Monday, April 21, 2014

X-MEN Episode Forty-Nine - October 28, 1995



Sanctuary (Part Two)
Written by Jeff Saylor

Summary:  Beast and Xavier leave Asteroid M with the Russian astronauts.  Believing Magneto dead, Xavier holds a memorial for him at the mansion.  He then returns to Asteroid M with Beast, Rogue, and Wolverine.  Magneto, meanwhile, lands on Earth after being left for dead inside an escape pod.  Gambit is kept captive on Asteroid M, but Amelia Voght questions Fabian Cortez’s treatment of him.  With Gambit’s prompting, Amelia finds the security footage of Cortez apparently killing Magneto and realizes his true scheme.  She frees Gambit, who convinces his friend Byron to turn against Cortez.  The X-Men are unable to stop Cortez from launching Asteroid M’s missiles towards Earth, but a revitalized Magneto appears and destroys the missiles.  He then traps Cortez inside the collapsing Asteroid M.  Later, Cortez is somehow rescued by Apocalypse and Deathbird.

Continuity Notes
  • Magneto claims Earth’s magnetic field has healed his body, allowing him to return for the climax.
  • The X-Men use Shi’ar technology to enhance the Blackbird and travel into orbit.
  • Wolverine joins the expedition into space this episode, with no explanation of where the other team members are.
  • Xavier gives Magneto’s full name as “Erik Magnus Lensherr” which I believe is the first time he’s given a real name on the show.
  • Fabian Cortez releases a statement on mutant rights on live television. X-Factor, Gideon and Nicodemus of the X-Ternals, Haven, and Typhoon are all shown watching the footage.
  • The X-Men wear special outfits when invading Asteroid M. Wolverine is in his purple “stealth gear,” which I believe he wore once in Marvel Comics Presents. Xavier is wearing the outfit he wore in X-Men #25, although it doesn’t allow him to walk. Rogue and Beast are wearing costumes I’ve never seen before, but assume were action figures in the ‘90s.

"Actiiing!":  Apocalypse has a new voice during his cameo at the end.  It’s not nearly as deep and menacing as the original voice, unfortunately.

Review:  With the exception of Gambit’s buddy Byron, who adds virtually nothing to the overall story, the plot details established in the first chapter are effectively paid off as the two-parter reaches its conclusion.  Some elements of the original storyline are sanitized, such as Magneto assuring Xavier that he won’t die as Asteroid M crashes, but the story still has an impact.  Magneto reappearing above the Earth to save everyone, human and mutant, from Cortez’s missile strike is one of the series’ finest moments.  The ending’s also a nice surprise, as the show makes one of its final efforts to introduce mysteries and subplots that are carried over into new storylines.

Casting Cortez as the comical exaggeration of what people think Magneto is supposed to be is a great move, as the cartoon manages to get more out of their relationship than the source material did.  (Although Cortez is just as dumb here as he normally is in the comics, considering that he doesn’t erase the security tape of him “killing” Magneto.)  In the comics, Cortez’s betrayal of Magneto only becomes a plot point in the final pages of the story, even if it is foreshadowed earlier, leaving the creators with no room to explore the idea.  In “Sanctuary,” the audience is given a much more rewarding resolution as Magneto reappears just in time to teach his pale replacement a lesson. 

The character moments are also memorable, as Xavier prepares a tribute for Magneto when he’s still believed dead, a nice acknowledgment of their friendship that shows just how well the series understood how to portray the Xavier/Magneto dynamic.  Magneto’s final words to Xavier as he refuses Xavier’s aid while Asteroid M collapses are also well written, and well executed by voice actor David Hemblen.  As a tribute to the final pages of Claremont’s original run, the scene is a nice reminder of the show’s ability to capture the Claremont interpretation of the character. 

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the only thing which lets the cool ending down is cortez is not seen in the big apocalypse story beyond good and evil. a genuine missed opertunity since magnetos a big part of it