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‘X-Men ’97’ episode 6 ‘Lifedeath Pt. 2’: A lackluster follow up to last week’s masterpiece

The weakest entry in the series so far, Lifedeath Pt. 2 could have used a little more excitement to add some ‘life’ into this episode.

The latest installment of X-Men ’97, titled “Lifedeath Pt. 2,” offers a somewhat captivating continuation of the beloved series, albeit with a few bumps along the way. As the saga unfolds, viewers are treated to a revamped intro that breathes new life into the show’s iconic opening credits. The prelude, reminiscent of a heartbeat, sets the tone for the episode, hinting at the emotional rollercoaster that previously impacted our favorite mutants.

One notable change in the intro is the introduction of Nightcrawler, who replaces the dearly departed Gambit. While fans may mourn Gambit’s absence, Nightcrawler’s inclusion will be sure to inject a fresh energy into the team dynamic. It will be interesting to see if Nightcrawler’s addition to the opening credits will lead to a more prominent role in the latter half of the season and if he will be able to showcase his acrobatic prowess and charming personality.

'X-Men '97' episode 6 'Lifedeath Pt. 2': A lackluster follow up to last week's masterpiece

Another intriguing addition to the X-Men ’97 opening credits is Nimrod, a character that was involved heavily in episodes from the original animated series. Despite not making an appearance in this episode, Nimrod’s prominence in the introduction hints at future plot developments, much like how Professor Xavier and Princess Lilandra were presented. Nimrod’s appearance will surely keep viewers on the edge of their seats as we await his official appearance in this new series.

The episode marks the first official appearance of Professor Charles Xavier since the finale of the original animated series. “Lifedeath Pt. 2” delves deeper into the complex relationship between Charles Xavier and Princess Lilandra of the Shi’ar Empire. Their bond is tested as Xavier grapples with his reluctance to erase all memories of Earth in order to marry the woman that he loves, showcasing a poignant exploration of duty versus personal desires.

'X-Men '97' episode 6 'Lifedeath Pt. 2': A lackluster follow up to last week's masterpiece

One of the episode’s standout motifs revolves around the power of lies and self-deception. Storm struggles deeply with the lie she told Jean about wanting to be human, which serves as a stark reminder that our beliefs shape our reality more profoundly than any external force. This single lie not only feeds into the power of the Adversary, but also keeps her away from being cured. Similarly, Xavier’s self-imposed exile and his forced happiness as a member of the Shi’ar highlights the consequences of denying one’s true desires.

Speaking of the Adversary, it proves to be a seriously creepy villain, adding an extra layer of suspense and intrigue. While its visual appearance provided some frightening visuals for the audience, more could have been done to make the Adversary feel like a serious threat. 

x-men '97 the adversary and storm

Furthermore, Storm’s return to her original appearance is a welcome nod to her classic design, appealing to fans of the original series.

However, despite its strengths, “Lifedeath Pt. 2” falls short in some areas. As a follow-up to last week’s masterpiece, the episode feels somewhat lackluster, failing to match the intensity and emotional depth of its predecessor. Additionally, the pacing suffers from rushed storylines, particularly regarding the Adversary, Storm and Forge’s relationship, as well as Xavier’s time among the Shi’ar and the brewing civil war over the throne between Lilandra and her sister, Deathbird. These plotlines could have easily benefited from more time to breathe and develop organically.

'X-Men '97' episode 6 'Lifedeath Pt. 2': A lackluster follow up to last week's masterpiece

Furthermore, the episode leans heavily into the cheesiness of Charles Xavier’s role as a teacher and professor, bordering on caricature at times. While this may appeal to nostalgic fans, it detracts from the overall seriousness of the narrative. Charles almost single handedly convinced the Shi’ar empire to change their fundamental beliefs through nothing more than a standard classroom lecture. As an educator myself, that was too much to buy into, even in a made-up world full of mutants.  

Despite these drawbacks, “Lifedeath Pt. 2” remains a solid addition to the X-Men ’97 series, offering compelling character dynamics, intriguing plot developments, and tantalizing hints of what’s to come. With its revamped intro, exploration of complex themes, and ominous new villain, the episode, while the weakest entry in the series to date, leaves viewers eagerly anticipating the next chapter in the X-Men’s journey.

You can catch new episodes of X-Men ’97 streaming every Wednesday, only on Disney+.

x-men '97 storm
X-Men '97 episode 6 "Lifedeath Pt. 2" review
Despite the drawbacks, "Lifedeath Pt. 2" remains a solid addition to the X-Men '97 series, offering compelling character dynamics, intriguing plot developments, and tantalizing hints of what's to come.
Revamped intro
Classic Storm
New Shi'ar characters
The Adversary's appearance
Nightcrawler (hopefully)
Powerful motif that can apply to everyone
Use of the opening credits to hint at future storylines and character appearances
More rushed storylines
Weak follow-up to previous episode
Literal "Professor" Xavier
Storm/Forge
7
Good

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