June 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Going Through X-Men: The Animated Series Part 1

Jimmy loves X-Men. Tom likes them. They both watched those Sentinels come back and kill Morph.

Jimmy has been looking to do an X-Men rewatch for quite some time.  Well, he finally got his wish.

Tom came along for the ride.

“Night of the Sentinel Part 1”

The X-Men hit the mall…and some Sentinels!

jimmy:  Well, that was a blast from the past.

tomk:  You seem pleased.

jimmy:  Much like TNG, I remember so little of this it will be like watching it again for the first time.

tomk:  I probably should be honest up front then: I am not the biggest X-Men fan, and I mean in general, not just the animated series.

jimmy:

tomk:  The X-Men were always a little too soap opera-y for my taste, and anti-mutant hysteria can sometimes be too heavy handed.

They’re more “oh woe is me!” than most Marvel heroes.

jimmy:  I get that.  What I don’t get with the whole anti-Mutant vibe is how does the regular populace know who is a mutant and who is not?  Got your powers from a radioactive platypus bear?  That’s fine.  Born with the ability to turn water into wine?  Burn them at the stake!

Even recently there was a comic storyline where people turned on Spider-Man as he was incorrectly outed as a mutant.  Not that people need much to turn on Spider-Man.

tomk:  Pretty much. I basically like but don’t love the X-Men.

And Marvel recently put out a Days of Future Past series to fill in what happened between then and that future that included Spidey getting beaten to death by a crowd when he tried to calm a potential riot but didn’t want to hurt anybody by fighting back because even if he wasn’t a mutant, he had to at least be a mutant sympathizer.

jimmy:  Lousy Mutant loving Spider-Man.

tomk:  He should have just webbed everyone up first.

jimmy:  So I know Jubilee is obviously a comic character, but this felt like she was a Kitty Pryde stand in.

tomk:  A friend of mine always felt Jubilee was the anti-Kitty.

jimmy:  Maybe it just felt that way because of the whole Sentinel storyline.

I don’t really know a lot about Jubliee. She showed up shortly after I had stopped collecting X-Men regularly.

tomk:  Whereas Jubilee was there when I started collecting, and she was basically an obnoxious, judgmental mallrat.  Like, literally, she was an orphan living in a shopping mall who accidentally fell through one of Gateway’s portals to the X-Men’s Australian base.  Kitty was sweet, innocent, and learning the ropes of being a mutant.  Jubilee was brash and annoying.

jimmy:  That does sound anti-Kitty. At least they incorporated the mall here. Though no Gateway.

tomk:  No, just giant robots that can hide in alleyways.

jimmy:  Are you saying a giant robot can’t hide in an alley?

tomk:  Maybe not purple ones.

jimmy:  Oh, yeah, purple ones. That’s different.

tomk:  Sentinels don’t seem very stealthy.

jimmy:  Not really in their MO.

tomk:  They just blow holes in the sides of houses and then their advanced sensors tell them there’s no one in the room.

jimmy:  Haha, at least there wasn’t a fake body made of some pillows and a pumpkin for a head that the Sentinel pulled away the sheet and got all surprised.

tomk:  That Sentinel couldn’t even stop a barking dog.

jimmy:  He was at the bottom of his class at Sentinel Academy.

tomk:  Or that was a very good dog since it might be the same one that bit Wolverine.

jimmy:  That dog is lucky this is a kids show.

tomk:  Like those dinosaurs Wolverine met on Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?

jimmy:  Exactly.

tomk:  Meanwhile, Gambit can go to the mall in his costume and with his weird eyes and pick up women while Jubilee gets called a mutant by a jerk at the arcade.

jimmy:  Interesting. And at this point the X-Men were “unknown” and “unimportant”.

tomk:  Not for much longer if they attack giant robots in a public place with a high ceiling.

jimmy:  Yeah, I think the cat is out of the bag now.

tomk:  It also might depend on how big Sentinels are. They seem to change size between shots.

jimmy:  Drawring is hard.

tomk:  Maybe the paper got wet in the bathtub.

jimmy:  The animators might have had prune hands.

tomk:  At least they aren’t doing a live show.

jimmy:  That’s very hard on their wrists.

tomk:  Well, it took a while for this show to originally air.

jimmy:  Oh?

tomk:  There was a two-month gap between the airing of episodes three and four.

jimmy:  Why was that?

tomk:  Animation takes time.

The show, if I remember right, wasn’t ready.

