It’s Saturday morning – Do you know what your children are? is back today (on a Monday no less) with yet more episodes from the fourth season of X-Men: The Animated Series. I’m tackling five episodes from the latter half of the season, so buckle up it’s about to get bumpy.
But before I get to that, check out this video depicting the classic X-Men credits in stop motion. This video was uploaded by YouTuber Kyle Roberts back in 2012 and it’s pretty awesome blast from the past.
OK, it’s time for the first episode in today’s collection of stories. As a quick reminder, X-Men hit its peak with Beyond Good and Evil (see the previous chapter), so it’s pretty much downhill from here.
However, this first episode is OK. There’s much worse to come.
Love in Vain
2mins – A floating whale (that’s also a spaceship) has just crash landed on Earth. I kid you not.
3mins 30secs – So, this episode largely focuses on Rogue and her continued desire to be intimate with people. She really wants a relationship.
4mins 15secs – Rogue’s former boyfriend, Cody has made an appearance. Cody has previously appeared in the series, but only in flashback.
4mins 20secs – Cody was the first boy that Rogue kissed. He ended up in a coma as a result of Rogue’s powers.
7mins 10secs – The main villains of this episode are alien creatures called the Colony. The Colony share slight similarities with the comic book characters, the Brood.
7mins 20secs – I have no idea why the Brood were not used in this story – presumably it’s because they’re pretty scary characters.
Here’s what the Brood look like in the comics…
It’s worth noting that the Brood did get a cameo in a previous episode (Mojovision), so maybe the writers/animators just wanted to create a new race of aliens. It’s a shame – I’d have much preferred to watch the Brood in action.
13mins – Wolverine has been infected by the
Brood Colony and is now turning into an alien.
13mins 30secs – Rogue and Cody are also turning into aliens.
16mins 30secs – Wolverine has used his healing factor to cure himself of his infection. Using her mutant abilities, Rogue has absorbed Wolverine’s powers which gives her the opportunity to cure herself too.
17mins – Yeah, Cody’s screwed – he can’t heal himself.
A watchable episode of X-Men, but nothing too exciting. I’d have much preferred to see the Brood as the villain of this episode, but in all honesty it wouldn’t have altered the events of the story.
Oh well, at least it’s not as bad as what I’m about to witness. This is hands down one of the worst episodes of X-Men EVER.
Have Yourself a Morlock Little X-Mas
1min 20secs – The episode opens with Cyclops, Rogue and Jubilee decorating a Christmas tree while singing ‘Deck the Halls‘. I already want to punch the TV screen.
1min 30secs – According to Jubilee, she has never celebrated Christmas with Wolverine before. Er… this is the fourth season – how have you never celebrated Christmas with Wolverine before? What happened, did the other X-Men tell you that Christmas only happens once every four years in order to save money? Lousy cheapskate b@$tards!
1min 59secs – Rogue is also claiming this is Jubilee’s first Christmas as an X-Man!?! What gives? Am I supposed to believe that this episode is set around Season One/Season Two? Does this festive episode take place when the mutants are being hunted by Sentinels or when Mister Sinister is messing with their lives? They all seem pretty content if you ask me. Well, most of them are content…
2mins 20secs – Gambit and Jean are in the kitchen cooking Christmas dinner. Oh, and look, they’re fighting with each other. An argument over Christmas dinner – how original.
4mins 50secs – Wolverine, Storm and Jubilee have gone Christmas shopping. This is WAAAAAYYY too much Jubilee for one episode.
7mins 30secs – And now the Morlocks have turned up.
9mins 30secs – Leech is ill. I’m ill too. I started feeling ill when I clicked ‘play’ on this episode.
12mins 30secs – Wolverine and Storm are bitching with each other.
13mins 30secs – Back at the X-Mansion… Gambit and Rogue are still arguing over Christmas dinner.
16mins – After some treatment, Leech is fine.
16mins 40secs – Storm has relinquished her leadership of the Morlocks.
18mins – Jubilee has donated her Christmas shopping to the Morlocks. Erm… that’s nice and all, but shouldn’t you have just asked them to come to the X-Mansion to share your Christmas dinner? It gets pretty cold down in that sewer you know. Mutants die in the cold.
Ugh… that was just awful.
The message of this episode (goodwill) is about as subtle as a sledgehammer and the Gambit/Jean arguments over Christmas dinner are just cringe worthy.
3mins – The X-Men appear to be facing their greatest enemies/fears. Wolverine is fighting Sabretooth, Jubilee is being attacked by a Sentinel, Storm is having a panic attack brought on by her claustrophobia, and Cyclops and Jean are attacked by Mister Sinister. Is any of this real? Nope.
3mins 40secs – This is all a dream. Someone is manipulating Xavier’s mind and he’s dreaming about these awful scenarios.
6mins 30secs – In his dreamlike state, Xavier is replaying the events of his first encounter with Storm and the Shadow King.
9mins 15secs – Xavier has a vision of the X-Men. The team comprises: Wolverine, Beast, Cyclops, Jean, Archangel, Jubilee and Storm. Rogue is absent from the line-up. Is this foreshadowing the future, or did the animators simply forget about her?
15mins – The Shadow King has taken over Xavier’s body.
Not a bad episode. The cameos and nods to X-Teams of the past/future are nice inclusions, but it kind of feels like this episode would have been better served appearing earlier in the show’s run, rather than towards the end.
1min 30secs – This episode sees the return of Quicksilver and the debut of Scarlet Witch.
4mins – Magneto is under the belief that his deceased wife might be still alive. He’s started mentioning his wife a lot lately.
6mins – As well as Scarlet Witch, Family Ties also introduces the High Evolutionary (yawn) and Bova the midwife (double yawn).
9mins – I’m struggling with this episode and I think this is because it’s largely daft. There are numerous humanoid-animals and I don’t really get why. It’s all very ‘Saturday morning’, in the worst possible sense.
13mins 55secs – Magneto is revealed to be the father of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. This would be more shocking/exciting if Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were regular characters in the show, but as they’re not it’s really not interesting.
14mins 35secs – Wolverine is transformed into a werewolf. Why? I DON’T KNOW!!!
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch come across as very uninteresting and unlikable characters and it seems very bizarre to connect them to Magneto at this late stage in the show’s run. As for the Wolverine werewolf thing, what was that all about?
X-Men is running out of ideas and running out of steam and it’s a real shame. I’m also running out of patience with the storylines.
Time for one final episode today.
A Deal with the Devil
30secs – The opening credits have been given a slight (and pointless) makeover. It’s as if someone wanted to rejuvenate the show during it’s twilight years, but couldn’t be arsed to spend any money on it.
4mins – Omega Red is back and he’s being sent on a mission involving a submarine and a nuclear missile.
4mins 30secs – He agrees to go on this mission if he can bring along his “old friends”, Wolverine and Storm. Hang on a minute, since when was Storm an old friend of Omega Red’s?! I get that we’re using the term “old friend” in an ironic sense, but why Storm? THIS MAKES NO SENSE!
5mins – Storm is agreeing to go on a mission that involves being in a submarine. A sub. A tight, confined space that she can’t easily escape from. Storm in a sub. Storm – the mutant who has claustrophobia! Once again, THIS MAKES NO SENSE!
6mins – Storm has just made reference to her claustrophobia. It’s as if the writers suddenly remembered her condition, so gave her a throwaway line to explain how she can cope with being in a submarine. IT STILL DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!
10mins – Storm has just unleashed her ‘wind’ powers… whilst in a submarine… under the ocean. *Sigh* This is just stupid.
15mins – I’m genuinely bored. I don’t care what’s going on. I don’t care why Storm and Wolverine are in a submarine with Omega Red. I don’t want this show to suck, but it’s starting to.
19mins – According to Beast, Storm is suffering from claustrophobic trauma. I’m suffering from the trauma of watching this episode!
Another poor episode which does nothing for the series and comes across as filler material. I can only presume that Storm is in this episode because the voice actress was available… and nothing more.
It’s sad that X-Men has gone from being must-see television, with fantastic writing, to this lacklustre collection of episodes. But here we are.
The show feels like it is on borrowed time and at this point it merely exists to keep kids interested in the toys/comics. I’d like to say things get better, but they do not.
In the next chapter I’ll be talking about the remaining episodes of Season Four. This is the final point where the show is at least watchable, so please come back and join me.