X-Men: The Animated Series

X-Men: The Animated Series Review - "Slave Island"

Previously on X-Men, Wolverine and Sabretooth hash out some of their issues that probably go back decades; Cyclops is a dick to everyone because…well, that’s just who he is; and Storm, Gambit, and Jubilee head to Genosha for a “vacation,” but then sentinels show up.

The X-Men just aren’t good at blending in.

This week’s review is brought to you by a sleepy, caffeine-filled me, so it may come as more ridiculous/sarcastic than usual.

slave islandNot-So-Short Summary: We start with Jubilee in prison on Genosha, waking up to angry guards with guns herding all of the mutants out of their cells to start the day. It turns out they will be building a “new Genosha” that involves building a dam.

The spiel is given that the collars they wear to suppress their mutant powers will be turned off during working hours so they can use their powers to speed along the building process. Try to escape, the collars will be turned back on; try to take off the collars, they will explode. Sounds like Battle Royale a bit.

Of course, when the collars are turned off, Storm immediately tries to use her powers to escape only to have her collar turned back on in mid-flight. She tumbles into the water and is snagged by a Sentinel. Jubilee keeps screaming about leaving Storm alone until Gambit finally says what we’re all thinking: “Be quiet for once!”

One of the Mutant Registration heads (Gyrich) shows up to tell the mutants that if they try to escape, they will never leave Genosha; but if they help finish the dam, they are free to go. Sounds like a solid, trustworthy deal, right? The sentinel is ordered to destroy Storm, but Gambit has a way to save her: tell them what she can do. She’ll fill the dam up with her rain powers, so they should probably keep her around, right?

Instead, they take a leaf out of Cool Hand Luke and put her in The Box. Many mentions of her claustrophobia follow, as if we didn’t catch it in any of the prior episodes. There are mysterious explosions in the nearby forest that distract everyone long enough for Jubilee to steal a bit of wire for future use.

That evening, the power has apparently failed, so Jubilee can easily pick her way out of her cell and tell Gambit all about her brilliant plan that will probably get her thrown in with Storm. She explains it to all of the other prisoners, who tell her the same thing. It’s no use; she goes back to her cell as the power comes back on.

The next morning, Gambit is no longer is his cell and the rest of the mutants are now backing Jubilee. Her plan doesn’t work and she gets thrown in the box where Storm has completely lost it.

mastermoldMASTERMOLD!!! Sorry, let me start again. We see Mastermold in all his weird glory, making sentinels in his chest. And then a lot of evil people make their introductions. Most of them I don’t remember, so they don’t last for very long. Bolivar Trask is there. They reveal that Gambit is the rat who told them about the mutant uprising. He’s giving them a lot of information about the X-Men.

As Gambit escapes when they are taking him back to the prison, the car he was in explodes. It’s Cable! Everybody say hi! Cable is looking for The Leader, but he gives Gambit a key to take off the collars without being blown to pieces.

The evil people give a good background of Cable: he fought in the Leader’s army as a mercenary, but turned his back when the Leader didn’t turn out to be the democratic hopeful he claimed.

Gambit rescues Jubilee and Storm. As Cable reins down shots on the bad guys’ headquarters, Storm & company take down the camp. They try to recruit the now-free mutants to destroy Mastermold, but they won’t do it until they control all of Genosha.

Flash to Xavier’s mansion where Wolverine returns and everyone wonders why they can’t get a hold of Genosha. Not people in Genosha, but Genosha itself. Cyclops, Wolverine, and Jean Grey head to Genosha, leaving Professor X behind because he has “things to do.” By that, he means calling Muir Island to talk to Moira MacTaggert.

Cable keeps messing up everyone’s plans by exploding a bunch of sentinels and going after The Leader. Storm calls upon the rain to destroy what’s been built of the dam and as she tumbles down, she is rescued by Rogue. At the same time, Storm’s tsunami threatens Mastermold’s lair. He tries to escape but is still plugged in (womp-womp).

mansionThe episode ends with the X-Men flying back to the school only to find it in ruins.

Badass Moment of the Week: “You want to see a card trick?” Gambit asks as they are taking him back to camp. With his collar still on, he can’t light them up, so he lets the cards fly everywhere, elbows the two guards in the throat, and leaps from the moving car to escape. How suave.

Best One-Liner: “There’s always more gators in the bayou,” quips Gambit as Jubilee says she thought they destroyed all the sentinels. Cliche things like this seem to make up Gambit and Rogue.

So when exactly is Cable in The Leader’s army? Because we will see Cable in one of the Apocalypse sagas and he’s definitely alive and looking the same age in 2055. Then again, he can time travel…

I’m not going to lie, when they panned over to Mastermold, I threw my hands up and cheered. Why do I like all of the evil villains? Because X-Men villains are sweet. Besides, we definitely haven’t seen the last of him. I specifically remember a future episode where just his head has survived.

There’s a lot of mention of “The Leader.” Me being the Simpsons nerd that I am, I could only think of the Movementarians episode. I’m a little disappointed none of the mutants had a “leader beans” display in their cell.

Come back next week when Juggernaut shows up for the first time and everyone wonders why it isn’t the guy from the third movie (which doesn’t exist in my mind). In fact, forget I even brought it up.

Tags: Classic Review Review X-men X-men The Animated Series

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