Episode Title: Night of The Sentinels. Parts 1 and 2
Original Airdate: 10-31-92
Hello everyone and welcome back to my coverage of X-Men: The Animated Series. Night of The Sentinels would be the show’s pilot episode and for a kids show. It does manage to have some pretty heavy subject material in the first few shows With concepts ranging from concentration camps in the holocaust to sacrificing your own life to save a friend. This first one does reference stories from previous issues of the comic. Such as the creation of The Sentinels(Uncanny X-Men #14) and the mutant registration act(Uncanny X-Men #181). The look and design of the characters themselves are almost identical to the ones artist Jim Lee drew in the 90’s. Let’s cue up that awesome theme song and start discussing this first entry.
In this two part episode we are introduced to Jubilee. Her parents have just registered her with the mutant registration act and she decides to run away. This is one of two characters created just for the show. I didn’t have a problem with it because she does represent the audience or most likely the age group of it’s target audience. While at the mall Jubilee is attacked by these giant robots called Sentinels. They were created to track and capture mutants, but I never understood why they had to make them so big. She is of course rescued by Rouge, Storm and Gambit and brought to the mansion run by Professor X. While there we are introduced to Cyclops, Beast, Wolverine and Morph. Another of the characters created just for the show. Morph’s power is that he can turn into any person he wants. The Professor…….and Mary Ann. Here on Gilligan’s Island. Sorry sorry, couldn’t help my self to put in a refference to a show only 3 people have heard about. So the plan is to go the Mutant Control Agency’s headquarters and destroy the registration files. However while there, The Sentinels attack and YES YES SPOILERS ALERT people. Morph dies while trying to save Wolverine in battle. I was kind of surprised he wasn’t wearing a red shirt while watching it. You know right when he is introduced that he wouldn’t last long. Jubilee and Beast were also captured, but the rest of the X-Men team up to kick some metal butt and save the day. Well they at least rescue Jubilee, but not Beast. Not quite sure why. I mean it would make more sense to rescue the guy who could actually help them save the girl. I guess it would be kind of cruel to show a teenage girl be kept in captivity for so long. Now wouldn’t it
This was a good episode to get introduced to the characters and their powers without going into too much back story on them. We learn that there is opposition between the humans and mutants and that certain government bureaucrats are trying to put a leash on them. The animation and voice work are really solid. Especially Beast, Rouge, and Professor X. Gambit almost comes off like a Cajun parody of Pepe Le Pew(Ask your parents to explain that character, kiddies) and Morph sounds like he’s trying to impersonate Mark Hamil’s The Joker. So luckily he died before I would get too irritated with him. While the show does cover some social issues. I was kind of surprised to hear as many puns in the action scenes as I did. Rouge’s always repeating some lines from the south. “You look as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs” or when A Sentinels asks Cyclops to freeze and he says sure, but right before he raises his visor, says “Not”. it’s fascinating that Beast would reference famous writers and scientists like L Frank Baum and Archimedes because I don’t think kids pick up on these people like we do. I’m curious to see who else this educated furball mentions. This wasn’t a bad episode and I’m very interested to revisit this series. I hope you’ll come along with me as I do