Phoenix Saga (Part 4): The Starjammers
Written by Mark Edward Edens
Summary: Phoenix uses her new powers to transport the X-Men to Lilandra’s ship, where she’s hidden the M’Kraan Crystal. The ship is soon attacked by the Starjammers, who steal the Crystal and kidnap Cyclops. Their leader, Corsair, explains that he’s using the Crystal as bait to get close to D’Ken. Cyclops will act as his assassin. D’Ken outsmarts their plan, however, and manages to steal the M’Kraan Crystal.
- This episode and the next adapt Uncanny X-Men #107-108.
- The Imperial Guard and the Starjammers debut this episode. Corsair’s relationship with Cyclops isn’t kept a secret for long, as Phoenix looks inside his mind during their first meeting and sees Cyclops and Havok as children. Just to make it clear to the audience, Phoenix later explicitly says Corsair is Cyclops’ father aloud to herself.
- Captain Britain, the Inner Circle, and Dr. Strange all make cameos as Phoenix transports the X-Men away from Earth.
Saban Quality: Wolverine’s glove has four housings on it instead of three in one scene.
Approved By Broadcast Standards: Corsair heavily implies that D’Ken killed his wife, without actually using the words.
Review: After three episodes of teasing, the team finally comes into contact with the M’Kraan Crystal, and the villainous (and rather generic) D’Ken. Even if the storyline is only broadly following the succession of events from the original stories, it’s still hitting all of the high notes, which as a fan I appreciate. You don’t necessarily have to use the M’Kraan Crystal when doing the Phoenix story, but it’s a nice touch for anyone familiar with the source material. (Considering that the Crystal was ignored in the comics from 1977 to 1994, I also have to wonder if Bob Harras’ role on the show as consultant influenced its return in the comics during the build-up to “Age of Apocalypse.”)
As an action-heavy episode, the plot certainly isn’t playing to Akom’s strengths, although I still think the character designs look nice. The designs for the newly introduced Starjammer and Imperial Guard characters (apparently designed by Frank Brunner) are a very impressive blend of the original Dave Cockrum look and the early ‘90s Jim Lee update. And Edens does work in a moral dilemma for Cyclops that a network cartoon would ordinarily avoid. Even if he is ultimately duped by a D’Ken imposter, it’s clear that Cyclops really is willing to kill D’Ken…and he doesn’t even know D’Ken killed his mother yet!
Credit to http://marvel.toonzone.net/
xmen/ for the screencaps.