So, this episode aired on October 31st 1992, the second part a week later on November 7, but then episode three aired on November 27th, but episode four was first aired on January 30th, 1993.

jimmy:  17 year old Jimmy was very confused.

tomk:  How does much-older Jimmy feel?

jimmy:  He can watch them all back to back, so not too bad.

tomk:  Truly we live in a wonderous age.

jimmy:  Until the Sentinels come for us.

tomk:  For you, maybe.  Unless they freeze in your cold Canadian temperatures.

jimmy:  That’s not good on electronics.

tomk:  And these guys can only detect mutants that are not indoors when they aren’t.

jimmy:  Their programmers should have maybe spent more time in beta testing.

tomk:  Well, people in this universe don’t seem very bright.  See:  the shop girl who thinks Gambit’s eyes don’t make him look like a mutant.

jimmy:  That’s because they are so dreamy.

tomk:  Black eyes with red pupils?

jimmy:  Maybe that’s what girls like?  I don’t know, I’m not one.

tomk:  Morph could maybe tell you.

jimmy:  Perhaps. Or one of the actual female team members.

tomk:  Yes, but Morph made the news recently.

jimmy:  This is why we can’t have nice things.

tomk:  Then I guess I better have the movers take all the nice things out of your office.

jimmy:  Sounds like everyone is helping themselves already.

tomk:  Even the big screen 4K TV set with a top of the line PS5?  And this plate of fresh brownies?

jimmy:  

I’m getting a new deadbolt.

tomk:  The TV and PS5 are still there. The Beaver and the Moose play Spider-Man games on it all day.

jimmy:  I get that.  Plus there’s no X-Men: The Animated Series game.

tomk:  They programmed one. Rogue has to stop and explain her backstory on the way to every mission even though the others probably already know that stuff.

jimmy:  Oh those two!

I was a little surprised just how stereotypical Rogue and Gambit’s voices were.

tomk:  I was surprised I noticed Storm had a light accent.

jimmy:  I thought she was African (she is of African descent) but was born in Manhattan and mostly grew up in Cairo. This made me chuckle:

tomk:  That is true, but I didn’t remember the accent and noticed it this time. And it’s not as bad as the one Halle Berry used in the first live action movie.

jimmy:  People do confuse him with me all the time.

tomk:  I heard Celine Dion growl that one too many times when Titanic was big.

jimmy:  Who thought our first X-Men discussion would have a Celine Dion reference?

tomk:  Celine Dion probably did.

jimmy:  Is she one of our theoretical million readers?

tomk:  Theoretically yes. But I suspect she always thinks people are bringing her up in conversation.

jimmy:  It’s a first for us.  I think.

tomk:  Like Gambit and Rogue’s comics accurate accents?

jimmy:  I’m not saying they’re wrong, I just didn’t remember them being so stereotypical.

tomk:  So, after listening to Watson’s voice on a podcast, you know what an American Southern accent sounds like?

jimmy:  Watson has an accent?

tomk:  I could also point out many members of the voice cast were probably Canadian.

jimmy:  Canadians are awesome.

tomk:  And after checking just now, the entire main cast including Magneto are voiced by Canadian actors though some were born elsewhere with one exception.

jimmy:  Don’t say Wolverine…

tomk:  Storm actually.

jimmy:  Phew!

tomk:  Wolverine’s voice actor was described by Wikipedia as “Irish-Canadian.”

jimmy:  Makes sense.

tomk:  You were worried they cast an American as the Canadian hero, weren’t you?

jimmy:  Yes.  An Australian would be ok too.

tomk:  What if he looked like you?

jimmy:  Even better.

tomk:  What about an American that looked like you?

jimmy:  No dice.

tomk:  You sure are particular.

jimmy:  I am.

tomk:  Ok, so, no Americans playing Wolverine and Rogue and Gambit sound funny. Do you have any other hot takes about the other characters?

jimmy:  I hope we see a lot of Morph. He’s cool.

tomk:  I think he’s obnoxious. I hope he goes away for a while.

jimmy:  You only say that because he imitated you in the cafeteria and took the last bowl of Jello.

tomk:  No, it’s because he’s been posing as the Beaver for the past six months while the real Beaver has been on tour with his jug band. Then he keeps asking you for money.

jimmy:  You’d think that would sound improbable, but it’s not.

tomk:  I was tipped off because Beavers don’t eat Jello.

jimmy:  Nothing gets by you.

tomk:  Ok, that’s Morph.  What about Beast or Cyclops?

jimmy:  Nothing memorable yet.

