By Joshie Jaxon
Happy new year, geek fans! I pondered what post I should kick off 2016 with, and the answer was an easy one; X-Men. With Deadpool and Apocalypse coming out later this year, I figured now was as good a time as any to take a crack at not one, not two, not even three, but four, that’s right FOUR X-Men series that have graced the small screen. To those of you who already know which four they are, you are awesome, and will enjoy my take on each one. Those of you who may have been born after some of these were made, you’re in for a treat. I’m starting off with the original X-Men animated series from 1992. This is what really got me hooked into the Marvel universe as a whole. Up until X-Men ’92, the only heroes I’d really been exposed to had been the Ninja Turtles. Yes, I know, I should probably post on them first, but this is my blog and I’ll post what my whims tell me to. You’re just gonna have to live with it. For now, enjoy this nearly twenty-four year old piece of television greatness. Let the geeks begin!
Alright, not even gonna lie, in the opening credits they’ve only shown Cyclops so far, and I’ve already got chills. Next is Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, the Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, and finally Professor X. Why doesn’t Jean get a code name? Maybe something like Marvel Girl, or Phoenix, or Fifty Shades of Jean? I fumbled that joke. Sorry, back to credits. Magneto clenching his fist with power, even more chills. This is gonna be so much fun.
We open with Sabertooth causing destruction as a tv reporter says that it’s only fueling anti-mutant hysteria that’s growing nationwide, thus establishing the tone of this universe. Sabertooth tosses a police car at the camera, as a husband turns off the tv telling his wife, Martha, that she’s one of them. Martha asks how he could register her with the Mutant Control Agency as if she were a criminal. He tells her it’s an outreach program to help these unfortunate people. It’s for their own good. He’d probably feel differently if he were the one being registered. He hopes the neighbors never find out that their little Jubilee is a mutant. They’d never understand. Why give two shits what your neighbors think? Love your damn daughter for who she is. Jubilee overhears them and wonders why this happening to her. She didn’t ask to be a mutant. Substitute the word gay for mutant and you’ll understand why so many of us feel for the X-Men/mutants in general. They can’t help who they are, despite others feeling that they’re bad/wrong/evil, there’s nothing wrong with them, and they need to learn to embrace themselves, and celebrate it. They’re the perfect metaphor for the gay community, or any repressed people, actually. Anyhow, Jubilee says she used to be a normal kid. We see someone silhouetted against the full moon, cause that’s always a good shot. Instead of Superman, we get to see our very first Sentinel. We know that from the title, they’re never called that at all during the episode. Spoilers. The Sentinel lands on the ground, taking out a lamppost. It’s bigger than a house. It crashes through some trees, and nearly takes out a car too. Clearly, Trask didn’t design these for stealth. Back in the house, Martha asks her husband if he’s sorry they took her in. Of course he isn’t. At that moment, the Sentinel reaches through the window, grabs the bed and gets, nothing. It walks away, tracking Jubilee, as her parents discover the mess and scream.
Jubilee is at the mall, inside the arcade, cause this is the 90’s, and that’s what we did back then. She’s crying to herself that her patents are ashamed of her. She thought they loved her. Well, maybe if you weren’t wearing so much yellow. Did I mention she’s also Asian-American? They did the same thing on Power Rangers. Gotta make sure we know who’s what after all. Anyhow, the Sentinel is stomping through the mall parking lot. People are fleeing, and screaming. Robot the size of a house, you would too. One lady tells a cop to do something. What does she want him to do, arrest it? The Sentinel says to no one in particular that he’s closing on his assigned target. Back in the arcade, Jubilee continues to talk to herself, and wonders what’s so bad about being a mutant. The Universe, answering her call, chooses that moment to activate her power, causing the game to blow up. The manager asks her if she knows how much that game cost. Teenager that she is, she replies, a quarter. He accuses her of being a mutant. Jubilee flees as he shouts they don’t want her kind around. Lousy bigot. He’s just jealous he doesn’t have anything but that change belt to make him special. Jubilee collides with Storm and Rogue and tells them to watch where they’re going. Rogue wonders what crawled up her shorts. I love Rogue.
