Previously on the Multiversity Summer TV Binge, we continued our coverage of beloved 90’s Saturday Morning Cartoon X-Men: The Animated Series. We don’t need roads where we’re going as we ride along with Ted Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston Esq. in their TARDIS for some time-breaking shenanigans. It’s back to the days of future past in “Time Fugitives.” Buckle up. And, I should hope I don’t need to give a warning for a twenty-plus-year-old-show but, as always, beware of spoilers.
1. Return of the WHAAHHUHHMMMM
That sweet sentient-mullet accompanied by a harmonica masquerading as the character Bishop is back from the future he returned to after leaving the present he was sent to in his original timeline. Shit…time travel is weird. Regardless, the “time-jockey”–as Wolverine refers to him–is here to stop a plague that created the future he has now come back from upon trying to return after altering our present which is his past. Does anyone else’s head hurt?
2. The Wild Man From Borneo, 3099
Meanwhile, Bill Paxton is worried about a lightning tornado which his computer tells him will erase his entire existence. And then a cow flies by the windshield.
The return of Cable sees the character more in line with source material as he is presented as a time-traveler and part of the rebellion against Apocalypse in the future. These don’t really qualify as cameos so I’ll include them in this section but why is Cable accompanied by Sort-of-Rogue and 3/4 of Colossus? For all the cameos X-Men: The Animated Series does give us they would oddly concoct new background characters–some of whom actually reappear throughout the series.
The Beatnick Bigfoot from previous episodes is once again featured as the mutants are being quarantined. This guy really gets around. He’s even seen with a gal-pal in “Time Fugitives.” Way to go Back Scratch Daddy.
3. Guns Are Bad, Mmkay?
As far back as the late 1970s guns with actual bullets were not considered appropriate for children’s cartoons. Shows worked their way around this for decades, most often relying on colorful lasers, which are deemed less violent and often only incapacitate their targets. X-Men: The Animated Series is rife with its own pew-pew-pews but it also plays with other gun types.
We’ve seen gas guns previously in this series but the saboteur who infects the first electronics store attendant with a device that looks like a gamma gun from the Fallout series. We also see Cable’s gun once again which continues to exhibit the ability to basically make Cable Gambit. Shots from this weapon charge objects before making them explode. Because explosions are much less harmful than bullets.
4. Friends of the Phalanx
The entire plot of this two-parter is more convoluted than the Onslaught saga but here is a brief overview. Bishop returns to find his present has been altered by the actions of his previous trip. Now his world was the victim of a plague, blamed on mutants, which has decimated the population. He returns to uncover a plot by Apocalypse to create the techno-virus and unleash it, allowing mutants to take the blame. They destroy the tube carrying his pathogen and end his plot but this turns out to further disrupt Cable’s future.
Cable then travels back and we get a lot of repeated sequences slightly changed but always making sure we know three things: “Remember Mister Creed, a mutant saved your life,” Apocalypse is “as far beyond mutants as they are you,” and Wolverine would like to know “what’s that time-jockey doing back?”
Of all this needlessly-complicated nonsense one thing is particularly irritating. Graydon Creed chooses to inject himself with the virus in an effort to prove mutants are the cause. Why? Why ever do something so stupid even when you don’t know you’re being tricked by Apocalypse? And how did they not find the device he used immediately. It’s like a jumbo inhaler.Continued below
5. X-Treme-ly Small Cameos
There’s only a couple of “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” cameos this week in “Time Fugitives.” You want more? They had a lot to cram in you greedy bastards. There’s three centuries in these two episodes.
Hemingways, when Creed gives his testimony we see glimpses of what looks like in one screen the High Evolutionary, and in another War Machine, G.W. Bridge, and Nick Fury. They don’t look particularly thrilled about the proceedings. Fun fact: Chris Claremont originally wanted to write a much different direction for the X-Men in which Fury was more heavily involved. X-Men: Forver was later released by Marvel but this seems like a subtle nod somehow.
There’s lots more cameos and so much to love about this show in general and we’ll be talking about it more next week in our Summer TV binge. Join us, and as always, excelsior!