Monday, May 9, 2011

X-men Marathon: X-men The Animated Series Season 2

Since the end of season 1 featured "Mr. Suave" Scott Summers saying “Jean, I’ve been thinking.. will you marry me?” and her eagerly saying yes, season 2 begins with their wedding. However the events at the beginning of the first season are coming back to haunt them, because it turns out Morph wasn’t all dead, just mostly dead, and Mr. Sinister was able to bring him back to life. So, essentially, the cartoon continues to stay close to a comic book style when it proves that dead is never really dead and weddings have a 80% chance of being disrupted or found null and void. The similarities between comic books and soap operas are larger than most people really think. I guess it’s a symptom of the serial format in which they are presented.

Once again, the events of the two part season opener have repercussions through the rest of the season, as Morph sends both Xavier and Magneto off to the Savage Land. Without contact with Xavier, the X-Men are left to their own devices, much in the same way that they were in last season’s “The Unstoppable Juggernaut.” The majority of the episodes focus on one particular character at a time. Rather than showing the whole team working together, we generally get one character called off to do something, and toward the end the others show up to get rid of the bad guys and save the day. As such this season is a mixed bag of good and bad episodes.

Storm and Beast are two characters that I really enjoy, but both of their individual episodes in this season are boring. “Whatever It Takes” starts off by purposely misleading you into thinking Storm has an actual son, and not just a sort of godson, and then devolves into a Shadow King plot that takes way too long to resolve. “Beauty & The Beast” seems to be somewhat stolen from other Marvel plots; at least the idea of a blind woman falling in love with a mutated guy just makes me think of The Thing from Fantastic Four. The Friends of Humanity were also just a weak enemy for the season.. Senator Kelly and the Sentinels worked much better as a mutant hating group last season, and these generic thugs led by Graydon Creed just seem pathetic by comparison.

“Red Dawn” is an okay episode that features another appearance by Colossus, and “Repo Man” gives us an interesting look at Wolverine’s history and introduces us to Alpha Flight. I used to love episodes like this one back then because it was a game of “name the hero” as they appeared. I was quickly becoming a walking encyclopedia of X-Men knowledge at that point, and any exposure to new characters gave me a chance to learn more. This was still pre-internet, so I earned my knowledge the old fashioned way!

“X-Ternally Yours,” “A Rogue’s Tale” and “Mojovision” are definitely my favorites of the season. The first two center on Gambit and Rogue respectively, and the latter introduces us to Mojoworld and its inhabitants. It’s a shame they never got the chance to introduce the X-Babies on this show. That would have been a lot of fun to do.

The mid-season two parter is actually a sort of precursor (by pure coincidence, I'm sure) to the recent Messiah Complex storyline in the X-Men comics. Bishop is sent back to change the past, but if he does so, Cable’s future will be ruined. It’s a fairly well done piece, where we see things happen one way as Bishop arrives, then change again as Cable shows up. The two part season finale is the result of the X-Men finally figuring out that Xavier’s been in the Savage Land this whole time and go to rescue him. The whole cave man and dinosaur stuff of the Savage Land has never been particularly interesting to me, so about the only thing in the finale I really care about is when Gambit tells Rogue he loves her. Sadly, they completely ruin it by him saying “Gambit loves you, chere” instead of letting him use “I,” but whatever, I’ll take it. They also get to kiss because their powers were temporarily neutralized.

These season is a large part of why I really like Mr. Sinister as a villain. I've only recently discovered quite a few people seem to hate him and think he is ridiculous. I can understand that he seems a bit over the top at times, but I enjoy the whole geneticist angle to him.

Overall, the good moments outnumber the bad here, and I think it’s a very enjoyable season.

2 comments:

  1. +JMJ+

    I know I vastly preferred the wedding in the comics to the wedding in the series. It was just more of a celebration. =)

    For some reason, I don't remember this season as well as the first one. Reading your review sparked a lot of dormant memories, but not enough for me to be properly articulate.

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  2. It helps that they actually got to stay married there. :) I also really liked that Jean did the proposing, and how off guard Scott was when she did. It's funny, for as much as they can annoy me, I'm also one of those people that believe the two of them really belong together. Go figure that one out!

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