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X-Men '97: Episode 4: Motendo/ Lifedeath Part 1

Geeking Out

Eventually we had to get a slower episode, right!? One of my biggest pet peeves in any creative medium is when something big happens (like the events of last episode) and then we get zero follow up the next time we tune in. Really, Scott and Jean don't even make a single appearance?! Is their marriage ok? How's Jean doing? Is Wolverine making moves on Jean? Nope, nothing. And the rest of the team is acting like it's business as usual around the mansion.

What does it say about the 90's when the animated show displays the Jim Lee era (costumes, timeline, etc.) but all of the stories pull from the 80's with Chris Claremont?

It was great to see Lifedeath. I appreciate this arc. I have fond memories of it, but I realized there is a reason it doesn't make any appearances in my most recent favorites list. I'm just not as high on it as the larger X-Men fanbase seems to be. That's ok though, no one's perfect!


  • Magneto makes coffee for Rogue, but not Gambit

Drum up that love triangle drama! Rogue still just doesn't sound right to me. I know it's terrible for me to keep commenting on that. Lenore Zahn is a legend and it's been 30 years, so of course she'll sound different. I just have a hard time not noticing though.

  • Mentioned that Genosha is getting into the UN

There is a clear, intentional drum beat in the background around Genosha. Something big is going to happen with it. The biggest thing they can do is have Magneto become the leader of the country and then destroy it like in E is for Extinction, but they haven't pulled from anything past 1997 yet so I doubt they will use any Grant Morrison material.

  • Jubilee’s 18th birthday

  • She wants to go to the arcade but Magneto wants them to do drills in the danger room

It definitely seems like Jubilee (and Roberto) is a stand in for all the New Mutants, showing what it's like for a teenager when a former tyrant takes over the school.

  • Jubilee and Roberto get pulled into a Motendo system

  • Sentinels attack them

  • FOH attack them

This is certainly entertaining, but just like in the comics, whenever a character like Mojo or Arcade show up I start to tune out because it signals that nothing important is about to happen. And that proves true in this half of the episode.

  • Mojo announces they are in a video game

  • J notices he lost weight

  • Mojo’s voice isn’t working for me

I don't think we ever got it explained why Mojo was skinny to start the episode. Also, similar to Rogue, Mojo's voice just isn't cutting it for me. He just sounds like some random guy.

  • Holy shit they are in the old arcade game

  • Spiral is tech support

They are just playing on our emotions...and I don't mind at all! I loved that arcade game and I can't believe they leaned so hard into the exact game.

  • Mojo gets fat again

  • Jubilee beats Magneto

  • They are saved by an older version of Jubilee. Beta tester

  • Lectures about needing to live her life

  • “So magneto was right”

Lol, Jubilee says "Magneto was right." That's a charged comment for X Nation out here.

  • Jubes and Roberto beat Mojo, and he might’ve died?

  • Forge and Storm eat dinner together ripped right from the comics

  • They go horseback riding

  • Forge tries to give Storm her powers back but it doesn’t work. 

Wow, this Lifedeath sequence is pretty much page for page and line for line from the comics. That's pretty impressive.

  • Storm learns that Forge made the gun and is super pissed. 

  • She runs off and runs into the adversary in beast form

One critique of the original Lifedeath is that you have this beautiful romantic scene between Forge and Storm, and then they are interrupted by these crazy dire wraith things. I always felt the dire wraiths were a bit bananas and didn't seem to fit with the X-Men. One shows up here, but once again this series is condensing the dire wraiths (not called that in the show) into a manifestation of the Adversary. We must be heading headfirst into Fall of the Mutants.

My Rating- 7/10


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