Meanwhile, the Sentinel has entered the mall, telling people not to be alarmed, he’s there to serve and protect. And cause property damage. Lots of property damage. In a store, we see Gambit buying a dozen decks of cards. The sales girl comments. He said he likes solitaire, unless he’s got someone, to play with. Dirty Cajun. I love it. Jubilee sees the Sentinel, and hopes he’s just security. It says it’s target is identified, and it’s going to initiate capture. A long metal rope extends from it’s palm to catch her. As people flee past Storm and Rogue, she quips there must be sale. Still love her. They see the captured Jubilee and Storm delivers the first of her many great lines of hammy, overly dramatic, awesomeness. To give them proper respect, I will write them in all caps. STORM, MISTRESS OF THE ELEMENTS, COMMANDS YOU TO RELEASE THAT CHILD! Rogue tells her to ease up on the speeches. The Sentinel says they are unidentified mutants, ignore. I love this show, but if the Sentinels were created to round up mutants, and can detect them without their picture and info being in their database, shouldn’t it have captured Storm and Rogue? I’m just throwing that out there. Also, based on it’s scanner, Storm has three inches and five pounds on Rogue. Storm uses her lightning to change from street clothes to X-Men uniform, something that they never explain in the cartoon, but is a nod to their ComicBook history. Storm then zaps the metal rope holding Jubilee and fries the very girl she was trying to save. Actually, she does use lightning on it, but it breaks, rather than conducting electricity. Hey, she’s flying here, let’s suspend a little disbelief. As Storm lands with Jubilee, Rogue lifts up the escalator stairs to deflect a blast. Jubilee is in awe. Storm says Rogue has a way with men. Cut to Rogue punching the Sentinel right in the face.
In the card shop, the salesgirl is winking at Gambit. He hears the commotion and goes to leave. Rogue punches the Sentinel again, and it crashes into the store. He gets the girl to the corner, telling her that insurance should cover it. The Sentinel gets up, and blasts Storm and Rogue through a glass ceiling. I smell symbolism. The latter asks what it is. Storm believes it’s a robot. Jubilee tries to flee, but gets the floor blasted out from under her. Luckily Gambit is there to catch her. He calls her petite and asks where she’s going. Anywhere but there. The Sentinel tells him to move aside so he can apprehend that mutant. Gambit says apprehend this, and flings a charged card at the Sentinel, followed by several others. Jubilee asks how he did that. With style, petite, with style. Have I mentioned that I love this show? The Sentinel blasts Gambit, as Jubilee runs away. She says the mall has turned into a real live video game. She hides behind a column, hoping she isn’t seen, then peeks behind it like the dumb teen she is. Sentinel scans Gambit and calls him an unregistered mutant, expendable. Wait, so Gambit is expendable, but Storm and Rogue should be ignored? Is this some sort of sexism thing? Men are dangerous, but two petite girls are fine? Proving that girls can be a threat, Jubilee puts on her big girl pants and tells the Sentinel to leave him alone, as she blasts fireworks at it’s face, forcing it back. Staring at her hands in disbelief, Gambit has to tell her to run. Jubilee giveth, and Jubilee taketh away. She makes it outside, but the Sentinel exits the mall, causing more damage. It then throws a smoke grenade, which it probably should’ve done in the beginning, and Jubilee collides with Cyclops before she starts to pass out. The Sentinel fires on him, and misses. Scott offers the Sentinel an energy blast from a pro, and takes it’s head off. He may be a boy scout, but the man has power.
X-Mansion, presumably that same night. Jubilee wakes up in the infirmary. Her powers short out the monitor she’s hooked to. She checks the door, but it’s locked. She tells her finger to zap it. There’s a dirty joke in there somewhere, but such is my reverence for this show, I’m gonna let this one slide. Jubilee’s finger lights up and she blasts the handle off the door. As she tries to find the way out, she passes Beast hanging from the ceiling. Then Morph watching a tv report on the growing mutant violence. Those who are wondering who Morph is, since he wasn’t in the opening credits, have every right to question him. Clearly he’s a member of the X-Men, by part 2, he’ll play a bigger role than the others could imagine. I’d say more, but as River Song would say, spoilers. Anyways, Morph amuses himself by turning into the various people he sees on tv, which is what I would do with that power. After turning into Tom Hiddleston and seeing if I was anatomically correct. Don’t judge me, you’d do it to. Jubilee finds herself in the War Room, and we get a glimpse at Domino, Cannonball, Sabertooth, Magneto, and Senator Kelly on the monitors. Jubilee turns them off, the sees the giant Sentinel head. We hear Charles say that what happened at the mall was inevitable. I’d like to point out that this is 1992, but Professor X has hover chair technology. It’s possible that Beast or Forge made it, but we don’t meet Forge for a while, and they aren’t exactly familiar when we do. Just saying, we’re in 2016 and we don’t have that. Jean points out that the monitors were on. The professor scans the area, and says it’s the girl. Jubilee runs. Then we hear the professor announcing there’s an intruder, despite the fact they could technically be considered kidnappers for bringing her there, and locking her in a room. Beast and Morph search the halls, as Jubilee presses buttons trying to escape.
