Welcome back to It’s Saturday morning – Do you know what your children are?. Today I’ve reached the penultimate part of this X-Men: The Animated Series re-watch/respective.

If you’re up to date with these posts you’ll know that I’m now into the ‘rocky’ period of the show. The best episodes have all been watched and I only have ‘meh’ and awful stories left.

I’ve got six episodes to watch today and… well… they’re not great.

The good news is, they’re not the worst episodes of X-Men.

Hurrah!

The bad news is, they worst episodes are just one chapter away.

Bugger.

Let’s get started.

The Phalanx Covenant: Part 1

Image: ©Marvel

*Clicks start*

1min 30secs – Sabretooth is running riot again. I’m pretty sure some of the footage here is being reused from Season One.

2mins 45secs – Oh… it’s not really Sabretooth.

4mins 45secs – And Wolverine knows.

4mins 50secs – This initial set up is very intriguing. Sabretooth has been replaced by an impostor.

5mins – Mister Sinister has put out a distress signal to Xavier. Since when does Sinister have the X-Mansion on speed dial?

8mins – An technically advanced organism, with the ability to take on the form of anyone, has infiltrated the X-Mansion and has captured all of the X-Men, with the exception of Beast.

8mins 50secs – First appearance of Warlock here. Thankfully it’s also the second to last appearance as he’s really irritating.

9mins 45secs – So the advanced organism is the Phalanx – an alien life form. Whatever the Phalanx can’t conquer, it destroys.

13mins 20secs – President Kelly makes a return appearance to the series. Or rather, a replica of Kelly makes an appearance.

14mins – Forge joins the fight.

14mins 10secs – I always forget just how often Forge appears in this series. He only ever pops up in small roles, so he kind of gets lost in the mix. He’s actually in X-Men a lot!

15mins – Cameron Hodge is back and he is now one of the Phalanx.

16mins – Quicksilver is also joining the fight against the Phalanx.

17mins 45secs – And now Quicksilver is out of action. One of the fastest men in the Marvel Universe has just been captured. D’oh!

18mins – Mister Sinister has just turned up, to become an unlikely ally.

*Clicks stop*

Not a bad start to the story. It shows potential and it’s good to see a new team being formed from the mutants who have escaped the clutches of the X-Men… but this story never really goes anywhere.

The Phalanx Covenant: Part 2

Image: ©Marvel

*Clicks start*

2mins 35secs – The Phalanx can assimilate humans, but it can’t assimilate mutants.

4mins 30secs – Amelia Voght is back… and she’s working with Moira McTaggert on Muir Island. Nice to see two of Xavier’s ex-girlfriends getting along. All we need now is for Lilandra to drop by.

5mins – Sadly no Lilandra, but Banshee is back and he’s brought his AWFUL Irish accent with him. Yay!

8mins 25secs – The team have come to Magneto for help. This whole scene clearly takes place following the events of Sanctuary. Damn you, Amazon! You are making me watch episodes out of order again!

8mins 35secs – To be fair, when these episodes aired in the UK and the US, they aired out of order.

11mins – Cameron Hodge gives a little explanation as to what happened to him following the events of Slave Island. It seems a little weird to bring him back, as he barely made an impression when he was last in the series.

11mins 30secs – Hodge unveils his plan. He is going to use the Phalanx to wipe out the human race. He calls it the final solution.

15mins – Polaris appears. It’s nice to see more characters added into the mix, but why Polaris?

17mins 30secs – Crisis averted. Cameron Hodge is back to being human and the Phalanx is gone.

17mins 40secs – Hodge has lost an arm and a leg. This is due to the events of Slave Island. Casual viewers really would struggle to understand who he is and why he’s missing and arm and a leg.

*Clicks stop*

Again, not a bad episode, but sadly it feels weaker than Part 1 because everything gets wrapped up too quickly. As this is a world-ending scenario, The Phalanx Covenant should have been stretched to three or four episodes.

The set up in Part 1 allows for escalation in Part 2 and then beyond, but it’s all just done and dusted within the allotted time. A missed opportunity I’m afraid.

Storm Front: Part 1

Image: ©Marvel

*Clicks start*

1min 50secs – The weather is going crazy and mutants are getting blamed. Makes a change from gay people getting blamed for the weather.

1min 55secs – Honestly, it’s a thing. Google it.

5mins 45secs – Arkon has just turned up and he’s been searching for Storm. Arkon is an alien – a common theme with these episodes as of late (Love in Vain, The Phalanx Covenant, Longshot).

8mins – A positive about this episode: The animation looks pretty damn good. A negative: This is a crap episode.

11mins – Arkon has whisked Storm to his home planet.

11mins 45secs – Cyclops, Beast, Jubilee and Wolverine have travelled to Arkon’s planet in pursuit of Storm.

14mins 45secs – Storm waffles on a lot during this episode. Take the standard length of her sentences… and then triple it.

19mins 30secs – Arkon wants Storm to stay on his planet and become the queen. Is this an exciting cliffhanger? Heck, no!

*Clicks stop*

I remember seeing this episode for the first time on VHS. It was part of a release of the final few episodes of the show, during a time when I figured X-Men was done and dusted.

When I discovered the VHS I was so excited to watch this story, but twenty minutes in I was bored beyond belief. Re-watching it now, I’m still bored.

Storm Front: Part 2

Image: ©Marvel

*Clicks start*

3mins 30secs – Storm is happy to sack off life on Earth because the human race isn’t progressing. I hear ya, Storm.

6mins 45secs – The locals live in fear.

8mins – An overbearing ruler…

9mins – This is just storytelling 101. Boring.

15mins – It’s so sad to see X-Men go from high quality writing to just… standard stuff. This isn’t appalling writing (it’s certainly not Have Yourself a Morlock Little X-Mas) but it isn’t very interesting either.

16mins 30secs – Arkon has shown his true colours.

17mins 30secs – Storm is pissed off.

19mins – Storm has gone back to Earth. She’s upset that her sort-of alien husband turned out to be a tool. Come on Storm, it was pretty bloody obvious!

*Clicks stop*

A really dull two-part story, which ties with Savage Land, Strange Heart as the most boring multi-part story in the series. Both stories feature Storm as the lead character and it’s a shame as she deserves better than this rubbish.

NEXT!

Bloodlines

Image: ©Marvel

*Clicks start*

1min 25secs – Graydon Creed is back for one final story. I completely forgot he was in this episode.

2mins 30secs – The Friends of Humanity have also returned and they’re even creepier than they were in Season Two. They now wear hoods. Creeps wear hoods.

3mins 50secs – It’s Halloween in the Marvel Universe. Wolverine isn’t a fan. Don’t worry Wolverine, no one will mention that it’s Halloween at any other point in this episode. In fact, I don’t even know why I brought it up!

4mins 40secs – Nightcrawler is also back in this episode.

5mins 40secs – Rogue has just made a joke about being related to Nightcrawler. Oh the irony.

8mins 20secs – Wolverine, Rogue, Nightcrawler (and for some reason) Jubilee, have infiltrated the headquarters of The Friends of Humanity.

9mins 45secs – Mystique has just arrived and has dropped a bombshell – she’s Nightcrawler’s mother. She’s also mother to Graydon Creed.

10mins 20secs – To recap: Mystique has two children – Nightcrawler and Graydon Creed. She also has one adopted daughter and that is Rogue. Oh and as a reminder, Sabretooth is Creed’s father. What a family!

13mins – Revelations aside, bringing back The Friends of Humanity seems rather redundant at this point. The storyline of Creed and the Friends of Humanity was dealt with back in Season Two.

15mins 30secs – Mystique has just briefly morphed into Gambit… speaking of which, where the heck is Gambit? He’s barely featured in these last few episodes.

19mins 30secs – As the episode draws to a close, Sabretooth makes a quick cameo.

*Clicks stop*

Another pretty boring story.

And now for an episode that was originally supposed to appear in Season Three but got delayed and bumped to Season Four. It’s also really boring.

Someone wake me up in 20 minutes.

Longshot

Image: ©Marvel

*Clicks start*

2mins 50secs – If you hadn’t guessed from the episode title or from the image above, this episode sees the return of Longshot. Spiral also makes her return.

3mins 30secs – The animation in this episode looks different from recent episodes. The animation studio behind this episode also worked on the 1990s Fantastic Four show.

4mins 50secs – Longshot is back on Earth and that means one thing – Mojo isn’t far behind.

9mins 40secs – The only X-Men to appear in this episode are Rogue, Wolverine, Beast, Xavier and Jubilee. Jean has barely been in the series as of late and once again, no Gambit. Cyclops and Storm don’t feature either.

15mins 15secs – Quark makes his debut. Don’t remember Quark? Yeah, I’m not surprised. I only know him because he received a figure in the X-Men toy line. Here he makes a brief appearance and then he’s gone.

*Clicks stop*

Just rubbish.

As Season Four concludes it’s clear the tail-end of the season has become a dumping ground for the sub par episodes. Such a shame.

Had these episodes featured earlier in the season they might not have been so painful to watch, but here they just become a chore to get through. Was anyone still watching at this point?

Oh well, it surely can’t get any worse, can it?

Oh yeah, it can!

In the final chapter of It’s Saturday Morning – Do you know what your children are? I tackle Season Five of X-Men. I can tell you now, Season Five is awful, but don’t let that put you off from coming back.

Please.

Only six episodes remain. Join me on Saturday as I finish my journey with the X-Men.