X-Men 97 – LifeDeath-Part 2- Review : My Children Of The Atom

Spoilers

Beware of spoilers for the show in the article. Please do not continue reading if you are interested in watching the show and you are not okay with being spoiled.

Introduction :

The show continues its trend of having a plot heavy episode followed by a character centric episode , this week was the latter as it largely focused on Professor Xavier and Storm’s character development.

Professor X :

Charles has been getting acclimated to his new extraterrestrial life within the Shi’ar Empire as the Empress Lilandra’s betrothed whilst the general public on earth believes he is deceased. For context , in the final episode of the original series the Professor was mortally wounded (shot) and left earth inorder to receive life saving medical attention from the Shi’ar. Charles has been living his life away from the X-Men but clearly misses them which is shown in the episode by his failure to let go of them by having mind wiped. Charles’ corner of the episode was largely cosmic as the clear antagonist for his section of the episode was revealed early on to be Princess Deathbird. Deathbird referring to Earth as the ghetto was certainly a memorable jab at humanity , it seems Charles can’t even escape prejudice in space. Deathbird seeks to overthrow her sister Lilandra as the Empress and everything she was doing seemed focused on that.

Empress Lilandra , Gladiator (the leader of Lilandra’s Imperial Guard) and Deathbird were introduced on the original show during the Phoenix saga episodes which interestingly also introduced Corsair (Christopher Summers) who is Cyclops father. Episode 6 introduces Vulcan ( the youngest of the Summers brothers) as part of Deathbird’s forces, in the comics Deathbird marries Vulcan which makes her Scott’s sister in law. The X-men are truly Marvel’s first soap opera family with the amount of drama they have been through over the decades.

During the midpoint of the episode, Deathbird invoked the rite of M’Dashaa and challenged Charles to prove his loyalty to the Shi’ar empire by erasing all of his memories of earth and his X-men. When Charles realizes he can’t let his X-Men go , Deathbird attacks. Deathbird’s attack ultimately culminates in a pretty cool fight scene where Gladiator gets to shine as Lilandra’s protector and Charles astral projecting the Shi’ar council, Lilandra , Deathbird and Gladiator into a classroom learning session that was interrupted when Charles received a vision of Gambit’s death. The Professor didn’t receive anything about Magneto which leads me to believe as I theorized last week that Magnus is probably still alive.

Charles sees the X-Men as his children , which is why he struggles so much to let his former life go. They are his family and the promise of an easier life in the Shi’ar empire can’t compete with the love he has for them. Going back to earth when he discovers they are in pain is a no brainer.

Storm :

In the other corner of the episode, Storm and Forge continued their battle against the Adversary as the creature taunted Storm. A mortally wounded Forge who was poisoned by the Adversary’s bite last week used his magical knowledge to banish the creature away just enough for Storm and him to begin their search for the cure for his wound. Was it just me or did Forge’s magic look very similar to how Doctor Strange’s powers look visually in the MCU ?

When Forge and Storm found the location of the cure the Adversary returned and attempted to use Storm’s fears against her to destroy her but Storm having realized the truth that part of her was relieved that she had lost her powers , accepted herself and her powers made a epic return through a magical girl transformation sequence.

This episode in particular references Storm’s claustrophobia introduced in season 1 of the original show. Storm has grown and evolved so much since then. In the comics Storm has always had magical potential due to her mothers side of the family so Storm regrowing her hair fully and transforming into a new outfit isn’t really far fetched and explains why she is referred to as a goddess.

Her new costume is very important since it is actually her original costume from the 70’s and a fan favorite costume for her. Personally I feel the costume is an upgrade for Storm , the scene of Storm shooting across the sky, breaking through the clouds and then flying down across the earth was very Man of Steel code. It’s very clear from both halves of the episodes that the show is made with love by fans of the source material. It’s interesting that an animated series is giving fans the weekly appointment television we’ve been hungry for from Marvel recently.

Storm and Forge are clearly a couple now but I wonder if Forge will return with her to the X-Men since she discovered what happened in Genosha after she found the cure for Forge and saved his life so she will surely be rushing to her family.

Climax :

During the final moments of the episode it was revealed that Mr Sinister was behind the Genoshian Massacre , he is clearly the big bad of this season or series so far. The original show did focus a bit on Sinister but I hope the audience gets a reason to learn more about the character. So far we have focused more on how dangerous he is through his actions.

My “other” thoughts :

1. Magneto and Gambit were both removed from the opening credits of this episode and Nightcrawler was added.

2. The show referenced the Shi’ar gods which were focused on with more detail during the Jane Foster Mighty Thor run. The show also references the Shi’ar empire’s prejudice regarding art since they are unable to dream through Gladiator’s and Professor Xavier’s scene in front of the gods statues.

3. Professor Xavier’s vision might have been foreshadowing of Gambit’s eventual return as Apocalypse’s horseman of death. Like most soap operas X-Men characters rarely stay dead, so I feel Gambit returning is a matter of when not if.

Verdict :

Another great installment of the show , echoing why studios can never go wrong by placing their trust in the hands of fans of the original source material to work on their intellectual properties.

Rating :

Story: 10/10

Visuals: 10/10

Sound: 10/10

Performances: 10/10

Overall: 10/10

Join me weekly for more reviews of the first season of X-Men 97.

“What did you think of the show’s 6th episode this week ?”

“What are your hopes for the rest of the season ?”

Let us know in the comments below.

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