You?

tomk:  I think it’s weird most of these characters don’t have real names.

jimmy:  Sure they do. Logan is Wolverine. Hank McCoy is Beast. Jean Grey is, uh, Jean Grey.

tomk:  Aside from Jean, did anyone get called by their real name?

jimmy:  Jubilee?

tomk:  Judges?

jimmy:

tomk:  I think you got it on a technicality there.

jimmy:  But it’s the first episode, maybe they get into regular names later.

tomk:  Maybe. I remember when the show was new, many of these characters were referred to by their code names even when they went out somewhere as regular people.

jimmy:  They only had the budget for codenames.

tomk:  

jimmy:  It was the early 90’s.

tomk:  Fine, Jimmy, you win this round.

jimmy:  Next round then?

tomk:  What, you want to discuss another episode and not just point out that the X-Men might be in trouble if they open that door?

jimmy:  They’re the X-Men and have a few more seasons of show to go. I think they’ll be alright.

tomk:  They could always just send Colossus in first.  He’s bulletproof.

jimmy:  I don’t remember seeing him there.

tomk:  Huh.  Then I suppose Nightcrawler can teleport in and out really fast.

jimmy:  Umm…

tomk:  Maybe Forge brought some kind of high tech scanner.

jimmy:  That’s probably it.

tomk:  Oh good.  I suppose next you were gonna say the show didn’t include any of those classic X-Men.

jimmy:  I wouldn’t say that.

tomk:  What would you say?

jimmy:  I don’t know, but I wouldn’t say that.

tomk:  If you don’t know what you would say, how do you know you wouldn’t say that?

jimmy:  I know I wouldn’t say that since I don’t remember it to say it.

tomk:  So you don’t know if Kitty just pokes a head through the door or Psylocke scans for guards?

jimmy:  No. Now that you say that, Jean would have been good to have on hand.

tomk:  Jean isn’t very useful in these episodes. You can tell because she wasn’t given a code name.

jimmy:  Or she’s so powerful they don’t know what to do with her to keep these episodes from being 5 minutes long.

tomk:  I’m pretty sure her only power is most of the men are smitten with her.

jimmy:  That can be pretty powerful.

tomk:  She chose Cyclops. She digs them funky shades.

jimmy:  Shades do make the man.

tomk:  You should try it.

jimmy:

tomk:  Oh hey, Cousin Minka is here.

I think she likes you better now.

jimmy:  I’ll get some more sunglasses.

tomk:  One pair should be enough, Impossiclops.

jimmy:  lol

tomk:  Well, now that you know the secrets of being better appreciated by at least one woman, should we check out the next episode?

jimmy:  We should.

“Night of the Sentinels Part 2”

The X-Men fracture after a first mission goes bad.

jimmy:

tomk:  He had to push the guy with the unbreakable skeleton and the healing factor out of the way.

jimmy:  Yeah, that seemed a little, well, not the brightest.

tomk:  Well, Sentinels are unbeatable until they aren’t.

jimmy:  Cyclops almost took them all out by himself.

tomk:  They just had to go somewhere else. Everyone knows the weakest Sentinels guard the production factory/mutant holding cell.

jimmy:  What do the strongest Sentinels guard?

tomk:  Jenny’s donut stash.

jimmy:  Makes sense.

tomk:  Mutants love stolen donuts.

jimmy:  Probably why the general public hates them so much.

tomk:  There’s always a reason for everything.

jimmy:  Cyclops destroying pool tables won’t help.

tomk:  They should have left his shades alone.

jimmy:  Couldn’t he just close his eyes?

tomk:  They caught him off-guard?

jimmy:  Oh, Cyclops.

tomk:  Besides, someone had to deliver the only news that could get Wolverine back.

jimmy:  And he is the leader.

tomk:  Wolverine didn’t seem too happy about that.

jimmy:  He is the best at what he does. And he goes where he wants to go.

tomk:  Typical Canadian…

jimmy:

tomk:  So, when Storm blew up the computer Beast was working on, did you have to remind yourself they didn’t have cloud backup back then?

jimmy:  No. But maybe I should have?

tomk:  It’s just become such a cliche where a fictional character will break a computer only to be reminded the data is stored somewhere else.

jimmy:  Or they could easily have umpteen back ups on various media.

tomk:  Well, maybe Gyrich isn’t very bright and didn’t do that.

jimmy:  I can see that.

tomk:  I mean, he couldn’t restrain Jubilee, and she didn’t seem like she knew what she was doing.

jimmy:  I’m confused by Jubliee’s powers.  They are described as “fireworks”, but she’s able to blow metal doors apart.

tomk:  She shoots off explosive bursts of plasma energy that act like fireworks.

jimmy:  She’s great to have around on New Year’s Eve.

tomk:  I’m sure she’s also welcome on Canadian Independence Day.

jimmy:  If you mean Canada Day, then, yes.

tomk:  Yes, that wonderful day.

jimmy:  Hey, it’s a day off.

tomk:  That’s true.

jimmy:  Powerful fireworks.

tomk:  Like what Cyclops sees when Jean says his name.

jimmy:  He is the chosen one.

tomk:  Those guys are good bowlers.

jimmy:  I know no one cared about Morph, but killing off an X-Man on the second episode of a Saturday morning cartoon show was pretty ballsy.