Jubilee manages to enter the Danger Room. The Gambit/Wolverine training sequence starts up. After nearly being hit by a giant spiked ball, she wonders if she’d have been better off with the giant robot. Gambit sees Jubilee and tells her that this is no place for her. Wolverine appears in all his bad-assery. Gambit throws a card and misses. Wolverine eventually gets Gambit facedown on the ground, extends his, er, claws, and says that the game is over. He asks Gambit if he’s had enough, and to say “uncle”. Everyone has their own safe word, don’t judge. Jubilee shouts not to hurt him, and blasts Wolverine in the gut with her pyrotechnics, sending him flying. The doors open and Storm, Morph, and Beast appear. Storm asks if the girl is alright. Wolverine says not for long. Jubilee says they were fighting and she wanted to help. Beast and Morph start laughing. Wolverine bares his claws, and they shut up. Gambit says she hurt Wolverine’s pride. Jubilee asks where she is. Beast says it’s a gymnasium, and survival course, affectionately called the Danger Room. Storm takes Jubilee to the roof for some girl talk. She explains that they’re all mutants, who discovered their gifts around Jubilee’s age. Storm says the professor is their leader, and they’re called the X-Men. She then tells her she’s safe. Um, wasn’t she just an intruder? Whatevs. Storm explains she got her name cause she can control the weather. Jubilee introduces herself, and says she blows stuff up. Storm says this is a school for the gifted. Jubilee, letting her teen out again, says they’re a little old for school, unless they all got held back. Storm says they learn how to control their mutant powers for the benefit of mankind. Jubilee asks why people hate them. Storm gives a valid answer; people hate what they don’t understand.
In the War Room, the professor is looking at part of the Sentinel’s memory files. Wolverine asks if anyone contacted Jubilee’s patents. Rogue said they hollered, but no one hollered back. Prof. X says the photo is from the Mutant Control Agency registration files. Cyclops asks if the government is targeting mutants. The professor says no, they’re a private organization and aren’t government supported. He says someone at the agency has a hidden agenda. Cut to Gyrich at Jubilee’s house, asking if she has any mutant friends, like Storm and Rogue, who he shows a picture of. Jubilee gets off a bus and runs right past a Sentinel. It activates, and walks after her. Before she can get away, another one appears. This time they listen to me, and gas her from the beginning. She says, not again, and sees Gyrich for a second before blacking out. Back in the War Room the professor is telling the team about the Mutant Registration Facility, and how it has the files of innocent mutants that were duped into revealing themselves. Logan says they’ll get the files, and shred them. Gambit said he can do it easy. The professor says no, Storm is going in with Wolverine, Beast, and Morph. Morph says if it’ll make Gambit feel better, he’ll go in wearing his face. Cyclops will be in overall command. As the professor leaves, Scott follows him out. He says he believes in the dream of peace between humans and mutants, but asks if they’re actions are about to make them hypocrites. Prof. X says they have no choice. Logan asks Scott if teacher’s pet has cold feet. He flashes a beam in his visor. Wolverine says he’ll fight him any time. Jean runs up and says that Jubilee is gone. Wolverine says he’s going after her. Scott says no, they have a job to do. Wolverine gets in his face and flashes his claws, delivering the awesome line, “I go, where I wanna go”. He then shoves Gambit aside calling him gumbo as he storms out. In case I haven’t mentioned it, I love this show.
The Blackbird lands near the registration facility. Scott tells them to stay close. Rogue says not too close. She mentions how as a teen she used to have a boyfriend, until she kissed him. He was in a coma for three days. That’s when the boys stopped calling. Beast says she was fortunate, he had dandruff. I get that he was trying to lighten the mood, but putting someone in a coma over a kiss, and not being able to have skin to skin contact without absorbing people isn’t “fortunate” not matter how you slice it. Rogue asks him what makes then like they are. His answer is great. Gamma rays, pollution, ozone depletion, heh, television. Morph adds, progress. Wolverine says it’s lousy luck, then tells them they make a lot of noise. Storm asks if he found Jubilee. He says the trail went cold outside the house. He got bit by a dog too. Storm summons some cloud cover, as Morph asks for boost. Beast and Wolverine throw him over the fence. He impersonates the guard, and kicks him out with a gas gun. Beast and Wolverine follow. As a guard tells them to halt, Logan pops out the claws. Storms zaps the guard unconscious, cause that’s somehow better. Mad he didn’t get to claw anything, he uses them on the metal door to get inside. Beast dangles the guard’s keys at him. Wolverine says he’ll buy them a new door. Before they can advance, Wolverine says there are electronic beams. Beast asks if he can detect the infrared spectrum. No, he can smell them; ozone. Storm summons mist so the beams can be seen. Beast travels on the ceiling to the power box and turns them off. Outside, Rogue tells Cyclops he’s as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Good one, Rogue, now do Brer Rabbit. A tank approaches, and Cyclops says they’ve got trouble. Back inside, Morph says it’s nothing but clear sailing from here. Famous last words. Storm reaches for a door handle, while there are several armed men on the other side. Credits. Cliffhanger. Noooo!
That’s the first of our four X-entries. I hope you enjoyed it. This may be the first series I post a second episode of. It’s just that damn good. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing.