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X-Men '97: Episode 3: Fire Made Flesh

Geeking Out

It happened! We got Inferno. I was wondering after the first two episodes if this would happen, and it did! I have to say that I really love the condensed storytelling done on this show. They did a really nice job in the original run simplifying complex ideas like the Dark Phoenix Saga, Age of Apocalypse, and everything Bishop. In the case of Inferno, I love Inferno Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (you can probably skip this one), and Part 4...but the simplistic take on it here was somehow almost an improvement. There's a reason why the events of Inferno make numerous appearances in my current "Favorites List." (I'll be posting a 2004 version in a few weeks!)

Also, how awesome has it been to see universal love and admiration for this show!? I'm not surprised at all that it's sitting at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm having a great time so let's jump into the synopsis and analysis!


  • New Jean is the real Jean

Episode 2 ended with a different Jean Grey coming through the door of the mansion. It didn't take us long for Beast to confirm that the new Jean is, in fact, the real Jean.

  • Old Jean (Madeline) is angry

It was a little rushed to see the old Jean (Madelyn Pryor) get angry so fast, however I truly felt for her when Cyclops couldn't immediately stand by her. Whether she's a clone or not, she is the mother of his baby! My wife just had a baby last month. I don't think there's much that could happen to make me stop standing by her shortly after bringing my son into this world, even if I did find out she was an evil clone.

  • Sinister calls Maddie on baby monitor

This is a little creepy, but here I'm ok with this moving a little faster.

  • Sinister pushes Maddie to transform into the Goblin Queen

Ok, this did happen prettttty fast, but post partum depression is a bitch so I can see it.

  • Morph jokes about Rogue and Mags taking extended training room sessions

I love Morph's sense of humor in this show! The animation did a good job of showing Gambit feeling repulsed as he learned how much time they've spent together.

  • Sunspot and Jubilee watching TV together

Shipwatch! Would they be Subilee!? Or maybe Jubispot? I'll keep working on it. Also, I noticed that Sunspot was not special enough to get added to the opening animation, but Magneto was!

  • Maddie messes with team

Maddie (Old Jean) starts playing on the team's biggest fears. She also creates a bunch of demonic creatures.

  • Xavier accuses Scott as a failure

This idea of Scott being a failure is one of the largest themes of the show this year. I like that the show is addressing adult themes head on.

  • Bishop let down Shard

Shard is Bishop's sister from the future. In the comics she died in his future, but served as a member of the later X-Factor series as a hologram. Sound ridiculous? It was, that's one of the reasons that I regretfully gave up my coverage of that series towards the end due to how bad it got.

  • Roberto let down his mother

  • Morph attacked by Sinister

I was thankful for this because I forgot that this happened during the original run.

  • Gambit seeing Rogue and Mags together

I've never been a big Gambit fan, but the show is doing a good job of making me feel bad for him.

  • XM transported to hell (Dante’s inferno)

In the show the team is transported to a mental representation of hell. In the Inferno comic, many of the characters went to the alternate dimension of Limbo, which to many is a close approximation to Hell. The comic had gotten a little convoluted explaining how Maddie developed ties to Limbo, so the fact that she is under Sinister's influence and bringing them to the Astral plane is a tighter, easier to understand story.

  • Cyke overcharges Bishop

More badass displays of power!

  • OG Jean saves them

The best part of the comic was real Jean battling fake Jean!

  • Goblin Queen (Maddie) takes Nathan

Again, very similar to the comics where Maddie loses here full mind and puts her son in harm's way.

  • Rogue and Mags misses the whole thing. 

Wow, they were "training" so hard that they missed all the commotion. Magneto has an amazing quote:

Sinister has plagued us for far too long, it’s time for him to pay for his malevolent calculations.”
  • Sinister transforms Nathan

In the comics, it's actually Apocalypse who attempts to transform baby Nathan. It makes much more sense for Sinister, who is established as being obsessed with this family, to be the one to infect him with the Techno Organic Virus.

  • Morph turns into Illyana

Illyana Rasputin, AKA Magic, is the younger sister of Colossus who spent many years as a member of the New Mutants. She died during the events of Inferno, executing a rare full story arc with a beginning, middle, and end. Even though Illyana couldn't really be in this show, it was great for her to get this special mention.

  • Goblin Queen hurts Magneto

  • Scott makes Goblin Queen bleed

This was a big deal as you can see the pain in Scott's face as he had to hurt her in order to snap her out of it.

  • W helps OG Jean snap out of it

The OG Jean had been having a hard time remembering things, but it's Wolverine, not Scott, who is able to get her to remember her life.

  • OG jean attacks GQ psychically 

  • Flashback to Jeans friend getting hit by a car

Both the movies and comics have explained that Jean's friend was hit by a car and died when she was young. Jean felt the whole thing and it really hurt her inside.

  • Goblin queen snaps out of it thanks to Jean and goes with Scott to help Nathan

  • Nathan infected with TO Virus

  • Bishop brings Nathan into the future, without Cyclops’ blessing

In the comics, baby Nathan is saved via a Deus Ex Machina when Cyclops' daughter (Rachel Grey) from an alternate timeline (Days of Future Past) shows up to bring Nathan thousands of years into the future. This actually makes more sense. We have a time traveler, Bishop. He knows someone good with technology, Forge. Yes, let's just do this!

  • They let GQ go. Calls herself Madelyn Pryor

Oops, I've been calling her Maddie prematurely, but they got there eventually. This scene also establishes that OG Jean has absorbed all of Maddie's memories. This conveniently happened in the comics too, allowing the Jean we know to serve as a mom to Nathan, carry the memories of Phoenix, etc.

I'm also very curious if we'll see Maddie again in the show. I doubt they would let her live if they didn't have plans for her. She died here in the comics, however she did come back as a convoluted Astral Projection by another child of Scott (Nate Grey/ X-Man) from another alternate timeline (Age of Apocalypse). Oh, and that alternate son was dating his alternate mom. See, I prefer the straightforwardness here.

  • Forge meets Storm

Lifedeath here we come!

My Rating- 9/10


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