X-Men '97 episode 4 recap and review - a whole lotta "nope"

Jubilee battles Mojo in a video game world, and Storm faces a power outage. It's mutant mayhem with a side of romance and revelations.

Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL.
Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

It is Wednesday - which means another excellent episode of X-Men '97 is sitting pretty over at Disney Plus for you to stream and enjoy.

Today's episode is split into two stories, one focusing on lovebirds Roberto da Costa and Jubilee, and the latter half of the episode focusing on Storm and her attempt at getting her powers back. Let's dive into the wacky and wonderful world of X-Men '97 episode 4, "Lifedeath - Part 1."

This episode is a rollercoaster of emotions, mutant powers, and, of course, some classic video game action. Let's break it down, shall we?


Our beloved Jubilee decides she wants to celebrate her birthday in style - at the arcade, because why not? As a gamer myself, I approve this message. But as luck (or misfortune) would have it, it seems the writers of the show took inspiration from Sword Art Online and she and Roberto get zapped into a video game world by none other than the nefarious Mojo. Remember him? That interdimensional TV exec with a flair for the dramatic and a serious ratings slump? Well, he's back, but this time he's swapped the boob tube for video games in an effort to jazz up his evil plans, complete with "if you die in the video game, you die in real life" antics. Love it.

Motendo. Yep, it's exactly what it sounds like - Mojo's twisted version of a video game console we all know as Nintendo. Jubilee, alongside Roberto (aka Sunspot), has to battle through level after level to escape Mojo's digital dungeon. But they soon find out that they're not alone. No, there's a fancy-looking lady in what looks like an armor inspired by The Armorer from The Mandalorian watching over their every move, healing them, and eventually helping them escape. They later find out that she is a digital clone of Jubilee named Abscissa, who's been tinkering around in Mojo's code. Together, they show Mojo that you don't mess with the X-Men, even in pixel form.

I have to say, as a Brazilian, it's really gratifying hearing Roberto angry-speak in Portuguese.

""Não tô nem aí! Tudo ferrado! Esse lugar é muito perigoso. Vou vazar daqui."
"I don't speak justifiably angry Portuguese, but I know.""

Roberto and Jubilee, "Lifedeath-Part 1"

For those wondering, the translation to what he says is: "I don't even care! This is all screwed up! This place is very dangerous. I'm gonna get the hell out of here."

I love that he mixes up Portuguese words with English when speaking and that he has a slight accent. Makes me feel super represented (minus the accent, the whole "being bullied for having an accent in school" thing made it disappear faster than Quicksilver can save everyone in the Xavier Institute).

X-MEN '97
Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /


Meanwhile, in a totally different kind of drama, we swirl back to our queen, Storm, who's dealing with a pretty major issue: she's lost her powers and has yet to be able to find that light at the end of the tunnel, no foreseen way to bring her powers back. It's truly sad seeing such a giant in the series be brought to a point this low, but we can only hope she'll regain her powes and go right back to being an Omega-level threat. We see she's being helped by Forge, the guy with a guilty conscience the size of a Sentinel because he invented the tech that dampens mutant powers. Talk about household drama - IIlove you" and slaps included. Forge is basically in an "It's not you, it's me" situation, except it's really, "It's not you, it's my mutant-dampening technology." Oopsies.

This episode is like a mutant soap opera, complete with Storm and Forge trying to navigate their complicated feelings and even more complicated past. And let's not forget the new villain on the block, The Adversary, who's like the final boss you never saw coming. With a name like that, you know he's not here to make friends - not to mention the creepy voice and aesthetic. I'm very excited to see where they take this plot - The Adversary is an ancient mystical entity demonic in nature, who is known for wanting to destroy the universe and create a new one from its ashes. So yeah, those hugs it was giving Storm aren't friendly hugs. Shivers.

The second half of the episode steers us towards The Uncanny X-Men #184 - where Forge and Storm see themselves in a sticky situation connected to The Adversary. Is it just a nod, or are we seeing a glimpse into another adapted plot?

However, amidst all this chaos, romance blooms. Jubilee and Sunspot share a kiss (aww) and possibly a cuddle after going through such a scary experience in which they could have both died, and Forge confesses his feelings for Storm (double aww) right before getting a nice little slap on the face, setting the stage for more mutant relationship drama to unfold.

I'm still holding out hope we'll see some of the Logan-Storm on-again-off-again relationship dynamic we get in the comics. I have to admit, that is one huge power couple. Sorry, Jean and Scott.

So, how does this rank with the previous 4 episodes? It's a fun one, but I think it does sit at number 4 for me.

x-men. B+. It's fun and touches on a few plots from comic book events, but the pacing of the second half of the episode is just too fast. . Camila Domingues, BSP. X-Men '97 episode 4: "Lifedeath - Part 1"

So, what's the takeaway from this epic episode, besides the fact that being sucked into a video game is a valid birthday activity and that interdimensional villains need to seriously reconsider their career choices? It's that no matter what, the X-Men stick together, fight together, and maybe even fall in love together.

Stay tuned for more mutant adventures and tune into Disney Plus next Wednesday at 12am PT/2am CT/3am ET for another excellent episode!

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