast’s blue fur is a result of a serum he ingested.  
  • Sabretooth’s real name is given as “Graydon Creed, Sr.” as opposed to Victor Creed.
  • “Beauty and the Beast” is also the name of a comic miniseries featuring a totally unrelated story, starring Beast and Dazzler.

Saban Quality:  The Friends of Humanity members have jackets that read “HoH” in one scene.

"Actiiing!":  Graydon Creed’s breakdown after he sees the Sabretooth hologram is unbelievable.  “I’M NOT LIKE HIM!  I’M NOT LIKE HIM!  YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER!!!”

I Love the '90s:  Wolverine sarcastically suggests a “kinder, gentler way” to stop the FoH, which is a reference to a famous speech given by George H. W. Bush.

Review:  Just to be clear, this episode establishes that Beast can cure blindness.  Oddly enough, this is never mentioned again, even though it would probably be the greatest publicity battle that mutants could win.  Who could hate mutants after one of them literally worked a miracle and cured the blind?  Speaking of publicity, what are the Friends of Humanity thinking, attacking a hospital for the blind?  This is outrageously stupid, even by the low standards set by Graydon Creed in the comics.  So, the premise is a little strained, although the episode does a nice job of just allowing the Beast to be the likeable Beast, which makes the story more palatable.  I suspect the entire episode was merely an excuse to have Wolverine use his mind against an enemy while Beast goes berserk, an irony Jubilee helpfully spells out to the audience.  Not a bad starting point for a story, although surely there was a more plausible way to get to this point.

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

6 comments:

Teebore said...

I was never a terribly big fan of this episode, despite all the Creed/Sabretooth stuff ported in pretty directly from the comics of the time. Maybe it's because the one-off love interest was such a wet blanket.

“Beauty and the Beast” is also the name of a comic miniseries featuring a totally unrelated story, starring Beast and Dazzler.

And trust me when I say it's absolutely awful.

J. said...

The claw "housing" is actually something Wolverine had on his hands for quite a while. It wasn't just the gloves. If you re-read "Weapon X" there's even a scene of them adding the housing to his hands to prevent the canals from healing up. There are clear scenes of his arms with the "housing" on them. They also make some sense, from a practical point of view since it's probably a pain in the ass to have to cut through your own skin every time you put the claws out. The housing disappeared because artists gradually kept forgetting to add it.

G. Kendall said...

I'm talking about the housings going *over* his skin. That is a mistake, one the animators often made. (How could Wolverine keep a secret identity with three metal devices glued on top of his bare hands at all times?)
I just looked through Uncanny X-Men #98, which is the first time we see Wolverine without his gloves I believe, and there are no housing *on* his hand (but Cockrum's art indicates lumps under his skin.)
Also looked at the initial Wolverine series, and Miller certainly didn't draw housings on his bare hands.
Flipped through Weapon X also, specifically the bear fight scene. No housings on top of his hands. I did see the scene you were talking about, but those housings are being implanted under the skin.

cyke68 said...

Long time listener, first time caller. I wanted to do a similar retrospective on the X-books of the Chromium Age myself before stumbling on the blog and realizing you were doing a way, way better job than I could ever possibly hope to achieve. This site is a national treasure.

I always felt like this episode was the animated equivalent of a fill-in issue which wasn't something they were keen to do at the time. And yet... we do get a resolution to the FoH slow-burner and the advancement of the Savage Land subplot. Just not much focus outside of Beast and Wolverine's respective stories (a feature that would be become A LOT more prevalent in later seasons, unfortunately to the show's detriment).

It seems like an arbitrary change, but I guess the Graydon Creed, Sr. thing was just REALLY trying to hammer home the point that Sabretooth is his pops. And yes, that voice acting is unreal.

Hard to believe they folded the Rogue/Mystique/Sabretooth/Creed parentage issues all into the same season (within two episodes of each other at that). Not to mention the Cable soft reboot.

More than any other, this season is the most... synergistic, I guess, in terms of lining up with the tone and content of the contemporary comics. The first year was pretty divorced from everything, working to find its footing. Then, figuring they could do no wrong at that point, season three was pretty much total fan-service. It was a slow downward death spiral after that, with everything still beholden to the Jim Lee costumes and cast despite the comics having moved visually (JoeMad) and in terms of character focus. Marvel was still chasing the Chromium Age, but the show felt stale and no longer representative in its waning years.

Anonymous said...

Y'know, after seeing how absolutely moronic the Westborough Baptist Church is with their bigotry, Graydon Creed and the FoH honestly don't look THAT dumb anymore. Seriously.

Dan Lichtenberg said...

I had heard multiple times that the housings on Wolverine's bare hands were added to the show because they were considered less shocking or gory than the claws simply breaking the skin. Makes sense for a kids show, I guess.

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