So something amazing happened at my day job today as we officially began streaming the 1990's X-Men animated series--which, you may recall, is one of my favorite things ever--for free on Marvel.com. Around lunchtime, my comrade Ryan Penagos threw our mutually beloved cartoon on his computer and we took a trip down memory lane to 1992 with the debut episode, "Night of the Sentinels part one." To the best of my ability, most Wednesdays I'm gonna try and present myself and Ryan's expert commentary on these animated milestones in bodacious bullet point fashion. Onward!
-Right from the start, it's awesome how freakin' 90's this show is, with Jubilee hanging out in a mall arcade playing what I'm sure is Street Fighter II.
-Ryan hates Gambit, so every time he shows up, it is fantastic! And could there have possibly been a better line to introduce the Ragin' Cajun to the world than "I prefer solitaire"?
-It freaked out my officemates that I knew pretty much every line of the episode spot-on. John Cerilli called me a nerd and worse more than once.
-I loved the Sentinels on this show because they were so spectacularly ineffective. There was no better way to quickly intro each of the X-Men and show their powers off than giving them building-sized cannon fodder with hilarious robot voices to tear apart.
-Storm somehow generates her costume out of thin air by creating a little lightning shower over her head. She never does it again and it is never explained.
-Cyclops' "Energy blasts, huh? Here's one from a pro!" line was the sound that indicated for me my buddy Jordan had signed on AIM in college. I had sounds from either the X-Men cartoon or movie for pretty much all my friends. Jordan had the same (I was Iceman saying, "Sorry, pal, you're skating on thin ice!"). It was great for a month or so and then incredibly annoying.
-Jean Grey's ponytail does not come out as long as she's in costume for the next five years.
-The stream of awesome cameos that this series rocked begins with the viewscreens in Xavier's control room. Cannonball! Domino! X-Force rules!
-I forgot how annoying Morph's laugh is.
-Wolverine seriously gets an awesome intro. He is completely absent from the first part of the show and then leaps out of the darkness of the Danger Room to pop the claws and then stand over Gambit with his first line as we go to commercial. What kid would not think this guy was the shit?
-...then right after the break he gets taken out by Jubilee. Ah well.
-A few minutes later, Wolverine blows Cyclops off for the first time--it would not be the last. Wolverine treating Cyclops like a chump on this show would be a great drinking game.
-Ryan hates Rogue's voice. I love it.
-Few things are more awesomely emblematic (sp?) of this show than Storm reciting absurd poetry while she uses her powers. We were waiting for it the whole episode and then marked out when she did her "Let the mists rise!" bit near the end.
Next week: the exciting conclusion to the X-Men's first animated adventure!