tomk:  Wolverine cared…for some reason. He seemed more annoyed by Morph than anything else, but he also seems to be annoyed by everyone.

jimmy:  Beast cried as well.

tomk:  He was arrested. I’d cry too.

jimmy:  Well, yes.  But the tears were for Morph.  And he can hang out on the ceiling, so no worries about cell mates with busy hands.

tomk:  He might not have to worry about busy hands.

jimmy:  Probably not. Who’d mess with him?

tomk:  Furries?

jimmy:  Good point. Disturbing. But good.

tomk:  I don’t think there’s anything to worry about there on a kids show.

jimmy:  True. But they killed off Morph, so, they might not be messing around.

tomk:  I dunno. I didn’t see a body.

jimmy:  That crossed my mind as I typed my last statement.

tomk:  And he’s a shapeshifter.  Maybe he shapeshifted into a pile of ashes.

jimmy:  Huh.  Interesting.

tomk:  He just had to get out of that X-Mansion. Wolverine snores. Gambit is a creep. Rogue takes too long in the showers. Storm can’t say anything without a big speech. Jean think she’s too good for a code name. Beast smells funny especially after it rains.

jimmy:  You sure do know a lot about the X-Men for someone that doesn’t like the X-Men.

tomk:  I like the X-Men. I just don’t love them.

jimmy:  What about Wolverine?  Or Logan?  Or Patch?

tomk:  The one on the Avengers or the one on the X-Men?

jimmy:  Uh, yes?

tomk:  Huh. He shouldn’t be an Avenger.

jimmy:  How about a New Avenger?

tomk:  How new?

Like New Coke new?

jimmy:  Yes, but better.

tomk:  People didn’t like New Coke. Lots of things are better. Even Pepsi, the official soft drink of Madame Web.

jimmy:  I haven’t seen Madame Web, but that doesn’t look good for Pepsi.

tomk:  Jimmy, only fools and wannabe film critics have seen Madame Web.

jimmy:  Are you a wannabe film critic, Tom?

tomk:  Only if I am not a fool.

jimmy:  I don’t think you are.

tomk:  Then I guess I am.

A wannabe that is.

jimmy:  Nothing wrong with that. As long as you don’t wanna be starting trouble with Wolverine.

tomk:  He goes where he wants to go. I just go somewhere else.

jimmy:  Smart.

So, I guess that’s the last we’ll hear of the Sentinels.

tomk:  Why would anyone want to keep building those crappy things?

jimmy:  Make work project?

tomk:  There must be better and more economical ways than inefficient giant robots.

jimmy:  Especially if one mutant can crush their metal bodies with just a thought.

tomk:  What mutant is that?  Crush-o the Magnificent?

jimmy:  Yes. He’s more obscure than Morph.

tomk:  Didn’t he defeat Apocalypse and Mister Sinister at the same time in a single splash page?

jimmy:  The 90’s were wild!

tomk:  All those useless pouches…

jimmy:  People carried a lot of gum in the 90’s.

tomk:  It beats carrying practical things. That’s why the X-Men think Batman isn’t cool.

jimmy:  His bat belt has a few pouches.

tomk:  Full of practical stuff. What’s Cyclops carrying?  Ruby quartz contact lens cleaner?

jimmy:  And love letters to Jean.

tomk:  Not from Jean?  Poor bastard.

jimmy:  She just uses her powers to implant them in his mind.

tomk:  That’s sweetly disturbing…

jimmy:  Isn’t it though?

tomk:  Sounds like the Moose’s last girlfriend.

jimmy:  Maddy?  She was sweet. And surprisingly psychic. That’s rare in a moose.

tomk:  Why did the Moose dump her again?

jimmy:  He’s not ready to talk about it yet.

tomk:  He talks?

jimmy:  To me.

tomk:  Ah.

jimmy:  Anyways, we’ve been introduced to the core X-Men, some of their most notable adversaries and the establishment of mutant registration, fear and hate.

tomk:  Yeah. And those mutants dug up my rose bushes.

jimmy:  Lousy muties!

tomk:  Well, someone did.

jimmy:  Maybe the Sentinels stomped on them?

tomk:  That or it was a groundhog. One of those things.

jimmy:  Lousy groundhogs!

tomk:  Well, if the X-Men only have giant robots to battle, this cartoon might get pretty boring.

jimmy:  Who else might they battle?

tomk:  I dunno. Who else is in the opening credits?

jimmy:  Stryfe?

tomk:  No, they mostly seem to get along.

jimmy:  Maybe the next episode will tell us then.

tomk:  I suppose we can go look.

jimmy:  Let’s go!

NEXT TIME:  “Enter Magneto” and “Deadly Reunions”